Jul 8, 2024

Nearly $2 billion going to California public transit

What you need to know: Close to $2 billion is going to support public transportation in California communities as part of the first wave of funding from the $5.1 billion transit recovery package in last year’s state budget.

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the approval of over $1.9 billion to support public transportation throughout the state. The funding was approved by the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and is the first wave of funding from the transit recovery package in the 2023-24 state budget.

As part of Senate Bill 125 (2023), a total of $5.1 billion will be distributed among regional transportation planning agencies over the course of multiple years. This funding comes with the flexibility to pay for transit operations or capital improvements. The money announced today will go to 22 agencies, with amounts varying based on regional population.

This vital funding serves as a lifeline for transit agencies all over the state and helps to advance California’s ambitious, world-leading climate goals. At the same time, we’re adding accountability measures that help put our state’s transit agencies on a path toward long-term stability.

Governor Gavin Newsom

CalSTA anticipates approving additional allocation packages for remaining planning agencies throughout the summer, totaling nearly $500 million. The remaining SB 125 funds will be approved annually through fiscal year 2027-28.

“California’s commitment to public transit is unwavering, and with billions more in funding in the pipeline – including for zero-emission equipment and operations – we are just getting started in delivering a more sustainable and equitable transit system for the people of California,” said California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin. “I thank Governor Newsom and our legislative leaders for continuing to prioritize public transit.”

The transit recovery package also includes accountability measures to help stabilize transit systems and retool their long-term operations to better align with the needs of the public. As part of that effort, CalSTA has convened the Transit Transformation Task Force to develop policy recommendations to grow transit ridership, improve the transit experience and address long-term operational needs.

More transit dollars on the way

In addition to the transit funding announced today, in April CalSTA put out a call for projects for more than $900 million in funding through the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). Project applications are due July 23, with an award announcement in October. This follows nearly $3.5 billion in state funding just last year to expand transit and passenger rail service throughout the state.

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