Skip to main content

Kyrene School District Ups Blue Bird Propane Buses to 85 Percent of Fleet

Kyrene School District Ups Blue Bird Propane Buses to 85 Percent of Fleet

District adds 73 more Blue Bird Vision Propane school buses

PHOENIX (April 20, 2016) — Kyrene School District now runs 85 percent of its school bus fleet on propane autogas. An on-road alternative engine fuel, propane autogas costs less than diesel, is easier to service, and reduces harmful emissions.

Kyrene School District propane busThe school district started with propane autogas in 2014 when it purchased 25 Blue Bird Vision Propane-Powered buses. This school year, Kyrene School District added 73 more.

“With our Blue Bird propane autogas school bus fleet, our technicians don’t have to worry about the difficulties we encounter when servicing our diesel buses,” said Eric Nethercutt, director of transportation and facilities for Kyrene School District. “Working with propane is as easy as working on a gasoline engine.”

Equipped with Ford Motor Company’s 6.8L V10 engine, the 98 buses are powered by ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel systems. The Blue Bird propane buses will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 56,000 pounds and more than 1,400 pounds of particulate matter each year compared with the diesel buses that were replaced.

Kyrene School District fueling“Our Blue Bird Vision Propane school bus is the right solution for any school system looking to be environmentally and fiscally responsible,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird. “We applaud Kyrene School District for being a leader in alternative-fuel use in Arizona and we are delighted they are choosing Blue Bird’s class-leading propane-powered bus as their solution, as have hundreds of other school districts across the country.”

The district’s bus drivers also have a favorable view of the propane autogas buses. “It’s a different driving experience because the bus is so quiet,” said Nethercutt. “This allows drivers to better interact and talk with students on the bus without competing with a diesel engine.” Buses fueled by propane autogas reduce noise levels by about half.

“Kyrene School District has committed to cost-efficient, emissions-reducing propane school buses,” said Brian Carney, group account director for ROUSH CleanTech. “Kyrene’s transportation department, service department, drivers and students are all seeing firsthand the benefits of lower fuel prices, easier maintenance, quieter performance and cleaner air for the community.”

Currently, Kyrene School District averages $1.15 per gallon for propane autogas compared with $1.50 per gallon for diesel. In addition, the school district will benefit from a 36 cents per gallon tax rebate provided by the federal government. The school district is working with their propane provider to install an onsite fuel station to further reduce the cost per gallon. Historically, propane autogas costs about 50 percent less than diesel per gallon, and a propane station costs less to install than any other fueling infrastructure.

About Blue Bird Corporation: Blue Bird is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000 buses in operation today. Blue Bird’s longevity and reputation in the school bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue Bird distinguishes itself from its principal competitors by its singular focus on the design, engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses and related parts. As the only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for school bus applications, Blue Bird is recognized as an industry leader for school bus innovation, safety, product quality/reliability/durability, operating costs and drivability. In addition, Blue Bird is the market leader in alternative fuel applications with its propane-powered and compressed natural gas-powered school buses. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture operates a manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. Service and after-market parts are distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center located in Delaware, Ohio.

About ROUSH CleanTech: ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology, is a division of ROUSH Enterprises based in Livonia, Mich. ROUSH CleanTech designs, engineers, manufactures and installs propane autogas fuel system technology for light- and medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles, and Type A and Type C Blue Bird school buses. As a Ford QVM-certified alternative fuel vehicle manufacturer, ROUSH CleanTech delivers economical, clean and domestically produced fueling options for fleets across North America. Learn more at or by calling 800.59.ROUSH.

# # #