Like school districts across the country, Missouri’s Lee’s Summit R-7 School District has been required to accomplish more tasks with less funding. As an organization with a fleet that travels over two million miles annually, they looked towards their transportation department – with an annual $1 million fuel budget – as an opportunity to create innovative solutions and savings. In early 2013, the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District launched an initiative to transition their school bus fleet from diesel and gasoline-powered buses to NGVs over the next 10 years. The School District projects that they will reduce transportation costs by $10.5 million over the next decade, while reducing nearly 100 tons of pollutants each year.
According to Thomas Built Buses, their initial order of 106 CNG school buses is thought to be one of the largest one-time orders of CNG school buses in U.S history. In total, they will be acquiring nearly 150 CNG school buses and over 75 CNG light-duty vehicles. In addition to the new school bus fleet, they have also leveraged their projected fuel and maintenance savings, along with other funding, to supply new computers and other technology infrastructure improvements in the classroom for the students.
To share the benefits of their project with the community and other fleet operators, the Lee’s Summit District partnered with an infrastructure provider to include a public-access station as part of their CNG initiative. This newly-built station, located across the street from the district’s existing 140 hose time-fill complex, has been a great success and continues to attract national and regional commercial transportation fleets. Lee’s Summit R-7 School District is being recognized today because they did their homework when choosing a predictably priced fuel that significantly reduces costs, allowing them to put these savings back to where it matters most, in the classroom.