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Lafayette schools to buy eight propane buses

Last Modified: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 4:25 PM

LAFAYETTE (AP) — By early spring, some students in the Lafayette Parish school system will be riding on more cost-efficient, environmentally friendly buses powered by propane rather than diesel.

The Advocate reported the School Board has approved the purchase of eight new propane-fueled buses at a cost of about $710,000.

District transportation director Bill Samec said the buses cost about $88,000 each — about $6,000 more than a diesel-powered bus. But he said the expected annual fuel cost savings makes the extra up-front costs worth it.

"Based on current rates, propane is about $1.80 and diesel is $3.85," Samec said.

At the School Board's retreat on Oct. 27, Samec outlined the bus purchase proposal, which was formally presented to the board at its Nov. 7 meeting.

"With these buses you're going to save about $3,000 a year in fuel cost per bus," Samec said. "Eight won't make a tremendous impact, but hopefully down the road, we'll get more."

Samec said he'd like to see the district add up to 10 more propane-fueled buses to gradually replace the existing diesel fleet.

"In my opinion, we need to move away from diesel due to the emission controls and the extremely high maintenance costs," Samec said.

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