The California Air Resources Board has adopted a program that provides funds to school districts to replace 1977-1986 model year diesel school buses. The Lower-Emission School Bus Program provides incentive grants to reduce school children’s exposure to harmful pollutants through new bus purchases and through the installation of retrofit technologies on existing buses. Using funds provided through Proposition 1B – which was approved by voters in 2006 – the state allocated $3,300,000 to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District and $1,200,000 to the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District to fund the replacement of old, high polluting public school busses and retrofit middle aged diesel buses that still have a substantial service life, with CARB-verified pollution control equipment. The program will provide up to $140,000 per bus and give priority to replacing the oldest busses first. In general, private transportation providers and transit agencies are not eligible to participate.
The Lower-Emission School Bus Program will be administered for both air districts by CARB, who will be contacting school districts with eligible busses to coordinate replacement. Details of the program can be reviewed on CARB’s website here.