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Zero-Emission Bus Resources

Zero-Emission Bus Resources

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The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office) hosted a webinar introducing the latest resources available to help transit agencies and school bus fleets transition to zero-emission buses. Presenters from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) showed how to use the new Route Planning Tool, which assists school bus fleets in determining the bus power usage and charger power needs for their unique bus routes. This webinar also demonstrated how school and transit bus fleets can apply for free technical assistance to develop customized fleet electrification transition plans through this year’s Clean Bus Planning Awards.

Zero-Emission Fleet Transition Plan

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law amended the statutory provisions for the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Competitive Program (49 U.S.C. § 5339(b)) and the Low or No Emission Program (49 U.S.C. § 5339(c)) to include a requirement that any application for projects related to zero-emission vehicles include a Zero-Emission Transition Plan.

The cost of developing a transition plan is not eligible under the Buses and Bus Facilities or Low-No Program, but is eligible under the planning programs (49 U .S.C. § 5305) as well as under the urbanized area formula (49 U.S.C. § 5307) and rural area formula programs (49 U.S.C. § 5311).

Plan Components

As defined in statute, a Zero-Emission Transition Plan must: 

  • Demonstrate a long-term fleet management plan with a strategy for how the applicant intends to use the current request for resources and future acquisitions.
  • Address the availability of current and future resources to meet costs for the transition and implementation.
  • Consider policy and legislation impacting relevant technologies.
  • Include an evaluation of existing and future facilities and their relationship to the technology transition.
  • Describe the partnership of the applicant with the utility or alternative fuel provider.
  • Examine the impact of the transition on the applicant’s current workforce by identifying skill gaps, training needs, and retraining needs of the existing workers of the applicant to operate and maintain zero-emission vehicles and related infrastructure and avoid displacement of the existing workforce. 

FTA understands the length and complexity of an agency’s plan will vary depending on a number of factors, including the size of the agency’s fleet, service provided, etc.  Applicants are encouraged to develop a plan that meets their needs while also ensuring that the required content is included.   

If applicants have a similar plan in place that addresses some or all of these components, they may submit that plan to satisfy this requirement.  If the plan, does not cover all of the required components, an addendum may be submitted with the plan that addresses any component not covered.    

Additional Resources


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