Colorado school district to rely on diesel buses for challenging routes green buses can't handle

The district is currently working to replace older diesel buses with more environmentally friendly buses as they are retired.

Published: October 24, 2023 11:01pm

(The Center Square) -

(The Center Square) - The Boulder Valley School District says it wants to replace its diesel school buses with more environmentally friendly green buses.

However, the district is going to buy five new diesel school buses because the electric and propane-powered buses won't hold up on the more demanding routes.

The district is set to approve the purchase of five new diesel passenger school buses for $714,876. The district is expected to approve the new school buses at its Oct. 24 meeting.

The district said the new diesel buses are needed because, "diesel school buses are essential for mountain routes due to their robust performance in challenging terrains. These routes often have steep inclines, variable weather conditions, and remote locations, making diesel buses a practical choice."

The district said the green-energy buses wouldn't be feasible on those challenging routes.

"Propane and electric buses have limitations on mountain routes," the district stated. "Propane can struggle with altitude and extreme cold, while electric buses experience reduced range in hilly areas and require frequent recharging, making them less reliable for these specific routes. Diesel buses remain a reliable choice for ensuring safe transportation for students in mountainous regions.” The district made the comments on the school board agenda documents.

The district's current bus fleet consists of 230 vehicles: 133 diesel, 53 gas, 46 propane, and six electric buses. The district stated it has three more electric buses on the way.

The district is currently working to replace older diesel buses with more environmentally friendly buses as they are retired, said Randy Barber, chief communications officer for Boulder Valley School District, in an email to The Center Square.

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