On April 24, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an award of more than $690 million to 28 new public transportation projects to help revitalize disadvantaged communities.
This closes-out the first wave of a historic infusion of state funding to expand transit and passenger rail service throughout the state, helping to cut planet-warming pollution.
“California is making a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment to transform and modernize our transportation infrastructure, creating jobs, alternatives to driving, and reducing pollution,” said Newsom.
“Our state is placing a high priority on investing in public transportation projects that aim to shift away from fossil fuels while making public travel more rider friendly. Today’s announcement not only provides better travel alternatives but also helps to speed up our transition to a cleaner, healthier transportation future for all Californians,” he added.
This funding announcement is part of a larger, multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment to upgrade the state’s transit system to support equity, enhance mobility options, improve service and reduce overdependence on driving.
The grants, which are administered by the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) as part of the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP), follow $2.54 billion in January for a total state investment of more than $3.2 billion in public transportation in just the first four months of 2023.
“California under Governor Newsom’s leadership continues to make historic investments to expand and improve access to public transportation for the people of California,” said Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin.
“These investments will help kick-start new transit projects, create thousands of jobs and put our state in a stronger position to compete for significant federal infrastructure funding to deliver even more mobility, safety, environmental and equity benefits,” he continued.
With a total budget of more than $2.63 billion consisting of federal, state and local funding, the 28 projects will directly benefit disadvantaged communities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 2 million metric tons – the equivalent of taking more than 445,000 gas-powered cars off the road.
“Building a resilient and sustainable future for all is possible when we coordinate transit and housing investments,” said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez.
“These funding awards help expand the availability of transit options near housing, and especially affordable housing, and provide people the freedom to more easily access jobs, health care, schools and ultimately create greater economic opportunity,” she explained.
Projects receiving funding come from all regions of the state – from Humboldt, Sacramento, Santa Cruz and various Bay Area counties in the north to Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties in the south – and will result in the purchase of 277 new zero-emission vehicles statewide and the development of several high-priority mobility hubs and rail projects.
Projects receiving funding include:
- $100 million for North County Transit District, in coordination with the San Diego Association of Governments, to deliver the San Dieguito Bridge Replacement, Double Track, and Special Events Platform Project. This will replace a substandard wooden trestle bridge and construct more than one mile of double-track railroad to alleviate a key bottleneck in the LOSSAN corridor, allowing for the capacity to run an additional 10 Pacific Surfliner trains, eight commuter trains and seven freight trains.
- More than $42 million for Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority with several partner agencies to construct a regional mobility bus and mobility hub at the Sacramento Valley Station and install contactless fare payment readers on multiple regional bus systems. Also includes project development for the Hercules station, Sacramento to Roseville service expansion and the Link21 Megaregional Rail Program.
- More than $38.5 million for Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District’s Zero Emission Intercity Transit and Service Expansion Project, which will purchase 24 zero-emission buses to expand service frequency on the heavily traversed Highway 1 and Highway 17 corridors while also redeveloping the Watsonville Transit Station and Pacific Station to include more than 180 mixed‐use, affordable housing units.
TIRCP has provided more than $9.8 billion in funding to 125 projects since 2015, funded primarily from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, Cap-and-Trade program proceeds, and the General Fund.
Photo of beach area in Santa Cruz via Image by Jan-Uwe Lahann from Pixabay.