California transportation agency supports rail grants

The California State Transportation Agency recently announced that it has invested $224 million in competitive transit grants for 2015, including addressing intercity rail projects.

The grants fund high-quality public transportation while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

“When public transportation is efficient, affordable and enjoyable, more Californians use it and that improves quality of life for everyone,” California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly said. “These grants help support nearly $720 million in transportation investments in clean, affordable and low-stress commuting and traveling options by improving the quality and reliability of public transportation choices. At a time of ever-increasing extreme weather — and an uncertain future — these investments help California take control of the emissions that cause climate change by offering more sustainable travel options.”

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund has financed these investments from the California cap-and-trade auction.

"This program is further proof that the Golden State is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to building a sustainable, low-carbon economy that will provide benefits for all Californians,” Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board chairwoman, said.

California Transit Association Executive Director Joshua Shaw said transit agencies around the state are eager to put these dollars to work, improving service in so many communities while enhancing the environment.

“All our member transit systems look forward to building on the successful launch of this exciting new program by the State Transportation Agency, the Air Resources Board and the governor's administration," he said.