KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Lenoir County Public Schools students are riding in style with some new school buses in the district’s fleet.
The county received $1.36 million for 10 new environmentally friendly buses.
“We’ve got a bus fleet of 140 yellow buses, most of them are diesel,” said Patrick Holmes, Lenoir County Public Schools’ public information officer. “There are some issues with diesel, as there are with gas cars or anything else, so the more we can shift away from that is better for the environment.”
They’ve already received five propane buses, and they’ll be getting four efficient diesel buses and one electric-powered bus, all by the beginning of next school year.
“Propane is a cleaner burning fuel by far,” Holmes said. “The diesel efficient options are better than the older diesels, and the electric has no emission problems.”
Diana Smith has been a bus driver for the district for decades. She’s now driving one of the new propane buses.
“It’s easy to handle and a whole lot better than some I have driven,” Smith said.
The district is excited to see all of the buses added to the fleet, especially the electric one that costs $480,000.
“It will be a showcase bus if we go somewhere on a field trip or something and kids pile out of a bus that says all-electric,” Holmes said. “That’s something we’re proud of for the district and we’re proud to help the environment.”
While these new buses may save the district a few dollars down the line, more importantly, they’re going greener.
“The cost and operation of propane is about the same as diesel, but the advantage is about up to a 50 percent reduction in emissions,” Holmes said. “The advantage is less about money and more about doing something good for the environment.”