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  • Writer's pictureKristin Cooper


You are invited to apply for funding through the Sustainable Transportation Equity Project (STEP). CARB has up to $22 million available to fund planning, clean transportation, and supporting projects for multiple grantees across the State. These are highly competitive programs - with very elaborate applications - start your grant development process now! Contact us for a free evaluation of your project concept.

STEP is a new pilot that takes a community-based approach to overcoming barriers to clean transportation. STEP’s overarching purpose is to increase transportation equity in disadvantaged and low-income communities throughout California via two types of grants: Planning and Capacity Building Grants and Implementation Grants. STEP aims to address community residents’ transportation needs, increase residents’ access to key destinations (e.g., schools, grocery stores, workplaces, community centers, medical facilities), and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This solicitation is open to community-based organizations, federally recognized tribes, and local governments interested in implementing community-driven clean transportation projects. Applications submitted via email, in person, or via a delivery service provider (U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, etc.) must be delivered to CARB no later than 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time), Monday, August 31, 2020. The grant solicitation and all associated documents can be found on CARB’s webpage at

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 on CARB’s website. For future information about the public work group meeting, see: CARB will hold four Grant Applicant Teleconferences, at which time staff will be available to answer questions potential applicants’ questions regarding eligibility thresholds, proposal components, solicitation processes, and anything else related to the current STEP solicitation.

The first and final teleconferences will be open to applicants of both the STEP Planning and Capacity Building Grant and the STEP Implementation Grant. The questions and answers from the Grant Applicant Teleconferences and any questions received via email will be posted on the CARB website at CARB may collect questions via email; however, staff will only respond to questions regarding this solicitation during the Grant Applicant Teleconferences. In addition, CARB will not respond to questions after the final teleconference has taken place.


STEP is a new pilot project within Low Carbon Transportation Investments and is part of the Fiscal Year 2019-20 Low Carbon Transportation Funding Plan approved by the Board in October 2019. Low Carbon Transportation Investments is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars at work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities. Low Carbon Transportation Investments also includes other pilot projects, such as the Clean Mobility Options voucher pilot, which funds smaller-scale shared mobility projects.

Based on environmental justice principles, STEP funds projects that are priorities for historically under-served and over-burdened residents by requiring that projects center the knowledge and expertise of residents through all phases of project design, implementation, and evaluation. STEP has the flexibility to fund many different types of projects to ensure that STEP funds can help meet the needs of each community within that community’s context.

• STEP has up to $2 million available for planning and capacity building grants to help identify community resident’s transportation needs and prepare to implement clean transportation and supporting projects.

• STEP has up to $20 million available for one to three implementation grants to fund clean transportation and supporting projects. Funded projects will work together to increase community residents’ access to and use of their transportation system without a personal vehicle.

For example, one grant may fund a variety of clean transportation and supporting projects, including but not limited to zero-emission buses, a new vanpool service, bike and pedestrian paths, transit passes, parking management strategies, and an outreach and education campaign to encourage active transportation.

STEP supports the goals of Senate Bill (SB) 1275 (De León, Chapter 530, Statutes of 2014) for prioritizing low- and zero-carbon transportation alternatives; SB 375 (Steinberg, Chapter 728, Statues of 2008) for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through more integrated transportation, housing, and land use planning; and SB 350 (De León, Chapter 547, Statutes of 2015) for overcoming barriers for low-income consumers and disadvantaged communities to access clean transportation options. Disadvantaged and low-income communities are identified per Assembly Bill 1550 (Gomez, Chapter 369, Statues of 2016).

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