MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Bibb County students will be hitting the road next year in new, green buses. Bibb schools is the third district in the state to use propane buses. School officials say they are not only better for the environment, but they will save the school system thousands of dollars.
You won't see any smoke coming out of these buses, only water vapor and droplets. But you will see these new Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision buses on Bibb County roads next school year.
"We feel pretty positive about the direction we're moving in," school board member Lester Miller said.
Miller says the board unanimously voted to buy 31 of these green buses last week. He says the clean burning propane gas is better for the environment and students.
"It's a positive thing for the little lungs of our school children," he said.
Transportation director Todd Harris says right now, the district has 200 diesel buses in its fleet. He says replacing some of them with the propane vehicles will help reduce the school system's carbon footprint.
"We're the number one consumer of diesel fuel in our county, so [it will mean] cleaner air in and around our communities and in and around our bus routes for our students," Harris said.
The new propane buses cost about $12,000 more than the diesel buses, but Harris says the investment is well worth it.
"The cost savings we'll see from the alternative fuel could calculate between five and $6,000 a vehicle per year," Harris said. "You can recover that [extra cost] in about a two year window. After that, life of a bus is 10 to 12 years, its just savings year after year after year."
Making these new buses a safer ride for your kids and a greener Bibb County.
The school district is paying for the new vehicles with the education penny tax. Harris hopes the buses will be here before the school year starts.