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A row of propane school buses operated by Henry County Schools in Georgia.


Selecting the Right Alternative Fuel & Energy Choice


Similar to school bus operations as a whole, readers relay that there is no ‘one-size-fits- all’ solution to selecting the right power option for their transportation departments.


Written by Debbie Curtis W 34 School Transportation News • JULY 2020


hile there are many factors to take into consideration when decid- ing if it makes sense to transition to an alternative fuel or energy source, those interviewed for this article agreed that the expense of maintaining diesel school buses is at the top of the ist. While initially


costing more to purchase new, alternative fuel buses come with reduced time in the shop and fewer parts replacements. However, diesel continues to dominate the market because of greater familiarity fewer range anxiety issues and higher mpg, but the gap is closing. Many factors besides maintenance are also driving the increasing interest in


alternative fuels: state and local grants, tax breaks (the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit was extended through the end of this year and made retroactive to cover ex- penses in 2018 and 2019), the stability of domestically produced and renewable energy, and school districts being viewed in their communities as environmen- tally responsible, especially amid concerns about the the adverse effects that diesel exhaust has on children’s health.


Renewable Fuels & Energy May Be More Fiscally Responsible Price disputes in the Middle East or a pandemic causing disruptions in global


supplies impact oil prices. Prices of domestically produced fuel tend to remain more stable. As the COVID-19 crisis is creating unprecedented ripples in the global economy, having fleets running on domestically produced fuel might appeal to schools that face extremely challenging pandemic budget shortfalls. According to the National Propane Gas Association, propane, also knowns as


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