The Propane Education and Research Council presented Georgetown ISD Wednesday with a Clean Energy Innovation Award, owing to the district’s decision to replace nearly a quarter of its transportation fleet with clean-energy propane buses.
Twenty-one of the buses were purchased as part of the 2018 voter-approved bond to replace buses nearing the end of their useful life. GISD was able to purchase an additional 12 buses thanks to $1.3 million in added grant funds from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. All of the buses will be on the road later this month.
The usage of propane buses provides significant cost savings and environmental benefits. The cost of diesel fuel is approximately $2.25 per gallon, compared to propane costs at 98 cents per gallon. Additionally, the U.S. government announced in December that it will extend a propane fuel rebate in 2020 in the amount of 37 cents per gallon. Propane buses also require less maintenance, adding to the lifetime savings.
“Every decision we make is student-centered,” said Superintendent Dr. Fred Brent. “By utilizing grant opportunities and cost-efficient alternatives for transportation, we’re able to provide a cleaner, healthier way to get kids to and from school, while directing the savings into other opportunities that support teaching and learning.”
A study conducted by West Virginia University found that the use of propane buses reduced harmful emissions by 96 percent. Additionally, propane buses provide noticeably quieter rides for passengers and bus drivers.
The propane buses are stationed at the Westside bus terminal, which is also the site of a new propane fueling station. Georgetown ISD is only the third organization to receive such an award from PERC.
Click here to view a photo gallery from the award presentation event.