Yellow Bus, Green Ride: Blake Offers Environment-Friendly Transportation
Before dawn each morning, 20 Blake buses stir to life to begin their mission of safely transporting 390 students to and from their school campuses. These bright yellow giants will collectively travel up to 1,300 miles a day on their journey to provide one of the safest forms of transportation available today. Beyond safety and convenience, there are other reasons to ride the bus that may surprise you.
Let’s imagine all 390 current Blake bus riders (about 30 percent of total enrollment) switch back to single occupancy vehicles (SOV) tomorrow. Collectively, the additional 390 vehicles on the road will use significantly more total fuel to transport the same number of people than the buses.
Assuming a 20 MPG average and a 14-mile daily trip per SOV, Blake can transport the same 390 passengers on 100 fewer gallons of fuel per day, or 16,800 gallons each school year. Combust 16,800 gallons of gasoline fuel in a vehicle engine and about 150 metric tons of carbon dioxide will be emitted into the atmosphere. That’s a lot of fuel unused and greenhouse gases not generated; the economic and environmental savings generated by Blake’s bus service are significant. Imagine the impact of 500 or 600 students utilizing the bus each day. More people on buses also reduce congestion on our campuses and on the road, reducing wear and tear on the community infrastructure.
Lower carbon dioxide emissions are just part of the story. Recent Environmental Protection Agency mandates in 2002, 2007 and 2010 have led to dramatically reduced amounts of pollutants emitted into the atmosphere by school buses. Diesel engine emissions control technologies limit the release of these toxins through both in-engine and after-treatment processes. Blake’s two newest buses, delivered in November 2011, will emit nitrogen oxide at a rate 199 times lower than equivalent buses manufactured in 1998. Particulate matter emissions have also been cut by 10 times what they were a decade ago. Even more environmentally friendly mandates will arrive in 2013, and, with them, diesel bus engines will change to meet the new clean air and fuel economy standards.
Blake school buses remain a safe, convenient form of transportation for our community. More than ever Blake buses are becoming cleaner and greener with less harmful pollutants emitted into the atmosphere. Increasing bus usage would further reduce our community’s collective carbon footprint by cutting our consumption of fossil fuels. Blake transportation welcomes all our students and families to consider bus service in the months and years to come. It’s a win-win situation for our community and for our environment. Contact the Transportation Office today at (952) 988-3871 to sign up or to learn more about options for your family. Mid-year rates for all of our centralized shuttle stops are available now. We are eager to hear from you.
Blake’s Transportation Team
**We will be sending a short survey to all Blake families about transportation options, asking for family input. Please keep an eye out for the survey and complete it when you see it! Thanks in advance for your assistance.**