Programs & Funding

Clean School Bus Programs

  • Federal Clean School Bus Program. By the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a public-private partnership that seeks to reduce children’s exposure to air pollution from diesel school buses.
  • Grants. Federal Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grants.
  • Maine's Clean Diesel Program. Projects and allocation for Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) funding by Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Air Quality.
  • Maine's Clean School Bus Program. Statewide program to reduce children’s exposure to air pollution from diesel school buses by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Volkswagen (VW) Diesel Emissions Settlement.  Maine received just over $21 million, which, according to the settlement, must be used to offset existing NOx emissions.  Under the lead of the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), collaborating with Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Governor's Energy Office (GEO), a plan has been drafted that includes projected qualifying expenditures from the Trust.  School bus replacements applications may be submitted during appropriate funding cycles.  The state VW Program contact is David Gardner, Maine Department of Transportation, Environmental Office, 16 State House Station, Augusta, ME  04333.

      School Bus Bid and Purchase System

      The Maine School Bus Bid and Purchase System (MSBBPS) is designed to assist Maine School Administrative Units (SAUs), Charter Schools, and Regional Service Centers (RSCs) in purchasing a quality bus at a competitive price. The System  is free and is provided by Maine Department of Education to support the strategic plan and provide a transparent school bus bid and purchase process that informs local decision-making.  The system has two modules:

            1.  Bus Bid Module

            2.  Bus Purchase Module

      The Bus Bid Module is used by school bus vendors to submit a State bid and used by the State to receive bids.  The Bus Purchase Module is used by SAUs, Charter Schools, and RSCs to select bus options and submit a bus purchase order to the vendor.  Ultimately, the system is a resource for schools that simplifies and informs the bus bid and bus purchase processes while providing transparency.

      • TRAINING: Training is free and needed to use the system.  Training sessions are typically posted on the Maine DOE Professional Development & Training calendar.  Also, when special training sessions requested by local districts are available, Superintendents, Business Managers, and Transportation Directors receive an email invitation.
      • School Bus Bid Module.  This page provides information for vendors.  It describes features and benefits of the module, instructions to create a user account, directions to register for training sessions, frequently asked questions, and more.
      • School Bus Purchase Module.  This page provides information for schools.  It describes features and benefits of the module, instructions to create a user account, directions to register for training sessions, frequently asked questions, and more.

        School Bus Purchase Program

        • Maine School Bus Purchase Program. Provides subsidy to help public schools purchase new school buses. The program has a three-year cycle with application during year one, bus purchase during year two, and subsidy begins during year three (the year following the bus purchase) of the cycle. Applications for the School Bus Purchase Program open November 1 and close November 25 annually.

            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.

                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.