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State Awards Millions in Funding to Local Transit Projects

May 3, 2018

By Mario A. Cortez

The California State Transportation Agency (CALSTA) has announced the allocation of over $4 billion in funding for for Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) projects throughout the state this week.

The funding was generated through Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act
and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund in an effort to develop local transportation projects and to make improvements and expand access to public transportation.

As part of these funds, the San Diego region was awarded $45.86 million to increase public transportation ridership, speed up transit service, and improve pedestrian and bicycle safety.

“This funding will help make San Diego’s public transit system safer, faster and more accessible,” Senate Leader Toni Atkins said through a press release. “I’m glad to see these badly needed improvements get underway.”

According to a report by CALSTA, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) was awarded $40.09 million to increased ridership to allow more frequent Blue Line trolley service and to add a new Rapid Bus service route to connect Imperial Beach and the Otay Mesa International Border Crossing. This funding also includes supplemental resources to purchase 11 new, 60-foot articulated zero-emission buses. The $40.09 million funding will greatly cover the estimated total project cost of $50.2 million.

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) received $5.76 million to make upgrades along 2.3 miles of University Avenue which will allow for faster bus service and safer pedestrian and cyclist routes.

Additionally, San Diego’s railways will see some improvements as part of a $188 million award which aims to expand Amtrak service through the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail (LOSSAN) Corridor Agency. This funding is vital to rail operations, as the LOSSAN corridor is the second busiest in the United States. Improvements on this line are expected to reduce travel times by about 45 minutes.

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