Rural School Bus Pilot Project
Grant award maximums:
- Battery electric school bus - $400,000
- Supporting charging infrastructure - $5,000
- Conventional renewable-fueled school bus and incremental renewable fuel costs - $165,000
Who was Eligible
Public school districts, public charter schools, County Office of Education, joint powers authorities (JPA), and the Division of State Special Schools of the State Department of Education.
How it’s Administered
The North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (NCUAQMD) is the administrator for all fiscal years of the Rural School Bus Pilot Project. NCUAQMD issued a competitive, statewide solicitation to school districts for project applications, with priority for eligible school bus owners located in small air districts first, then medium air districts, and then large air districts. Project applications were ranked by the selection criteria included in the solicitation.
Where and When it’s Offered
NCUAQMD held two open public solicitations, first in 2017 for the first year of funding, and again in 2018 for the second and subsequent two years of funding. Both solicitations were open to eligible applicants statewide.
Schools in rural communities with the oldest and worst polluting fleets who traditionally have had fewer opportunities for grant funding were given funding priority, although all school districts within California were eligible to participate.
The grant award could not exceed the purchase price of the new school bus, taxes, incremental renewable fuel costs and/or infrastructure costs (eligible projects costs). The funding levels above reflect the maximum funding levels allowed under this grant.
Applicants were required to identify and provide information about their baseline or "old school bus" as part of each initial application for ranking purposes. Applicants had the option to retain their "old school bus" and designate it as a low-use school bus in the first 3 years of the program if they selected a battery electric school bus model. Applicants were required to dismantle and destroy the old school bus if they selected to purchase a new renewable-fueled school bus in all years of the program. Applicants in the fourth year of the program were required to scrap one old conventional-fueled school bus per new school bus received, regardless of technology type.
Old school bus requirements:
- Chassis must be 20 years old or older to receive funding
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) must be 14,000 pounds or greater
- School bus must have current CHP Certification
- Must be applicant owned
- Must be scrapped (FY 2019-20 grant only)
New school bus must be current model year and be either:
- Zero-Emission (battery electric or fuel cell); or
- Hybrid or Internal Combustion Engine (diesel, compressed natural gas, propane) using renewable fuel