School Buses Run on Biodiesel for 10 Years

John Davis

The first school district in the country to run its buses on biodiesel is celebrating 10 years of driving on the green fuel.

This feature from the National Biodiesel Board explains that Medford Township School District in New Jersey first started using biodiesel when Director of Operations and Technology for the Medford Township Board of Education Joe Biluck applied for and received a Department of Energy grant for alternative fuel and filled a bus with what was then a little-known fuel called biodiesel:

“I will admit, I was a little scared that first time,” he said. “But when you see an opportunity or a technology that has a lot of potential, and you’ve done your homework on it, you have to be willing to take a calculated risk for the greater good. Someone has to raise their hand, and why not Medford?”

“We transport 3,500 students a day in our buses,” said Biluck, Director of Operations and Technology for the Medford Township Board of Education. “This biodiesel program was started for them. It has been proven that biodiesel improves air quality both outside of the bus and in the interior.”

According to Medford Township Public School System officials, over the past decade the district’s school buses have traveled more than 4 million miles, consumed more than 615,000 gallons of B20, displaced more than 123,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and eliminated 127,000 pounds of hazardous emissions and 428 pounds of particulate matter while reducing the overall cost of fleet operations by $80,000 a year.

The district is being congratulated by the NBB, whose CEO Joe Jobe says that “Medford’s public school district serves as a great example to other schools looking to use biodiesel.”

Jobe goes on to say that the bold move 10 years ago has helped launch a natiowide use of biodiesel in an important and sensitive environment – the air around school children. Approximately 200 school districts nationwide use biodiesel.