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Blue Bird Rides the Propane Wave

September 19, 2012 in Fleet Order, Propane by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Wraps Delivery of Its Largest Order, 86 to First Student in Portland

Blue Bird Bus has completed delivery of 86 dedicated propane autogas school buses with Roush CleanTech systems to First Student, for service with the Portland Public Schools in Oregon. It was largest single order to date of propane buses for Blue Bird and Roush.

‘We’re starting to see it coast-to-coast,’€™ Blue Bird sales director John Roselli says of propane.

With prices far lower than those of diesel and gasoline, propane is riding an alternative fuels market wave similar to that enjoyed by compressed natural gas.

“We’re starting to see it coast-to-coast,” says Blue Bird sales director John Roselli. “Propane is really starting to take off.”

Blue Bird has used Roush exclusively for its propane buses since January, he told F&F.

“In their first year of operation, these propane autogas school buses are expected to save $500,000 to $700,000 in fuel and maintenance costs over their diesel counterparts,” the firms said in announcing the Portland/First Student order.

Mesa and Los Angeles Too

“The [price] spread continues to get wider and wider,” Roselli says.

The Blue Bird buses for Portland have 6.8-liter V-10 Ford engines. First Student is using an existing propane fueling system.

In Arizona, Mesa Public Schools has taken delivery of 27 Blue Bird school buses via Canyon State Bus Sales, and is fueling them using new hardware from Ferrellgas.

The Los Angeles Unified School District operates approximately 350 propane-fueled Blue Bird school buses, Roselli says, and will get another 50 later this year.


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