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Rail and Transit Program Public Workshops

August 14, 2014
The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) has announced a trio of regulatory and public workshops this month for two new rail and transit programs.
 
The events will include presentations covering state law requirements and opportunities for public comment on the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program and the Low-Carbon Transit Operations Program. The programs — set to receive $25 million each in 2014-15 — were established as part of this year’s state budget under SB 862. Auction proceeds from the California Air Resources Board’s Cap-and-Trade Program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are funding both.

The workshop schedule is as follows:
 
Thursday, Aug. 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the 17th floor City Manager’s Conference Room at 200 E. Santa Clara St. in San Jose.
 
Friday, Aug. 22, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the second-floor Byron Sher Auditorium in the California Environmental Protection Agency building at 1001 I St. in Sacramento.
 
Wednesday, Aug. 27, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the third-floor board room of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority at One Gateway Plaza in Los Angeles.
 
Another round of public sessions will be scheduled after draft guidelines are complete.
 
The Low-Carbon Transit Operations Program will funnel money to new and expanded bus or rail or expanded intermodal transit facilities. Half of its funding spent must go toward projects that benefit disadvantaged communities.
 
Projects eligible for competitive Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program grants are to include:
  • Rail capital projects, including the acquisition of rail cars and locomotives, that expand, enhance and improve existing rail systems and connectivity to existing and future systems – including high-speed rail;
  • Intercity and commuter rail systems that decrease travel times while increasing ridership and reliability;
  • Rail integration implementation, including shared-use corridors and integrated ticketing and scheduling; and
  • Bus rapid transit and other bus investments that increase ridership and reduce emissions. 
Eligible projects must demonstrate that they will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and have a goal of providing at least 25 percent of funding to benefit disadvantaged communities.

Other benefits that will be considered include reducing auto vehicle miles traveled, promoting housing development near rail stations, expanding existing public transit, implementing clean-vehicle technology and improving public health.
 
Written comments on the two programs can also be submitted. They should be labeled either “TIRCP comments” or “LCTOP comments” and sent to tircpcomments@dot.ca.gov and lctopcomments@dot.ca.gov, respectively, or to:
 
Caltrans Division of Rail and Mass Transportation
P.O. Box 942873
Sacramento, CA 94273-0001
 
Questions about the workshops may be directed to Bruce Roberts of the Caltrans Division of Rail and Mass Transit at (916) 653-3060.


 
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