The Maine Department of Education (DOE) and Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) are pleased to offer joint Open Office Hours focused on school bus transportation and licensing. Information on how a school administrative unit (SAU) can train new bus drivers will be reviewed. The shortage of school bus drivers is at a critical point. Being able to train in-house is an advantage in recruiting candidates.
The first Office Hours on October 11 will feature Cheryl Brackett, Maine DOE Transportation Coordinator, as well as Christopher Ireland, Maine BMV Director of License Services. Sessions are meant to be a time for transportation directors to come together to ask questions, work together to problem solve, share best practices, and network.
Office hours are offered as part of the Maine DOE’s School Safety Center and are intended to meaningfully support addressing questions and needs. Participants can join for the full hour, for just a part, or only to obtain an answer to a question.
Transportation Office Hour Sessions will be held the second Wednesday quarterly, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., on the following schedule:
||Preparing Candidates for a CDL Endorsement
||Emergency Preparedness – Introduction to Maine DOE Guidelines
||NEO Transportation Reporting
Please use the following Microsoft Teams link to join the meeting on October 11:
Click here to join the October 11th Meeting via Microsoft Teams
Meeting ID: 267 027 044 018
Download Teams | Join on the web
To submit a topic or question prior to a session and/or for more information please email Cheryl Brackett at 207-446-3019: email@example.com.
Rural school transportation is often more challenging to electrify compared to urban or suburban service. Longer distances, a higher percentage of students requiring busing, harsher winters, and higher operating speeds all put greater strain on buses, budgets, and maintenance staff. Despite these challenges, electric school buses can provide the same or better performance as diesel buses while reducing operational cost. Different approaches need to be taken to overcome the unique operating challenges of rural routes when implementing electric school buses.
To document these different approaches — and the benefits of rural school bus electrification — the Maine Clean School Bus Program has gathered information from the first rural deployment of an electric school bus in Maine, on Mount Desert Island. Check out the case study here!
There will be a webinar and Q&A to go in-depth on rural electric school bus deployment. The webinar will take a deep dive into challenges specific to rural Maine, cover the big takeaways of the MDI case study, and address questions. See below for registration information:
Rural School Bus Electrification
Tuesday, November 29
Register here to receive a zoom link
The Maine Department of Education is announcing that the 2022 Annual Year-End Transportation Reports, EFT-21 Safety and Training and EFT-24 Vehicle Mileage and Operations, are open.
School entities may access the reports through the Maine DOE Transportation data system. Both annual reports are located under Annual Data. Instructions to complete transportation reports are located on the Maine DOE Neo Dashboard. Please note that the final step to complete your report submittals is Superintendent authorization. Both transportation reports are due by October 15, 2022.
Timely annual transportation reports provide critical data to support our Maine transportation mission that transportation provided shall conserve the comfort, safety, and welfare of the students conveyed.
If you have questions about access to the transportation reports and technical questions, please contact the Maine DOE Help Desk MEDMS MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) Under-the-Hood waiver until September 30, 2022.
According to FMCSA, the waiver extends the current relief for applicants seeking a CDL with S and P endorsements and the intrastate only (K) restriction. States may, but are not required to, waive the engine compartment component of the pre-trip vehicle inspection skills test for CDL applicants seeking the School bus (S) and Passenger (P) endorsement with the intrastate only (K) restriction. All other CDL skills testing requirements remain in place.
Maine BMV will continue to honor this waiver opportunity, when requested. Please direct questions to the BMV CDL Exams section at 207-624-9000, x 52122.
Authorized by the recently signed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the U.S. EPA’s Clean School Bus Program provides $5 billion over the next five years to replace school buses with low- and zero-emission school buses. The first funding opportunity under this program will be the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates where the U.S. EPA will offer $500 million for zero-emission and clean school bus rebates.
Join the U.S. EPA’s Clean School Bus Program: Zero-Emission and Clean School Bus Rebates webinar on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at 1:00 PM to learn more about who is eligible, who is prioritized, which school buses are eligible for rebates, and what the federal selection process will be.
Register now to attend.
See below for additional resources on the U.S. EPA’s 2022 Clean School Bus Program:
For more information about the program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .