March 31, 2011

Caltrans awards $78M to transit, air quality projects

Caltrans announced Tuesday it awarded $78 million to 130 public transit and air quality projects across California. All of the funding comes from Proposition 1B, a 2006 voter-approved transportation bond, which includes $3.6 billion to improve public transit in California.

“These projects will reduce traffic congestion and transportation-related pollution, improving our air quality and bringing us another step closer to reaching our emissions-reduction goals,” said Caltrans Director Cindy McKim.

Projects awarded Proposition 1B funding include:

• $9.1 million to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Most of the funding will be used to modernize 143 light rail vehicles currently in service, enabling the vehicles to remain in service an additional 25 years.

• $20 million to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority to rehabilitate several transit systems, including replacing 80 diesel-powered buses with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles, which emit far less pollution than diesel or gas-powered buses, and purchase 90 hybrid paratransit vehicles to increase service and ensure compliance with California Air Resources Board standards.

• $700,343 to Kern County to purchase six new buses, replacing older buses that have been in use years beyond their usual length of service. The new buses will cost much less to maintain and will not stall or breakdown as frequently.

• $1.32 million to Culver City to buy 20 CNG buses and perform construction work on the Intermodal Aerial Station, which will be the terminus of phase one of the Exposition Light Rail Line Extension.

• $1.5 million to Santa Monica for the Big Blue Bus service to purchase 20 natural gas-powered buses, replacing existing diesel-powered buses.

• $8.23 million to the Ventura County Transportation Commission to acquire five CNG buses and three Dial-A-Ride buses, modernize and expand a CNG fueling facility, and make various other transit improvements.

• $800,000 to the Sacramento Area Council of Governments for the Automated Farebox Upgrade Implementation, which will improve transit bus reliability and service throughout the city of Elk Grove.

• $380,596 to the Redding Area Bus Authority for the Downtown Transit Center Expansion, which will provide additional routes and intercity service. The funding will also pay to increase park and ride capacity.

• $3.2 million to the San Diego Association of Governments to purchase 57 new replacement vehicles for the Blue Line Light Rail, increasing capacity and improving transit throughout San Diego.

For a comprehensive list of all projects that received funding, click here.

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