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CA Awards $390 Million in Cap-and-Trade Funding for Transit Capital

This week Cal - including $40M for L.A. Metro's rail connection with LAX airport. Image via Metro
This week CalSTA announced $390M in transit capital grants throughout the state, including $40M for L.A. Metro's rail connection with LAX airport. Image via Metro
This week Cal - including $40M for L.A. Metro's rail connection with LAX airport. Image via Metro

This week, the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) announced the recipients of its Transit and Intercity Capital Program (TIRCP) grants. TIRCP distributes state cap-and-trade funding to local transit agencies for projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The TIRCP awards total $390 million statewide.

The largest awards include $82M for rail improvements between San Diego and San Luis Obispo, $69M for downtown L.A. Metro subway capacity improvements, and $45M to San Francisco MTA for new light rail vehicles.

Though state cap-and-trade has been criticized by its foes, including petroleum interests, it continues to be a key source of funding for critical livability projects, including these extensive transit capital projects, plus high-speed railtransit-oriented affordable housing, and more. Governor Jerry Brown is pushing to extend cap-and-trade, and has suggested he may go as far as proposing a statewide initiative to put it to a public vote if he can't find support within the legislature. But in the meantime, the program is raising revenues, and money is being distributed.

The full list of California TIRCP projects follow after the jump, listed in alphabetic order by agency name. Details follow, and more are available on CalSTA's statewide project lists

    1. $8.9M to the Southern California Regional Zero Emission Consortium (Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District, Antelope Valley Transit Authority, SunLine Transit Agency, and Kern Regional Transit) for expanding zero-emission buses and vanpools
    2. $9M to Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority for expanded service to Roseville and related rail improvements
    3. $5M to Foothill Transit for improving service on bus line 486 between Pomona and El Monte, including electric buses
    4. $8M to city of Fresno for Bus Rapid Transit
    5. $40M to L.A. County Metro for the LAX light rail station
    6. $69.2M to L.A. County Metro for Union Station track improvements to reduce headways on Red and Purple Lines
    7. $82M to the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (with San Diego Association of Governments, North County Transit District, and Orange County Transportation Authority [OCTA]) for service and capacity improvements
    8. $28M to OCTA for streetcar and bus system mobile ticketing
    9. $20M to Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board for Caltrain electrification between San Jose and San Francisco
    10. $30M to Sacramento Regional Transit District for a new streetcar
    11. $9.2M to San Bernardino Associated Governments for Redlands Passenger Rail Project
    12. $45M to San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency for light rail vehicles
    13. $16.5M to San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission for Altamont Corridor Express Capacity Improvements
    14. $20M to Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority for BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension


1. Antelope Valley Zero Emission Buses and Vanpools
$8,930,000 to Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District on behalf of the Southern California Regional Zero Emission Consortium: AVTA, SunLine, and KRT

The project includes:

    • Ten electric buses for increased service on AVTA lines connecting with Lancaster and Palmdale Metrolink stations.
    • Four electric buses for increased service on SunLine (western Riverside County) lines including Metrolink station connections.
    • One electric bus for Kern Regional Transit service between California City and Lancaster.
    • Ten electric vanpool vehicles serving commutes between Antelope Valley and L.A.

2. Increased Rail Service to Roseville and Rail Improvements
$8,999,000 to Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority

The project includes:

    • Extending rail service to Roseville, building eight miles of a third track, a new bridge, station improvements, and more.
    • Creating a service optimization plan to connect with Altamont Corridor Express and Amtrak San Joaquin passenger rail services.
    • Adding standby electric train power to enable more trains to utilize grid electricity at the Oakland Maintenance Facility.

3. Pomona to El Monte Bus Expansion and Electrification
$5,000,000 to Foothill Transit

Foothill Transit will purchase 20 Proterra Catalyst XR battery electric buses, along with two  electric charging stations. These will be used to improve service on Line 486 (Pomona Metrolink Station to El Monte Metrolink Station), including increasing frequency from every 30 minutes to every 20 minutes.

4. Fresno Bus Rapid Transit and Rail Connectivity Project
$8,000,000 to city of Fresno

The project is a Bus Rapid Transit line expected to open in 2017, including modernized fare payment, upgrading of the most heavily used bus stops, and connections to future high-speed rail.

5. Airport Metro Connector 96th Street Transit Station
$40,000,000 to L.A. Metro

Funding goes to the planned 96th Street Station on Metro's under-construction Crenshaw/LAX light rail line. The planned landmark station will include rail, people-mover, bus, bike, and drop-off facilities.

6. Metro Red Line and Purple Line Core Capacity Improvements Project
$69,209,000 to L.A. Metro

The project will move L.A. Union Station's train turnaround from the station platforms to the nearby Division 20 Maintenance Yard. This allows for a peak four-minute wait between trains, instead of the current ten-minute wait. The project will be consistent with proposed future development of an Arts District passenger station (see coverage at Curbed and The Source).

7. Transforming Southern California Rail Travel - San Diego to San Luis Obispo
$82,000,000 to the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency in partnership with the San Diego Association of Governments, North County Transit District, and OCTA

The project adds capacity for additional Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, Metrolink, and Coaster rail services between San Diego and San Luis Obispo. Project components include:

    • Improving San Diego area rail infrastructure, including double tracking, bridges, removing bottlenecks, adding underpasses, and more.
    • Implementing the Laguna Niguel/San Juan Capistrano Passing Siding Project.
    • Conducting network integration strategic planning to improve reliability.
    • 31 new Talgo rail cars for faster and more efficient service on the Los Angeles-San Luis Obispo services.

8. Orange County Streetcar and Bus System-Wide Mobile Ticketing
$28,000,000 to OCTA

The project will build a 4.15-mile streetcar from Santa Ana to Garden Grove (pending the project's federal full-funding grant agreement expected by early 2017). In addition, OCTA will roll out mobile ticketing to all bus lines.

9. Peninsula Corridor Electrification project
$20,000,000 to Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board

The project provides faster and more frequent train service through electrification of the Caltrain corridor between San Jose and San Francisco (pending the project's federal full-funding grant agreement expected by early 2017), including the purchase of Electric Multiple Unit trainsets.

10. Sacramento Streetcar
$30,000,000 to Sacramento Regional Transit District

Funds go to the planned Downtown/Riverfront Sacramento-West Sacramento Streetcar (pending the project's federal full-funding grant agreement expected by early 2017) including nineteen stations and six streetcars.

11. Redlands Passenger Rail Project
$9,204,000 to San Bernardino Associated Governments

The project is a nine-mile frequent service rail corridor connecting the University of Redlands and Downtown San Bernardino. Construction is anticipated to start in 2017. Funds will add an additional siding to allow peak-hour Metrolink service to start its trip to Los Angeles on the Redlands Passenger Rail Corridor, rather than requiring a transfer in San Bernardino.

12. Light Rail Modernization and Expansion Program
$45,092,000 to San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

Funds go to ten new vehicles to expand capacity for the Muni light rail system. The project also supports integration with high-speed rail and transit services at the Transbay Terminal.

13. Altamont Corridor Express Capacity Improvement Program
$16,459,000 to San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission

This project extends platforms at five rail stations and procures a new locomotive for longer trains to relieve overcrowding on the Altamont Corridor Express service. Platform extensions are planned for Lathrop, Tracy, Vasco, Livermore and Pleasanton stations.

14. BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension
$20,000,000 to Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

The project (contingent on local funding measure passage in 2016) will extend frequent BART train service from Berryessa to Alum Rock, Downtown San Jose, San Jose Diridon Station, and Santa Clara.

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