Arizona’s largest school district is striving to have the first all-propane bus fleet in the state. The district’s transportation director, Ron Latko, said the change comes with rising diesel prices and increased emission standards.
“We knew in 2008 that the 2010 emission standards would be hellacious,” he said. Latko said he wanted to watch and see what vehicles would be offered to address the increased emission standards and what other school districts would do.
But in 2009, the state started cutting school district budgets, even taking money back. Nobody was making any moves in terms of transportation changes. While the bus manufacturers came out with a hybrid, it was almost double the cost of a normal diesel bus, he said.
“I found out they were using propane buses in Texas, 30 years-plus,” he said. “They manufacture propane in Texas. I got into a conversation with a company here that sells propane. It’s not unproven technology.”