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California ARB to award $6M to Car Sharing and Mobility Options Pilot Project

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has opened a grant solicitation for applicants to implement the Car Sharing and Mobility Options Pilot Project for Fiscal Year 2016-17.

The overarching goal of this project is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and also achieve criteria pollutant emission reductions and other co-benefits through the introduction of advanced clean car sharing fleets and other mobility options into the State’s most disadvantaged communities.

CARB is suggesting four basic car-sharing models with the possibility of enhancements; the agency will consider other models, but the central feature of all projects must be the introduction of advanced technology vehicle sharing into Disadvantaged Communities.

  • Traditional Car Sharing: A network of car share users who rent a vehicle for short amounts of time (often by the hour) from a fleet of designated vehicles. Users are pre-approved to drive alone or with passengers. Users reserve a car typically online or through a smart phone application or phone call and pick up the reserved car from a designated public location. EVSE is also typically located in an open public environment.

  • Carpooling / Vanpooling: A group of users meet at a common meeting location or are picked up and travel together to a common destination, such as a work center. In this model, there is typically a regular driver and backup driver with a set of passengers.

  • Combination Car Sharing and Vanpool: A passenger vehicle or van is used to transport riders to a common destination such as work, then—during what would typically be a long period of vehicle non-use—the vehicle is available for use by members or others throughout the day until the vanpool return trip. Upon return, vehicles are available for sharing during evenings, weekends, and holidays.

  • Dial-a-ride/Ride-sharing: Vehicles with trained drivers who transport community members to various locations upon request. This model likely serves a disadvantaged community underserved by public transportation.

  • Optional enhancements to project types above include subsidies, mobility assistance, and other alternatives. Due to the pilot nature of this project, CARB is open to innovative alternative advanced technology solutions that demonstrably meet the GHG reduction, criteria pollutant emission reduction, and disadvantaged community goals of the project. CARB will consider the following for eligibility as additional components of a proposed Car Sharing Pilot project:

    • Subsidized use of an advanced technology car share project (e.g., cost of a ride, membership fees, annual fees, etc.) or subsidized use of public transportation.

    • Electric bicycles to enhance a car sharing model by providing first/last mile connections (up to 10 percent of CARB funding for a project).

    • Assistance to users for first/last-mile connections to shuttles, car sharing, or public transportation.

    • Assistance for para-transit, senior communities, or other underserved groups to benefit from advanced technology car sharing.

The current funding available is $6 million with a funding split of $4.5 million for larger projects of up to $2.25 million each and $1.5 million for small projects of up to $750,000 each. Funding is provided by Low Carbon Transportation Investments, which is funded from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) with proceeds from the State’s Cap-and-Trade Program.

The Car Sharing and Mobility Options Pilot Project will be a partnership between CARB and one or more Grantees that are selected via a competitive solicitation process. The solicitation is open to federal, State, or local government entities, non-profit organizations, and California Tribes.

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