Third in the Series of ‘Straight Talk’ Videos Extols Autogas:
Indiana’s Warren Township’s Finds Winter Woes Reduced
“Our story starts with snow,” says Steve Smith, transportation director with the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township, east of Indianapolis. “Then it goes to ice.”
He and his operations colleagues tell the story of propane autogas as their fuel of choice for 11 buses they added in November 2015 in a Proven Cold Weather Performance, the third in a series of six new Straight Talk videos from PERC, the Propane Education & Research Council.
The Warren Township metropolitan schools help educate more than 12,000 students, PERC says, about 85% percent of whom ride the district’s school buses daily.
Propane Buses ‘Start with No Issue’
“Increasingly cold winters, with temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees, put pressure on the district’s fleet of diesel buses. Employees had to put in overtime to start the cold buses hours in advance of the school day, dragging dead diesel engines indoors each morning just to warm them.
And, PERC says, the district spent even more money on electric engine block heaters.
The propane autogas-powered, spark-ignition buses “start with no issue,” PERC notes, “and warm up quickly to give drivers and students a comfortable ride to school.
‘First Time Every Time’
According to technician Luke Conway, “Propane fires first time every time.”
“The drivers that use the propane autogas buses say they don’t want to go back to using diesel because the ride is more comfortable and the buses run quieter,” PERC says – the district “even has a waiting list of drivers that want to switch to propane autogas.”
“We have cleaner, quieter buses that we know will start,” says Smith. “We believe they’ll start down to minus 39.
“I don’t want to test them at minus 39 – but I think they will.”
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Source: PERC with Fleets & Fuels follow-up