Grant experts at consulting company Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA) have introduced a free online tool to assist school districts and school bus contractors that are looking to apply for Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund monies.
GNA, which is also a sponsor of the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo & Trade Show held in Long Beach, California in May, said it built its VW Funding Project Competitiveness Calculator to “best identify potential funding opportunities and how viable applicants’ projects could be.”
“The analysis identifies who will be managing the state funds and how much is potentially available to school buses, but also the potential incentive per vehicle and the viability of that project (i.e., how competitive that project may be and the likelihood of it receiving funds),” explained Joe Annotti, VP of programs.
Interested parties may input their fleet information into the calculator and will receive an analysis from GNA within minutes. They will be able to learn “who the state beneficiary is, how much funding is available in the state, what the status is of the state’s VW plan, and their project’s eligibility and viability,” Annotti said.
Annotti told STN that the tool has been used to evaluate over 200 transportation projects across the U.S., with almost a quarter of those being school bus projects.
He added that most users are from California, Texas and New York, due to the large amount of funding that is available to residents of these states. However, interest has also been shown by users in states with less projected VW funding, like Idaho, Maine and Louisiana.
GNA considers the Volkswagen settlement “an unprecedented opportunity for states to reduce harmful emissions and accelerate deployments of clean transportation technologies.”
“The biggest hurdle to figuring out the VW Settlements is navigating all of the opportunities,” explained Annotti. “How do you figure out where best to deploy your projects and how much could you secure?”
Annotti has completed two webinars with STN on the topic, VW Settlement & Beyond – Emissions Funding Opportunities for School Bus Deployments and VW Settlement: Best Opportunities for School Buses.
Senior Associate Brianna Lawrence was on a panel STN hosted on school bus replacement strategies at the ACT Expo. She will moderate the panel, “Identifying, Applying for and Securing Emissions Reduction Grants,” which will be held during the STN EXPO at 1:45 p.m. on July 16.