- Fulton County Schools
Fulton Receives $1.9 Million Grant for Propane-Powered School Buses
Fulton County Schools (FCS) has received a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant to expand its fleet of propane-powered school buses. The $1.9 million awarded will help FCS replace an additional 85 diesel-powered buses with propane-powered school buses. With this EPA grant award, approximately 36% – or 272 – of the district’s large passenger buses will be powered by propane.
Fulton County Schools has a five-year plan to replace 300 diesel-powered large passenger buses by 2022 with efficient and environmentally friendly propane-powered buses.
“We are grateful to our School Board for their support and to taxpayers through the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST),” said Sam Ham, executive director of the school system’s Transportation Department. “With this EPA grant and additional incentives, we’ll eclipse our five-year goal of 300 propane buses for our fleet when we open school next August.”
Currently, FCS buses consume over 1.6 million gallons of diesel and 200,000 gallons of propane annually. By converting its fleet of Type C school buses to propane, the district is on track to dramatically reduce its consumption of diesel fuel. In addition to improving air quality with propane-powered buses, FCS is adding safety enhancements by putting three-point seat belts on all new school buses. Fulton County is the first district in Georgia to offer seat belts on propane-powered buses.
“The Fulton County School System has shown its commitment to reducing the impact of diesel emissions with the early retirement of older dirtier school buses,” said EPA Acting Region 4 Administrator Mary Walker. “Combined with the clean school bus idle reduction policy, the school system has demonstrated a strong commitment to children’s health and the environment.”
In winning the grant, Fulton County Schools received letters of support from Steve Acenbrak, director of Transportation for the City of Roswell; Deana Ingraham, mayor of the city of East Point; and Warren Hutmacher, city manager for the city of Johns Creek.
“I am confident that the FCS Transportation Department will continue to successfully meet their goal of reducing diesel emissions and, in turn, assist the City of Roswell in meeting their comprehensive transportation plan of reducing traffic (every school bus takes the place of 36 cars) and providing a ‘green initiative’ of cleaner air, less noise pollution, and less traffic,” said Acenbrak in his letter of support.
As part of the grant award, FCS Transportation also will partner with multiple organizations to reduce diesel emissions, including Blue Bird, AmeriGas, and the North Fulton Comprehensive Transportation Plan.