Bay Area Projects Prove Big Winners In Competition for New State Gas Tax Funds
Bay Area highway, transit and goods-movement projects today earned more than $660 million in new funding as the California Transportation Commission (CTC) finalized its first awards through a trio of competitive statewide programs established by the Senate Bill 1 transportation investment package signed into law by Gov. Brown last year. Projects in the nine-county Bay Area, which accounts for about 20 percent of the state population, earned more than 25 percent of the total $2.642 billion awarded today by the CTC through the Solutions for Congested Corridors, Trade Corridor Enhancement and Local Partnership programs. This is on top of the $1.4 billion awarded last month to 10 Bay Area transit projects for distribution over the next decade by the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) through its Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program, which includes both SB 1 and state cap-and-trade funds.
“SB 1 is already playing a critical role in making California companies more competitive, and the CTC and CalSTA deserve a lot of credit for their hard work in putting these dollars to work quickly,” commented Metropolitan Transportation Commission Chair and Rohnert Park City Councilmember Jake Mackenzie. “Both agencies recognize the need to expand the Bay Area transportation network to catch up with recent growth and the need to modernize our freeways, transit systems and freight corridors to maintain the Bay Area’s position as an engine for economic growth throughout the state.”
The largest of the CTC’s SB 1 awards for the Bay Area is a $233 million commitment to Caltrans and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) through the Solutions for Congested Corridors program to establish express lanes along both directions of U.S. 101 between State Route 237 in Mountain View through San Mateo County to Interstate 380 near San Francisco International Airport. Other partners in development of the U.S. 101 express lanes include the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County, SamTrans and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. The CTC also awarded Caltrans $85 million through the Solutions for Congested Corridors program to complete the final Sonoma County portion of the multi-phase widening of U.S. 101 through the Marin-Sonoma Narrows.
Awards for Bay Area projects approved for funding through the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program include $175 million for the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) to build a grade-separation that will carry 7th Street over railroad tracks serving the Port of Oakland; $12 million for ACTC and the Port of Oakland to implement their GoPort package of intelligent transportation system elements; $53 million for Caltrans and the Solano Transportation Authority to tackle a second phase of the reconfiguration of the Cordelia Junction between I-80 and State Route 12; $4 million for VTA to develop plans for a new U.S. 101/State Route 25 interchange south of Gilroy; and $4 million for the City of Emeryville to improve at-grade rail crossings in the East Bay city.
Projects approved by the CTC for SB 1 funding through the competitive Local Partnership Program include $34 million for the Contra Costa Transportation Authority to upgrade the I-680/State Route 4 interchange; $20 million for San Mateo County agencies to advance the U.S. 101 Express Lanes project; $17 million for VTA to improve the U.S. 101 and Highway 237 interchanges with Mathilda Avenue; $15 million for AC Transit to buy hybrid buses; $7 million for improvements to Jefferson Street in San Francisco; and $3 million to upgrade Rumrill Blvd. in San Pablo.
Each of the 10 Bay Area transit projects selected last month by CalSTA to receive SB 1 funds through the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program is slated to receive money in the 2018-19 to 2022-23 fiscal years. These include Phase 2 of the BART-to-Silicon Valley extension ($238 million); BART’s Transbay Core Capacity project ($144 million); new railcars for Caltrain’s soon-to-be electrified service ($123 million); Capitol Corridor enhancements ($80 million); Muni’s Transit Capacity Expansion Program ($27 million); SMART’s Larkspur-to-Windsor Corridor Project ($21 million); the Livermore-Amador Valley Transit Authority’s Dublin/Pleasanton capacity improvement program ($21 million); SamTrans’ U.S. 101 Express Bus pilot ($15 million); AC Transit’s Zero-Emission Bus purchase program ($14 million); and regional transit improvements in Solano County ($11 million). Funding agreements for fiscal years 2023-24 through 2027-28 include an extra $492 million for Phase 2 of the BART-to-Silicon Valley extension; another $174 million for BART’s Transbay Core Capacity projects; and $41 million for further expansion of the Caltrain railcar fleet.
SB 1, formally known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, is expected to generate $52.4 billion for transportation investments over the next decade. This includes:
- $24.4 billion by increasing the state excise tax on gasoline by 12 cents per gallon;
- $16.3 billion from an annual vehicle licensing fee based on vehicle value;
- $7.3 billion by increasing the state excise tax on diesel fuel by 20 cents per gallon;
- $3.5 billion by increasing the sales tax on diesel fuel to 5.75 percent;
- $706 million through repayments from the state General Fund; and
- $200 million from an annual $100 Zero Emission Vehicle fee that will start in 2020
MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.