News Flash

Transportation & Public Works - News

Posted on: July 12, 2022

State Funding Expedites Local Transition to Clean Public Transit

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The California State Transportation Agency announced Thursday that local efforts to support transit will receive $25 million in state funding through the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). The Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA) led the successful effort in partnership with Petaluma Transit, Santa Rosa CityBus, Sonoma County Transit, the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) District, and the Mendocino Transit Authority. The awarded grant includes funding for a second SMART station in Petaluma, thirty new all-electric buses that will operate throughout the county, bus charging infrastructure, and connectivity to Mendocino County Transit.

“This funding recognizes the urgency of addressing climate change and will expedite our transition to clean public transit,” said SCTA Chair and Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Rogers.

The California State Transportation Agency awarded nearly $800 million to 23 projects statewide to expand transit and intercity rail service and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This fifth cycle of TIRCP grants will improve and expand public transportation throughout California while positioning the state to strongly compete for significant new federal funding through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. In addition to the $796.1 million awarded today, the recently enacted 2022-23 state budget includes $7.65 billion in TIRCP funding from the General Fund over the next three years.

Petaluma Council Member and SCTA Director D’Lynda Fischer said, “I am so grateful that our community supported Go Sonoma in 2020. We have an effective regional transportation agency who can leverage funding to create a more robust, resilient, and integrated transit system for our City and County.”

The electrification of the bus fleet supports Sonoma County Transit, Santa Rosa CityBus, and Petaluma Transit in an accelerated transition to all-electric fleets ahead of the California Air Resources Board’s Innovative Clean Transit Rule (ICT) mandates and in alignment with local climate goals. The 30 all-electric busses will replace older diesel, diesel hybrid, and compressed natural gas buses, removing more polluting vehicles from operation and reducing long-term vehicle maintenance costs

Sonoma County Supervisor and SCTA Vice Chair Linda Hopkins stated, “This funding is a leap forward towards achieving our climate goals. It means more electric buses — and building remote charging stations in West, North, East and South County to support the transition to an electric fleet.”

SMART Board of Directors Chair and SCTA/RCPA Board Member David Rabbitt noted “Petaluma will see exciting SMART progress in the coming couple of years with the second SMART Petaluma station and 4.4-miles of SMART Pathway constructed and opened to the public from Penngrove to Lakeville near Downtown Petaluma. These projects are climate friendly and will create more equitable transportation access for people. We are thankful for the State’s support and looking forward to building these community improvements.”

For more detail see https://calsta.ca.gov/press-releases/2022-07-07-calsta-awards-800-million-for-tircp-projects and the attached project list for Sonoma County.

About Sonoma County Transportation Authority
The Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA) plays a leading role in transportation in Sonoma County by securing funds, overseeing project delivery and long term planning. The SCTA acts as the countywide planning and fund programming agency for transportation related issues.

About Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART)
Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is the Bay Area’s newest passenger rail service providing a safe, reliable and congestion-free transportation option for Marin and Sonoma counties. The current 45-mile system includes stations in the Sonoma County Airport area, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Novato, San Rafael, and Larkspur. SMART’s system also includes a bicycle and pedestrian pathway along the rail corridor.

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