Transit Core Capacity Challenge Grants | Fund + Invest | Our Work

Transit Core Capacity Challenge Grants

MTC is committed to investing our limited transit dollars where they can do the most good.

The Commission in 2013 pledged $7.5 billion in federal, state and local funds over 15 years to a new Transit Core Capacity Challenge Grant program to finance capital improvements to the Bay Area’s three largest transit systems:

  • San Francisco Muni
  • Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART)
  • Alameda-Contra Costa Transit DIstrict (AC Transit)

Together, these agencies account for more than 80 percent of our region’s transit riders — and 75 percent of low-income and minority riders.

Transit agencies can use Core Capacity Challenge grants to finance:

  • Vehicle replacement
  • Fleet expansion
  • Upgrades to key facilities

To qualify for Core Capacity Challenge grants, transit agencies must use other funds to match at least 30 percent of the grant amount; and also must meet performance and efficiency targets identified in MTC’s Transit Sustainability Project.

MTC will fund the Core Capacity Challenge grants with more than $3 billion in federal transportation money, as well as $875 million expected through the state Cap and Trade program and some $250 million in bridge toll revenue through 2028.

About $75 million of Core Capacity Challenge Grant funding is earmarked for new rail cars needed for BART’s Silicon Valley extension project — a joint venture with VTA slated to begin service in 2018.

Guidelines for the Core Capacity Challenge Grant Program recommend that MTC staff review the program at least every five years to monitor project delivery and changes in investment priorities or revenue streams.