Local propane marketer, Delta Liquid Energy, has announced a new contract for 90 propane-powered Blue Bird Vision School Buses for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). LAUSD is the second largest school district in the nation with over 2,500 bus routes running daily. Cleared for safe passage by the 2010 California Air Resource Board, the new buses will replace highly polluting, smog-producing buses made in 1987 or earlier. In conjunction with the 72 Blue Bird Vision buses already in use by privately contracted school bus service provider Student Transportation of America, the new Delta Liquid Energy (DLE) contract will bring the total to 162 propane-powered school buses in the LAUSD by the second week of November.
“This is just an extension of our Healthy Breathing Initiative, which is to replace all older diesel buses with alternative fueled vehicles,” LAUSD Director of Transportation Enrique Boull’t says of the 2003 mandate to accept bids for only those buses that meet strict emission standards set by the Southern California Air Quality Management District. He further explains that the new propane buses will help LAUSD—which already has the largest CNG [Compressed Natural Gas] transit fleet in the state—extend clean fuel use to their special education program.
Delta Liquid Energy Alternative Fuel Manager, Ted Olsen, says he is thrilled about the new account. “It is especially encouraging and rewarding for Delta Liquid Energy to help school districts make the switch to the preferred green alternative fuel of propane,” Olsen says, noting that DLE has installed propane motor fueling sites for four other school districts before this. “We are proud to offer the children and ‘future’ of L.A. the promise of cleaner air and greater foreign fuel independence with this contract.”
Olsen explains that propane is an approved alternative fuel recognized by the Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and provides the optimum choice in alternative transportation fuels for the conventional style school bus because it is the most readily available, boasts comparable if not lower costs than other fuel sources, is domestically produced, and can be the cleanest burning of available alternatives—“a fact that becomes particularly crucial when considering that these buses are carrying young children who would otherwise be breathing the fumes of diesel engines.”
DLE (deltaliquidenergy.com), a third-generation, family-owned and operated propane marketer headquartered in Paso Robles, CA, will provide three fueling locations for LAUSD, each equipped with two dispensers and vertical, 2000-gallon tanks. Operating on 8.1-liter GMC engines, the Blue Bird Vision School Buses use a liquid propane injection system and have a 300-mile range.