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Sacramento's light rail will buy new vehicles with money from cap-and-trade proceeds. Image: Wikipedia
The Sacramento Regional Transit District will refurbish light rail vehicles with money from cap-and-trade proceeds. Image: Wikipedia
Sacramento's light rail will buy new vehicles with money from cap-and-trade proceeds. Image: Wikipedia

The California Transportation Commission began the process of allocating funds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund at its monthly meeting on Friday. The first official allocations for the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program went to Sacramento, LA's MetroLink, and San Diego for projects that will allow them to offer better transit service, thus encouraging transit ridership and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Meanwhile, the program is moving into its second round of considering projects to receive the cap-and-trade funds. It was created last year as one of the programs charged with using cap-and-trade funds to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, along with high speed rail and the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program. Fourteen projects were awarded a total of $224 million in the first round.

Two workshops will be held this week—one tomorrow in Los Angeles, and one in Sacramento on Thursday--to talk about current program guidelines and “help shape the future of the program.” [PDF]

    • Tuesday, September 1, 3 to 5 p.m.Metro Board RoomOne Gateway Plaza, 3rd floorLos Angeles
    • Thursday, September 3, 10 am to noon915 Capitol Mall, Conference Room 587, 5th floorSacramento

The three agencies that were awarded funds on Friday are the first of fourteen that won funding approval by the California State Transportation Agency in June. They are:

    • Sacramento Regional Transit District (Sac RT) will receive $6 million to refurbish seven light rail vehicles. This will allow the agency provide fifteen-minute peak-hour service, and enable future limited-stop service on the Gold and Blue lines.
    • Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) will receive $41 million to buy nine new clean locomotives, to improve and increase service on the Ventura and Antelope Valley lines.
    • San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) will receive $4 million to complete the last eleven miles of the South Bay Bus Rapid Transit project between downtown and the international border, with new natural-gas-powered buses and increased service. The project will also include a new intermodal transportation center at the border connecting to trolleys and Amtrak.

The other  eleven already-approved TIRC projects will be allocated funds at future CTC meetings, as agencies request funds.

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