The action slashes estimated funding by $754 million, a hit that comes as California’s state and local street, road and highway system is already crumbling under inadequate funding.
Like local governments, the CTC is struggling to meet transportation needs with less funding. The action last week comes after the CTC conducted thorough analysis anticipated additional reductions in a portion of the gasoline excise tax, the main source of state funding for the program. The tax dropped to 12 cents per gallon from 18 cents per gallon a few years ago. Under this next STIP, the price is anticipated to drop an additional 2 cents per gallon in FY 2016-17.
The reduction in the STIP will require the CTC to rescind funding previously committed and will have significant impacts. Projects included in the STIP include state highway, intercity rail, and transit improvements. The loss of funding from this one source will jeopardize billions of dollars of projects that rely on multiple funding sources. Projects improve traffic and air quality, and are major components of regional planning.
The State Transportation Improvement Program
(STIP) is the CTC’s five-year plan of future state highway, intercity rail and transit improvement programs. The CTC updates it every other year in even number years. CTC reports that a 1 cent reduction in the gas tax equates to $140 million annually less to fund the local and state road system.