Request for Proposals: ACT School Bus Fleet Deployment

The Challenge: Reducing Barriers to Electrifying School Buses 

Despite the health benefits of going electric, school districts face barriers to electrifying their school bus fleets. Schools face additional costs to purchase buses and associated charging infrastructure. Around 70% of districts in Massachusetts don't own their own buses and instead lease them through a third-party transportation provider. Moreover, there is a technical gap between diesel bus and electric bus operation. Without additional funding and support, school districts – especially those with resource and budget constraints – are facing significant difficulties to electrifying. 

The Opportunity: ACT School Bus - Fleet Deployment Funding 

The ACT School Bus Program aims to further school bus electrification in Massachusetts by providing necessary technical assistance and electrification planning as well as additional deployment funding to school districts and school bus fleets. The Program will amplify U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Rebate Program funds and enable successful projects that demonstrate paths to full-fleet electrification.  

Please navigate to the Application Materials below to find our newly released ACT School Bus Fleet Deployment Q&A or email to CleanTransportation@masscec.com with any questions.

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Program Area
Clean Transportation
Questions? Contact

Program Timeline

PROCESS STEP

TIMING

Release of RFP

August 30th, 2022

Webinar hosted by MassCEC

View Webinar Recording

September 19th, 2022 at 12:00 PM

Technical Assistance Available for Application Support

Early October 2022

Questions due to MassCEC via email to CleanTransportation@MassCEC.com

September 23rd, 2022

Questions with Answers Posted

Available Here

September 28th, 2022

Proposals Due

November 7th, 2022 at 4:00 PM EST

Interviews of Top Applicants

Early November

Notification of Award

November 2022

Who's Eligible​

MassCEC is accepting applications from school districts as a sole applicant and/or school districts partnered with third-party school bus fleet operators. Schools will receive funding and technical assistance for electric school bus fleet implementation projects. Further, MassCEC anticipates offering free technical assistance and planning services for bus fleets that serve public school districts considering electrification through a separate upcoming Fleet Advisory Program. School districts and bus fleets are welcome to apply for both Programs but will not be selected for both. For more information on the upcoming Advisory Program, please see the Summary Section of this RFP.

Apply

Application Process

To respond to this RFP, submit a completed proposal in electronic form (one PDF file with applicable excel attachments) via email to CleanTransportation@masscec.com

Send completed application to CleanTransportation@masscec.com

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