By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — Trussville City Schools could begin looking into the possibility of running all its school buses on compressed natural gas in 2015.
Transportation Coordinator Jerry Cataldo said at last Monday’s Trussville City Board of Education meeting that in 2015, the school system could begin looking into the possibility. Over time, Cataldo said, the entire school system’s fleet of buses could run on CNG.
If the school system eventually makes the move to CNG for its bus fleet, it could acquire federal funding. Mayor Gene Melton said the system would save money on gasoline and maintenance by switching to CNG.
The board of education last week approved the purchase of three new 72-passenger school buses from Transportation South for ,535.82 each. The addition of these three buses brings the system’s total to 62, Cataldo said.
Cataldo said 10 school buses will be 10 years old next year, which means they’ll come off the Alabama Fleet Renewal Program, which provides local school systems funding for each school bus in their fleet that is 10 or fewer years old. The funding lasts only 10 years, though there is no requirement to retire school buses after so many years.
The city of Trussville already uses CNG to operate about 40 city vehicles, from Chevrolet Tahoes for the Trussville Police Department to dump trucks for the Parks and Recreation Department. Those vehicles fuel up at the Chevron on Deerfoot Parkway, where the public can also use the CNG dispenser.
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