Proposition to replace five school buses

Proposition to replace five school buses

On May 17, voters will consider a proposition to purchase five new propane-fueled school buses as replacements for five older buses.

The maximum estimated cost of the five buses is $590,475. Nearly 60 percent of the cost, or $341,900, would be returned to the district in transportation aid. The net cost for the five new buses, after trading in five school buses and applying the transportation aid, would be approximately $238,575.

If approved, the funds for the bus purchase would be drawn from the established Bus Purchase Reserve Fund approved by voters in 2011, and therefore would have no impact on the 2016-17 tax levy.

The District’s plan is to purchase propane buses, which are more efficient than diesel-fueled buses. These buses would reduce the District’s carbon footprint—propane burns much cleaner than diesel—and are more economically efficient as well. Because propane is less expensive than diesel and schools receive a federal tax credit for the purchase of propane, the District can expect to spend about 50 percent less per gallon for propane than diesel. Propane buses are less expensive to maintain as well. Typically, routine maintenance costs for propane buses are 30 percent less than diesel buses.

Administrators have consulted with several districts that already use propane buses. They affirm that besides the reduction of harmful emissions and savings in maintenance and fuel costs, propane buses experience no cold-weather start-up issues and have a faster warm-up for passengers.

Propane bus benefits:

  • Reduce harmful emissions
  • Are more reliable for cold weather starts
  • Warm up faster for passengers
  • Cost less to maintain and fuel-up