Crittenden Co. 1st in state to try propane buses
MARION, Ky. - On Wednesday, Wayne Winters dedicated himself to maintenance. The mechanic for the Crittenden County School District says keeping up with small repairs on 35 buses is the easy part of his job. Winters says gassing up the fleet and paying for it is the tough part.
"Right now, today's prices diesel was at $3.99 and propane fuel was at 1.69," he said of current prices.
Last year, he says, the district spent $111,000 on gasoline alone. One bus cost the district $9,300 to operate last year. Now, with new technology doing the same with a propane bus would cost just $4,200.
Governor Steve Beshear announced Wednesday the Crittenden County Board of Education has been awarded $80,000 to reduce diesel emissions from its school bus fleet.
In addition to that new bus, the grant money will also cover technology that will replace parts on 14 buses to help reduce pollution.
"It's exciting," Superintendent Dr. Rachel Yarbrough said.
"You can take some of these dollars that you save on fuel and put that back into teacher salaries, instructional materials for kids," she continued of projected savings.
"The kids come first in Crittenden County," Winters added.
The technology has been used in other states and that data shows emissions have been cut by 50 percent. State officials in Frankfort say they will rely on monthly reports from the Crittenden County before making the decision whether or not to make this technology state-wide.
Changes to those 14 buses will begin in early June and that new bus will arrive July 20th.