That’s right … A fleet of three new propane school buses arrived at the Oakland School Garage recently. What used to be known as the “Blue Bird” fleet of diesel engines are now called “Green Birds,” according to Lennie Goff, transportation director of Messalonskee RSU #18 school district.
“The biggest changes in the new fleet are that they run on Propane Autogas rather than unleaded or diesel fuel. And they are very quiet running and warm up faster during cold weather,” he said.
The new fleet includes 2020 propane fed engines. “Two are 78 passenger and one handicapped bus that is a 36 passenger equipped with wheel chair lifts and five wheel chair secured systems to be locked down with seat belts and harness straps worn by students during transit.
“The new buses will see that the fuel costs are going to be substantially less than the diesel or gas engines,” Goff said. “They cost about 30 percent less and are more environmentally friendly. Diesel cost is about $2.35 per gallon, whereas propane fuel is about $1.06 per gallon, plus we’ll get a 37-cent rebate bringing down the cost to under 70 cents per gallon,” he said.
According to Goff, the school district is looking to purchase two more propane buses through a Volkswagen emissions grant.
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