To provide safe, reliable, and efficient transportation for our staff and students.
With a fleet of 744 school buses, our drivers log in a combined 9,592,632 miles in a school year. That equates to 53,292.4 miles driven daily, or the equivalent of driving around the equator of the earth a little more than 2 times every day of the school year.
With the ever increasing price of fuel, the depletion of our natural resources and driving that many miles, we are continually looking for more economical as well as environmentally friendly options to keep our wheels turning and improve the performance of our vehicle fleet.
From our initial testing of a battery powered school bus, to CNG (compressed natural gas) powered buses, to our current assessment of other alternatives such as propane, methane, and Hybrid buses, we are determined to get the most performance for our vehicle dollar.
In addition to our 744 school buses, our fleet also contains 480 cars and trucks. The latest addition to this fleet are 4 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrids which our Energy Management department is currently driving and evaluating.
Synthetic motor oils were tested in several of our buses last year with promising results, and are now being phased into our fleet services to help increase fuel mileage, increase engine life, and reduce our waste oil output. Fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel will also be phased in for fleet use this year. Advances in petroleum products as well as our use of Diesel Particulate Filters in our newer model buses will help to ensure that our vehicles make economic as well as environmental sense.
Fuel Saving Tips
All operators of district-owned vehicles should adhere to the following practices when operating a school-district owned vehicle.
- Observe the Speed Limit. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), fuel mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.30 per gallon for fuel. To this end, please maintain an appropriate speed not to exceed 55mph when operating a school district owned vehicle.
- Remove Excess Weight. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2%. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle's weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.
- Avoid Excessive Idling. Idling gets 0 miles per gallon. Vehicles with larger engines typically waste more fuel at idle than do vehicles with smaller engines.
- Use Cruise Control. Using cruise control, if available, on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save fuel.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. Low air pressure, more than any other factor, decreases fuel economy. I suggest visiting your local vehicle service center on a monthly basis and have the pressure checked. We will be glad to perform this service for you.
- Keep your assigned vehicle appropriately serviced. A dirty air filter or dirty motor oil can reduce the efficiency of the vehicle’s engine. Please contact your local Vehicle Service Manager for the oil change interval for your assigned vehicle.
- Drive Sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes fuel. It can lower your fuel mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than fuel money. Remember you are driving a motorized billboard. What you do and how you drive can negatively reflect on the district.
Finally, remind all operators that district-owned vehicles should be used for district business only. Other than using for transportation to mid-day meals, employees should refrain from conducting personal business while operating a district owned vehicle. We should not be using them for personal use.
Click here to download the Fuel Saving Tips Document
Click here to contact the Department of Vehicle and Safety Services