Management

Michigan Tabs 20% of VW Funds for New School Buses

Nicole Schlosser
Posted on November 13, 2018
Nearly $13 million of Michigan’s $64.8 million in Volkswagen settlement funds will go toward replacing aging diesel school buses with new diesel-powered, electric, or other alternative-fueled buses. File photo
Nearly $13 million of Michigan’s $64.8 million in Volkswagen settlement funds will go toward replacing aging diesel school buses with new diesel-powered, electric, or other alternative-fueled buses. File photo

LANSING, Mich. — State officials are committing one-fifth of Michigan’s Volkswagen (VW) settlement funds to electric and new diesel school buses.

Of the $64.8 million that the state is receiving in mitigation plan funds, nearly $13 million ($12,961,402.93) will go toward replacing aging diesel school buses with new diesel-powered, electric, or other alternative-fueled buses, according to the Michigan Volkswagen Settlement Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, released by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on Oct. 29.

Gov. Rick Snyder designated the MDEQ as the lead agency to administer Michigan’s allocation of the trust.

The plan also states that, for non-government-owned school buses, funding recipients under contract with a school district can receive up to 25% of the cost of a new diesel or alternative-fueled school bus, and up to 50% of the cost of an electric school bus and charging station.

Funding amounts for government owned and privately-owned school buses under contract with a public school district will be up to 25% of the cost of a new diesel school bus, up to 40% of the cost of an alternative-fuel school bus, and up to 70% of the cost of a new electric school bus and charging station.

Up to $3 million will be allocated for electric school buses and charging stations. A maximum amount per bus and charging station may be applied.

Michigan’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program will continue to use state and federal funds instead of tapping state trust agreement funds to support projects, according to the mitigation plan.

The first funding opportunity is expected to occur in late 2018 and will focus on school bus replacement, according to a news release from the MDEQ. More funding opportunities will be available beginning in mid-2019 and will target all remaining project categories. Funding will continue in phases until the funds are expended. Michigan has up to 10 years from Oct. 2, 2017 to spend its allocation of the funds.

Eligible applicants include local, state, and federal government agencies; school districts; transit authorities; private businesses; metropolitan planning organizations; nonprofit organizations; and tribes.

The VW Environmental Mitigation Trust is providing states with a total of $2.9 billion for projects that reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from large vehicles.

For more information on the plan for the settlement funds, go here.

Related Topics: alternative fuels, CNG, diesel, electric bus, Michigan, propane

Nicole Schlosser Executive Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Some school transportation departments have found that children’s rideshare services, such as HopSkipDrive, can offer flexible scheduling and more efficiency when serving students with special needs, and those who are homeless or in foster care.
Article

How Ridesharing Can Meet a Variety of Student Needs

Children’s rideshare services can offer scheduling flexibility, quick response time, and more efficient use of resources when serving homeless, foster care, and special-needs students. Factors to consider are budget and coordination between multiple parties.

Photo courtesy Frederick County (Md.) Public Schools
Article

Getting School Bus Drivers, Aides Involved in the IEP Process

While it may not be ideal for transportation staff to be involved in every step of the Individualized Education Program process, it is essential for them to communicate with parents and related service staff to acquire information that may directly impact a student’s safe travel to and from school.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!