Programs & Funding

    School Bus Purchase Program

    Maine School Bus Purchase Program. This program provides subsidy to school administrative units (SAUs) in order to offset partial cost of new school buses that are used to transport students to and from home and school and school events.  This program is a resource to help SAUs purchase new school buses, retire end of life school buses, and respond to emergency and special bus need. 

    Low Base Bids for School Buses July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025

    Please use the link based on school bus capacity, bus type and fuel type. They are low bids on school buses that the State of Maine obtained through an RSQ.  When applying for a school bus through the Maine School Bus Purchase Program, you will need to use this list in order to qualify for the program.  If you do not see the size, capacity and fuel type on the list, you will have to choose an alternate school bus.

    Minimum Program Qualifications – “Bus Replacement” (non-emergency)

    • Passenger Vans – Shall have seven (7) years useful life and accumulated 100,000 miles (replace van with bus).
    • Type C school buses – Shall have ten (10) years useful life and accumulated 125,000 miles.
    • Type D school buses – Shall have fourteen (14) years useful life and accumulated 245,000 miles.
    • Electric School Bus - Shall have fifteen (15) years useful life and accumulated 250,000 miles.

        School Transportation Operations Program (Transfinder)

        • Transportation Operations Program. Provides transportation operations software at no cost to help public schools improve student safety, transport efficiency, and strategic planning. Districts that use the software also report significant savings and improved communication.

            School Transportation Safety Training Program

            • Maine Regional School Transportation Safety Conferences. Southern, central, mid-coast, western, down east and northern  conferences deliver one day of classroom and hands-on learning with the regional driving competitions for bus drivers and transportation directors.  The Regional Conferences occur annually in April and June.
            • Maine State School Transportation Safety Conference. This central Maine conference provides four days of national and state experts teaching in the classroom, computer lab, and on the driving course. Topics include regulations, operations, human development, special needs transport, leadership, and the latest transportation technology. Winners from the regional driving skills conference compete to determine the best school bus driver in the state.  This conference is for all transportation staff, business managers, and superintendents.  The State Conference occurs annually in July.

            Transportation School Bus Zero-emission and Low-emission Programs

            • Federal. US EPA Clean School Bus Program. With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s new Clean School Bus Program provides $5 billion over the next five years (FY 2022-2026) to replace existing school buses with zero-emission and low-emission models.  School entities apply directly to the US EPA Clean School Bus Program. Online Rebate Application information is available for the US EPA Clean School Bus Program. 
            • Federal. US EPA Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA). The  Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Program funds grants and rebates that protect human health and improve air quality by reducing harmful emission from diesel engines.
            • Federal. US EPA Clean School Bus. While new school buses must meet US EPA’s tougher emission standards, many older school buses continue to emit harmful diesel exhaust.  US EPA’s Clean School Bus is a national program designed to help communities reduce emissions from older diesel school buses. 
            • State. Maine Clean School Bus Program. The State of Maine has created a new statewide Maine Clean School Bus Program to help Maine school entities purchase Electric School Buses. 
            • State. Maine Clean Diesel Program. Reducing emissions from diesel engines is an important goal for improving air quality.  A Maine Department of Environmental Protection statewide program seeks to reduce children’s exposure to air pollution from diesel school buses. 
            • State. Volkswagen (VW) Diesel Emissions Settlement.  Volkswagen agreed to settle allegations that it violated the federal Clean Air Act by installing “defeat devices” on 2.0 and 3.0 diesel vehicles.  Under two partial consent decrees issues by US Department of Justice, states will receive settlement funds equivalent to the number of registered 2.0 and 3.0 diesel vehicles.  Funds received by states must be used to offset existing NOx emissions.  Website information is about the Maine VW settlement.  

            Veterans in School Transportation Program 

            Veterans in School Transportation Program. The Veterans In School Transportation Program is a state initiative that began in 2017 to help military veterans transition from serving their country to serving and protecting local communities and students by joining local school transportation teams.  The Program also helps local school districts hire school bus drivers, school bus mechanics, transportation operations technicians, and transportation directors who have fleet experience.