Another active Bike Month pedals to a close

CalSTA celebrated another successful bike month with the adoption of the first statewide bicycle and pedestrian plan, Toward an Active California. The plan lays out lays out policies and actions to support active modes of transportation in order to achieve Caltrans’ ambitious goals to double walking and triple bicycling trips by 2020, and reduce bicycle and pedestrian fatalities by ten percent each year.

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The Bike and Ped Plan made its debut at the Capitol Bike Fest

Released just weeks after the Road Repair and Accountability Act provided an additional $1 billion for Active Transportation Project grants, the plan aims to fulfill the six goals outlined in the California Transportation Plan 2040, and introduces 15 strategies and 60 actions that are specific to active transportation. At the core of the plan are four objectives: safety, mobility, preservation, and social equity. bike ped plan For more details about the plan, please visit www.cabikepedplan.org.

In addition to the plan, Caltrans districts across the state participated in local Bike to Work week activities and discussed active transportation planning in their region.

Caltrans District 4 was out in Oakland to talk about bicycle-focused infrastructure.
Caltrans District 6 participated in National Bike to Work Day
CHP and Caltrans District 11 staff participated in a Bike to Work ride in Old Town San Diego
Caltrans District 12 staff participated in a Bike to Work ride in Santa Ana

Chipper even got in on the fun during Bike to Work Week!

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Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty also went on his annual Director’s bike ride where staff from the state, county, and cities toured bike infrastructure in the Sacramento region and discussed more bicycle-focused transportation planning.

The Director also participated in a multimodal field trip with Streetsblog CA to talk about the new bike and pedestrian plan, taking the Capitol Corridor from Sacramento to Emeryville and then riding across the Bay Bridge. For more on their adventure: http://cal.streetsblog.org/2017/05/26/a-multimodal-field-trip-in-honor-of-cas-new-bike-and-pedestrian-plan/

California continues to advance its goals for a more active transportation landscape across the state.

Caltrans plans for a more sustainable transportation future

Last month, Caltrans awarded $9.2 million in sustainable transportation planning grants to programs across the state.

These grants include plans and studies for complete streets, connectivity, multimodal transportation, transit hubs and station areas, corridors, active transportation and community engagement outreach throughout the state.

“Sustainability is important at every stage of a project, from planning to construction. These grants help Caltrans achieve its mission of providing a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system and ensure all Californians have more livable and economically vibrant communities,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

Approximately $1.5 million was awarded for Strategic Partnership grants which encourage regional agencies to partner with Caltrans to identify and address statewide/interregional transportation deficiencies in the state highway system; strengthen government-to-government relationships; and ultimately result in programmed system improvements.

Grant recipients include cities, counties, transit agencies, tribal governments and metropolitan and regional transportation agencies throughout the state.

One of these grantees is the Murphy State Route 4 Complete Streets Corridor Plan in Calaveras County which would provide safe multi-modal travel options for residents and visitors. Another project is the Central Core Connectivity and Active Transportation Plan in the City of Brea which will gives residents and visitors more opportunities for walking, bicycling, and transit use.

These grants are for planning only. Planning is a crucial first step in creating projects that could ultimately lead to sustainable transportation improvements. For these grants, Caltrans received 132 applications totaling about $30 million in requests.

For a complete list of grant recipients, visit Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant Program page.

In addition to these grants, Caltrans partnered with the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Berkeley to host the 2017 California Transportation Planning Conference on May 2-5. The conference featured speakers from the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, CalSTA, Caltrans, and regional and local stakeholders.

17_12521D-001The conference kicked off with a welcome session with Janette Sadik-Khan, former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation from 2007–2013 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In her keynote, she shared success stories in redesigning streets around people.

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Other topics discussed at the conference included exploring new transportation funding sources, transportation investments and economic development, transportation equity, rural transportation sustainability, adapting transportation to a changing climate, and demographic shifts shaping new mobility demands.

Participants were also able to tour a new county connection electric shuttle in Walnut Creek and also visit the Port of Oakland.

The Conference allowed participants, and the state, to exchange ideas and learn about emerging technologies, policy developments, and advancements in planning from experts at every level. Caltrans continues to prioritize a vision for a more sustainable transportation future.

CalSTA programs continue to improve service and access for public transit in Orange County

As part of CalSTA’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP), the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) recently implemented a mobile ticketing system through their OC Bus app to make purchasing tickets on the go more convenient for transit riders. The application and ticketing equipment was partially funded by TIRCP funds and mobile ticketing is available for regular fares and college passes. The OCTA anticipates including senior and disabled fares in Spring 2017. Riders can add fares instantly and store multiple passes within the app making boarding the buses faster and easier than before.

CalSTA’s Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP) also helped fund a reduced day pass for OCTA riders for a six-month period. Riders can travel across Orange County with these day passes. The pass can also be purchased on the mobile ticketing app.

Both the LCTOP and TIRCP programs are funded through the Cap and Trade Program’s auction proceeds and its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. The LCTOP provides funding to transit agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility, with a priority on serving disadvantaged communities. The TIRCP funds transformative capital improvements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase transit ridership, integrate rail services and improve safety.

For more information on these programs:
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/MassTrans/tircp.html
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/MassTrans/lctop.html

Capitol Corridor Celebrates 25 Years of Service

On Tuesday, Secretary Kelly joined the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) to celebrate 25 years of service from Sacramento to San Jose. In 1990, voters recognized the need to fund passenger train service between the Bay Area and Sacramento and, through Prop 108 and Prop 111, supported bond measures to help fund the Capitol Corridor.

Service started in 1991 with just six trains making three round trips daily, at that point annual ridership was 238,000. For Valley locals and Bay Area denizens alike, the amenities of passenger rail did not go unnoticed. In 1991, a review in the Lodi News-Sentinel noted that the train had an observation platform, spacious cars with high-backed reclining seats, and a snack-bar car.

inagtrainPhoto Courtesy of CCJPA

In 1996, SB 457, the Intercity Passenger Rail Act authored by State Senator David Kelley created the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Board, comprised of six local transportation agencies along the route. The CCJPA was tasked with running the train service and increasing ridership. Today, the Board also includes two metropolitan planning organizations, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

Over the past 25 years, the Capitol Corridor trains have continued to increase service from three to fifteen weekday round trips and provide important direct connections with 10 local public transit systems and five passenger rail systems. Perhaps as a nod to California’s innovation centers, the Capitol Corridor was the first in the nation to test and develop Amtrak’s mobile ticketing systems and among the first to add in-train Wi-Fi.

2016 was a record-setting year for the CCJPA with ridership and revenue up significantly. The Capitol Corridor is the second highest ridership corridor on the Amtrak system, outside of the Northeast Corridor, carrying a record 1,560,000 riders last year.

Intercity rail continues to play a pivotal role in our transportation landscape. At CalSTA, we’ve recognized the great success of the Capitol Corridor route and have continued to work with the CCJPA to make service more efficient, reliable, and accessible. In 2015, CalSTA invested Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) funding in a $15 million effort to reduce travel times by 10 minutes between Sacramento and San Jose, benefiting not just the Capitol Corridor, but also ACE and San Joaquin rail services.

In August, CalSTA announced an additional award of TIRCP funding as part of a $70 million program to increase rail service to Roseville, and to develop a service optimization plan to increase ridership through improved reliability, better schedules and service integration, and more efficient service delivery. The funding will conduct track and facility improvements for 3 peak period Amtrak trains in each direction per day between Sacramento and Roseville. The additional service will not only benefit commuters to Sacramento, but those traveling to Davis, Solano County and all the way into the Bay Area.

We look forward to celebrating another 25 years of success with the CCJPA!

For more information on the Capitol Corridor, click here.

Caltrans Welcomes New Deputy Director for Sustainability

Caltrans announced the appointment of Ellen Greenberg as its new Deputy Director for Sustainability, who will oversee Caltrans’ continued efforts to shift and align its policies and practices to improve the environment, the economy and social equity for all Californians.

“Ellen will be a valuable addition to the Caltrans Executive Team,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “She will help Caltrans advance its sustainability commitment by applying those principles into the planning, design, maintenance and operation of California’s vast transportation system.”

Greenberg has overeg 30 years’ experience working with cities, transportation agencies and non-governmental organizations to guide development, conservation and transportation decisions. She comes to Caltrans from Arup, an independent design, planning and engineering firm, where she’s worked since 2010. Greenberg served in the leadership of Arup’s planning and infrastructure groups in San Francisco. During her time at Arup, she worked with transportation agencies including LA Metro, the Maricopa County (Arizona) Association of Governments, Translink (Vancouver Region) and the SF Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Ellen was lead author of Caltrans’ Smart Mobility Framework, which was initiated with support from the U.S. EPA Office of Sustainable Communities. Other areas of work with the EPA office have included urban eco-districts, reuse of obsolete shopping malls and sustainable street design. She also was appointed as the first visiting practitioner at the University of California, Davis National Center for Sustainable Transportation.

For further details about Ms. Greenberg’s background, view Governor Brown’s appointment announcement here.

Learn more about the sustainability efforts underway by visiting Caltrans’ Sustainability page at http://www.dot.ca.gov/sustainability/

Transportation Agency Awards $390 Million in Cap and Trade Grants to Expand Transit, Reduce Emissions and Create Jobs

Sacramento –  Tuesday, the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) announced 14 recipients for the 2016 Transit and Intercity Capital Program (TIRCP) grants.  The group of projects moves forward the Brown Administration’s focus on reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions while advancing the state’s public transportation system. This year’s awards total $390 million in competitive grants made possible through the state’s Cap and Trade auction proceeds.

“This investment of Cap and Trade dollars is really about transforming this state’s transportation system to create jobs, reduce harmful emissions, and expand mobility options so Californians can get around as efficiently and conveniently as possible,” said CalSTA Secretary Brian Kelly.

“Today we invest in California’s future—improved bus services in Fresno, BART to San Jose in the Bay Area, expanded ACE service to better connect the Northern San Joaquin Valley with Silicon Valley, new streetcar systems in Sacramento and Santa Ana, electrified transit services in the Bay Area and Southern California, vital improvements to LA Metro’s Green, Purple and Red lines, expanded rail services between Southern California cities and the Central Coast, and a new rail service connecting a major university with downtown San Bernardino.

California’s transportation future is about providing good, clean travel options while expanding access to mobility and economic opportunity for all.  This Cap and Trade program delivers today and promises to deliver much more in the future.  I’m proud to put these vital transportation dollars to work for all Californians.”

41 applications for funding from around the state were submitted for consideration this year. The 14 projects selected, valued at more than $3.8 billion, will reduce more than 4.1 million tons of CO2 statewide and 13 of the 14 recipient projects directly benefit disadvantaged communities.

Looking ahead, through Senate Bill 9 (Beall, 2015) CalSTA will be adopting a 5-year program of projects by July 1, 2018.  The 5-year program calls for larger, more transformative projects to be funded.  With that, the state anticipates being a long-term funding partner to see transformative projects come to fruition, for example:

  • The BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension to San Jose Diridon and Santa Clara stations
  • Commuter and intercity rail projects in northern California, such as expanded ACE, San Joaquin and Capitol Corridor service, that will link the high-speed rail project to millions of Californians through shared stations in the Bay Area and the Central Valley
  • Expanded capacity for Los Angeles Union Station
  • Commuter and intercity rail projects in southern California, such as expanded Metrolink, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, and Coaster service that will link the high-speed rail project to millions of Californians through shared stations in the south
  • Street car, light rail, and high-frequency bus projects all around the state that expand transit ridership with zero-emission vehicles well suited to the achievement of climate goals
  • Investments in stronger integration between local transit and the statewide high speed, intercity and regional rail network, such as those underway in Fresno, that grow ridership and increase the utilization of existing services
  • Expansion of the intercity rail network into new markets, such as the Coachella Valley and the Central Coast, and development of zero emission services on the intercity feeder bus network

CalSTA will hold workshops in late 2016, continuing into 2017, to receive public input on guideline development for the 2018 program.

Project funding for the 2016 awards will be supported by Cap and Trade auction proceeds from eight anticipated auctions in fiscal year 2016-17 and 2017-18, so cumulative auction proceeds are more important than the amount of revenue received from a single auction.

If the Legislature directs additional funds to the TIRCP in this legislative session, CalSTA may increase funding for announced awards and/or fund additional projects submitted as part of the 2016 program.

A complete list of this year’s recipients can be found here:

Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program 2016 Awards 
Detailed Project Award Summary