In October 2021, the Holy Trinity Catholic School Division took the opportunity to update its bus fleet, following a large increase in student enrollment numbers.
“We were able to bring in nine newer buses last October, to help transport the 515 students here in Moose Jaw,” explained Chief Financial Officer of the Holy Trinity Catholic School Division, Curt Van Parys.
The renewed fleet resulted in a year-over-year reduction of $47,000, or 74%, in repairs and maintenance costs.
“With the new fleet, and with our previous fleet, we were projecting that our repairs and maintenance costs were going to do nothing but exponentially increase over the next several years. With the investment this past year, we experienced almost a 75% reduction in our repairs and maintenance costs. So that indeed is good news,” says Van Parys.
The renewed fleet also uses propane, with fuel costs ending up at 7% under budget.
“Other fuel sources such as diesel and gasoline experience[d] more dramatic cost increases, over the past year, compared to propane,” explained Van Parys. “We’re rather fortunate that [this] decision was supported, and we went forward with the propane fleet.”
The move to a propane bus fleet has reduced both the school division's carbon footprint and noise pollution, with 15% less greenhouse gas emissions and 98% less particulate matter compared to diesel.
Propane buses are also comfortable, easier to drive, and can heat up quickly in the winter months, according to the Holy Trinity school bus drivers and Van Parys.
“If we can reduce costs in terms of transportation, that gives us the opportunity to put the money where it should be; In the classroom.”