AUSTIN, Texas (Dec. 2, 2015) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott proclaimed Nov. 30 – Dec. 4 as “Texas Propane School Bus Week,” citing the vital role propane autogas plays in powering thousands of school buses in districts across the state. The week celebrates the 10th anniversary of the initial meeting attended by various industry representatives that sparked the development of the first OEM, factory-produced propane school bus. Since that first meeting in 2005, according to the Texas Railroad Commission, more than 2,600 propane-autogas-powered buses are now currently in operation in school districts across the state with more than 400 school districts operating over 7,000 propane autogas school buses across the country.
“The state of Texas is commemorating a substantial milestone in propane autogas and student transportation,” said Donaldson, president of CleanFUEL USA and coordinator of the initial launch meeting. “It is amazing to look back and know that this group essentially paved the road for cleaner and more economical propane autogas school buses throughout the United States.”
Donaldson and Al McFadden (director of business development, now retired) were both honored at an event on Tuesday, sponsored by the Propane Council of Texas and the Propane Education & Research Council, and hosted by Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams, held at the Texas Education Agency in Austin. State Representative Tony Dale offered a resolution from the state House of Representatives, commemorating and recognizing the individuals who initiated the propane school bus program.
All three major school bus manufacturers now offer propane autogas powered buses. Many school districts report fuel cost savings of up to 50% compared to gasoline and diesel and propane autogas buses require less maintenance over the lifetime of the vehicle, saving additional money on upkeep. Propane autogas buses also keep passengers safe by eliminating harmful carcinogens found in the exhaust from older diesel school buses as well as offering students and drivers a quieter ride. More than half a million children ride propane autogas school buses every day.