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Rural School Bus Pilot Project (RSBPP)

The application period has been closed.

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Through a partnership with Senator Mike McGuire and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) the District has been asked to administer the Rural School Bus Pilot Project for the State of California. The main goal of this grant program is accelerating the turnover of California school bus fleets to lower carbon transportation choices, especially in rural school districts who have less access to other funding sources. The RSBPP is supported by the California Climate Investments (CCI) program.

Traditionally, small and rural school districts have the oldest and worst polluting fleets, that historically have not had the opportunity or ability to receive funds for replacement or upgrade projects. According the US EPA, more than half of today’s school buses have been in service for over a decade. These older buses emit twice as much pollution per mile as a semi-truck. Consequently, health risks for students, especially younger children, increase significantly because their respiratory systems are still developing.

Eligible Participants

All California schools, meeting one of the following Eligible Applicant types will be invited to apply:

  • Public School District
  • Public Charter School
  • County Office of Education
  • Joint Power Authorities (JPA)
  • Division of State Special Schools of the State Department of Education

Private schools, private transportation companies and non-profit agencies will not be eligible to apply.

Project Types

Applicants will select from one of the following project types:

  • School bus replacement utilizing Zero-Emission Vehicle Technology
  • School bus replacement utilizing Hybrid or Internal Combustion Engine Technology, using Renewable Fuel Types

Applicants may apply for up to 12 projects, in either project category. A separate application (Part A) is required for each old bus. Applicants may be awarded a maximum of three Zero-Emission projects per funding year. Hybrid or Internal Combustion Engine school bus replacement projects are limited to one award per funding year.

Applicants will need to identify and provide information about their baseline or "old bus" as part of each initial application. Even though Zero-Emission projects allow for fleet expansion and do not require a bus to be replaced, Applicants must select a bus currently in their fleet to be used for ranking purposes. Zero-Emission projects will have the option to keep their "old bus" and limit its usage as a back-up vehicle, or destroying, per program guidelines.

Old 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
  • Bus must have current CHP Certification
  • Must be Applicant owned

The new school bus will need to be the current model year available and meet one of the following conditions:

  • Zero-Emission (battery electric or fuel cell)
  • Hybrid or Internal Combustion Engine (diesel, compressed natural gas, propane) using renewable fuel and meeting 0.20 grams per brake horse power-hour (g/bhp-hr) oxides of nitrogen emission standard and 0.01 g/bhp-hr particulate matter standard. It will be the applicants responsibility to determine if renewable fuel is available in their area.

Project Selection

Applications will be ranked first by the size of the air district they are in, then by age, and finally by mileage. Funding priority will be given to applicants that are located in a Small Air District, as defined by CAPCOA. Each application will be evaluated separately and must include information about a unique "old bus" in your fleet.

The application process will be broken into two parts, A and B. Part A of the application will collect information about school district, the old bus, and desired new bus technology type. Part B of the application will be sent only to Applicants selected for funding after the initial ranking, based on the information provided in Part A. The Applicants will then be required to submit more detailed information about the new bus, provide an estimate for the new bus, and demonstrate renewable fuel availablity, if applicable. Should Part B demonstrate a project is ineligible, another project will be selected from the list.

Year 3 Selection Information

RSBPP YR 3 GGRF 18-19 Selection for Website - 9-11-20.pdfRSBPP YR 3 GGRF 18-19 Project Ranking.pdf

Year 2 Selection Information

RSBPP YR 2 GGRF 17-18 Selection for Website - 5.20.20.pdfRSBPP YR 2 GGRF 17-18 Selection for Website.pdfRSBPP YR 2 GGRF 17-18 11-25-19 Selection for website.pdfRSBPP YR 2 GGRF 17-18 Selection List.pdfRSBPP YR 2 GGRF 17-18 Project Ranking.pdf

Funding Levels

  • Zero-Emission school bus - $400,000
  • Electric school bus infrastructure - $5,000
  • Hybrid/Internal Combustion Engine school bus and incremental renewable fuel costs - $165,000

The grant award cannot 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 are encouraged to check with their local Air District for potential co-funding opportunities. However, total grant funding cannot exceed eligible project costs.

Applications and Forms

RSBPP Resolution for Schools to Use 6-6-18.pdfApplication Package - Part A, 6-18-2018.pdfApplication Part B, 9-18-18.pdfAttachment D Old Bus Designation Form 12-20-2018.pdfAttachment B Reimbursement Request Form 12-20-18.pdfAttachment C Dismantle Certification Form 12-20-2018.pdf

Year 2 Application Workshop - June 13, 2018

RSBPP GGRF 17-18 Application Workshop 6-12-18.pdf

Additional Resources


For more information about this grant please contact us at (707) 443-3093 or by email.