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4/19/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Record $10 billion in transportation projects under way in California



The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) recently announced a record $10 billion worth of transportation projects are under construction in the state.

Additional state transportation funds have contributed to the all-time-high project count. In fiscal-year 2006, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reinstated $2.7 billion in Proposition 42 funds. Approved by California voters in 2002, the measure requires the state to use gasoline sales taxes only for transportation programs. However, the governor and legislature suspended the program when it took effect in 2003, declaring a fiscal emergency.

And in November 2006, voters approved a $19.9 billion bond measure aimed at reducing traffic congestion, as well as a separate measure that will permanently protect Proposition 42 funding.

Among the projects under construction: the five-mile, 19-station San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) extension to the San Mateo County Line; and six-mile, eight-station Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA MTA) Eastside light-rail extension from L.A.’s Union Station to East Los Angeles. Caltrans is providing $64 million for the Muni extension and $240 million for the LA MTA extension.


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