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tRANSPORTATION AGENCY SECRETARY ISSUES STATEMENT ON TRANSPORTATION PROJECT CUTS

April 22, 2016

SACRAMENTO- This morning the California Transportation Commission issued staff recommendations for cuts to the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).  The cuts are due to a crisis-level drop in gas tax revenue, further adding to the funding shortfall to fix our transportation infrastructure.  California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) Secretary Brian P. Kelly issued the following statement on the recommended cuts:

"The recommendation before the California Transportation Commission (CTC) to delete or delay some $1.5 billion in transportation projects underscores the reality that our current transportation funding system is broken.  Money to invest in transportation projects is declining as needs are growing.  The status quo does not serve California's economy or quality of life well.  These cuts cost us well-paying jobs and important mobility improvements.  The Governor's transportation budget proposal to re-invest in our roads, bridges and public transit would make the CTC's proposed cuts unnecessary.  It's time for Republicans and Democrats to come together and pass a comprehensive transportation funding plan."

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Transit and Intercity Rail Capitol Program Generates Statewide Interest

April 14, 2016

SACRAMENTO-The Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) funds projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by expanding public transportation ridership and capacity. On February 5, 2016, the TIRCP began a Call for Projects for the second round of program grants with an application deadline of April 5.

This year’s Call for Projects resulted in 41 project applications for a total of $3.1 billion in requested funding. Currently, an estimated $449 million is available, primarily from auction proceeds from the Cap and Trade Program. It should also be noted that the Governor’s Budget proposes additional Cap and Trade auction proceeds and loan repayments to further increase the total amount available for this second round of program grants. The enthusiastic response to this year’s Call for Projects attests to TIRCP’s crucial role as a funding source to accomplish transformative projects that will modernize and integrate transit service.

Here is a list of project titles, requested amounts and total project costs from the applications received.

CalSTA anticipates announcing project selections around August 1, 2016.

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Apply Now for Round Two of Transit & Intercity Rail Capital Program Grants

February 5, 2016, 2016

SACRAMENTO—The California State Transportation Agency is now accepting applications for the second round of Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program grants. Approximately $440 million is available from existing funds, and the Governor’s Budget proposes to add almost $900 million more, subject to funding availability. Competitive grants will be awarded to projects that make important climate investments in California’s transportation system, or projects that modernize and integrate the state’s transit and rail systems to increase ridership and reduce greenhouse gas emissions which lead to climate change.

“Last year we invested more than $220 million in transformative transit projects up and down the state,” said Brian Kelly, Secretary of the California State Transportation Agency. “This is an important next step toward investing cap and trade funds for a more sustainable transportation system that helps Californians get around reliably and efficiently, while meeting our climate objectives.”

Eligible applicants include public agencies that operate existing or planned intercity rail, commuter passenger rail, urban rail transit, bus, ferry, or vanpool services. Applicants may also partner with other transit operators to provide better integrated service across two or more providers.

All projects must demonstrate that they will achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in order to be eligible. Grant recipients must also show benefits such as improved transit ridership, integration with other rail and transit systems, including high-speed rail, and improved rail safety. The program has a goal of providing at least 25 percent of benefits to disadvantaged communities in California, and last year more than 95 percent of project funds were awarded to projects that benefited disadvantaged communities.

Applications must be submitted electronically to tircpcomments@dot.ca.gov by April 5, 2016. The Transportation Agency will announce the grant recipients later this summer.

In June of 2015, the Transportation Agency completed the first round of the Transit & Intercity Rail Grant Program, awarding $224 million to 14 transformative projects throughout California. You can see a list of those projects online here. Here’s what some of those awardees have to say:

“Metrolink is grateful for CalSTA’s investment in sustainable transportation,” said Metrolink CEO Art Leahy. “We are able to reduce our emissions by up to 85 percent through the purchase of new, state-of-the-art locomotives, which are being partially funded by Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program Grants.”

“CalSTA’s investment in public transit in increasingly populated cities like San Francisco allows more people to choose sustainable ways to get around and reduces carbon emissions across the region,” said Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. “The Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program is a critical new source of funding for our Muni light rail vehicle expansion program that will help us keep pace with the increasing demands for better, more reliable and greener public transit in San Francisco.”

In 2014, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 862, which established the Transit & Intercity Rail Capital Program. The program was then amended in 2015 by Senate Bill 9. It is one of several programs charged with using cap-and-trade auction proceeds to help the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

The official Call for Projects, with detailed information about application requirements, is located here.

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