Charleston, W.Va. -- Kanawha County Schools is demonstrating propane school buses during the month of June in a project funded by the West Virginia Department of Education’s (WVDE) Office of School Transportation through a grant from the West Virginia Division of Energy’s W.Va. Clean State Program. The demonstration supports recommendations from Governor Tomblin’s Natural Gas Vehicle Task Force report by utilizing West Virginia’s natural gas resources and offering the opportunity for state fleets to use a clean-burning, domestically produced fuel.
“This pilot program will give school bus drivers a first-hand experience in using a fuel produced right here in West Virginia,” said Mike Pickens, Executive Director of the WVDE Office of School Transportation. “We have heard for years about the benefits of using natural gas fuels for transportation. This demonstration will provide us some real-world data.”
“A growing number of school districts across the nation have experienced positive changes by shifting parts of their fleets from diesel fuel to propane,” said state Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano. “Our participation in the pilot program demonstrates West Virginia’s commitment to better serving our schoolchildren.”
Diesel school buses will mirror the propane-fueled buses as they drive standard bus, field trip and demo routes in Kanawha County. County bus drivers who will be running these propane buses are getting a real- world look at what using propane on their routes could mean for the school system.
Data will be collected on fuel consumption, miles per gallon and driver experience on both types of buses. The W.Va. Clean State Program will compare the data using AFLEET, the Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation Tool developed by Argonne National Laboratory.
The W.Va. Clean State Program is West Virginia’s Clean Cities coalition, one of nearly 90 nationwide. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program, Clean Cities is a government-industry partnership designed to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector.
For more information, contact the WVDE Office of Communication at 304.558.2699.