They could handle the snow. They could handle the ice. But when it came to freezing temperatures, the transportation department at the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township in Indianapolis, Indiana felt their school bus fleet could handle things better. With a fleet of diesel buses, the district had to brace for three to four months of annoying cold starts and middle-of-the-night warm ups every time the temperature dropped below freezing. They were ready for a change.

Better for school transportation directors

Before making the switch to propane autogas, Warren Township’s garage supervisor had to keep an eye on the temperature. If conditions started to get below freezing, his checklist began to lengthen:

  • Arrive two hours early to get the buses warmed up and running.
  • Start buses every four hours to prevent diesel fuel gelling.
  • Move buses to garages if they can’t stay running overnight.
  • Plug buses into block heaters, which increased energy bills.

After making the switch to propane autogas, the new buses start with the turn of the key even in below freezing temperatures.

“We believe they will start down to minus 39 (degrees),” said Steve Smith, director of transportation for Warren Township. “I don’t want to test them at minus 39, but I think they will.”

Better for drivers

Drivers who operate the propane autogas buses report the vehicles are cleaner, quieter, and easier to operate than diesel buses. In fact, the district says the drivers like the propane autogas buses so much, there’s now a waiting list for drivers wanting to run the next round of propane autogas buses.

Better for students

Not only do propane autogas buses start up in any weather, the heating system on the buses is also greatly improved. Drivers report buses heating up quicker, giving a school bus full of students a warm, safe trip to school.

Hear directly from Warren Township’s transportation team about the many benefits propane autogas provides for their school district in this Straight Talk video.