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South Dakota Transit Agencies Unveil the State’s First-Ever Propane Paratransit Vehicles

By May 30, 2024Press Releases

South Dakota Transit Agencies Unveil the State’s First-Ever Propane Paratransit Vehicles

People’s Transit and Prairie Hills Transit adopt propane vehicles to reduce harmful emissions in their communities

Huron, S.D., Spearfish, S.D. (May 30, 2024) — Two South Dakota transit agencies, People’s Transit in Huron and Prairie Hills Transit in Spearfish, unveiled their first orders of safe, clean and economical vehicles fueled with propane autogas.

“The new propane vehicles will have a positive impact on the environment because they reduce harmful emissions, especially when compared to our gasoline and diesel vehicles,” said Gayle Kludt, executive director of People’s Transit. People’s Transit will operate six propane vehicles, transitioning 80% of its in-town fleet to propane this calendar year.

“Prairie Hills Transit is on the cutting edge of public transit operation with these new propane buses and propane fueling infrastructure. We’ve done extensive research and believe that the use of propane is an excellent way to reduce emissions,” said Barbara Cline, executive director of Prairie Hills Transit. Prairie Hills Transit will operate six propane vehicles, which is 10% of its fleet.

Vehicles for both agencies are equipped with advanced propane engine systems designed and built by ROUSH CleanTech. The ROUSH CleanTech Ford E-450 cutaway chassis is the only propane vehicle that has completed the Federal Transit Administration’s New Model Bus Testing Program (“Altoona Testing”), which allows transit fleet operators to access federal funds that cover 85% of the entire alternative fuel vehicle cost with a 15% local match.

People’s Transit and Prairie Hills Transit have accessed readily available funding streams to help support the purchase of the new vehicles. “Funding for the buses will be primarily with Section 5339 federal funding. Through the federal program, we’ll receive an 85% match,” said Kludt. Additional funding incentives from the alternative tax fuel credit and propane providers help keep ongoing fuel costs low.

Propane — which is classified as a clean energy source by the Environmental Protection Agency — is an American-made, recycled, reclaimed, recovered and reprocessed fuel. More than 90% of the United States propane supply is produced domestically. 

In addition to environmental benefits, the new propane vehicles offer low maintenance costs, superior drivability on the hills around Spearfish, long-range, reliable cold weather performance with unaided starts up to negative 40°F, and a quick cabin warm-up. 

“While this is certainly a big transition, we’ve received incredible support from South Dakota Department of Transportation, ROUSH CleanTech and our bus dealer, Davey Coach. We really are working with the best in the business on this new initiative,” said Cline. 

All of the new propane vehicles are certified to 0.02 grams per brake horsepower-hour and emit 90% less nitrogen oxide emissions than the EPA’s strictest standard. EPA and CARB measure NOx, particulate matter, non-methane hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, formaldehyde and nitrous oxide. Propane vehicles equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech fuel system are lower in all eight measured outputs by an average of 64%.

Although the first in the state of South Dakota, dozens of transit agencies around the U.S. operate propane vehicles, making it the leading alternative fuel for the industry. There are more than 27 million propane vehicles worldwide.

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About People’s Transit: People’s Transit is a non-profit rural public transit service providing mobility services that meet people’s needs and supports community connections. PT provides safe, affordable, reliable and courteous mobility options for all services and opportunities. People’s Transit serves the City of Huron and Beadle and Sanborn Counties in South Dakota.

About Prairie Hills Transit: Prairie Hills Transit a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing

public transportation in a 16,500-square-mile area for persons of all ages, including those who may require specialized transportation. PHT offers a service with direct pick-up and specific-destination delivery on clean, comfortable, handicap-accessible buses complete with seat belts, security cameras and communication radios.

About ROUSH CleanTech: ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of advanced clean transportation solutions, is a division of the global engineering company Roush Enterprises. ROUSH CleanTech develops propane autogas technology for medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles and school buses. With more than 50,000 vehicles on the road, the Livonia, Michigan-based company delivers economical, emissions-reducing options for fleets across North America. Learn more at or by calling 800.59.ROUSH.

For More Information:

Gregg Voss | TSN Communications

877.411.3243 |