Maine School Administrative District 13 is set to receive a brand new school bus at no cost to the district with the help of a grant and aid from the Department of Education.

Sandra MacArthur, superintendent in Maine School Administrative District 13, said the new bus the district acquired with a grant and state aid will give students a more pleasant ride. University of Maine at Farmington photo

The $88,500 price tag for the new school bus, a 2021 diesel bus from the Blue Bird Corporation, will be covered by a Volkswagen Settlement Fund grant and aid from the Department of Education.

“The grant, which goes through the Maine Department of Transportation, will cover” almost 80% “of the cost for the bus so that comes to $68,400,” Superintendent Sandra MacArthur said during a phone call on Wednesday. “And the bus we’re replacing, which is from 2004, is eligible to be replaced through the DOE so they’ll be paying the balance which is $20,100.”

MacArthur said the district, which includes the towns of Bingham and Moscow, applied for the grant in October 2019 and found out they were approved in January. The district wanted to apply for a new bus because, according to MacArthur, the old one had run its course.

The new bus will hold 77 passengers, the same number as the old bus.

“This will give us a more reliable bus,” MacArthur said. “The students will have a more pleasant ride to and from school.” 


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, MacArthur said the bus will be used for daily transportation once schools resume in-person instruction instead of using it for field trips, as it was originally intended.

On a normal year I’d say it would be our trip bus, but this year it will transport students within the district,” MacArthur said. 

With the addition of the school bus, the district now has five buses.

“For this district, especially a district this small, this is a huge opportunity,” MacArthur said. “And we’re so grateful for the grant and DOE. This is a huge savings. Usually we have to finance buses for five years, so this will certainly have a great impact on local budget … and this will give us a more reliable bus, the students will have a more pleasant ride, we’re just so thankful.” 

MSAD 13 enrolls a total of 180 students from pre-K to 12th grade.

The bus will be delivered to Valley High School in Bingham by O’Connor Auto Park of Augusta on July 2. 

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