“The $US 500m in grant awards made today will increase transit service on new and existing routes, provide for a more integrated transit system, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support jobs,” said CalSta secretary, Mr David Kim. “Although the current Covid-19 pandemic is putting tremendous stress on transit agencies, these funds support long-term capital projects to be completed in the years to come, and will help support the economic recovery in the years ahead.”

Funding for the projects will be provided for their design and construction, and will be complemented by federal, local and other state funding. CalSta says the projects will leverage more than $US 4.9bn in additional investment and that the awards are part of more than $US 7bn investment in transit and rail projects between 2018 and 2027 under the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

The majority of the funding is for rail projects:

  • Bay Area Rapid Transit (Bart) will receive $US 107m to expand its metro train fleet by 34 cars to 306 cars. This will allow train frequency through the Transbay tube connecting San Francisco with Oakland to increase from 23 to 30 trains/hour/direction, and the operation of 10-car trains on all peak-hour services.
  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) will also receive $US 107m to increase capacity and assess the feasibility of introducing zero-emission propulsion multiple unit trains on the Metrolink Antelope Valley commuter rail line under a pilot project. Together, this will allow an hourly service to be introduced on the entire line, and a 30-minute frequency between Los Angeles Union station and Santa Clarita.
  • The City of Inglewood will be granted $US 95.2m to construct a 2.6km automated peoplemover with three new stations to connect Downtown Inglewood station on LA Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX Line to new housing and employment centres, the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park/SoFi stadium and the proposed Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Centre.
  • CalSta will grant $US 38.74m to the Los Angeles - San Diego - San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (Lossan) to construct a Central Coast layover facility in San Luis Obispo, a new maintenance and layover facility in San Diego, and to help overhaul and modernise the Pacific Surfliner double-deck train fleet. The infrastructure projects will allow a more frequent service to be introduced along the corridor.
  • San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will be granted $US 41.7m to implement two of the three highest priority routes in the Muni Forward programme. This includes improvements to increase capacity on the J and M LRT lines. The funding will also be used to advance a train control upgrade programme and the third Muni Forward corridor.
  • Sacramento Regional Transit District will receive $US 23.6m to purchase eight low-floor LRVs for the Gold Line.
  • San Diego Association of Governments (Sandag) will receive $US 12.1m to construct  an additional track and platform along a 1.6km stretch in El Cajon to allow the Green and Orange lines to terminate at El Cajon Transit Centre, with a shuttle service from there to Santee. This would relieve operational constraints currently impacting the entire line, while still providing service between El Cajon and Santee.