/ JUNE 2, 2016
(TNS) -- Caltrans awarded East and South Bay transit agencies more than $16 million for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve public transit, the agency announced Wednesday.
The 12 projects are part of 131 statewide totaling $74.6 million for transit improvements funded through the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program, which aims to curb climate change and is intended to prioritize projects that serve disadvantaged communities, according to Caltrans officials.
Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said the projects would provide very real benefits for local communities and help municipalities build a more sustainable transportation system.
Some of the largest East and South Bay awards include $4.48 million for BART to purchase four electric-powered rail cars, $3.56 million for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to replace Clipper card equipment on buses and light rail, and $1.95 million for AC Transit to purchase and install technology that prioritizes buses at stoplights for its planned Bus Rapid Transit line in Oakland and San Leandro."These projects are not only going to make public transit more efficient and affordable to more Californians, but make it more climate friendly as well," he said in a statement.
There are also funds for bus agencies to replace diesel buses with zero-emissions vehicles, new ferry boats to service a planned Richmond terminal, and more frequent bus service in Eastern and Western Contra Costa County.
The program is one of several funded through auction proceeds from the California Air Resources Board's Cap-and-Trade Program. Lawmakers created the funding source to provide operating and capital assistance for transit agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility, according to Caltrans officials.
©2016 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) Distributed byTribune Content Agency, LLC.