HISD Transportation Ranked as the Top School District Green Fleet in the Nation
Government Fleet, a leading transportation industry magazine, has announced the top 40 Green Fleets for 2011 and HISD is listed as the top school district green fleet in the nation.
“A green fleet improves Houston’s air quality for our children and is also a smart financial decision,” HISD’s Chief Operating Officer Leo Bobadilla said. “I am so impressed by the commitment of our transportation team, always striving for a greener fleet and keeping the safe transport of district students at the forefront of everything they do.”
Each year the top 40 fleets are chosen based on documentation of key performance measurements. One of the key measurements is fleet composition of conventional fueled vehicles versus alternative fuels such as biodiesel and propane. In August 2011 propane school buses were added to the district fleet as the result of a $2.2 million grant. HISD estimates each of the 25 propane buses will save more than $3,000 a year in fuel and maintenance costs and will reduce particulate matter by 99.99 percent over older petroleum diesel buses.
In 2010-2011, HISD began using biodiesel in all of its school buses and diesel light-fleet vehicles. Biodiesel is derived from renewable sources such as soybeans which are expected to reduce harmful emissions by up to 5 percent and extend the life of engine parts.
Bus drivers monitor engine idling daily and shop team members recycle everything from batteries to oil filters to engine and transmission fluids.
In March 2011 the district transportation department entered into a partnership program with the University of Houston to test a school bus filter that will convert smog-producing pollutants emitted from engines into water and nitrogen gas. HISD was the only district in Texas selected to partner with UH in this research project.
The top 40 green fleet award comes on the heels of another award that the HISD transportation department recently received. In May 2011, the transportation department was the only school district in the nation to be listed as a top 100 Best Fleets of North America for 2011.