California Transit Association


Overarching Policy Goals on Climate Change

As California and the United States move toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, the California Transit Association believes that public transportation must be recognized as part of the solution. In addition to providing efficient mobility and reduced congestion, transit provides improved air quality, energy efficiency, and reduced household expenditure on transportation. Transit also creates healthier communities through increased social inclusion and physical activity, as well as more walking and biking opportunities, leading toward an overall improvement in our quality of life. In state and federal development and implementation of climate change laws, the California Transit Association maintains the following principles:

  1. Transit must be at the table as these new laws are developed and implemented.
  2. In pursuing its goals for clean air, climate change, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and a stronger connection between transportation and land-use planning, we acknowledge the state will pursue many strategies with regard to the Transportation Sector – such as cleaning the vehicle fleet and lowering the carbon content of fuel. These strategies must also include enactment of laws and regulations acknowledging the vital role enhanced public transportation service can, and should, play in meeting these goals, including mode shifting from auto trips and reduction of vehicle miles traveled. Transit will, to the best of its ability, partner with the state in pursuing these strategies.
  3. California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) should advocate for a strong state role in funding the transit levels needed to meet state environmental objectives. Its objectives should include the stabilization and protection of current transit funding sources. Any new laws or regulations in these policy areas that call for enhanced public transportation service must include appropriate stable and long-term state funding sources adequate to support the required transit service, and include protections from future diversion.
  4. We oppose imposition of unfunded mandates on transit, and we support the dedication of revenues from any new greenhouse gas emission reduction measures (e.g., cap-and-trade, fees or other market-based programs) to expand funding for transit in the state. We urge the ARB to dedicate an appropriate level of revenue from such programs to strategies that enhance public transit.
  5. We support a federal program which will provide funds to transit systems to recognize them for their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases either on their own initiative or in response to state and/or federal requirements.

The California Transit Association continues to monitor and participate in new developments in state and federal climate change efforts and to encourage transit-supportive policy enactments. Our Association's Climate Change Task Force makes ongoing policy recommendations to our Association's leadership as issues continue to evolve.

Questions regarding our Climate Change program should be directed to Legislative and Regulatory Advocate Sabrina Means at