Texas Railroad Commission Awards HISD $2.1 Million Grant
for Propane Buses and Fueling Station
The Houston Independent School District has won a $2.1 million grant from the Texas Railroad Commission to fund HISD’s new propane buses and a fueling station.
“I am very pleased that Houston ISD is joining the 59 other Texas school districts that have saved millions of dollars on fuel and operating costs by using Texas-produced propane instead of imported oil,” said Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter.
This grant will fund the purchase of 25 propane buses for HISD and an 18,000-gallon fueling station that will allow for the expansion of the propane fleet. The district already has five propane buses in use and expects to have the remaining 20 by this September. The fueling station installed at the Barnett Transportation Facility (6800 Fairway) is expected to be completed in November.
“This transition into propane buses is part of HISD’s district-wide effort to be a good steward of environmental resources and money. We are thrilled to have the Texas Railroad Commission support HISD as we explore more efficient ways to use taxpayers’ dollars while protecting the environment,” said HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier.
Each propane bus saves HISD an estimated $3,000 per year in fuel and maintenance costs. The operational cost of a propane bus is about 70 percent of a conventional diesel engine bus. The propane powered buses will reduce particulate matter by 99.99 percent over the 1989 model-year diesel buses.
“These 25 buses have a dual benefit,” said HISD General Manager of Transportation
Nathan Graf. “They are considered ‘green’ in that they produce fewer toxins and other smog producing emissions than gasoline and diesel engines, and they are a smart budget decision because they also lower fuel and operating costs.”
HISD’s fleet consists of 1,000 school buses that transport 29,000 students daily through the greater Houston area, which encompasses 305 square miles. Last summer, all HISD school buses and diesel light-fleet vehicles were converted to run on biodiesel derived from renewable sources such as soybeans.
The district’s fleet was recently ranked one of the top 100 fleets for 2011 by Government Fleet, a leading transportation industry magazine. HISD is the only school district in the country to earn a spot on this list.
About Texas Railroad Commission:
The Railroad Commission has primary regulatory jurisdiction over oil and natural gas industry, pipeline transporters, natural gas & hazardous liquid pipeline industry, natural gas utilities, the LP-gas industry, and coal & uranium surface mining operations. The Commission is responsible for research and education to promote the use of LP-gas as an alternative fuel.
About the HISD Foundation:
The HISD Foundation partners with the district to raise private support, manage funds and provide donor accountability. Funds raised by the HISD Foundation and district leaders provide resources to advance
the core initiatives of the district’s Strategic Direction. The Foundation’s fundraising efforts focus on institutional priorities set by the superintendent of schools and board of education. A separate 501 (C) (3) nonprofit, the Foundation is governed by a volunteer board of business, community and philanthropic leaders. The Foundation’s programming is aligned with the district’s five core initiatives: Effective Teacher in Every Classroom; Effective Principal in Every Classroom; Rigorous Instructional Standards & Supports; Data-Driven Accountability; Culture of Trust through Action. For more information about the HISD Foundation please visit www.houstonisdfoundation.org.