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fleets in the two largest counties in Nevada must operate on an alterna- tive fuel as define by the statute. Te fuels allowed were propane, CNG, reformulated gasoline or biodiesel. Te minimum level of biodiesel required was B5.” At that time, when the state statute


was enacted, the Washoe fleet was comprised of 95 percent diesel buses. According to Duncan, the cost of re- placing those buses with another fuel platform was not possible. Moreover, engine manufacturers would only warranty fuel systems if the biodiesel blend were no higher than B5. Te choice to use B5 biodiesel was essentially made for Washoe by outside forces. However, in 2013, Washoe decided to include propane buses in its fleet. Currently, the dis- trict runs 47 propane buses. “Tis decision was made because the technology had become very reli-


able and is a clean burning fuel with lower maintenance costs than diesel or other fuel platforms,” said Duncan. Frequently, the price tag associated with the switch to alternative fuels ends the discussion on the options. When Adams 12 Five Star Schools in Colorado sought to transition from traditional fuel, the choice fell between propane and CNG. Accord- ing to Dave Anderson, transportation and fleet director for Adams 12, the final decision settled on propane. “We were building everything


from the ground up,” said Anderson. “What swayed the district to propane was that to build an infrastructure to support CNG would cost a half million dollars.” As opposed to propane, which to


install two fueling stations would only cost the district roughly $55,000. Also, as Anderson pointed out, access to propane in Colorado was easier to


procure, so Adams 12 was able to cut deals with providers. So far, he added that the last four years of running propane have been a success. “It’s a case-by-case basis, but the


first goal when determining alterna- tive fuels should be, is it affordable?” said Anderson. “Do your research, do you homework, check system quality and ask around to people who experienced this transition, as in weigh the pros and cons of each fueling option.” As alternative fuels gain more


traction and become the cheaper substitute for traditional fueling pref- erences, the transportation directors who have already made the change stress the importance of seeking their counsel. Equally as important is the careful examination of each option so that the most grounded and financial feasible selection is made for the district and its students. 


2017 March 17-22 SAVE THE DATE


EMBASSY SUITES HOTEL


Frisco, Texas (a suburb of Dallas)


20 School Transportation News • APRIL 2016 16TSD_STD_FP.indd 1 2/17/16 3:40 PM


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