Nearly $45 million recently awarded in state funds for two projects will help OCTA keep the county moving safely and efficiently by bus and rail, improving air quality in the process. Funding comes from the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) through the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). In all, the state awarded funding to 28 projects across California totaling approximately $690 million.
“We are very thankful to the state for continuing to recognize the value of our projects in Orange County, which will continue to enhance the ability of our residents, workers and visitors to more efficiently travel to their destinations by using public transit,” said OCTA Chairman Gene Hernandez, also the mayor of Yorba Linda.
The funds awarded to OCTA will help with two projects – one focused on increasing mobility options in central Orange County, where public transit options are essential, and the other focused on finding long-term solutions to ensure that the vital coastal rail line can continue to operate for decades to come.
“Our successful funding applications were possible through the strong support of Orange County’s state and federal elected officials, our city partners and neighboring transportation agencies,” said OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson. “We very much appreciate their collaboration and look forward to continued partnership as we work to advance these important transportation projects.”
Nearly $40 million ($39.4) in state funding will go toward the Central Mobility Loop to purchase zero emission buses, implement transit signal priority along the Bravo! 543 route and provide new bike storage and fast-charging stations at transportation centers.
In addition, $5 million will be used for the Coastal Rail Corridor Relocation Study, part of OCTA’s recently adopted framework to work with partners to find longer-term solutions for the coastal rail line, a critical link that is vital for passengers, freight and the military along the second busiest rail corridor in the nation.
Since 2015, the state’s TIRCP has provided more than $9.8 billion in funding to 125 projects statewide, funded primarily from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, and through California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emission, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.
In all this round, the 28 projects are estimated to take out more than 2 million metric tons of air pollutants, helping California breathe easier.