Legislation passed a Senate vote last week to extend funding of clean air transportation programs including the funding of new alternative-fueled school bus purchases and emission reduction projects.
Current funding programs tied to AB 118, AB 923 and the Carl Moyer Program are set to expire in 2014 and 2015. Ralph Knight, director of transportation at Napa Valley Unified School District norht of San Francisco and a member of the California Energy Commission's school bus committee, said AB118 money has been passed along to the air districts to fund bus replacement. Meanwhile, AB 923 funds are being used for CNG tank replacements, bus replacements and retrofits.
Sen. Christine Kehoe introduced Senate Bill 1455 in February in an attempt to increase the use of alternative transportation fuels statewide with a goal of 26-percent market penetration by 2022 for both on-road and off-road vehicles. As of 2007, the bill says that alternative fuels accounted for less than 5 percent of the transportation sector's consumption.
The legislation essentially ensures an additional $720 million in funding will be made available through 2023 for new vehicle procurement, alt-fuel infrastructure and fleet modernization programs by extending a $6 motor vehicle registration surcharge, a $1.50 tire purchase surcharge and a $20 smog check fee. A portion of the fees would be deposited into accounts that feed alt-fuel, air quality improvement and fleet modernization programs.