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Southland Transportation operates nearly all of parent company Pacific Western Transportation’s propane school buses across Canada.


PWT fields a total fleet of 3,800 school buses, with 856 fueled by propane at 12 locations in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. It’s the second-largest propane fleet in North Amer- ica, according Tom Jezersek, president and COO at PWT subsidiary Southland Trans- portation, which operates the majority of these buses. “We’ve been around for 64


years. We were running a lot of propane buses back in the 1980s and 1990s, when we were converting gasoline buses,” Jezersek recalled. “We got away from propane when diesel buses came out and it became impossible to find a [conventional] bus that wasn’t diesel.” He relayed that PWT be- gan purchasing Blue Bird’s new-generation, purpose-built propane buses in 2009 to ad- dress environmental concerns. “We do not allow gas or diesel fuel pumps on any of our prop- erties, so we don’t have to worry about fuel seeping from the tanks into the soil,” he explained. “We do allow propane tanks on our sites because there is no risk of spillage into the soil.” Jezersek noted that while


W


hile the case for electric school buses continues to be developed, pro- pane has emerged as the clear alternative fuel of choice among private contractors in their campaign to reduce their collective carbon footprint on the world’s environmental future.


Leading the pack on this adoption are the winners of the Green Bus Fleet


Awards, as judged by School Transportation News and National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The Large Private Fleet winner announced on April 22 at the conclu- sion of the virtual Green Bus Summit was Canadian-based Pacific Western Transit for its adoption of propane.


PWT does run “clean” die- sel and gasoline buses, the company has not purchased a diesel-fueled bus in at least four years, and there are no plans to do so. The number of propane buses


purchased for the local school board customer have increased annually because they continue


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