California Transit Association

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Transit Leaders Applaud Landmark Funding Law

April 27, 2017

Senate Bill 1 (Beall and Frazier) Enhances Environmental Quality and Improves Mobility Options for All Californians 

SACRAMENTO – State transit leaders today praised Governor Brown for signing into law an historic transportation funding and reform measure, and thanked the legislative leaders and transportation committee chairs who crafted the package, citing the proposal’s transit funding components as essential to the state’s ability to meet our citizens’ mobility needs and state greenhouse gas reduction goals. 

“This bill clearly demonstrates California’s commitment to clean, sustainable transportation, and the role that public transit plays in that vision” said Michael Wiley, Chair of the California Transit Association’s Executive Committee and former General Manager of the Sacramento Regional Transit District. “While California’s transportation infrastructure needs are many, this proposal acknowledges the importance of public transit in achieving the 21st century transportation network that Californians need and deserve. We expect these new investments to lead to cleaner transit vehicle fleets, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, as Californians will be offered more attractive mobility options.” 

About 1.4 billion passenger trips were provided by California’s local and regional public transit systems, in the last year for which data is available. 

The $5.24 billion/year funding measure contained in SB 1 (Beall and Frazier) generates new revenue from various taxes and fees, and institutes new reform and accountability measures for Caltrans and the other public agencies developing transportation projects and services. The proposal is designed to repair and maintain state highways and local roads, improve trade corridors, and support public transit & active transportation. 

“We applaud the work of Governor Brown, Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to move this bill through the legislative process, and we extend our special thanks to Senator Jim Beall and Assemblymember Jim Frazier – we wouldn’t be here today, with a landmark new funding law, without the tireless efforts of the transportation committee chairmen,” said Joshua W. Shaw, Executive Director of the California Transit Association. “We appreciate that the bill reflects the importance of public transit in the overall consideration of the state’s transportation infrastructure priorities. At a time when the federal government is in retreat mode, the state’s commitment is even more imperative.” 

Through a combination of formula-based allocations and competitive grant programs, the proposal would generate between $600 million and $900 million annually in new funding for public transit.