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Four Michigan school districts receive EPA grants for updated buses

31931 2011 Blue Bird 77 Maximum Passenger School Bus by bsabarnowl is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Four Michigan school districts have received a combined 240 thousand dollars in grant funding to replace buses that are less fuel efficient.




The grant gives schools twenty thousand dollars per bus being decommissioned. Clio is replacing five buses, Hemlock three, Ovid-Elsie two, and Whittemore-Prescott two. For Whittemore-Prescott this funding is continuing progress, their two buses this year will be their sixth and seventh buses to be replaced using federal funding over the past three years.

Hemlock finds itself in a very different situation. Carolyn Donoghue, the transportation director for the district, said their $60,000 dollar grant is enabling much needed replacements. She said the buses being replaced likely would not have been able to be used past this year anyway, and replacing them would not have been easy for the district.

“We knew the aging of these busses was starting to wear on us, and the police inspector kinda told us ‘you’re gonna be lucky if these will pass next time,’” said Donoghue.

She said new buses cost close to $90,000 dollars, but even with the grants that would be difficult for the district to fund. She said they have been able to find some cheaper returned leases which were still an option within the grant funding for close to $60,000. She said without the grant even the cheaper returned leases might not have been plausible for the district.

Donaghue said, “the only way I really could do that is with this grant, we would’ve been three buses short if I wouldn’t have got this grant, it would’ve been hard to get new buses, we don’t have that kind of money. So this is big for us being a small district for us to get that.”

Donaghue said that grants like these are essential for keeping small districts like Whittemore-Prescott's buses up and running.