Continuing efforts to reduce the transportation sector’s impact on the environment, Caltrans has announced $146 million from the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program, or LCTOP, will go to 180 local mass transit projects around the state.
“Our current transportation system is congested and impacts the health of our communities and our planet,” said Bob Franzoia, Acting Director of Caltrans. “This funding gets people out of their cars by providing newer and cleaner ways to travel.”
These projects help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars by increasing the convenience, capacity and ridership of buses and trains around the state – meaning fewer cars on the roads, people using more sustainable modes of transit, and cleaner air for you and your family. The projects reduce or even eliminate fares in some cases, create or expand services, increase use of zero emission technology, and improve facilities.
More than 160 of the projects and $142 million will specifically benefit disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, or low-income households within a half-mile of a disadvantaged community. These areas are the most affected by the changing climate.
LCTOP is one of several state programs under the California Climate Investments (CCI), funded through auction proceeds from the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Cap-and-Trade Program. Funding from LCTOP provides operating and capital assistance for transit projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and benefit Disadvantaged and Low-Income Communities and Households (defined by the California Environmental Protection Agency) throughout California.
Following are a few examples of the types of projects which received funding this year:
Projects to Offer Free or Reduced Fares:
Stanislaus County Transit Agencies (Ceres Area Transit, Modesto Area Express, Stanislaus County Regional Transit, and Turlock Transit): Four projects for free or reduced fares on designated dates throughout the year. These will kick off in July of 2019 with a free fare on all fixed route buses. ($1 million)
Projects for New or Expanded Transit Service:
Sacramento Regional Transit District: Three projects to expand light-rail services for South Sacramento, Sunrise to Folsom, and expanded service to and from Downtown Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center. ($3.5 million)
Projects to Purchase Zero-Emission Vehicles:
Napa Valley Transportation Authority: Two years of LCTOP funding will be combined to purchase one extended-range zero-emission electric bus and charging station. ($299,971)
Also planned are projects improving facilities to increase and encourage ridership in multiple areas of the state.
The program was created in 2014 to provide operating and capital assistance for transit agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility, with a priority on serving 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 these services or facilities, with each project reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
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.