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For more than 100 years, Caltrans and
its predecessors have been responsible for planning, designing,
building, operating and maintaining California's state highway
system. Over time, that role has evolved to
include rail and mass transit.
However, as California's transportation
needs have broadened over the last century, so has Caltrans'
focus. In the face of the state's burgeoning population, increased
congestion and stubborn environmental pollution,
Caltrans has moved to include new factors in its duties.
In addition to a changing mix of transportation
modes - such as highways, rail, mass transit and aeronautics
- Caltrans professionals today must consider such complex
issues as land use, environmental standards, and the formation
of partnerships between private industry and local, State
and Federal agencies.
Caltrans today understands its purpose
as promoting California's economic vitality and enhancing
its quality of life by providing for the mobility of people,
goods, services and information.
More specifically, Caltrans will continue
to play its traditional role as owner and operator of the
15,000 mile State Highway System. Highways will continue as
the backbone of the state's 'multimodal' transportation
system. The Department is responsible for delivering the State's multibillion-dollar State Transportation Improvement Program.
However, the Caltrans of the 2000s
and beyond will emphasize partnerships, new 'non-structural'
solutions to problems, and a renewed emphasis on non-highway
transportation. For example, Caltrans is responsible for overseeing
inter-city passenger rail. Currently, three inter-city routes
are operated by Amtrak under contract with Caltrans. The three
routes - San Jose to Sacramento, Bakersfield to Oakland, and
San Diego-Los Angeles-Santa Barbara - are carrying more than
2 million passengers a year.
Caltrans also is responsible for spearheading
the study and possible development of high speed ground transportation
in California, which is one of the five federally designated
high speed rail corridors in the
The California Department of Transportation has more than 23,000 employees with an annual budget of about $10 billion. Headquartered in Sacramento, the Department also has 12 district offices situated in Eureka, Redding, Marysville, Oakland, San Luis Obispo, Fresno, Los Angeles, Bishop, Stockton, San Bernardino, Orange County and San Diego.