CPA Public Affairs
June 2020

UPDATE - NS: Propane school buses to transport students in Nova Scotia

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Propane-powered school buses will be transporting hundreds of Nova Scotia students to and from school each day beginning in September.

Calgary-based Southland Transportation Ltd. has been selected by the Halifax Regional Centre for Education as one of the providers of student transportation services. This selection represents a significant increase in the use of low-emission propane for transportation in the Atlantic region.

Last September, the Province of New Brunswick put into service 18 propane-powered school buses. The province of P.E.I. is also actively looking at the use of propane for transportation, including school buses.

Southland was one of three operators selected and was the only one using propane. It was also awarded the largest contract. It will operate over 140 propane-powered buses, covering approximately 129 routes. 

Southland has been utilizing propane as an alternative to diesel fuel since 2007. It currently owns and operates the largest propane-fuelled fleet of school buses in Canada. As of 2019, their fleet has grown to over 600 buses.

The CPA is working closely with the Fuel Safety Department in Nova Scotia and Superior Propane, the fuel supplier, to remove any unnecessary barriers to training and license requirements for the incoming propane school buses, while maintaining a safe environment – a priority for the CPA.

Although the province currently requires PTI 100-02 for training, the CPA believes that with all the safety features that are now available on the vehicles and the filling stations, that Nova Scotia should consider Ontario’s assessment that this training requirement should no longer be required. Discussions with the province on what is essential for training will continue.

The CPA is working with Southland and other stakeholders to find a way, within the parameters of COVID-19, to publicly highlight this important milestone as the 2020-2021 academic year approaches.

For more information, contact Jean-Francois Duguay, Director, Government Relations, Atlantic Canada and Québec, at


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