CA Cap-and-Trade Transit Funding Awarded to Metro, Other SoCal Agencies

This week California awarded $40M in cap and trade funding for Metro's planned LAX station
This week, California awarded $40M in cap-and-trade transit capital funding for Metro’s planned LAX rail station. Image via Metro LAX staff report

This week, the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) announced the recipients of its Transit and Intercity Capital Program (TIRCP) grants. TIRCP distributes state cap-and-trade funding to local transit agencies for projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In greater Los Angeles, funds were awarded to Metro, Foothill Transit, Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, Antelope Valley Transit Authortity (AVTA), and Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). A detailed project list follows.

The TIRCP awards total $390 million statewide, with $109 million of that going to L.A. Metro.

Though state cap-and-trade has been criticized by its foes, including petroleum interests, it continues to be a key source of funding for critical livability projects, including these transit capital projects, plus high-speed railtransit-oriented affordable housing, and more. Governor Jerry Brown is pushing to extend cap and trade, but it appears that that effort may need to go to a statewide initiative vote, instead of the theoretically easier state legislation route.

Southern California TIRCP projects follow after the jump, listed in alphabetic order by agency name. See CalSTA for a full statewide project lists

  1. $8.9M to Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District (with AVTA, SunLine Transit Agency, and Kern Regional Transit) for expanding zero-emission buses and vanpools
  2. $5M to Foothill Transit for improving line 486 (Pomona to El Monte) service, including electric buses
  3. $40M to L.A. County Metro for the LAX 96th Street Station
  4. $69.2M to L.A. County Metro for Union Station track improvements to reduce headways on Red and Purple Lines
  5. $82M to LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency (with San Diego Association of Governments, North County Transit District, and OCTA)
  6. $28M to OCTA for streetcar and bus system mobile ticketing
  7. $9.2M to San Bernardino Associated Governments (SanBAG) for Redlands Passenger Rail Project

Antelope Valley Zero Emission Buses and Vanpools
$8,930,000 to Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District (AVAQMD) on behalf of the Southern California Regional Zero Emission Consortium: AVTA, SunLine Transit Agency (SunLine) and Kern Regional Transit (KRT)

The project includes:

  • Ten electric buses for increased service on AVTA lines connecting with Lancaster and Palmdale Metrolink stations.
  • Four electric buses for increased service on SunLine (western Riverside County) lines including Metrolink station connections.
  • One electric bus for Kern Regional Transit service between California City and Lancaster.
  • Ten electric vanpool vehicles serving Antelope Valley to L.A. commutes.

Pomona – El Monte Bus Expansion and Electrification
$5,000,000 to Foothill Transit

Foothill Transit will purchase 20 Proterra Catalyst XR battery electric buses, along with 2 related electric charging stations. These will be used to improve service on line 486 (Pomona Metrolink Station to El Monte Metrolink Station) including improve frequency from every 30 minutes to every 20 minutes.

Airport Metro Connector 96th Street Transit Station
$40,000,000 to Metro

Funding goes to the planned 96th Street Station on Metro’s under-construction Crenshaw/LAX light rail line. The planned landmark station will include rail, people-mover, bus, bike, and drop-off facilities.

Metro Red Line and Purple Line Core Capacity Improvements Project
$69,209,000 to Metro

The project will move Union Station’s train turnaround from the station platforms to the nearby Division 20 Maintenance Yard. This allows for a peak 4-minute wait between trains, instead of the current 10 minute wait. The project will be consistent with proposed future development of an Arts District passenger station. (See also coverage at Curbed and The Source.)

All Aboard: Transforming Southern California Rail Travel
$82,000,000 to the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency in partnership with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), North County Transit District (NCTD), and OCTA

The project adds capacity for additional Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, Metrolink, and Coaster rail services all between San Diego and Los Angeles. Project components include:

  • SANDAG and NCTD will improve San Diego area rail infrastructure, including double tracking, bridges, removing bottlenecks, adding underpasses, and more.
  • OCTA will implement the Laguna Niguel/San Juan Capistrano Passing Siding Project.
  • LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency will conduct network integration strategic planning to improve reliability.
  • LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency will deploy 31 Talgo rail cars for faster and more efficient service on the Los Angeles-San Luis Obispo services.

Orange County Streetcar and Bus System-Wide Mobile Ticketing
$28,000,000 to OCTA

The project will build a 4.15-mile streetcar from Santa Ana to Garden Grove (pending the project’s federal full-funding grant agreement expected by early 2017). In addition, OCTA will roll out its mobile ticketing to all bus lines.

Redlands Passenger Rail Project
$9,204,000 to SanBAG

The project is a nine-mile frequent service rail corridor connecting the University of Redlands and Downtown San Bernardino. Construction is anticipated to start in 2017. Funds will add an additional siding to allow peak hour Metrolink service to start its trip to Los Angeles on the Redlands Passenger Rail Corridor, rather than requiring a transfer in San Bernardino.

  • Joe,
    The item about the Talgos needs to be clarified: These are the two trainsets (consists in you must use American Railroadese) that were built for the State of Wisconsin to run Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison but not accepted due to Governor Scott Brown’s anti-rail agenda.

    While the sets are, IIRC, 15 and 16 cars each, by their design they are not as large as a traditional U.S. Rail car and some are used for “hotel” or head-end power for the train, baggage and a cafe.

    More info about the situation with Wisconsin and pictures can be found here:
    http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2015/08/19/wisconsin-and-talgo-settle-lawsuit-over-passenger.html

    These are the same types of trains that have been very successful in the Eugene to Vancouver, B.C. Corridor.

  • Four electric buses for increased service on SunLine (western Riverside County) lines including Metrolink station connections.

    SunLine does run some express service to Riverside, but their primary coverage area is Coachella Valley, not western Riverside county. That’s RTA.

    Funds will add an additional siding to allow peak hour Metrolink service to start its trip to Los Angeles on the Redlands Passenger Rail Corridor, rather than requiring a transfer in San Bernardino.

    This is good to see, but I’m wondering what impact this will have on operations of Redlands Rail since SANBAG is seeking to operate that service with DMUs which likely won’t be FRA-compliant.

  • about the Talgos needs to be clarified ys its very interesting and usefull.Somany of the peoples are really usefull this.Thankyou.