New Berkeley County school buses expected to save tax dollars

Berkeley County will begin using new propane-fueled buses, like the one pictured, March 2.

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCBD) — Berkeley County students will have a new way of traveling to and from school. The district will begin using 15 new propane-fueled school buses Thursday, March 2.

The buses are manufactured by Blue Bird and distributed by Blanchard Machinery.

On average, propane autogas costs 40-50% less than diesel, and according to bus manufacturer Blue Bird, on average, school districts can expect to save $2,000-$2,500 per bus per year on maintenance costs.

It’s expected that the new buses will cost $.21 per gallon to run, compared to the older buses, which cost $.49 per gallon to run.

The new additions are long awaited for the South Carolina school bus fleet which is one of the oldest in the nation. The state owned fleet has 5,000 buses some of which were manufactured in 1988.

The buses include front air conditioning, seat belts if needed, along with other upgrades.

The buses also aren’t as loud when they run.

“They’re very low noise buses, which, as they’re going up and down the road in Berkeley County, there’ll be a lot less noise for folks to hear,” said Donald Porter, Communications Director for Berkeley County Schools.

Each bus costs about $91,000. They were paid for with money allocated by the Legislator.

The buses will be allocated to the following schools: 5 buses to College Park Elementary, 5 buses to Sangaree Elementary Intermediate, 3 buses to Westview Primary and Westview Elementary, 1 bus to Nexton Elementary, and 1 bus to Devon Forest Elementary. The middle and high feeder schools will also use the buses.

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