DIAMOND BAR, Calif. — A new round of funding in Southern California aims to replace older diesel school buses with new alternative-fuel models.
The funding is part of the Lower-Emission School Bus Program from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The goal is to replace pre-1994 school buses that have a gross vehicle weight of more than 14,000 pounds, with priority given to any remaining pre-1987 models.
Public school districts and joint powers authorities in the South Coast Air Basin are eligible for the program.
The SCAQMD is offering up to $165,000 for the purchase of a new Type D compressed natural gas (CNG) school bus and up to $129,500 for a new Type C propane school bus. That includes sales tax and a fire suppressant system.
Also, the agency will provide up to $14,000 per CNG bus and $5,000 per propane bus for fueling infrastructure.
To qualify for the funding, applicants have to agree to crush one pre-1994 school bus for each requested replacement bus.
The total amount of funding will be determined when the SCAQMD board approves the proposals. Applications are due Jan. 4.
The Lower-Emission School Bus Program began in 2001. Since then, the SCAQMD has awarded nearly $280 million in state and local funds to replace 1,600 older diesel school buses with alternative-fuel buses and to retrofit 3,400 diesel school buses with particulate matter traps.
“Our main objective is to reduce children’s exposure to harmful emissions from diesel school buses,” said Vasken Yardemian, program supervisor for the SCAQMD.
For more details and to apply for the current round of the Lower-Emission School Bus Program, go here.
The SCAQMD also recently approved $8.8 million for 33 electric school buses and charging infrastructure.