MACON, Ga. - Blue Bird recently celebrated its 2,500th gasoline school bus sale. Over the past two years, sales of Blue Bird’s gasoline school buses have grown substantially due to their low upfront costs, maintenance savings, cold weather startup, heating capabilities and public fueling accessibility.
Frederick County Public Schools in Virginia was the recipient of the 2500th Blue Bird Vision Gasoline school bus. "Our transportation department is always assessing our operations in an effort to identify ways in which we can incrementally improve. The decision to purchase gasoline buses was based on the cost savings they offer, the fact that they can be more easily maintained than diesel buses and the opportunity to be more environmentally friendly," said John Grubbs, transportation director for the school district. "Thus far, we've been very pleased with their performance."
Gasoline school buses were common decades ago, but since 2000, they were phased out in favor of diesel. Blue Bird reintroduced the Blue Bird Vision Gasoline bus, powered by the proven Ford 6.8L engine in September of 2016.
"School districts must work within their operational budgets. After 30 years, gasoline school buses are making a comeback, thanks to the Blue Bird Vision Gasoline," said Mark Terry, chief commercial officer of Blue Bird. "With a gasoline bus, there are no additional emission filters and exhaust fluid or other complex after-treatment devices needed. Combine that with a lower acquisition price, and customers experience immediate savings and low total ownership costs."
More than 800 school districts across North America have purchased the Blue Bird Vision Gasoline school bus. In addition to cost benefits, the districts have cited the buses’ power, reduced noise and reduction of parts due to the lack of special technology required to meet emissions standards. Many customers zero-in on gasoline’s simplicity: these buses are easier to maintain, with gasoline technicians often more readily available and typically less expensive to hire than diesel mechanics.
"The Blue Bird Vision Gasoline has offered us a more eco-friendly bus than diesel, with easier and more cost-effective maintenance as well as a quiet and pleasurable drive," said Brian Gibson, director of transportation with New Braunfels Independent School District in Texas. "Our mechanics love the Blue Bird Vision Gasoline buses. We have not encountered any issues, and it’s a cost savings for our preventive maintenance compared with our diesel buses. EGRs, DEF and DPF are just some of the expenses that we can now eliminate."
The Blue Bird Vision Gasoline bus, equipped with its exclusive Ford 6.8L V10 engine, is certified to the EPA standard of 0.20 g/bhp-hr nitrogen oxide emissions.
About Blue Bird Corporation: Blue Bird (NASDAQ: BLBD) is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000 buses in operation today. Blue Bird’s longevity and reputation in the school bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue Bird distinguishes itself from its principal competitors by its singular focus on the design, engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses and related parts. As the only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for school bus applications, Blue Bird is recognized as an industry leader for school bus innovation, safety, product quality/reliability/durability, operating costs and drivability. In addition, Blue Bird is the market leader in alternative fuel applications with its propane-powered, electric and compressed natural gas-powered school buses. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture operates a manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. Service and after-market parts are distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center located in Delaware, Ohio. For more information on Blue Bird’s complete line of buses, visit www.blue-bird.com.