North Penn School District’s dedication to its students was recognized this week after receiving the Energy for Everyone Hero award from the Propane Education & Research Council. The national non-profit organization, which promotes clean energy initiatives, gave the district the award for their commitment to student health and the environment by operating a near-zero emissions propane school bus fleet. Dennis Ryan, coordinator for transportation at North Penn, accepted the award during a celebration event at the district.
Propane school buses are proven to reduce harmful pollutants, which can damage young children’s lungs and negatively affect the local air quality, by 94% compared to diesel. The buses are also a low-carbon option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“North Penn is a leader in school transportation because they understand that there are cleaner, safer and healthier ways to get our children to school than on the diesel school bus you and I rode on years ago,” said Steve Whaley, director of autogas business development with the Propane Council. “Not only are the propane buses a benefit to the students, but the community has improved air quality, the environment is better off and the district saves money with every bus. It’s a win for everyone and should be applauded.”
At the start of the new school year, 104 of North Penn’s 126 bus routes, or about 83%, will be powered by propane. As older diesel buses are phased out, North Penn is replacing them with new propane models. By 2026, the fleet will be 100 percent propane. With this initiative, North Penn is reducing its fuel and operating costs by several thousand dollars. It’s money that goes back into the school system for the students.
“Ultimately we are here to support our student’s learning and health by putting additional clean, near-zero emissions buses on the road every day,” said Ryan. “This project was done to reduce operational costs and have those savings continue to go toward our student’s education.”
“This project is an excellent example of how the North Penn School District strives to make its support services programs, like transportation, more efficient and cost-effective in order to drive more money into the instructional program,” said Steven Skrocki, chief financial officer of NPSD. “The propane buses cost less to operate and delivers a lower total cost of ownership than diesel buses.”
Every day, 1.3 million children ride to school in 22,000 school buses across this country. Propane buses are currently in more than 1,000 school districts in 48 states.
To learn more about propane school buses, visit BetterOurBuses.com.