The Anaheim Transportation Network was awarded a $5 million grant to advance its effort to become California’s first all-electric transit operator. (Courtesy of the Anaheim Transportation Network)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Oct. 27 the approval of $192 million to fund 136 public transportation projects designed to reduce pollution and increase low-cost public transport options.
This year, 31 projects have provided free or reduced fares, another 31 expanded services, while 22 replaced fleets with electric vehicles and infrastructure, and 16 provided for the purchase and development of renewable energy and fuel sources, including electric and hydrogen.
“More clean and affordable transportation is coming to California, cutting pollution and making it easier for folks to get around,” Mr. Newsom said in a press release announcing the grants. “These programs are key to our climate goals—building charging stations, getting more EV buses on the roads, and reducing costs for public transit.”
Key projects selected for funding, according to the governor’s press release include:
- More than $52 million for Los Angeles County’s plan to fully electrify buses on routes in the North San Fernando Valley.
- San Francisco’s low-income seniors, youth, and disabled will have access to $17.5 million in free tickets.
- Orange County will build a new fueling station with nearly $9.7 million, designed to support 50 hydrogen-powered buses, with 75 percent of the money benefiting disadvantaged neighborhoods in Garden Grove.
- Southern California’s Metrolink will offer nearly $4 million in free rides for students.
- A low-income community in San Mateo County—south of San Francisco—will receive $2.5 million to replace 15 diesel buses with electric vehicles and to install charging equipment.
- Nearly $1.7 million to the City of Los Angeles to install bus chargers at its main bus operation facility near downtown Los Angeles.
- Bus route expansion will benefit an underserved community in Fresno at a cost of $1.6 million, and more than $500,000 will be used to convert a fleet of buses to electric and to install charging equipment in Butte County—a rural area north of Sacramento.
- Ventura County will receive $1.2 million to provide free access for youth in addition to nearly $900,000 to install battery charging infrastructure
A new EV school bus from an all-electric fleet is parked beside charging stations at South El Monte High School in El Monte, Calif., on Aug. 18, 2021. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
“Across California, these projects are also creating and supporting employment opportunities and improving public health and the environment,” the California Climate Investments—the group responsible for reviewing applications—said on its website.
The recent announcement follows through on the state’s so-called Low Carbon Transit Operation Program—overseen by Caltrans and designed to improve public transit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions—with investments totaling more than $664 million since 2018.
Such are designed to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities,” according to the governor’s press release.
Funding will be provided through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund as part of the California Climate Investments, derived from the state’s cap-and-trade earnings—a state-run program that charges companies with operations exceeding greenhouse gas emission regulations, with receipts totaling more than $4 billion for 2022 and surpassing $22 billion since being enacted in 2013.