Alabama School System Receives Fleet Leadership Award
Mobile County Public Schools System (MCPSS) in Alabama was honored at the Southeast Diesel Collaborative’s 12th Annual Partners Meeting in Atlanta with a Fleet Leadership Award. This award recognized the School System’s commitment to improving air quality for children by using clean, alternative fuel. MCPSS has acquired 80 propane-powered school buses to replace old diesel-powered buses in its fleets. The school district put 30 new buses in service for the 2014-15 school year, and has shown a commitment to adding 50 buses with each new budget year. MCPSS transports 26,000 students to and from school daily. Each new bus will displace about 40,000 gallons of diesel and emit 150,000 fewer pounds of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.
Chad Chavers, Manager for Blossman Gas in Mobile and AAG Partner, will provide the autogas for the schools’ on-site fueling stations. Chavers says, “I am extremely excited about our partnership with the Mobile County Public Schools Systems. Superintendent Martha Peak and Transportation Director Pat Mitchell have been very forward thinking about the environmental impact of the 790 buses that the district operates. With no air conditioning, school leadership was very concerned about the amount of toxic emissions that the students breathe in the warmer months when the windows are down. MCPSS has seen a tremendous savings on the maintenance side vs diesel, and a nice savings on the fuel price vs diesel. The Mobile County Public Schools Systems was the first to purchase propane buses in the state of Alabama and continues to lead the way.”
AAG partners are looking forward to seeing more school districts follow the progressive example set by school districts such as MCPSS, whether by using available Volkswagen Settlement funds, or through using means from within their own communities. The decision to switch to alternative fuels, most notably autogas, is a decision that pays off in dividends both for immediate air quality improvement and overall cost of ownership. In addition, due to low investment costs for autogas infrastructure and a strong network of AAG fueling partners across the nation, school districts with one bus or 1,000 are equally able to appreciate the benefits of this alternative fuel.