California Department of Transportation
Date: December 1, 2014
Contact: Tamie McGowen
Phone: (916) 657-5060
CalSTA and Caltrans Seek Public Input on Transit-Focused
Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Programs
Draft Guidelines Taking Shape for Two Cap-and-Trade-Funded Programs, Totaling $50 Million
SACRAMENTO - CalSTA and Caltrans today announced two public workshops on low-carbon transit options and improvements to existing local and intercity transit operations. 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:
December 10: Southern California
San Bernardino Associated Governments
1170 W 3rd Street, San Bernardino, CA 92410
9-11 am, Director’s Board Room
December 17: Northern California
California Environmental Protection Agency
1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95812
9-11 am, Byron Sher Auditorium
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 GHG 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.
The Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program and the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program are two of several state programs which will be funded by allowance auction proceeds from the California Air Resources Board’s (ARB) Cap-and-Trade Program into the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. These two programs will each administer $25 million in 2014-15 to go toward direct investments in transit programs that reduce GHG emissions and benefit disadvantaged communities throughout California. In subsequent years, each will have continuous appropriations of 5 percent (Low Carbon Transit Operations Program) and 10 percent (Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program).
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. 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 Low Carbon Transit Operations Program allocates $25 million in 2014-15, distributed by the State Transit Assistance Program formula, for local transit agencies to support new or expanded bus and rail services. With an emphasis on disadvantaged communities, approved projects will support new or expanded bus or rail services, or expanded intermodal transit facilities. They may also include equipment acquisition, fueling, and maintenance and other costs to operate those services or facilities, with each project reducing GHG emissions. Caltrans, in coordination with the California Air Resources Board, has developed draft guidelines describing methodologies needed to meet the criteria of this program and will also determine eligibility of proposed expenditures and establish reporting requirements. The draft guidelines for the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program are located here.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.