Michigan school transportation providers have been at the head of the class nationally for accessing federal funding to cut the out-of-pocket cost for modernizing their school bus fleet. Our recent mixer brought together funding awardees from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA’s) Clean School Bus Rebates and Grants. Additional funding was made available in these programs for 2022 through 2026 through the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and MICC is supporting school districts’ and transportation providers’ pursuit of this funding.
The fall mixer included a panel discussion with the School District of the City of Pontiac, Dearborn Public Schools, and Dean Transportation as well as a tour of the assembly operation for BorgWarner’s EV charging equipment. Panelists shared their experiences in pursuing grant funding to become early adopters of all-electric school buses and vehicles for the benefit of attendees who are considering when and how this zero-emission technology may fit into their student transportation plans. Bill Holcomb, energy and technology innovation specialist with Pontiac Schools, described their district’s initial approach of procuring two electric Ford Transit vans—one for transport of sports and academic teams and the second for food service transport. With the availability of U.S. EPA rebates and grants, both Pontiac and Dearborn Schools were successful in securing this federal funding to begin their deployments of electric full-size school buses. Dean Transportation’s Chris Dean shared that the company has put thought into and, with the school districts they support, reviewed routes and electric power availability as they collaborated on grant proposals this summer under the U.S. EPA Clean School Bus grant program.
Award announcements for these grants are expected late winter, and applications are open through January 31, 2024. Federal tax incentives may also be of interest to school transportation providers and districts, pending guidance by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (see Funding Opportunities section below for additional information.) MICC continues to collaborate with Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation to provide technical assistance for school districts and transportation providers wishing to apply for grants and incentives. Reach out to us at: email@example.com.