Lower-Emission School Bus Program

This page last reviewed July 18, 2018


Overview

The primary goal of the Air Resources Board's (ARB's) Lower-Emission School Bus Program is to reduce school children's exposure to both cancer-causing and smog-forming pollution. The program provides grant funding for new, safer school buses and to put air pollution control equipment (i.e., retrofit devices) on buses that are already on the road.


child drawing of a schoolbus
With appreciation to Ms. Judy Fogel and her Brentwood Science Magnet School 1999-2000 first grade class for the art work. With special thanks to Lily, Leslie, Ilya, Hugo, Justin, and Ricardo.



New!School Bus Fleet Webinar Recording

A recording of the School Bus Fleet Webinar from April 20th, 2018 is now available! Listen to CARB staff and guest speakers discuss school bus fleet regulatory requirements, current and upcoming funding opportunities, and listen to real fleets’ experience with ZEV school buses.
Webinar Recording
Webinar Presentation

School Bus Fleet Webinar

The Join CARB staff and guest speakers to discuss school bus fleet regulatory requirements, current and upcoming funding opportunities, and listen to real fleets’ experience with ZEV school buses.

Public Workshop on November 4, 2016

The California Air Resources Board will hold a public workshop regarding emissions from the school bus fleet in the State of California. Staff will discuss the latest estimates of the statewide population of school buses, existing and potential funding sources available, and possible strategies to clean up the California school bus fleet.

View the Workshop Presentation.
View the Workshop Notice for more details.
This workshop will be available through GoToWebinar for those unable to attend in person. Stakeholders participating via webinar can submit comments and questions to staff during the workgroup meeting by using the chat function on the GoToWebinar navigation panel.
Register for the webinar
Check webinar system requirements before the webinar to avoid any connection issues.

San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Implementing the Lower-Emission School Bus Program on Behalf of ARB

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) is implementing the Lower-Emission School Bus Program on behalf of ARB, prioritizing funding for school districts in the small and medium air districts. For eligible school bus owners in small or medium air districts, when the application period is open, you would apply for funding directly to the SJVAPCD as well as checking with your local air district for any available local funds.

Please see the website for the Lower-Emission School Bus Program at the SJVAPCD.

New!Agreement between CARB and SJVAPCD to fund school bus replacements with Federal Fiscal Year 2017 State Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) and State Fiscal Year 2017-2018 ARB Funds

On June 18, 2018, CARB and SJVAPCD entered into a grant agreement to fund statewide school bus replacements. The agreement allocates U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) funds from a Cooperative Agreement between U.S. EPA and CARB, and funds from the State Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP), to SJVAPCD to implement school bus replacement projects. The grant agreement awards $573,305 in Federal DERA funding and $752,590 in State SEP funding - to SJVAPCD to replace school buses throughout California with new zero-emission electric school buses. An estimated $2,349,806 in additional funding for school bus replacements will be provided in the form of mandatory cost-share funds by school bus owners. It is anticipated that approximately 9 diesel fueled school buses will be replaced with new zero-emission electric school buses.

Agreement between CARB and SJVAPCD to Fund School Bus Replacements and a Statewide School Bus Retrofit Program with Federal Fiscal Year 2016 State Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) and State Fiscal Year 2016-2017 ARB Funds


On February 3, 2017, CARB and SJVAPCD entered into a grant agreement to fund a statewide school bus retrofit program. To support the expenditure of federal fiscal year 2016 funding by the deadline, the agreement was amended in February 2018 to fund school bus replacements in addition to school bus retrofits. The agreement allocates U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) funds from a Cooperative Agreement between U.S. EPA and CARB, and funds from CARB, to SJVAPCD to implement school bus retrofit and school bus replacement projects. The grant agreement awards $861,000 — $489,832 in State DERA funding and $371,168 in CARB funding — to SJVAPCD to 1) retrofit school buses throughout California with diesel emission control strategies, and 2) replace older, dirtier, diesel-fueled school buses with new, cleaner, diesel-fueled school buses. An estimated $600,000 in additional funding for school bus replacements will be provided in the form of mandatory cost-share funds from the SJVAPCD and school bus owners. It is anticipated that approximately 31 school buses will be retrofitted and approximately four school buses will be replaced.

Under similar agreements, SJVAPCD accomplished the following with funds from previous fiscal years: 

Fiscal Year Number of School Buses Retrofitted Statewide   Total Grant Award State DERA  ARB funds
2011-2012 30 $546,000 $317,185 $228,815
2012-2013 41 $777,000 $454,899 $322,101
2013-2014 19 $357,000 $205,152 $151,848
2014-2015 22 $420,000  $249,792 $170,208
2015-2016 38 $711,255 $415,905 $295,350

For State fiscal years 2011-2012 through 2015-2016, projects in small and medium air districts received funding preference over projects in large air districts.

Agreement between ARB and SJVAPCD to Fund Statewide School Bus Retrofit and Replacement Program with Funds from the Budget Act of 2013

The Budget Act of 2013 – Assembly Bill 110, Chapter 20, Statutes of 2013 – authorizes ARB to use approximately $1.1 million of funds from the California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002 (Proposition 40) and the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006 (Proposition 1B).  Senate Bill 96, Chapter 356, Statutes of 2013 directs the use of those funds on the Lower-Emission School Bus Program.  On February 4, 2014, ARB entered into an agreement with the SJVAPCD to allocate the aforementioned funds to the SJVAPCD to implement a statewide school bus retrofit and replacement program.  Projects in small and medium air districts will receive funding priority over projects in large air districts.

Lower-Emission School Bus Program 2007

Proposition 1B, which was approved by the voters on November 7th, 2006, enacts the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006. This bond act authorizes $200 million for replacing and retrofitting school buses. Historic Lower-Emission School Bus Program 2000 - 2006 The ARB staff, in coordination with the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the local air pollution control districts, has developed guidelines for implementation of the Lower-Emission School Bus Program funds. The guidelines cover which buses and retrofits can be purchased, requirements for the CEC and air districts running the program, and the benefits of the program.

Guideline Web Pages for Program Fiscal Years:

2007-2008 2006 2004 2003 2000-2001


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