The ACT School Bus program is deploying $18.3 million to advance school bus fleet electrification by providing planning and support to Massachusetts public school districts. Two program opportunities are currently available: Advisory Services and Fleet Deployment. MassCEC has retained two separate technical consultant teams to support these efforts.
ACT School Bus programming is intended to complement the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Clean School Bus Program. Please continue to monitor both the ACT School Bus and EPA Clean School Bus webpages for timeline updates on future rounds of programming.
Which program is right for my school district?
Up to 25 school bus fleets will receive free electrification planning services under the ACT School Bus Advisory Services Program. This program does not provide funding to buy electric school buses. Rather, it provides technical services to public school districts and/or third-party school bus fleet operators, including
- Preparing for future funding opportunities
- Feasibility designs
- Financial modeling
- Vehicle and charging station procurement plans
- Educational materials
The ACT School Bus Fleet Deployment Program offers to each selected school bus fleet up to $2 million in flexible funding for electric school buses and associated infrastructure. Selected school districts also have the opportunity to work with MassCEC's hired technical consultant team. Services offered by the technical consultant for school districts include
- Assistance with the electric school bus procurement process
- Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) charging infrastructure selection, procurement, and installation
- Recommendations for depot upgrades
- Data collection on electric school bus performance
- Plans for future electrification
Advisory Services Program: Application Period
February - March 2023
Advisory Services Program: School District Selection and Project Launch
Rolling, beginning April - May 2023
Fleet Deployment Program: Round 2 Application Period
All dates are subject to change at MassCEC's discretion. See respective program pages for more detailed schedules.
Resources and Support
ACT School Bus Overview Webinar (2022): Recording, Slides
EPA's Guide to Electric School Buses
Support from Our Team
Email us at email@example.com with any questions or to set up a call with MassCEC's Clean Transportation team.
Virtual Office Hours: We've set up several 30-minute time slots for you to speak directly with our Clean Transportation team.
FAQ & Additional Resources
How do school districts plan for bus electrification?
- School Bus Electrification Overview and Funding Opportunities
- Planning for electric school bus deployment (WRI's key steps for school districts)
- Basic information on electric school buses (MAPC presentation re: how to purchase electric buses, utility perspective, funding sources, etc.)
What is the EPA Clean School Bus program?
- EPA Clean School Bus Program - Webinar for Massachusetts stakeholders (video, May 31, 2022)
- EPA Clean School Bus Program webinar slides (April 27, 2022)
- EPA Clean School Bus Program homepage
How do electric school buses interact with the electric grid?
- Utility interconnection guidance (Information on incentives, vehicle-to-grid programs in Massachusetts, and steps to take; programs are subject to change)
- Vehicle to Grid (V2G) webinar
Are there any examples of school bus electrification projects?
- Electric school buses: stories from the field (Panel of advocates leading electric school bus adoption in their communities)
- MAPC blog post: "Engaging Educators and Students in the Energy Transition" (Description of an ACTNow electric school bus project deployed at Beverly Public Schools and owned by Highland Electric Transportation)
How do I get others on board?
Why electric school buses? (Educational presentation template for administrative or transportation leads)
In December 2022, MassCEC awarded funding and technical assistance to six school districts across the Commonwealth under the first round of the ACT School Bus Fleet Deployment Program.
ACT School Bus
Launched in November 2019, the first round of ACT programming, Accelerating Clean Transportation Now (“ACTNow”), resulted in the deployment of $1.4 million in funding and leveraged over $2 million in external cost share funding across nine clean transportation projects, three of which were school bus electrification grants and six of which reduced air pollution in environmental justice communities. The second round of ACT programming, Accelerating Clean Transportation for All (“ACT4All”), focused on addressing transportation needs and burdens in disadvantaged communities. MassCEC awarded $5 million in funding through this equity-focused program across ten clean transportation projects. Selected projects, announced in February 2022, spanned a range of topic areas including e-bike pilots and EV consumer education and are being deployed in various environmental justice neighborhoods and Gateway Cities across the Commonwealth.
MassCEC developed the ACT School Bus program to complement EPA's Clean School Bus funding, serve as a continuation of the ACTNow school bus projects, and extend ACT4All’s equity focus by prioritizing high-needs and low-income school districts.
EPA School Bus
Following passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2021, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean School Bus Program will provide $5 billion over five years (FY22-26) for clean school bus programming. Under the program, half of the funding is dedicated to zero-emission school buses and half is for clean school buses (including zero-emission, propane, and natural gas buses). Eligible recipients for this first round of funding included state or local governments that provide bus service, contractors who sell or arrange financing for the sale of clean school buses, nonprofit school transportation associations, and tribes, tribal organizations, and tribally controlled schools. EPA prioritized applications from organizations that serve high-need school districts and low-income areas, rural school districts, and tribal school districts. Applications were open via online form from May-August 2022, and applicants were notified of their selection status in October 2022.