OAK HARBOR, WA – Each of us has our own thoughts on what it means to go green…but now, some schools in Washington are bringing environmental consciousness to everyday agendas.
Buses put plenty of pollutants into the air, but they’re necessary to get students to and from school. One school district on the west side of the state has found a way to make these bus trips better for everyone, and plenty of other school districts are starting to take notice.
For the Oak Harbor School District, the wheels on the bus are going round and round a little more efficiently these days.
“So in my district, we’re converting our buses for diesel to propane,” said Francis Bagarella with the district.
It’s a change that has a lot of benefits.
“It’s a cleaner burning bus, it saves energy, and it’s low maintenance for us for the cost,” he said.
As Bagarella told reporter Kristina Shalhoup, when all is said and done, propane buses cost around $144,000 each…$10,000 more than diesel buses cost. However, there are ways to get that money back.
“Our incentive is from the government,” explained Bagarella. “They give us a fifty cent rebate per gallon of the fuel that we buy.”
So far, that’s translated into $35,000 in savings, all of which is able to go back in the school’s general fund. Now, other districts are starting to take notice of this way to both go green and save some green.
“I’ve gotten calls from eastern Washington, I’ve gotten calls from the southern part of the state saying, ‘hey, we’re thinking about going propane. How do they work for you?'”
This includes some districts close to home.
“Kennewick is close, Pasco has talked to me, I’ve talked to the supervisor, so again, it’s a matter of what meets their demand,” Bagarella said.
And for Bagarella, the demand is to help everybody, especially the people he serves every day.
“For us it’s about the kids,” he said. “It’s clean energy, there’s less pollutants put in the air, so it’s a win-win for all of us.”