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VW & DERA Grant - School Bus Replacement Opportunity

Article by: 
Ken Pearce
Regional Sales Manager
Midwest Transit Equipment


The 2018-2019 fiscal school year for school bus replacement was a successful year with the assistance of the Volkswagen (VW) Trust Grant and Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Grant.  The 2018-2019 VW Grant gave schools the opportunity to replace 1995-2006 eligible buses with a diesel 2017 EPA or newer emissions buses or alternate fuels. Districts were able to purchase up to three diesels buses or up to ten alternative (propane, CNG) fuels with a cost share up to 25% or $22,000 whichever was less.  There were 88 schools and contractors that were selected through the grant’s lottery.  Twenty-eight of the eighty-eight schools were received funding for a free bus due to the individual’s financial school qualifications.  All buses being replaced, were required to be scrapped with a three inch hole placed in the engine block and the chassis frame cut in two. 

The Department of Natural Resources recently released the details of 2019-2020 fiscal school year VW Grant and DERA Grant.  Both grants resulting in funds of $750,000 for the fiscal year.  This grant is open to: buses, non-road, locomotives, diesel engine replacements, marine engines with each of their respective percentages of cost coverages.  School buses with 1996-2009 diesel engines are eligible for replacements, but are not limited to, diesel engine replacement with an engine certified for use with diesel or an alternative fuel (e.g., gasoline, propane), diesel engine replacement with a zero tailpipe emissions power source (grid, battery or fuel cell), and/or diesel engine replacement with an electric generator(s).   This also includes the new school buses uses diesel or alternative fuel, the new vehicle must be powered with a 2016 model year or newer engine certified to EPA emission standards.  With the grant parameters for emissions, a 2016 or newer certified EPA emissions, will allow schools with tighter budgets to afford a pre-owed school bus.  This grant will reimburse up to 25% of the replacement vehicle with diesel or alternate fueled vehicle.  Applications are due October 30, 2019. For additional information, please visit:

On behalf of Midwest Transit Equipment, Inc, we wish you a prosperous 2019-2020 school year.  Please feel free to contact us if we can be of any assistance in filling out an application with or regarding additional information pertaining to this article.