SRTS High School Grant

Youth Grant

The grant application period for the 2019-20 school year has closed.

Spare the Air Youth is funding high school student-led activities that have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from sources related to transportation. Spare the Air Youth (STAY) is a program of the Metropolitan Transportation Commision (MTC) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District). The grant program is being managed by Alta Planning + Design and the Center for Climate Protection.

The grant will provide technical assistance funding to program providers (also referred to in this application as “vendors”) to support high school groups. The Grant Program will select School Teams from high schools across the nine-county Bay Area to support activities that encourage student use of active and shared transportation options including walking, biking, carpooling, and taking transit.

A successful application will include input from all members of the leadership team (typically comprised of a program provider, students and a teacher champion) as well as a statement of support from school administration.

Program providers that have received Spare the Air Youth High School Grant funding in the past are encouraged to apply to this round of the High School Grant. Competitive re-submittals will build on lessons learned from the previous grant implementation.

Grant application materials can be downloaded under the "Application Components" in the left sidebar.


The main goals of the High School SRTS Grant Program include:

  1. Increase peer-to-peer encouragement for active and shared transportation options for a diverse group of students
    • Enable students of color, students who identify as women, trans, and/or non-binary, and students from lower income backgrounds to participate in the program.
    • Provide geographically-distributed participation around the San Francisco Bay Area.
  2. Increase opportunities for students to learn leadership skills through a service learning approach
    • Support local student groups in implementing education/outreach programs to reduce drive-alone trips and educate their peers about the benefits of active transportation.
    • Teach students how to collect and calculate data from C02 reductions and impacts.
  3. Increase youth leadership development throughout the region
    • Increase high school student involvement in environmental/sustainability-related clubs.
    • Provide opportunities for student-led initiatives and campaigns.
    • Partner with the Youth for Environment and Sustainability Conference to engage more students and provide a platform for participants to communicate the meaningful impact of their work.

What activities can be funded?

Eligible projects will be school-based, education, encouragement, enforcement and/or evaluation projects. All projects must include grant administration, pre- and post-program data collection, and a minimum of two elective activities. Eligible programs will promote youth leadership while also working toward the larger goals of the Spare the Air Youth program (see goals above). Contact [email protected] with questions about whether an activity not listed is eligible.

The below example projects provide a range of eligible elective activities. Click an activity type for a complete description and examples:

Selection criteria and timeline

Grant applications are due on May 1, 2019 and successful applicants will be awarded by email on May 15, 2019. A kick-off meeting that will lay out funding and reporting requirements will be held on a determined date in August 2019.


The evaluation committee will evaluate proposals against the evaluation criteria shown in the table below.

  10 points 5 points 0 points
Clarity and comprehensiveness of proposal A clearly articulated and comprehensive project that addresses a specific problem. A partially clear and comprehensive project that is not connected to a specific problem. Proposal is incomplete.
Potential reach A well rounded multi-tiered strategy that reaches a variety of students at different engagement levels. A partially clear strategy to reach a variety of students at different engagement levels. Program focuses on a strategy that only engages students on a single level.
Engages leadership teams School and student leaders are deeply involved in project planning and implementation. School and student leaders are superficially involved in the planning, or little leadership is required by students in implementation. Schools and students are not involved in leadership roles.
Potential for mode shift Activities have a direct impact on mode shift. Activities focus on actions that indirectly impact mode shift. Activities have little or no likelihood for mode shift.
Ability to engage with underserved youth Applicant school is Title 1 (75% or more of
students qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch programs).
Activities engage with communities of color or
minority populations (such as through AVID, alternative school, or similar
No plan for engaging with underserved
Ability to deliver a final product in a timely
and on-budget manner

Program providers have a strong pre-existing relationship with the school site and leadership team.

If program provider has received past STAY funds, they have administered funding in a timely and communicative manner.

Program providers have a minimal or new relationship with the school site and leadership team.

If program provider has received past STAY funds, they have partially administered funding in a timely and communicative manner.

No relationship with the school site and leadership team.

If program provider has received past STAY funds, they have not administered funding in a timely and communicative manner.

The evaluation committee will review all proposals and contact applicants as needed for additional information, clarification, and/or modification. Based upon its review and the funding available, the evaluation committee will select projects for grant funding.

Minimum Insurance Coverages

View the minimum insurance coverage details.

Funding Restrictions

The fund source for these competitive grants is federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funds. All projects funded by CMAQ must meet certain federal fund eligibility and project delivery requirements. Incentives are not eligible, but outreach and marketing materials are eligible. Grant recipients are required to provide regular and timely reporting of activities and results to the Spare the Air Youth project team.

Reporting Requirements

Funded vendors will provide monthly progress reports by the 5th of the month for each individual grant recipient they are working with. Monthly reports will provide the project number, grant recipient, school(s) involved, and will list activities conducted during the month, including dates, locations, and number of participants or attendees at events. Alta shall pay each invoice properly submitted by and due to vendor within thirty (30) days of the date of payment by MTC to Alta for Services covered by vendor’s invoice or as required by law.

Contact Us

For questions regarding the application, please email [email protected]