School bus refurbishment pilot program subsidy now available

Maine’s public schools now have two choices when making operational decisions about school buses.

  1. Refurbishment of mid-life buses in need of major body and structural repairs through the Maine Department of Education’s School Bus Refurbishment Pilot Program.
  2. New bus purchases through the Maine DOE’s School Bus Purchase Program.

The school bus refurbishment option, known as Service Life Extension, is a newly funded program that typically extends the life of the school bus 7-10 years while improving safety.

The school bus’ life extension is the result of a comprehensive overhaul of the bus body that takes advantage of a common discrepancy between the durability of the vehicle’s body and its engine: The bodies of newly manufactured school buses generally hold up for 10 to 12 years while their engines can function up to 20 years.

The Maine Military Authority, a state entity that specializes in refurbishing mid-life military vehicles and school buses at its facility at the former Loring Air Force Base in Aroostook County, is responsible for the refurbishment.

Maine DOE Subsidy is now available for this school bus refurbishment option. More details about applying for refurbishment funds and the refurbishment process are available on the Maine DOE website, at:

As the program is implemented, the Maine DOE and the Maine Military Authority will focus on quality and continuous improvement.

This program supports Core Priority Area #5 of the Maine DOE’s strategic plan, “Coordinated and Effective State Support,” as subsidy for bus refurbishment is a resource that helps schools improve operational productivity and safety.

The Maine Military Authority brings to this program 13 years’ experience in refurbishing vehicles, a national reputation for excellence and the longest warranty available.

Resources and more information

  • For questions about program application, approval and subsidy:
    Pat Hinckley, School Facilities/Transportation Consultant
    Maine Department of Education
  • For questions about program inspection, contract and service:
    Tim McCabe, Business Development
    Maine Military Authority

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