The coronavirus pandemic has brought on new challenges for school districts, especially for school transportation directors. While fleets are no longer taking children to and from school every day, transportation directors are still searching for ways to assist in the education and wellness of the students. In some cases, fleets are using propane autogas school buses to deliver meals and provide Wi-Fi.

Newport News Public Schools is just one district using its propane autogas buses to provide meals to any students in need. The buses are parked at 17 locations throughout the district, offering grab and go lunches every weekday.

Brian Hanna, the maintenance manager for NNPS, said the district chose to use its propane autogas buses for meal deliveries because they’re reliable. Unlike diesel school buses, propane autogas buses don’t require diesel emissions fluid (DEF). Due to the coronavirus, the maintenance shop that would normally fill the DEF tank is closed.

Plus, the propane autogas buses are saving the district money. Hanna reports that the district saves $800 on oil changes with each propane autogas bus, and fuel costs with propane autogas are also lower than diesel.

Most importantly, the propane autogas buses significantly reduce harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. By choosing to operate propane autogas buses during this time, NNPS is helping more than just students. They’re also providing a cleaner environment for the community.

At a time when it needed it most, propane autogas is providing NNPS with a clean and reliable solution to ensure student wellness.

For fleets that may have more downtime on their hands, now is a good time to take advantage of training available through PERC’s Learning Center. Districts can keep hourly workers employed, while educating their drivers.

PERC also has several resources available at the Student Transportation Learning Hub, including information on the benefits of propane autogas compared to other energy sources like diesel and electric. The Hub also has emissions studies, customer testimonials, and refueling information. School transportation directors can even use PERC’s cost savings calculator to determine how much propane autogas could save their school district over time.