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 .
On Wednesday, March 23, at 1pm, the EPA will host the first informational webinar on the 2022 Clean School Bus Program.
The Clean School Bus Program will provide $5 billion over the next five years to replace existing school buses with low- and zero-emission school buses. Each year, approximately $500 million will be available exclusively for electric school buses and approximately $500 million will be available for electric buses and multiple types of cleaner alternative fuel school buses.
EPA anticipates that the 2022 Clean School Bus Program application period will open to the public in late April and close in July. We expect that this program may cover up to 100% of school bus and associated charging infrastructure costs for low income, disadvantaged, and rural school districts, while offering significant funding to all schools. Additional Clean School Bus funding opportunities are expected to follow later.
The state will be working closely with the EPA to offer technical assistance to schools wishing to apply for this funding. If you are interested in learning more about technical assistance, please reach out.
The link to the webinar and other events can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus/events-related-clean-school-bus-program#webinar.
All program information and updates can be found at www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus.