The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opened the period to submit applications for a total of $3 million made available through the 2014 School Bus Rebate Program. School district and private bus company fleet operators are eligible, as are tribal agencies.
Vehicles eligible for replacement are diesel-powered Class 3 through Class 8 school buses powered by a 2006 model year or older engine that have accumulated at least 10,000 miles within the past 12 months. Additionally, eligible buses are those that have been in use for at least three days per week during the current school year.
Replacement vehicles for which fleet managers may apply must be powered by a certified 2014 or newer model year engine or operate solely on electric power. They may also operate on ultra low sulfur diesel, battery or hybrid drive trains or alternative fuels.
EPA also stipulates that replacement school buses be the same or smaller vehicle class as the original bus and operate in the same manner and over similar routes. Class 3, Class 4 and Class 5 school buses will be funded at a rebate amount of $15,000. Class 6 and Class 7 school buses will be funded at $20,000 and Class 8 buses at $25,000.
Applicants must also submit the annual miles traveled and annual fuel consumption from driver or maintenance logs as well as the real or estimated annual hours of idling.
Applications can cover retrofit projects for a maximum of five buses and are due by 4 p.m. Eastern time on Nov. 17. EPA said it will notify award winners within 30 days of the application deadline.