Pasco schools to go green with natural gas buses

By Leah Masuda, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, April 24, 2017, 11:02 AM EDT

Pasco County Schools are going green. In the coming weeks, natural gas buses will be filling up in Odessa and replacing some of the old diesel buses the district currently uses.

  • Pasco schools to go green with natural gas buses 
  • District is building a compressed natural gas station
  • 30 natural gas buses to roll out in several weeks

The district is almost finished building a compressed natural gas station. It will be the first owned and operated by a school district in the state.

“The big factor between diesel and natural gas is the tail pipe emissions, these are much cleaner buses,” said District Transportation Manager, Tad Kledzik. “We see reduced particulate matter, reduced NOx levels, and reduced greenhouse gas levels."

The district started building the compressed natural gas station in Odessa in February. It has purchased 30 natural gas buses and plans to buy an additional 30 in July.

“Conventional diesel school buses run at about $100,000 so our choice in going to the compressed natural bus increases that cost by $30,000," said Kledzik.

However, with the state's rebate program, the district could get half of the additional money back. It also expects to save money in the long run.

“Compressed natural gas is domestically produced, it is abundant, it reduces our reliance on foreign oil," said Kledzik.

The buses will be hitting the road this fall. They will run for the most part in the southwest part of the county near the station. The station is expected to be finished in May.