Michigan opens $125 million grant program for schools to purchase cleaner school buses

This press release has been shared from the Michigan Association of Pupil Transportation.

On May 28, 2024, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and Michigan Association of Pupil Transportation (MAPT) opened applications for the Michigan Clean Bus Energy Grant, a $125 million program aimed at helping Michigan school districts replace aging diesel school buses with cleaner alternatives and accelerating momentum to reach the goals outlined in the state’s climate plan.

Through the program, public school districts can receive up to 70% of the cost of an electric school bus, charging station and infrastructure. The program also works to prioritize high-need districts, examining criteria like income, environmental risk factors, and rural or indigenous populations. Schools that meet these criteria are eligible for additional funding to cover up to 90%of the total project costs. Alternative fueled buses will be funded at lower levels.

Each day in Michigan, 700,000 children are transported by 6,500 school buses across the state—the majority of which are diesel-powered and emit dangerous exhaust pollutants with proven links to serious physical health issues. This pollution is often compounded with existing poor air quality in high-pollution corridors like Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids. The result: 13.1% of Michigan children report having asthma, double the national rate of 6.5%. In Detroit, children are 50% more likely to suffer from asthma than their out-of-state counterparts.

Michigan’s Clean Bus Energy Grant program will help remove the closest source of air pollution from the everyday lives of students by removing the oldest, dirtiest diesel buses from our roads. Electric school buses produce no tailpipe emissions and are a safer alternative for our kids—and they are already on the road successfully serving schools in Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Gaylord, Kalamazoo, and more. Those communities not only benefit from decreased pollution, but the schools see cost savings on fuel, maintenance and longevity.

As we work to protect our children’s health and make their journey to school safer, electrifying Michigan’s school buses is an important step that is now more accessible than ever to schools through this program.

“We are very pleased to hear of the $125 million dedicated to clean school buses for Michigan’s school children. When air quality, climate and public health are at the front of our minds, protecting our children from dirty tailpipe emissions on their way to school just makes sense. School districts across Michigan have already displayed success and demand for electric school buses, and this funding will help to support further rollouts- especially among our communities hit f irst and worst by air pollution.”-Kindra Weid, RN, air quality advocate, coalition coordinator of It’s Electric! Michigan’s electric school bus coalition

“Investing in a transition to cleaner school buses shows us where Michigan’s priorities lie: in the health and safety of school children. Cleaner school buses are already arriving at school districts across Michigan, and not only are these buses safe, clean and quiet, but they are also performing well in cold weather and they are saving districts money on fuel and maintenance. MAPTapplauds this budget investment in a clean ride for kids and we look forward to helping roll out these cleaner buses across the state.”-Katrina Morris, Executive Director of Michigan Association of Pupil Transportation

“Michigan Department of Education is pleased to announce that the Clean Bus Energy Grant Application (74b) is live in NexSys as of May 28. I am very proud of my team who put the project together, which will help many school districts and ISDs across the state of Michigan to get cleaner buses on the roads and into our school communities. Our goal of improving air quality and overall health for our students is our priority.”-Troy Hansberger, School District Consultant, Michigan Department of Education

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Applications are open now through 5:00 PM ET on Friday, July 12. More information about the program, how to apply and informational webinars can be found HERE.


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  • Grace Noyola
    published this page in News 2024-05-30 16:24:39 -0400