The District was selected to receive a State of Washington Department of Ecology School Bus replacement grant for air pollution control. The grant amounts to $280,000. Specifically, eight new buses were purchased and the grant covers $35,000 or up to nearly 40% off of the purchase price of each new bus - two large buses with idle reduction technology and six small propane buses. In turn, the District is required to destroy eight older diesel buses. The new buses arrived the last week of August and will be put into service the week of Sept 9.
To support the propane buses, two propane autogas tanks were installed. Installation began the week of July 29. The tanks are above ground and each one has a 1,000 gallon capacity.
Propane autogas is safe for children and the environment, and it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Propane is non-toxic and non-poisonous. It poses no harm to groundwater, surface water or soil. It does not spill, pool or leave any residue when released, but instead dissipates into the air.
Overall, the new buses are considered to be much cleaner and more reliable transportation than the buses the District is eliminating.