Natural Gas – Conversions, Vehicles and Technology

Minnesota School District Achieves $60K Fuel Savings with Alt Fuels

June 27, 2012

WALL, NJ – The Eastern Carver County School District in Chaska, Minn., has been able to reduce its fuel cost through its investment in alternative-fuel vehicles.

The school district partnered with Student Transportation Inc., a school bus transportation services provider, and its subsidiary, Student Transportation of America (STA).

As part of STA's ongoing initiatives to mitigate fuel costs and expand its alternative fuel program, the company formed a strategic public-private partnership with the Eastern Carver County School District, including an investment of more than $3 million to purchase new liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) school vehicles for the transportation service contract with the district. The investment provided STA a new long-term service contract and has generated real savings in excess of $60,000 for both STA and the district this year in fuel costs with the potential for continued savings in the future. The district intends to put the money back in its budget for education.

"Investments like these require a long-term partnership and Eastern Carver is a great customer. We purchased the new fleet and they split the fuel costs with us. With the uncertainty of market diesel prices, it is more cost-efficient to operate an LPG or CNG vehicle than a diesel engine vehicle. We have additional LPG vehicles scheduled to be deployed for the upcoming school year and we look forward to further fuel savings for our customer,” stated Mike Straus, regional vice president of STA.

According to John Thomas, transportation coordinator of Eastern Carver County Schools, successfully converting the fleet from traditional diesel to alternative fuels goes against the perception in the industry. “It gets very cold here in Minnesota. Quite often districts in warmer climates like those in California, Texas, and Arizona seem to be the success stories when it comes to using LPG, CNG, and other alternative fuel sources. STA worked alongside the company who supplies the fuel and handled the infrastructure installation. We are thrilled with STA's investment and commitment to our district and look forward to working together for many years to come."

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