The Northside Independent School District in San Antonio has received more than $2 million from the Railroad Commission of Texas to help pay for propane-fueled school buses and upgrade the district’s propane fueling stations.
The district has 850 school buses; 383 are powered by propane. The majority of the other buses run on diesel fuel. Propane fuel is cheaper, cleaner and safer than diesel, the district says. Propane buses are more expensive to buy than diesel buses, but in the long run, lower operating costs make them less expensive.
The $2 million comes from stimulus grants awarded to the Railroad Commission from the U.S. Department of Energy and the State Energy Conservation Office.
In 2007, Northside became the first district in the nation to purchase a new fleet of buses fueled exclusively by propane. Over the past two years, the district has bought 122 propane school buses, and now has the second largest propane school bus fleet in the state.
The district transports about 54,000 students each day via school buses.