In early 2011, the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities took their first step towards a greener transportation system by purchasing their first propane-fueled bus, with the assistance of Clean Fuels Ohio.
“I’m very proud that our Developmental Disabilities Board has pushed again to that cutting edge using propane, which is much better, in terms of greenhouse gas impact, than other fuels.” Paula Brooks, Franklin County Commissioner says.
“Propane is about half the cost, or even less than half the cost, of diesel fuel.”Paul Chenderlin, Director of Transportation, Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities
Propane autogas results in fewer tailpipe emissions, cutting significantly more NOx and greenhouse gas emissions compared with diesel and gasoline. Propane autogas buses also require less maintenance than other buses, saving districts both time and money.
“Propane’s about half the cost, or even less than half the cost, of diesel fuel.” Paul Chenderlin, Director of Transportation for the Franklin County Board of D.D. explains. ” Several years ago, the county commissioners were very concerned about economic development and cleaning up the air in the community, and they wanted to know what county fleets could do to make this a cleaner environment.”
Propane autogas has been proven to produce 96% fewer NOx emissions than clean diesel buses of the same make. It is more cost-effective compared with the cleanest diesel bus on the market, costing only $0.19 per mile compared with diesel at $0.80 per mile. That means cleaner air for the students and adults that use these buses and more money back in the system.
“I would say the great majority – 90% of the people we serve – need support in terms of their transportation.” Jed Morison, Superintendent of the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities states. “A lot of the people that we serve have health challenges, in some cases breathing challenges. We pride ourselves in looking to provide as much clean fuel and clean air programs as possible to support the students and the adults that we serve.”
“Well, in my opinion it feels like it rides smoother on the freeways than the diesel bus, and it’s just quieter.” George Barnette, Franklin County Board of D.D. Driver explains. “I like the performance on it. It has like a faster take-off than the diesel buses.”
“From a garage perspective, it’s been awesome. [Propane autogas buses] are a lot easier to maintain [than diesel buses].”Eric Kenny, Associate Service Manager, Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities
“As a standpoint from a garage perspective, it’s been awesome.” Eric Kenny, Associate Service Manager at the Franklin County Board of D.D. says. “They are a lot easier to maintain. The issues we usually have, cold starts in the morning and everything, the [propane] buses have none.”
“The buses have been very dependable, heats up for us, runs every day. You don’t have to worry about the fuel freezing up or anything like that. Propane bus just comes out and does what we need it to do.”
Buying propane vehicles or converting your fleets to propane autogas is made easier with the rebates available from the Ohio Propane Gas Association. The OPGA is offering up to $5,000 per entity, $1,000 each for vehicles or mowers.