Mesa (Ariz.) Public Schools became the first school district to win the Propane Autogas Fleet award from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) at the Green Fleet Conference & Expo in Phoenix.
Ron Latko (seen in photo), Mesa's director of transportation and vehicle maintenance, accepted the award given annually to a propane autogas fleet for its leadership in turning to this low-emission, American-made and cost-effective fuel, said PERC. It also stated that Mesa Public Schools reflects a "larger trend nationwide as propane autogas school bus sales reach an all-time high."
Mesa Public Schools reports each propane autogas bus saves the district about $6,500 in fuel costs every year.
"Mesa Public Schools is an alternative fuel leader in its community and nationwide," said Michael Taylor, PERC's director of propane autogas business development. "The school district's propane autogas bus fleet is one of the largest and greenest in the nation, displacing 2,789 tons of greenhouse gas emissions."
The school district operates the largest school bus fleet in Arizona, and has converted 89 of its 517 buses to propane autogas. These particular buses transport thousands of students each day. In 2013, the propane autogas buses displaced 198,813 gallons of diesel fuel. MPS has also set a goal to become the first district in the nation to run a 100 percent, all-propane-autogas bus fleet.
"We're committed to showing parents and residents in our community that we're doing everything we can to be fiscally and environmentally responsible," Latko said. "The fuel is green, safe and proven, and we plan to keep converting diesel buses until we run 100 percent on propane autogas."