Durham School Services has saved over 10,000 gallons of fuel during the first half of the school year, the school-hired bus service which now operates all of Warren County’s school buses says.
“We have reduced consumption by around 10,000 gallons in diesel thus far and that’s for just part of the year,” said Bryan Riley of Durham School Services, noting he suspects savings will continue throughout the school year.
Riley said it’s difficult to put an exact dollar amount on the savings because the price of fuel constantly fluctuates and because the school system doesn’t pay sales tax on fuel.
Durham won the contract to operate the school system’s bus department over the summer and began operating the fleet at the beginning of the school year. Riley said the scientific approach gained by decades of work in school transpiration helped in allowing them to save so much fuel as compared to when the buses were run by the school system.
“One thing we did was analyze the routes and we were able to eliminate two of those routes,” Riley said, noting all children in the county still have transportation from their house or bus stop if they want it.
Riley noted there could be a chance another route could be eliminated next year without hurting service to students, thereby saving even more fuel as prices continue to rise.
Helping with the routing is bus software which Riley said can plot out optimal routes and can track buses wherever they go.
“Our new software may allow us to save even more gas in the future,” Riley said.
In addition to routing, Riley said changing habits of bus drivers has saved money, specifically in how long buses are allowed to idle when not moving.
“Each hour you idle a bus that’s 1.2 gallons of fuel,” Riley said, noting if you add all the buses together, that amount is a lot over a year’s time. “We don’t allow buses to idle over five minutes a day.”
Riley said the tracking software indicates if there is unneeded idling of buses while they are stationary.