Autogas bus on tour prior to delivery

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Updated Jul 12, 2013
Blue Bird Propane Vision

Blue Bird and ROUSH CleanTech will launch the Propane Road Tour Thursday – a single-bus tour that will stop at American landmarks en route to deliver the final of a 434 propane-fueled bus order to Student Transportation of America’s (STA) new terminal in Omaha, Neb.

The Propane Road Tour, with multiple stops in Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri, is designed to raise awareness of propane autogas as a clean, safe and efficient alternative fuel for school bus use that is more cost-effective to operate than diesel.  

“The purpose of the Propane Road Tour is to provide the opportunity for school districts and communities to learn about the outstanding benefits of using propane autogas,” Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation, says. “Communities along the tour route, from Georgia to Omaha, have an opportunity to talk with key industry representatives about the economic, safety and environmental benefits of propane-powered school buses. This bus tour also showcases STA’s commitment to becoming a frontrunner in creating a cleaner environment for the Omaha and Millard Public School Districts that the buses will serve.”

The bus tour begins at Blue Bird’s headquarters in Fort Valley, Ga., on Thursday, July 11, and ends in Omaha on July 17. For a full tour schedule, please visit

“Domestically produced, clean-burning propane autogas is a perfect fit for school fleets,” says Denis J. Gallagher, chairman and CEO of Student Transportation Inc. “This large deployment is the catalyst that alternative fuels need to become a viable and reliable fuel source for school transportation. We welcome the opportunity to showcase Omaha to the country as a model community in which private enterprise and public education can partner to create a world-class transportation system. We want school districts around the country to see there is a better way to transport children to school with school buses that are better for the environment, and our contracted transportation model, which lowers their cost of operations and allows educators to focus on education.”

Built on a Blue Bird chassis and powered by a Ford 6.8-liter V-10 engine with the ROUSH CleanTech dedicated propane autogas fuel system, the Type C school bus has 362 horsepower, 457 pounds of torque, and fuel cost savings of up to 50 percent when compared to diesel counterparts.

Propane autogas burns cleaner in engines than gasoline or diesel, which results in less engine wear and tear, and reduced maintenance costs, according to Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech.

“With more alternative fuel buses on our nation’s roads than any other manufacturer, Blue Bird is proving that propane autogas is an ideal and viable option for school districts to reduce their fuel and maintenance costs while lowering emissions,” he adds. 

Along the route, the bus will refuel at existing public propane autogas fuel stations.