POSTED: Monday, July 27, 2009 - 6:14pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 3:40am
LINDALE-Lindale ISD is going a little greener thanks to the Texas Railroad Commission and more than $60,000 in grants.
So what changes have they made? Lindale ISD officials say they're leading the way for other East Texas school districts by using a different type of fuel.
On Monday, Lindale ISD officials announced that they're the first school district in East Texas to make the conversion from diesel fueled school busses to propane busses.
"It is my hope that of the 36,000 busses that we have carrying our 4.5 million youngsters everyday, that at least within the next seven years about 12,000 of those are converted from diesel and gasoline to natural gas and propane," Texas Railroad Commissioner, Michael Williams, said.
So why propane? Officials say it's cleaner, cheaper and made right here in Texas.
"Every time we fill up a bus up with Texas propane, that's one less barrel of crude we have to buy from some foreign nation," Williams said.
We're told these new busses have an 85 percent emissions deduction.
And not only are these busses better for the environment, but better for the districts budget as well. District officials say they'll save about 70 cents a gallon.
Right now Lindale ISD has only three propane busses, but they tell us they hope to replace their whole fleet with propane busses within the next 10 years.
But most importantly, officials say these busses will keep the precious cargo that's on these busses everyday a whole lot safer.
"We've done extensive research on the safety of the bus and they're just as safe as gasoline busses," Superintendent of Lindale ISD, Stan Surract, said.
Officials tell us right now 35 school districts across Texas operate a total of 1,553 propane busses. And officials say they hope the number will triple in the next few years.