Bill Logan, transportation supervisor, USD 330 Mission Valley, has been in the ‘school transportation business’ for 28 years. He’s been at it long enough to watch the bus barn go from gas to diesel, and, back to gas.
USD 330 Mission Valley took delivery of their new 47-passenger, Blue Bird, gasoline-powered school bus two weeks ago. They don’t have a ton of experience to talk about, but Logan said, “I would have never switched to diesel, but we had to. The diesel buses have so much technology–senders, switches, injectors, etc. When it gets cold, the DEF fluid freezes. Repairs are expensive. Last time I had to send one of our diesels in for repair, it cost $8,000.”
Logan said they’re hard on their buses because of the poor roads they have to drive on. He added that a diesel will last forever, but, when it’s driven on such rough roads, the shell will not last as long as the engine. As a result, the lower acquisition cost was very important and attractive to him. He thinks the gas bus fits their route structure better. “We have short runs, nothing past one and half hours.” Logan is pleased with the acceleration of the bus and the fact that maintenance should be easier and less costly.