UniteGPS – Contractors still aren’t sure how to obtain funds from the federal Clean School Bus Program as leaders across the United States embrace zero-emission fleet operations.

Highway photo by Truman Adrian Lobato de Fario
The Clean School Bus Program is part of Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

Enacted from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal signed by President Joe Biden in November, little information is available on how the authorities will disperse $5 billion among recipients.

What is clear, however, is that grant money will go towards the implementation of zero-emission vehicles using compressed natural gas, propane, or biofuels. How exactly private school bus contractors will apply for these funds has yet to be determined. 

How will contractors apply for the Clean School Bus Program?

On Dec. 15 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held an informational meeting to discuss logistics with stakeholders about the Clean School Bus Program. In principle, the initiative aims to replace existing school buses with low to zero-emission vehicles, specifically those using electricity and alternative biofuels.

According to one attendant, though, the current framework prevents contractors from directly applying for funds. 

Instead, they will need to go through a third-party such as a school district customer, according to Curt Macysyn, executive director of the National School Transportation Association. Other options include making a point-of-sale rebate from the school bus manufacturer or potentially a dealer, narrowing the playing field in the process.