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State Cap and Trade Monies Fuel Bay Area Projects

Noah Berger

The California State Transportation Agency today announced $110 million in grants for five public transit projects benefiting the Bay Area in terms of increasing capacity and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The funding comes from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP), a highly competitive statewide program supported by Cap and Trade funds.  Statewide, $391 million in funding was made available for the 2016 cycle, meaning that the Bay Area scored more than 25 percent of the available funding. Bay Area-related projects receiving funding include:

  • San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency ($45 million)

    Purchase 10 expansion light-rail vehicles, for more capacity and improved service responsive to jobs and housing growth on the congested Muni Metro system.
  • Caltrain Electrification ($20 million)

    Construct the Caltrain Electrification Project, including new trainsets for more frequent and faster service.
  • Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) ($20 million)

    Expedite the BART-to-San Jose Phase II extension through funding for accelerated railcar procurement, with the goal of connecting BART to California’s high-speed rail system in 2026. This award is contingent on passage of Santa Clara VTA’s sales tax measure this November.
  • ACE Train ($16.5 million)

    Lengthen platforms to accommodate eight-car trains and purchase one Tier IV locomotive to allow busiest train to add seating capacity.
  • Capitol Corridor ($9 million)

    Construct track and facility improvements for three Amtrak roundtrips per day between Sacramento and Roseville (up from one per day currently). This award is contingent on receipt of a Federal Core Capacity Full Funding Grant Agreement, anticipated in late 2016/early 2017.

Final Numbers Lower Than Estimates

Bay Area transit operators (as well as ACE and Capitol Corridor, which also serve neighboring regions) submitted almost $850 million in project requests. While the original grant notice estimated $440 million in TIRCP funds would be available statewide, various legislative and budget proposals for FY 2016-17 suggested funding could grow to as much as $1.3 billion. MTC sized its recommended project list accordingly, endorsing $451 million in applications. However, the quarterly Cap and Trade auction in May fell far short of expectations. In the end, the total available funding for the 2016 cycle was just $391 million. For a complete list of Bay Area projects seeking funding from TIRCP this cycle, see MTC’s Programming & Allocations Committee staff report from June 2016.   

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