Green School Buses Running On Biofuel

school bus pollution
The “Green” school bus … Better for children’s health.
(cc) Mark Scott

Anyone who’s sat behind one of those big yellow school buses in heavy traffic and who has had to inhale the fumes belching from the tail pipe will appreciate the changes underway. Specifically, some of those yellow school buses are turning green. No, not their color, but their environmental impact.

In a show of support for the Government of Canada’s program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, Student Transportation of Canada, a subsidiary of Student Transportation of America, has increased its fleet of “green” school buses seven-fold to more than 900 environmentally-friendly, biofuel vehicles operating throughout Ontario.

Biofuel, made from natural renewable resources such as soybean, corn and canola oils, is North America’s fastest growing alternative to diesel fuel, producing cleaner emissions and generating cost savings. By choosing a cleaner fuel alternative for its fleet, STC will provide a healthier environment for its young passengers, school bus drivers and the community at large.

STC news follows another announcement that the Government of Canada, under Transport Canada’s Freight Technology Demonstration Fund, will help the freight transportation sector reduce the emission of greenhouse gas emissions and other air contaminants. The STC biofuel initiative is funded by the company.

“This biofuel expansion represents the successful implementation of STC’s strategy to reduce its carbon footprint throughout the Province, which increases long-term benefits to the environment and Ontario communities. STC is the biofuel leader in the province’s school bus industry – no one else comes close,” said Chris Harwood, senior vice president of operations for STC. “Realizing a 40 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and reducing particulate emissions were both primary objectives for the conversion. Cleaner biofuel, along with the adoption of anti-idling policies and excellent driver training, have greatly reduced our children’s exposure to diesel particulates. Biofuel also reduces wear-and-tear on our engines, reducing maintenance costs.”

STC, which operates a family of local companies throughout Ontario, began its biofuel program in 2008 at Simcoe Coach Lines in Sutton and Parkview Transit in Caledon. Since then the program has been expanded to its other company locations in Peterborough, Guelph, Elmira, Breslau, Fergus, London, Thamesford, Embro and Woodstock.

“We are committed to remaining at the forefront of adopting more efficient, cleaner, renewable alternative fuel sources,” Harwood said.

Read Biofuels and Bioenergy: Processes and Technologies from Amazon.