Cobb County School Bus Anti-Idle Program

Investigators:

Sara Khoeini, Graduate Student, Georgia Tech
Chris Rome, Graduate Student, Georgia Tech
Sundaram Vedala, Graduate Student, Georgia Tech
Dr. Randall Guensler, Professor, Georgia Tech
Vetri Elango, Research Engineer I, Georgia Tech
Dr. Angshuman Guin, Research Engineer II, Georgia Tech

Project Overview:

This project will reduce emissions from the Cobb County School Bus fleet through the implementation of add-on emissions controls and an anti-idle program.  The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is instrumenting 500 buses with vehicle monitoring and anti-idle shutoff systems.  When bus drivers idle their engines beyond a time-limit in an anti-idle zone, the fleet supervisor is notified that an excess idle event is underway.  After a second time threshold is exceeded, the Georgia Tech anti-idle system automatically shuts down the engine to save fuel and reduce emissions.

The project was awarded by EPA to Cobb County to help reduce emissions in the Atlanta region. The Cobb County School District bus fleet consists of more than 1150 buses, ranging in model year from 1991 to 2009.  The school district will retrofit 108 older school buses that are not slated for retirement with add-on emissions controls, and will install engine startup/shutoff idle control systems developed and procured by  Georgia Tech.

The research team will provide data transmission services, maintain detailed vehicle activity records, and handle emission reduction quantification using standard EPA-approved modeling methods.  The researchers will also investigate the deployment of an online parent subscription service.

Work will continue through Spring 2011 and into next summer. After data have been collected from the bus tracking system, analysis and point-source emissions modeling will be conducted based on a framework developed in an earlier research effort.