Lisa O'Leary Florida School District Converts Buses to Natural Gas, Opens Public Refueling Station

As state financial support and district budgets have gotten tighter, schools across the country are turning to natural gas to cut costs and leave a smaller carbon footprint.

A north Florida school district has teamed up with Nopetro, a company which designs, builds, owns, operates, and maintains compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling stations throughout the Southeast, to open a public natural gas vehicle fueling station on school grounds.

Leon County School District, located in Tallahassee, FL used to burn a half million gallons of diesel each year in their school buses. According to District Superintendent Jackie Pons, the district made the decision to buy new busses that run on natural gas, “because it’s cheaper, cleaner, and the energy source is available in the U.S.”  In doing so, the district is cutting its fuel costs per bus in half.

The new refueling station is open to motorists who register their vehicles with the company. A station attendant will manage the pumps and disperse the natural gas into the vehicles.

Using Tallahassee as a model for other communities, Nopetro is developing as many as 16 refueling stations in Florida within the next three years.

Tallahassee Sen. Bill Montford (D) plans to introduce a bill in the 2013 legislative session to help school districts save money on transportation.

There is a tremendous opportunity for school districts, municipalities, business and consumers through greater use of natural gas as a transportation fuel. Through the use of natural gas vehicles we can move away from our dependence on foreign oil greatly increasing our national security.

Let us know how your community is using natural gas and we could feature your story in an upcoming AGA blog post.

Lisa O'Leary

About Lisa O'Leary

Lisa O'Leary is the Manager of Digital Communications for the American Gas Association. Prior to joining AGA, Lisa served as Manager of Multimedia Communications for the Senator John Heinz History Center, "the Smithsonian's home in Pittsburgh," and as a Web Producer at WPXI-TV, Channel 11 News in Pittsburgh, PA. Lisa is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in Communications.
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