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

 

Advertisements

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.

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

Unveiling Metrolink’s Tier 4 Locomotives

On July 18th, Metrolink unveiled its new Tier 4 locomotive at Los Angeles’ Union Station. The state-of-the-art locomotives will reduce particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 85 percent.  In addition to the environmental benefits, the new Tier 4 locomotives will also move passengers more quickly and reliably.

Metrolink is the first commuter rail agency nationwide to purchase the Tier 4 locomotives.  More than $110 million in funding for the project was provided by various state partners including CalSTA through the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) and the California High-Speed Rail Authority through Rail Connectivity funding.

 

California climate investments paving the way to a more sustainable transportation system

SACRAMENTO – Across the state, California is making significant investments to combat climate change. Through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), cap-and-trade auction proceeds are improving the state’s energy efficiency, reducing waste and creating more sustainable communities.

Here in the transportation world, cap-and-trade proceeds are funding capital improvements that cut greenhouse gases by creating a more integrated transit system and reducing the number of miles people drive.

As early as August, we here at the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) will announce the projects selected from the 41 applications received for the next round of Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) grants. An estimated $449 million is available, primarily from auction proceeds from the Cap-and-Trade Program, to fund projects that will expand public transportation ridership and capacity to help the state meet its climate goals.

Last year, we awarded $224 million dollars in competitive grants to 14 transit improvement projects around the state through the TIRCP. Collectively these projects were estimated to prevent 860,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions from entering our atmosphere.

The following are a few of the ongoing transportation projects funded by the TIRCP:

  • Pacific Surfliner Transit Transfer Program: Thanks to $1.675 million in TIRCP funding, the Pacific Surfliner Transit Transfer Program offers free transfers between 23 daily Pacific Surfliner trains and 12 connecting local transit providers along a 351-mile route in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Louis Obispo counties. The program encourages ridership on both passenger rail and local transit services – resulting in fewer cars on the road and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Bravo! Route 560 Bus Service: A $2.3 million grant from the TIRCP to the Orange County Transit Authority allowed for the launch of a faster, more environmentally friendly commute option for travelers between Santa Ana and Long Beach. The Bravo! route gives commuters an average travel time savings of 15 percent over the existing Route 60 service, which currently takes more than 90 minutes from Santa Ana to Long Beach. Buses on the route also run on cleaner-burning compressed natural gas.

This year, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) also approved $74.6 million in funding for 131 local projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving public transportation through the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP).

The LCTOP receives a continuous appropriation of 5 percent of total cap-and-trade funds, and is designed to improve transportation mobility with a priority on serving disadvantaged communities. In this year’s funding round, 85 of the 131 projects awarded funding specifically targeted disadvantaged communities. Last year, the LCTOP awarded $24 million for 95 low-carbon transportation grants to transit operators across the state.

For a full list of this year’s LCTOP funded projects, click here.

###