The California Air Resources Board will give up to $22 million in awards to address transportation needs in disadvantage and low income networks with clean transportation alternatives under another $22 million pilot venture.
The funding, accessible through the Sustainable Transportation Equity Project (STEP), will support the planning and usage of clean transportation ventures. Lead candidates may incorporate community based organizations, federally recognized tribes and local governments. Grant applicants include partnerships between a lead applicant, co-applicants (e.g. public, private or nonprofit organizations) and community partners. Proposals are due August 31, 2020.
“The goal of this new project is for communities to make decisions about their own transportation needs, and help residents get where they need to go — be it the doctor’s office, the grocery store, or daycare — without using a personal vehicle,” CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey said.
The grants are structured to support the unique needs of a community with the overarching goal to increase transportation equity in California’s disadvantaged and low-income communities. To accomplish this, STEP offers two grant types:
Up to $2 million for multiple Planning and Capacity Building Grants to help disadvantaged and low-income communities identify residents’ transportation needs and prepare them to implement clean transportation projects like:
Community transportation needs assessments
Community engagement activities or events
Combined mobility and land use plans
Up to $20 million for one to three Implementation Grants to fund combinations of clean transportation and supporting projects that will help residents in disadvantaged communities get where they need to go without a personal vehicle including:
New bus-rapid transit or vanpool service
Bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure
Land use and mobility plan
Parking pricing program
Applicants should identify which grant type best suits their needs.
CARB will host multiple teleconference sessions to answer questions throughout the solicitation period. Technical assistance may also be provided to interested applicants. Applicants can also email STEP staff members at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that these funding amounts are not guaranteed and are subject to change. The final funding amount will be determined through a public work group meeting during the solicitation period and the resulting determination will be posted at Low Carbon Transportation Investments Meetings & Workshops.
STEP is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that has put billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities. STEP is part of a larger approach to promoting low-carbon transportation solutions in California. Other programs range from Clean Mobility Options, a pilot also providing funding for smaller-scale shared mobility projects, to the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program, providing grants and affordable financing to help get people into clean cars.