Commission Approves Billions for Improvements, Projects

Tue May 05, 2020 - West Edition #10
Caltrans

The California Transportation Commission approved $2.6 billion in funding for multimodal transportation improvement projects that will move people and freight more efficiently throughout the state.
The California Transportation Commission approved $2.6 billion in funding for multimodal transportation improvement projects that will move people and freight more efficiently throughout the state.



The California Transportation Commission recently approved $2.6 billion in funding for multimodal transportation improvement projects that will move people and freight more efficiently throughout the state while improving safety and the environment.

The Commission also announced calls for new transportation projects totaling $2.4 billion. Nearly half the funding comes from recent legislation, Senate Bill 1 (Beall), known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. The Commission's actions come at a time when the state faces serious impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Commission recognizes that COVID-19 will have unprecedented impacts on the health, safety, and mobility of California's residents," said Commission Chair Paul Van Konynenburg. "During these challenging times, the Commission plans to keep working to dedicate funds to multimodal transportation projects in order to provide benefits to the residents of California. Today's actions provide critical funding for high-priority projects identified by both the state and regional agencies to meet California's multimodal transportation needs."

The Commission conducted its regularly scheduled meeting via a public teleconference, in accordance with Gov. Gavin Newsom's March 17, 2020 Executive Order N-29-20 addressing the conduct of public meetings during periods when public health official have imposed or recommended social distancing measures.

Commission Dedicates $2.6 Billion for Multimodal Transportation Projects

The State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) funds state highway, local road, active transportation, transit, and intercity rail improvements. The 2020 STIP adopted at a recent meeting makes available nearly $2.6 billion over five years. Senate Bill 1 stabilized funding for the STIP by fixing the rate on a portion of the gasoline excise tax that previously fluctuated based on gasoline prices. The legislation also indexes the rate to account for inflation.

The 2020 STIP program continues funding for existing projects and also dedicates funds to more than 30 new projects across the state, including high occupancy vehicle and express lanes, commuter and intercity rail, interchange improvements, local road reconstruction and rehabilitation, bridge replacements, bicycle and pedestrian transportation improvements, zero-emission bus purchases, and more.

Commission: New Projects Totaling $2.4 Billion

In addition, at today's meeting the Commission approved funding guidelines for three other programs that receive Senate Bill 1 funds, thereby giving the green light to regional transportation agencies and other eligible entities across the state to apply for project funding. Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the application deadlines noted below are subject to be modified at the Commission's next meeting on May 13, 2020.

2020 Trade Corridor Enhancement Program ($1.4 Billion): Created by Senate Bill 1, the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program funds infrastructure improvements on specified trade corridors and along other corridors that have a high volume of freight movement as determined by the Commission. This funding cycle provides $1.4 billion ($1 billion from Senate Bill 1 and $391 million in federal funds) over the next three fiscal years. Applications are due July 15, 2020.

2020 Local Partnership Program ($600 Million): Created by Senate Bill 1, this program funds projects for cities, counties, districts, and regional transportation agencies that have passed tax measures or imposed fees dedicated solely to transportation improvements. This funding cycle provides $600 million over the next three fiscal years. Applications are due June 12, 2020.

2021 Active Transportation Program ($446 Million): Created in 2014, this program funds projects to increase the use of active modes of transportation such as biking and walking. Senate Bill 1 nearly doubled the funding for this program. This funding cycle provides $446 million over the next four fiscal years. Applications are due June 15, 2020.

Solutions for Congested Corridors Program

The Commission also is still accepting applications for its Solutions for Congested Corridors Program until June 30, 2020. This program provides funding to achieve a balanced set of transportation, environmental, and community access improvements to reduce congestion throughout the state. The Commission announced the call for projects for this program at its January 29, 2020 meeting. This funding cycle provides $494 million over the next two fiscal years.

Information and guidelines for each program are available on the Commission's website at www.catc.ca.gov under the "Programs" tab.