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Caltrans Funds 77 Jobs to Improve Public Transit, Air Quality

Caltrans has awarded approximately $560 million to 77 transportation projects that will upgrade transit service, modernize transit stations and help purchase cleaner-running buses.

Thu April 16, 2015 - West Edition
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Caltrans has awarded approximately $560 million to 77 transportation projects that will upgrade transit service, modernize transit stations and help purchase cleaner-running buses.

“Not only will these projects create jobs, they will also help curb greenhouse gas pollution and provide viable alternatives to driving cars,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

The funding is authorized through Proposition 1B, the $19.9 billion, 2006 voter-approved transportation bond, which included $3.6 billion to fund more than 1,100 transit projects over a 10-year period. The majority of Proposition 1B bond projects from the 2006 measure are either under construction or complete and providing mobility, safety and sustainability benefits today. This year’s budget appropriated the remaining Prop. 1B funds primarily in the local transit and intercity rail areas.

Examples of projects that were awarded Proposition 1B transit funding include:

• Los Angeles: $106.3 million for the Mid-City/Exposition Light Rail Transit Project. This will improve public transit service and mobility between Culver City and Santa Monica by adding 7.8 miles of new light rail line to the existing system in Los Angeles County.

• San Francisco: $81.8 million for the Central Subway light rail line that will transport passengers from South of Market to Chinatown. The 1.7-mi. (2.7 km)-long line is expected to attract an average of 42,400 passengers daily by 2030.

• Orange County: $43.5 million for the Raymond Avenue Grade Separation Project, which will construct a vehicle underpass at the rail crossing on Raymond Avenue between Walnut Avenue and Ash Avenue. The busy crossing serves Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains and Metrolink passenger trains. The new underpass will separate trains from vehicles, allowing both to use the tracks safely, and it also will eliminate waits for motorists as crossing trains pass.

• Sacramento: $9.3 million to Sacramento Regional Transit to replace aging equipment with new, clean-air buses that run on natural gas.

Caltrans and the California Transportation Commission (CTC) didn’t just deliver on their promise to keep the state’s transportation improvement projects moving forward with Proposition 1B bond funds — they also channeled more than $1 billion worth of project savings to pay for dozens of new or expanded projects.

Last December, Caltrans also allocated more than $230 million for 86 transit projects, including $45 million to purchase 550 replacement buses in Los Angeles County that run cleaner and are more accessible for passengers with disabilities.

Providing safe mobility for all users — including pedestrians, transit riders, bicyclists and motorists — supports the mission of Caltrans to “Provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability.”

In an effort to increase the construction of multimodal local streets and roads, Caltrans recently endorsed National Association of City Transportation Officials guidelines that include innovations such as buffered bike lanes and improved pedestrian walkways. Caltrans also is currently seeking ideas from the public on how to improve transportation between regions of the state to strengthen California’s economy and livability while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

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