Diesel School Buses to be Replaced as Part of Lower Emission School Bus Program

Replacing older, high-polluting buses and trucks is one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions from mobile sources in the South Coast Air Basin. As part of South Coast AQMD’s commitment toward accelerating the transition to near-zero and zero-emission vehicles, the Lower Emission School Bus Program was established to replace older diesel, high-emitting, public school buses with new alternative fuel buses and reduce school children’s exposure to cancer-causing and smog-forming pollution.

To be eligible for funding, school districts or Joint Power Authorities must be located within the geographical boundaries of the South Coast AQMD and currently own a diesel-powered Type A, C, or D, pre-2001 model year school bus with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 lbs. Buses must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles and have maintained continuous California Highway Patrol certificates for at least three years.

The older existing school bus must be scrapped in exchange for an alternative fuel or zero-emission bus Type A, C, or D with the model year 2020 or newer. Details on funding amounts can be found below.

All applications must be received by January 26, 2021 by 3:00 p.m. For more information, please visit: programs/business/lower-emission-school-bus-program.

 Lower Emission School Bus Program Funding Amounts1

School Bus Type

Fuel Type

NOX Certification Level

South Coast AQMD Maximum Award 

 Infrastructure per School Bus
Type C Propane  0.02 or lower  $155,000  $5,000
Type C or D CNG  0.02 or lower  $205,000  $15,000
 Type A Zero-Emission  0.00  $325,000 1,2  $20,000
Type C or D Zero-Emission  0.00  $370,000 1,2  $20,000

1 The funding amounts shown in this table may be reduced if the project also receives HVIP funding.
2 South Coast AQMD + HVIP = $400,000 maximum award for zero-emission buses.

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