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State News

Governor Newsom unveils $1.9 billion boost for California transit networks aimed to revamp statewide transit systems

Sacramento, California – Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday the distribution of almost $1.9 billion in financing for transit networks statewide, in a significant step to improve public transportation throughout California. Approved by the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), this money represents the first disbursement from the overall transit recovery plan presented in the 2023–24 state budget.

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Senate Bill 125 (2023) promises a total of $5.1 billion to be given to regional transportation planning organizations over several years, therefore providing a financial boost. With distribution based on regional population counts, this first $1.9 billion will help 22 regional agencies.

Governor Newsom emphasized the dual benefits of this funding, noting, “This vital funding serves as a lifeline for transit agencies all over the state and helps to advance California’s ambitious, world-leading climate goals. At the same time, we’re adding accountability measures that help put our state’s transit agencies on a path toward long-term stability.”

The money is set aside for a mix of capital upgrades and transportation operations, giving agencies the flexibility required to handle their most urgent needs. Reflecting on the wider ramifications of this money, California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin said the following:

“California’s commitment to public transit is unwavering, and with billions more in funding in the pipeline – including for zero-emission equipment and operations – we are just getting started in delivering a more sustainable and equitable transit system for the people of California,” Omishakin said. “I thank Governor Newsom and our legislative leaders for continuing to prioritize public transit,” Omishakin added.

CalSTA intends to approve further allocations totaling about $500 million during the summer for the remaining planning agencies, so further assistance for public transit is expected. These distributions are a component of a longer-term plan including yearly financial approvals for fiscal years 2027–28.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday the distribution of almost $1.9 billion in financing for transit networks statewide
Courtesy of California Governor on X

Apart from the funding announcement Monday, CalSTA earlier in April requested project proposals for more than $900 million using the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). Applications for the funds will be reviewed by the due date set for July 23; winners will be revealed in October. This project fits California’s ongoing commitment to provide passenger rail and transit, which saw around $3.5 billion funded alone last year.

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Additionally included in the transit recovery package are fresh accountability structures meant to steady transit operations. CalSTA has started the Transit Transformation Task Force as part of these initiatives to create policy recommendations meant to boost transit ridership, improve user experience, and satisfy long-term operational needs.

Strategic planning and this financial infusion highlight California’s determination to change its public transportation scene, therefore promoting a more linked and sustainable state.

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