Progress Continues on Sustainable Freight Action Plan

CalSTA is working with Caltrans to develop work plans for two sustainable freight pilot projects, which are a product of the Governor Brown’s executive order on sustainable freight.  These projects demonstrate advanced technology that works towards achieving the goals of the Sustainable Freight Action Plan (Action Plan).

The first pilot project, Advanced Technology Corridors at Border Ports of Entry, will deploy advanced technologies to establish an integrate data system to improve freight mobility and air quality along the CA – Mexico border. The pilot deploys technology necessary for building a sophisticated binational border wait time measurement and information dissemination system. Long-term, optional phases of the pilot include strategies for incentivizing zero emissions trucks (i.e. dedicated zero emission crossing lanes and/or toll discounts for zero emissions truck). The project covers includes border crossings and southbound routes in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

The second project, Advanced Technology for Truck Corridors, consists of three major components: the first component deploys advanced communications systems designed to improve truck mobility along the I-710 South highway; the second component pilots needed truck parking in Riverside County; and the last component defines a high-level plan for deploying charging and alternative fueling stations along I-710 South.

At the two-day Sustainable Freight Symposium in Santa Monica last month, industry experts and policy makers discussed the future of California’s freight transport system.  Secretary Brian Kelly also joined the group for part of the discussion.  This Symposium is one action item listed in the Action Plan and covered many topics from land use practices to improving community engagement. 20170719_0933101

Another hot topic covered at the Symposium was the transitioning of California’s freight transport system to zero and near zero-emission technologies.  California is looking towards the future and working to improve system efficiency.

Sustainable Freight was also the topic of July’s Women in Transportation Sacramento (WTS) lunch, focusing on the changing landscape of the freight industry and how to match continually shifting demand with sustainability goals.  Dr. Miguel Jaller, Assistant Professor of Transportation Engineering at the University of California Davis, recently authored two white papers discussing efficiency strategies ranging from port operations to last-mile distribution.  Some of those strategies were incorporated into the Governor’s Action Plan.

For more information about the Sustainable Freight Action Plan and the pilot projects: http://www.casustainablefreight.org/

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Cap-and-Trade dollars continue to fund pivotal transportation projects across the state

This week, Caltrans announced 125 local projects had received $34.5 million in funding from the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program. These projects continue California’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the sustainability of public transportation systems around the state.

The Low Carbon Transit Operations Program is one of several state programs which are funded through auction proceeds from the California Air Resources Board’s Cap-and-Trade Program into the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Funding from this program goes toward direct investments in transit projects that reduce GHG emissions and benefit disadvantaged communities throughout California.

These projects are part of the California Climate Investments, which provide a variety of additional benefits to California communities. Some of the local projects that will benefit from these funding disbursements include:

  • Expanded Service on the 9R: $3,764,725 to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to expand transit service on Route 9R San Bruno Rapid Line, increasing mobility and encouraging a greater use of transit.
  • New Gold Line Foothill Extension Operations: $5,977,936 to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to add service to six new stations that extend light rail transit service in the San Gabriel Valley.
  • Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Phase 2B: $683,459 to the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority to extend the Metro Gold Line light rail service from Azusa in Los Angeles County to the Montclair Transcenter in San Bernardino County. The project would improve mobility and access within the corridor by providing fast, convenient and reliable transit service.
  • Modesto Downtown Transit Center: $255,849 to the City of Modesto to improve the Downtown Transit Center to increase the safety and comfort of Modesto Area Express public transit customers.
  • Watsonville Zero Emission Replacement Bus: $243,290 to Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District to purchase one zero-emission, battery-electric public transit bus and related charging infrastructure to replace one diesel-fueled bus. This project will benefit the disadvantaged communities within Watsonville by reducing environmental impacts associated with public transit buses operating in the community.

A complete list of the 125 projects can be found here. Eighty-six of the projects are targeted specifically to benefit disadvantaged communities. Of the $34.5 million in funding allocated, $29.6 million will benefit disadvantaged communities.

In addition to the LCTOP, CalSTA administers cap-and-trade funding through the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). The TIRCP funds transformative capital improvements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase transit ridership, integrate rail services and improve safety.

TIRCP grantees took to Twitter this month to show how cap-and-trade funds have helped improve and increase service across the state. You can find more information on TIRCP and past grant recipients here:  http://www.dot.ca.gov/drmt/sptircp.html

 

Both the LCTOP and TIRCP programs are funded through the Cap and Trade Program’s auction proceeds and its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. The Cap-and-Trade Program is one of many programs developed under AB 32 to fight climate change. It is designed to reduce greenhouse gases from the largest sources of emission in California, and to drive innovation and steer the State toward a clean energy economy.

For more information on the Cap-and-Trade Program visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/capandtrade.htm

For more information on the State’s program to spend auction proceeds from the Cap-and-Trade Program visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/auctionproceeds/auctionproceed

 

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.