Accelerating Clean Transportation School Bus (ACTBUS)

Background 

ACT School Bus will deploy $8M for bus fleet electrification planning and support to Massachusetts school districts. MassCEC currently has two program opportunities under ACT School Bus for Massachusetts school districts, including school districts that partner with third-party fleet operators. MassCEC is retaining two technical consultant teams to support these efforts. ACT School Bus programming is intended to complement the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean School Bus Program.   Navigate to the Application Materials below to find our ACT School Bus Q&A.

Which program is right for my school district? 

Deployment Technical Assistance

The ACT School Bus Fleet Deployment Program offers up to $2M in flexible funding for 3 Massachusetts school bus fleets. Services offered by the technical consultant include:  

  • Assistance with the electric school bus procurement process 

  • ESVE charging infrastructure selection, procurement, and installation 

  • Support for additional cost items such as depot upgrades  

  • Data collection on electric school bus performance 

  • Plans for future electrification 

Advisory Services  

Up to 30 school bus fleets will receive free electrification planning services under the ACT School Bus Advisory Services Program. There is no formal application for the program; instead, school districts may fill out the Advisory Services Interest Form to indicate their interest. The Advisory Services Program will help school districts answer the following questions: 

  • What other funding opportunities are out there to help my district plan for electrification?   

  • Which routes are the best fit for early electrification?  

  • What are the key costs and savings associated with electrification?   

  • What are the best charging options for my fleet?  

  • What infrastructure changes must be made to my district’s bus depot? 

Program Area
Clean Transportation
Questions? Contact

Funding Schedule

The timeline* for ACTBus is:

PROCESS STEP

TIMING

Release Fleet Advisory and Program Services RFPs

Opened: July 27, 2022​

Deadline: August 29, 2022 @ 4:00 p.m. EDT

Release School RFP

Opened: August 30, 2022​

Deadline: November 7th, 2022 at 4:00 PM EST

Award Selection

Early Fall 2022

Project Deployment and Advisory Services Launch

Fall 2022

*All dates are subject to change at MassCEC’s discretion.

Resources

ACT School Bus Program Background

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 awarded clean transportation projects, three of which were school bus electrification grants and six of which provided positive environmental justice benefits. 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, span a range of topic areas including e-bike pilots and EV consumer education and will be deployed in various environmental justice neighborhoods and Gateway Cities across the Commonwealth. MassCEC developed the ACT School Bus program to complement the EPA's Clean School Bus funding and also to 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 Program Background

Following the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the EPA's Clean School Bus Program will provide five billion dollars over the next five years (FY22-26) for clean school bus programming. Under the program, half of the funding is dedicated for 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 include 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. The EPA intends to prioritize applications from organizations that service high-need school districts and low income areas, rural school districts, and tribal school districts. Applications will be open via online form from May-August 2022, and applicants will be notified of their selection status in October 2022.

Additional Funding Opportunities