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5/12/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Gov. Schwarzenegger restores California transit funding


For several years, California public transit agencies have had to place projects on the backburner because of reduced state funding. That will change in fiscal-year 2006. Yesterday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he will restore Proposition 42, a program that provides millions of dollars for transportation projects.

Approved by California voters in 2002, Proposition 42 requires the state to use gasoline sales taxes only for transportation programs. The governor and legislature had suspended the program when it took effect in 2003, declaring a fiscal emergency. Since then, more than $2 billion in Proposition 42 funds have been redirected to the states’ general fund.

Proposition 42 funding will help jumpstart projects throughout the state. For example, the San Francisco bay area — which was listed as the country’s second-most congested region earlier this week by the Texas Transportation Institute — will receive at least $260 million this year to help fund public transportation, highway, and city and county road projects, according to a prepared statement.

"Gov. Schwarzenegger is showing real leadership on the transportation issue and an understanding that suspending Proposition 42 for a third year would have crippled the state’s transportation programs," said Michael Lawson, executive director of state transportation coalition Transportation California, in a prepared statement.


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