California Department of Transportation

Caltrans Auxiliary Radio System

Caltrans has an internal network of Amateur Radio Operators that was established in early September, 1986. The network is referred to as the Caltrans Auxiliary Radio System (CARS) and is a unit of the Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES). CARS is managed by the Department's CARS Coordinator located in the Headquarters Maintenance Program, Office of Emergency Management and Planning.

The purpose of the CARS network is to support the Department's Emergency Plans and to provide support and emergency communications, particularly during times of catastrophic emergencies when normal communication systems are damaged, disrupted or overloaded. Ideally, the CARS stations should be collected in the Headquarters and District Emergency Operations Centers (EOC). It was also established to support the Disaster Response Plans of other State agencies/Departments, federal and/or local governments when requested to assist in providing emergency communications.

The CARS members may participate with other State agencies/departments, federal and/or local governments in simulated emergency exercises and/or drills for emergency preparedness. If needed they may also provide necessary backup communications services to other State, federal and local governments.

CARS participants receive training through periodic exercises generated within the Department. The exercises may include other State, federal and local governments in order to exercise and test the CARS equipment, its methods, technical, and operational aspects of providing necessary emergency communication.

Contact Information

Douglas Hinckley, T.S.P.C., KI6VVV
C.A.R.S. Statewide Coordinator
925-756-0601 x 225
510-715-9241 cell