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CA Wins Federal Grants to Support Transit in “Areas of Persistent Poverty”

These are competitive grants for planning, engineering, or developing transit service improvements in historically disadvantaged communities.

San Ysidro Mobility Hub rendering by SANDAG

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The Federal Transit Administration awarded 47 grants totaling $20 million in a new program called "Areas of Persistent Poverty." California received five of the grants (listed below) totaling about $2.5 million.

These are competitive grants for planning, engineering, or developing transit service improvements, adding transit routes or improving existing transit facilities, or similar projects such as creating integrated fare collection systems or coordinating transit services, in a government-defined "Area of Persistent Poverty" or "Historically Disadvantaged Community."

The purpose is to support better transit access in environmental justice communities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and address climate change.

Notice about the funding was released in January, and the awards announced late last week. In California, they include:

City of Fresno: $785,400 for a transit planning study for the historically underserved Southeast Fresno area, including identifying potential transit corridors for fixed-route service, microtransit options, and future mobility hubs.

San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG): $785,400 for planning and engineering work on the San Ysidro Transit Center to better connect it to the surrounding neighborhood and improve access to the regional transit system.

Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit): $450,000 to develop a community transit plan for the Foothill Boulevard corridor in Oakland, to include service improvements and transit priority recommendations.

City of Vista: $254,250 to create a multimodal mobility plan for the Vista Transit Center and surrounding neighborhoods, to reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips, curb pollution, and improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and drivers.

Paratransit, Inc: $254,250 to study the feasibility of a free standardized transit route serving non-emergency medical trips in disadvantaged communities in Sacramento

The competitive grants awards range from $54,300 (to the Bristol Bay Native Association in Alaska, for a plan to initiate transit service where none exists) to $778,500 (for the Chicago Transit Authority to investigate whether to open a long-closed transit station in Racine). Transit projects were awarded in a total of 37 states.

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