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Rail News: Passenger Rail
California panel awards $390 million in transit grants
The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) yesterday announced 14 public transit projects would receive grants through the state's Transit and Intercity Capital Program, which this year will distribute more than $390 million in proceeds from the state's greenhouse gas emission "cap-and-trade" auction.
The list of awardees includes more than $109 million for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) subway system, and $28 million for the Orange County Transportation Authority's (OCTA) Streetcar project.
Valued at more than $3.8 billion, the 14 selected projects are expected to reduce more than 4.1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions statewide. The 14 were awarded out of 41 applications for funding, CalSTA officials said in a press release.
"This investment of Cap and Trade dollars is really about transforming this state’s transportation system to create jobs, reduce harmful emissions, and expand mobility options so Californians can get around as efficiently and conveniently as possible,” said CalSTA Secretary Brian Kelly.
Among the rail project recipients to receive funding and their dollar amounts are:
• Metro, $40 million for the Airport Metro Connector 96th Street Station/Metro Green Line Extension to LAX, and $69.2 million for Red Line and Purple Line core capacity improvements;
• LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency , $82 million for track improvements and the lease of 31 new Talgo rail cars for faster and more frequent service on Amtrak, Metrolink and Coaster;
• San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, $45 million, to purchase 10 expansion light-rail vehicles;
• Sacramento Regional Transit District, $30 million, to construct a new streetcar line linking Sacramento and West Sacramento providing new zero-emission service;
• OCTA, $28 million for the OC Streetcar and OCTA system-wide mobile ticketing;
• Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Authority, $20 million, for the Caltrain electrification project, including new trainsets;
• Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, $20 million, for the BART Silicon Valley Phase II extension;
• San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, $16.45 million to lengthen platforms for eight car trains and purchase one Tier IV locomotive for the ACE near-term capacity improvement program;
• San Bernardino Associated Governments, $9.2 million for the Redlands Passenger Rail Project; and
• Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, nearly $9 million for increased rail service to Roseville, Calif., and service optimization and standby power investments.
Looking ahead, through Senate Bill 9, CalSTA will adopt a five-year program to fund larger projects by July 1, 2018, officials said. With that, the state anticipates being a "long-term funding partner" partner for several major passenger-rail projects, including expansion of the intercity rail network to new markets, such as the Coachella Valley and the Central Coast, they said.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.