HISD Department of Transportation honored for use of ‘green’ school buses


Mahmoud Chami, Transportation Mechanic Team Lead

District is only one in Texas to receive special recognition

The Houston Independent School District Department of Transportation has been honored with the inaugural Leadership with Propane Autogas Award by the Propane Education and Research Council.

HISD is the only school district in Texas, and one of three in the country, to be recognized by the council for creating a cleaner environment for student bus riders by using propane school buses. The award recipients were announced last week in Reno, Nev. at the Green Bus Summit.

“I’m incredibly proud of our transportation department for receiving this prestigious award,” said HISD Board President Manuel Rodríguez. “It is important that we do our part to protect Houston’s air quality while also being good stewards of tax dollars.”

The district was offered more than $2 million by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Railroad Commission of Texas in 2011 to fund 70 percent of the cost of green buses. That same year, HISD unveiled 25 propane buses and over the past six years has added more than 100 alternatively fueled buses to its fleet. There are plans to increase the number of green buses to 250 in the next few years.

“I’m honored that we were one of three districts in the nation to receive this award,” said HISD General Manager of Transportation Nathan Graf. “It speaks highly of our mechanics and our team that we took steps to green our fleet.”

Propane buses emit fewer emissions and toxins into the air, deliver better fuel economy, reduce engine noise, and require less maintenance. The use of green buses also helps lower the district’s operating costs while providing cleaner air for Houston students.