TORRINGTON – When State Rep. Jay Case (R-63) helped Torrington Public Schools take a step toward sustainable cost savings and energy efficient transportation, he didn’t think the movement would take hold outside of Connecticut. In October, all that changed.
All-Star Transportation, the operating company of the school district’s Blue Bird propane bus fleet, won big during Green Fleet magazine’s sustainability award ceremony, naming the contractor a “Sustainability All-Star” for its propane autogas-fueled buses. The Oct. 2 ceremony brought All-Star and Rep. Case’s work to a national stage, showcasing the energy-efficient buses – possibly the first state in the nation to operate propane school buses. On Wednesday, Rep. Case recognized All-Star and Torrington Public Schools by awarding them with a citation from the General Assembly.
“What All-Star has done is a feat unmatched by its competitors, and in Torrington, a vision unmet by many school districts throughout the country,” said Rep. Case, who introduced legislation that allowed Torrington to receive tax benefits for using the cost-saving transportation program. “As the introducer of the proposal encouraging this switch to propane, I’m honored and humbled to see All-Star and Torrington Public Schools receive this recognition. It’s well deserved. Hopefully more districts and bus companies will follow this successful, sustainable model.”
“This was a team effort,” All-Star co-owner John Dufour said Wednesday. “From Torrington Public Schools to the legislature to everyone here at All-Star, this couldn’t have been done without so much hard work and determination to make transportation better. I truly believe this is the future of our business, and it’s working out better than we could have ever possibly imagined. Everyone’s happy about it – the drivers, the staff, the management, the Board of Education – and I hope it’ll bring more attention to propane buses.”
“TPS is extremely impressed with the new propane buses provided by All Star Transportation for the students of Torrington. They are quiet, odorless, and allow Torrington Public Schools to safely transport children from home to school and back again. It is a pleasure to do business with a company that makes the safety of Torrington’s children its first priority,” Torrington Public Schools Superintendent Cheryl Kloczko said. “All Star Transportation is a great community partner with which to do business.”
As part of a larger package passed by the legislature in June, Torrington’s school district joined Shelton as the only two school districts to use the more energy-efficient method of transportation. Officials at All-Star expect more towns to replace their fleets with these buses in upcoming years.