COMMERCE CITY — Adams 14 School District officials welcomed the community to check out three new environmentally friendly propane school buses late last month.
The district celebrated the addition of the vehicles to the fleet of buses at an Aug. 24 celebration at Adams City High School.
The new buses were purchased thanks to funding awarded to the district by the Regional Air Quality Council.
In 2012, the district applied for and received funding from the RAQC that allowed Adams 14 to replace three older, high-polluting diesel buses with three propane buses. The addition of the new buses will both improve air quality and reduce fuel costs.
Adams 14 is just the seventh district in Colorado to introduce propane school buses.
The district’s new buses, which are manufactured by Blue Bird, offer many benefits over conventionally fueled school buses. Not only do they reduce carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and total hydrocarbon emissions, but they also virtually eliminate particulate matter.
Additionally, noise levels on the buses are decreased by as much as 50 percent when compared to diesel counterparts, which makes it easier to hear the children on board.
Fuel costs are also reduced by 40 to 50 percent over diesel buses, and because propane autogas burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel, it results in less engine wear and tear and reduced maintenance costs.
Adams 14 transportation services manager Albert Francisco estimates that replacing the old buses with the new will — on an annual basis — reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 35,800 pounds, save $12,000 in fuel cost and positively impact on-board interaction.
“We are pleased to offer improved air quality to our children and our community, as well as significant cost savings to our district, with the addition of these cleaner propane buses,” said Francisco. “We are grateful to the support of the RAQC in helping us make this happen.”
“Both the students and the drivers love the reduced noise,” Francisco continued. “And, because students don’t have to yell at each other to be heard, there is actually a decrease in student management issues.”
The district took possession of the buses in May, and students began experiencing the new buses for the first time at the start of the new school year Aug. 12.