Guiding Principles for Grant and Incentive Solicitations
The SB 350 Barrier Study’s fourth priority recommendation is to develop guiding principles for grant and incentives solicitations to increase access to clean transportation and mobility programs and maximize participation from priority populations. The intent of this recommendation is to design competitive solicitations that promote more inclusive and equitable access to clean transportation and mobility investments through two key approaches: aligning program requirements to make it easier for communities to apply for incentive funding and simplifying the grant application processes to reduce the resources required to submit applications, including for rural and tribal communities, small businesses, governments, and other organizations to gain greater access to clean transportation and mobility investments.
Instead of developing a stand-alone guiding principles document, CARB wanted to be responsive to stakeholder input on the need to minimize the resource burden and instead implement these principles within existing clean mobility investment grants and solicitation materials. Below are some examples of such efforts:
- CARB is working to align clean mobility programs, including requirements, through the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-23 Planning and Capacity Building, Clean Mobility in Schools, and Sustainable Transportation Equity Project (STEP) solicitations.
- In 2022/2023, CARB held three implementation-specific work group meetings to discuss combining solicitations across related project categories and how to improve CARB’s competitive solicitation process, including providing more technical assistance and capacity building across the lifecycle of a project (e.g. both application and implementation assistance).
- CARB is also allowing more time for stakeholders to weigh-in on program development, as well providing more time for applicants to respond to competitive solicitations (e.g., more than 30 days).
- Finally, CARB is considering lessons across all clean transportation programs, such as how to best administer and facilitate more equitable outcomes through light- and heavy-duty investments, and whether there are opportunities to administer programs (or a combined program) at a statewide level.
CARB is planning additional work groups as part of the FY 2023-24 Annual Funding Plan process to continue discussions on streamlining and aligning of clean mobility equity programs. CARB will also be considering additional methods to streamlining the solicitation process and where language or requirements can be simplified to reduce the burdens on applicants applying for clean mobility investments. Finally, CARB will continue its efforts to align and combine clean mobility programs to minimize the number of applications a community must submit to access incentive funding.