California Department of Transportation
 

California Department of Transportation

Date: January 14, 2015
District: Headquarters
Contact:  Tamie McGowen
Phone:  (916) 657-5060

CalSTA and Caltrans Seek Public Input on Transit-Focused
Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Program

Draft Guidelines Taking Shape for Cap-and-Trade-Funded Program, Totaling $25 Million

SACRAMENTO – CalSTA and Caltrans today announced two additional public workshops on a new grant program, the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program, for rail and bus capital improvements. The workshops are part of a broad-based State effort to invest proceeds statewide from the Cap-and-Trade Program to reduce greenhouse gases, as required under AB 32, California’s climate action law.

“Equipped with its new mission and goals, Caltrans is dedicated more than ever to help California fight climate change,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “By supporting programs that will create a more sustainable and integrated transportation system, we can help California meet the aggressive goals it set to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.”

The public is invited to participate in both workshops:

January 20: Southern California
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Board Room
One Gateway Plaza, 3rd Floor, Los Angeles, CA

January 21: Northern California
California State Capitol
4th Floor, Room 447 (Access Historic Elevators)
Entrances are on L and N Streets
Sacramento, CA 95814
10 am – 12 pm

These workshops are a continuation of previous workshops that will provide additional opportunities for public input in the drafting of the program guidelines. Written comments can also be submitted by email to tircpcomments@dot.ca.gov.

The 2014-15 State Budget provides $832 million to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund from Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds to support existing and pilot programs that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and benefit disadvantaged communities. This expenditure plan will reduce emissions through several programs, including ones modernizing the state’s rail system (including both high-speed rail and public transit), encouraging sustainable community development with an emphasis on public transportation and affordable housing, restoring forests in both urban and rural settings, increasing energy, water, and agricultural efficiency and creating incentives for additional recycling. Under SB 535 (De Leon), at least 25 percent of these funds must be invested for the benefit of California’s most disadvantaged communities.

As part of the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program, CalSTA will administer $25 million in funding in 2014-15, via a competitive grant program, to rail and bus transit operators to go toward capital improvements that integrate state and local rail and other transit systems. These will include projects located in disadvantaged communities and those that provide connectivity to the high-speed rail system. In subsequent years, the Capital Program will receive 10% of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

Once guidelines are finalized, CalSTA and Caltrans will solicit applications and prepare a list of projects to be recommended for funding by the California Transportation Commission. The draft guidelines for the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program are located here.

The Cap-and-Trade Program is one of many programs developed under AB 32 to fight climate change. It is designed to reduce greenhouse gases from the largest sources of emission in California, and to drive innovation and steer the State toward a clean energy economy. For more information on the Cap-and-Trade Program visit the California Air Resources Board: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/capandtrade.htm

For more information on the State’s program to spend auction proceeds from the Cap-and-Trade Program visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/auctionproceeds/auctionproceeds.htm

Caltrans is also cutting greenhouse gas emissions by reducing traffic congestion, expanding active transportation and embracing new technology in construction materials, alternative fuels, efficient lighting and renewable energy. For more information on Caltrans’ efforts to fight climate change, go to http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/offices/orip/climate_change/documents/Caltrans_ClimateChangeRprt-Final_April_2013.pdf.