Park City School District is celebrating the holidays early this year with the delivery of two new propane school buses.
Rich Eddington, Director of Transportation, said alternative fuel is now a reality in the school district. “We are starting with only two buses to see how propane handles in the snow and cold weather.”
Propane buses are more economical to purchases, $125,000 per propane bus versus $159,000 for a diesel bus. “About 10 percent of buses sold nationwide are now propane,” Eddington said. “Propane is the best alternative fuel for our district.”
The district is in the process of installing its own tank at the Transportation Department. Propane gas averages $1.41 per gallon, much less expensive than diesel. “We want to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and the environment,” he said.
Propane buses are quieter, start in 50 below zero temperatures, heat the cabin quicker, and are one of the industry’s most popular because of their lower cost and safety features, according to Eddington.
Buses 32 and 33 are currently assigned to routes that transport students to Trailside Elementary, Ecker Middle, and Treasure Mountain / Park City High Schools.
The district is in the process of upgrading and updating its bus fleet, and is applying for state and federal grants to help offset the costs for new alternative fuel buses.