County Saves Thousands By Using Propane

October 22, 2014 – Access Scioto County (ASC) announced Wednesday that the agency has saved $31,000 in fuel costs since the first of the year as a result of converting its fleet to propane. The idea to convert the buses came in 2012 and was advanced further with the recent conversion of its two newest buses by Arrick’s Propane of Lucasville.

“The newly converted buses brings the number of ASC buses that can operate on either propane or gasoline to eight,” said Larry Mullins, ASC coordinator. “We still have two buses that we use as backups that have not been converted. The two spare buses are diesel and we have no plans to convert them since they will be retired soon.”

Mullins said the savings comes while gas prices have been lower and ASC logging an additional 20,000 miles this year.

Mullins said there are a number of advantages to Propane Autofuel. He said it burns 70 percent cleaner than gasoline and has a higher octane rating of 110. The Propane Autofuel is 30 percent cheaper than gas.

“Because it burns so much cleaner, vehicular maintenance costs are also cheaper,” Mullins said. “Most propane, about 98 percent, is produced in the United States, however 100 percent of our propane is produced here in our local area so it reduces our dependence on foreign oil.”

He said one of the benefits of converting the buses is flexibility.

“The nice thing about the conversion is that it will run on propane or gas. Let’s say you are out in the county, picking someone up. If the propane runs out, it automatically switches over to gas and never misses a beat and the driver loses no power,” Mullins said.

He said a full tank of propane will typically run about 200 miles.

“Usually a driver will do about 200 miles a day. Usually the drivers will fill up in the morning and by the next morning they are ready to fill up again,” Mullins said.

He said when a bus is ready to retire the conversion equipment could be transferred to the new bus and be used for the same purpose.

“I believe that we are the first and possibly the only public transit system in the state of Ohio that is using propane Autofuel and taking advantage of its cost savings and lower emissions,” Mullins added.

Officials with the Ohio Department of Transportation confirmed Wednesday afternoon that ASC is the only public transit system in Ohio to convert their fleet to use propane.

“Many large transit systems around the country have used Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for many years, however it cost more than propane Autofuel and the conversion process is many times more expensive that converting to propane,” Mullins said.

For more information about Access Scioto County and there many services, visit www.asctransit.org.

Article by Wayne Allen of portsmouth-dailytimes.com.

Posted: December 22, 2014