Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Clean School Bus Program

School buses travel over four billion miles each year, providing the safest transportation to and from school for
more than 25 million American children every day. However, diesel exhaust from these buses can contribute to air quality problems and has a negative impact on human health, especially for children, who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed. This funding to support low- and zero-emission vehicles that transport our nation’s children will benefit communities across the United States, especially communities that have been historically underserved. Schools bus fleets will benefit by using the newest and cleanest technologies available.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) provides $5 billion over five years (FY22-26) for the replacement of existing school buses with low and zero-emission school buses. Under the Clean School Bus Program, half of the available funding is dedicated for zero-emission school buses and half is for clean school buses.  

2023 BIL Clean School Bus Grant Program

The program guidance and a list of eligible/prioritized applicants are now posted on the Clean School Bus Program website. Once you have completed the recommended steps to prepare, please begin filling out your grant application.  The deadline for applications is August 22nd, 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this grant program different from the rebate program in 2022?

The rebate program was a quick and simple application, and the funds were awarded using a random number generated lottery process. The rebate program offered less support and flexibility for the funding. The grant program has a longer and more detailed application process. There will be a full evaluation of the application materials with scoring criteria. This new program has a longer project period and may offer more support for the recipients. It also includes more funding flexibility, such as covering project implementation costs. 

What is the difference between the two sub-programs?

The school district sub-program targets a large single fleet turnover that may have been limited by the 25 bus maximum in the rebate program. In order to apply for this sub-program, you must be a single school district. The third-party sub-program targets school districts – particularly small, rural, Tribal, or low-income beneficiaries – that may benefit from third-party technical support, grant administration, and coordination. Eligible entities include nonprofit school transportation associations or eligible contractors, such as OEMs, dealers, and private bus fleets. In order to apply for the third-party sub-program, a minimum of 4 school districts are required.

How many school buses can my district apply for?

If you are applying as a single school district, you can apply for 15 to 50 buses. If you are applying for the third party sub-program, you can apply for 25 to 100 buses.

What infrastructure does the available funding cover?

In addition to the buses, the grant funds cover the charging infrastructure and installations. The funding cannot be used for any infrastructure costs associated with work on the utility’s side of the electrical meter, as shown below. Specific infrastructure costs include the charging equipment, the design and engineering, installation costs – trenching, wiring, electrical upgrades, etc. – and related intelligent equipment and software designed to monitor bus and infrastructure performance. Apart from infrastructure, any workforce development and training expenses are allowable uses of funds.

What are the limitations and requirements of the buses in this grant?

The existing diesel buses must be 2010 or older, have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more, and must be fully operational at the time of application in order to get replaced with the clean buses.

The new clean school buses must have a battery electric, compressed natural gas (CNG), or propane drivetrain, must be a new EPA or CARB certified vehicle model 2021 or newer, have a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more, must be purchased not leased, must serve the allocated school district for at least 5 years from the date of delivery, and must not be purchased or otherwise subsidized with any other federal grant funds.

What is the prioritization criteria?

This grant program targets high-need and low-income areas – such as school districts listed in the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE), school districts located in the US Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Title 1-funded public and charter school districts not listed in the SAIPE data, and Title 1- funded large public school distructs (more than 35,000 students and/or more than 45 public schools) that do not meet the 20% SAIPE threshold – rural areas under locale code “43-Rural: Remote”, Bureau of Indian Affairs funded school districts, and school districts that receive basic support payments for children who reside on Indian Land. The areas that qualify for prioritization will receive additional points when scoring their application.

What are the first steps I should take to begin the application process?

1. Register for an account on and

2. Visit the Clean School Bus Website for tools and resources.

3. Have a conversation with your utilities to develop a plan for implementation.

4. Make sure to submit your application by August 22nd, 2023 at 11:59 PM ET – there are no exceptions to this due date.

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