Friday, June 3, 2016

Encouraging Use of Public Transit and Clean Air


More Than $22 Million Awarded to 17 Projects in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties Under Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund

Funding Will Benefit Disadvantaged Communities


Caltrans District 7 today announced that 17 local projects in Los Angeles and Ventura counties aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving public transportation were issued $22.4 million in funding from the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program. This program is one of the strategies the state is employing to meet its ambitious goals to address climate change, and specifically prioritizes projects that will serve disadvantaged communities.

The 17 local projects are among 131 projects across the state that were issued $74.6 million in funding from the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program.

“These projects will benefit local communities and help cut greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging the use of public transit, embracing new technology and building a more sustainable transportation system for all Californians,” said Caltrans District 7 Director Carrie Bowen. “These projects aim to make public transportation more climate friendly, more efficient and more affordable.”

These projects are part of the California Climate Investments, which use proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a variety of additional benefits to California communities. Some of the local projects that will benefit from these funding disbursements include:

• Expanded Service for Metro’s New Expo Line: $9,818,511 to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to expand transit service along the Exposition Transit Corridor Phase 2, which extends the Metro Expo Line west to Santa Monica from Culver City. This project includes trains operating seven days a week, thus improving access to public transportation, increasing mobility and encouraging a greater use of transit.

• New Gold Line Foothill Extension: $7,007,087 to the Los Angeles County
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) for six new stations that extend light rail transit service to the San Gabriel Valley. This project includes trains operating seven days a week.

• Metrolink Expanded Service: $2,051,727 to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) to purchase a fuel-efficient locomotive for use in expanded commuter rail service to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

• Free Fare on DASH Services for Metro Pass Holders: $663,949 to the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation to provide free DASH rides for Metro pass holders to promote increased ridership on DASH by reducing the cost.

• Oxnard-Camarillo Employment Connector: $804,001 to the Ventura County Transportation Commission to provide a direct bus connection from south-central Oxnard, a disadvantaged community, to employment centers in Camarillo.

• Long Beach Transit Bus Stop Improvements: $512,596 to Long Beach Transit to improve up to 20 bus stops with shelters, benches, security lighting, improved pedestrian access and signs, and other amenities. The improvements will increase passenger comfort and safety, thus encouraging greater use of transit.

Among the 131 projects statewide, 85 are targeted specifically to benefit disadvantaged communities. Of the $74.6 million in funding allocated statewide, $70.4 million will benefit disadvantaged communities. A complete list of the 131 projects is available online at http://www.dot.ca.gov/paffairs/pr/2016/docs/FY_15-16_LCTOP_Project_List.pdf

The program was created to provide operating and capital assistance for transit agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility, with a priority on serving disadvantaged communities. Approved projects will support new or expanded bus or rail services, or expanded intermodal transit facilities. They may also include equipment acquisition, fueling, and maintenance and other costs to operate these services or facilities, with each project reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Low Carbon Transit Operations Program is one of several state programs 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 will go toward direct investments in transit programs that reduce GHG emissions and benefit disadvantaged communities throughout California. This program will have a continuous appropriation of 5 percent of total Cap-and-Trade funding.