BEULAH — A cleaner, cheaper fuel is powering some Benzie buses.
The Benzie Transportation Authority outfitted three buses with a dual-fuel gasoline propane system, and officials plan to expand the program to two more vehicles by next month.
"It's a no-brainer for us," Josh Stoltz, a Benzie Transportation Authority board member, said. "It's good for the environment and it saves us money."
Authority mechanics installed the dual-fuel systems for about $6,600 per bus, Benzie Transportation Authority Operations Manager Chad Hollenbeck said.
Buses with the new system run on gasoline for roughly a minute when started. The buses' engines then start burning propane.
"When it makes that switch, you can't tell the difference," Hollenbeck said.
The conversion should lead to longterm savings on fuel costs.
The authority bought gas from the Benzie County Road Commission at a tax-free price of about $2.75 per gallon last month.
Diesel fuel cost the authority $3.22 per gallon.
A gallon of propane costs about $1.69.
Federal tax programs also incentivize the use of propane. The bill passed by Congress on Jan. 1 to avoid the 'fiscal cliff' included the extension of tax credits both for outfitting vehicles with propane systems and for purchasing propane fuel.
The fuel tax credits amount to 50 cents of savings for every gallon of propane bought.
And there are environmental benefits associated with propane.
A report from the Propane Education and Research Council states school buses running on propane emit roughly 11 percent less carbon dioxide per year compared to buses running on gasoline.
Stoltz said the authority produces only a modest level of air pollution as a public transit system in a rural area.
But anything that limits greenhouse gas emissions is a step in the right direction.
"If we look at Lake Michigan and see it's getting a little hazy coming up from Chicago, we can at least do our part," he said.
'It's good for the enviornment and it saves us money'
BEULAH — A cleaner, cheaper fuel is powering some Benzie buses.
Property owners sue over flooding
A group of Boardman River property owners filed a lawsuit over removal of the Brown Bridge Dam, saying their property values dropped when the river’s water levels rose.Continued ...
TCL&P may spend $15K on land it doesn't want
The city’s electric utility will spend up to $15,000 on a piece of property it hopes to never own — just in case public opposition foils its preferred location for an electrical substation.Continued ...
Teens admit to lewd elevator act
Traverse City police are investigating a report of sexual contact between two teens in a Traverse City Central High School elevator.Continued ...
Fired Munson clinic employee settles lawsuit
A former Munson Medical Center worker recently settled a lawsuit that alleged her civil rights were violated when she was fired from her job at an HIV-AIDS clinic.Continued ...
Free yard waste drop-off offered in Garfield
Garfield Township residents can dispose of yard waste for free starting later this month. No-charge waste passes will be available at Garfield Township Hall starting today through June 4.Continued ...
Forecast: More storms followed by cool temps
Meteorologists say to expect more severe thunderstorms coming through the Grand Traverse region.Continued ...
TC resident wins $5K Art Van Award of Hope
Cecilia Chesney, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan, received $5,000 for her organization and was given the chance to compete for an additional $25,000 through the Art Van Charity Challenge.Continued ...
- Monday, May 20, 2013
Prep sports scoreboard: 05/20/2013
A roundup of high school sports results from across northern Michigan:Continued ...
Family of woman killed by drunk driver: 'It's just not fair'
Paul Shafer had questions for the drunk driver who killed his wife and mother of his three children. Did he know what it's like to take his children to a graveyard on Mother's Day? Did he know what it's like to have a young daughter ask, "'I don't have a mommy anymore?'"Continued ...
Severe weather possible this afternoon
The spring’s first severe weather could hit the Grand Traverse region today.Continued ...
Sewer rates likely to rise for city residents
City homeowners can expect their base sewer charge to jump over 6 percent beginning in July under a budget proposal before the city commission.Continued ...
Great weather draws thousands to NMC Barbecue
Mother Nature dished up a glorious day for the Northwestern Michigan College Barbecue, the college's annual fundraiser that attracts thousands to its wooded campus.Continued ...
A chance to learn about Peace Ranch
The Senior Center Network and Peace Ranch are partnering for a Spring Hoedown, with square dancing and live entertainment.Continued ...
Leelanau center upgrades old building
The Leelanau Community Cultural Center is keeping stride with modern technology while maintaining the original vintage charm of its Old Art Building.Continued ...
- Sunday, May 19, 2013
New TC manager earned his gray along the way
Jered Ottenwess described himself during his interview for Traverse City manager as soft-spoken, lacking years of experience and perhaps not the most charismatic person.Continued ...
Ex-oil exec sees perilous energy future for U.S.
America is headed for an energy crisis filled with power blackouts and gasoline shortages, making today’s gas prices something to fear for in coming years.Continued ...
Townships settle 12-year-old lawsuit with Cherryland
Three holdout local townships finally settled a drawn-out tax dispute with Cherryland Electric Cooperative prior to a full hearing before the Michigan Supreme Court.Continued ...
Antrim officials make headway with meth convictions
Antrim County authorities answered a spike in methamphetamine activity with a series of arrests and convictions that they believe should send a message to meth producers and users.Continued ...
Benzie drug death leads to heroin charges
Authorities filed drug-dealing charges against a suburban Detroit man after a suspected heroin overdose death in Benzie County.Continued ...
Students recognized for math club performance
Thirty math-hungry East Middle School students recently made history. The group of seventh- and eighth-graders was the first at the school to achieve national gold level status for a club called MathCounts.Continued ...
Northbound Woodmere closed for two days
The city will shut down the northbound lanes of Woodmere Avenue from Eighth Street to Hannah Street for two days for maintenance of a city water line.Continued ...
- Saturday, May 18, 2013
Winning numbers in $600M drawing
Lottery officials: Winning numbers in $600M drawing are 22, 10, 13, 14, 52 and Powerball 11.Continued ...
Powerball ticket buyers hopeful as jackpot swells
Garrick Opie hasn’t purchased a Powerball ticket in more than a decade. But a jackpot that swelled to $600 million — the world’s second largest lottery prize — by Friday afternoon convinced Opie to throw in $20 toward the $2 tickets at the 7-Eleven store on 14th Street.Continued ...
Co-worker of fired tribal employees: ‘They should have known better’
A co-worker of the six tribal employees who shot a .22 rifle off their office building deck alleged they endangered a nearby residence, potentially polluted Lake Michigan with lead bullets, and violated human resources policy.Continued ...
Jury: Local attorney committed fraud
A jury ruled a local attorney committed fraud and malpractice in a case of a business deal gone bad.Continued ...
- Property owners sue over flooding