The California State Transportation Agency is now accepting applications for the next round of Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) awards and the first round of State Rail Assistance (SRA) Programs awards. These grants combined will provide about $2.5 billion over the next five years to transit and rail operators across the state.
By statute, the next round of TIRCP will be a five-year program. Project applications will be due in January of 2018. Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the landmark transportation infrastructure bill signed by Governor Brown in April, will provide $7.6 billion in new transit funding over the next decade. With SB 1 funding and base funding from California Climate Investments, the five-year program is anticipated to be $2.4 billion. The competitive program aims to increase ridership on the statewide transit and rail network and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Eligible applicants include public agencies that operate existing or planned intercity rail, commuter passenger rail, urban rail transit, bus, ferry, or vanpool services. Applicants may also partner with other transit operators to provide better integrated service across two or more providers.
All projects must demonstrate that they will achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in order to be eligible. Grant recipients must also show benefits such as improved transit ridership, integration with other rail and transit systems, including high-speed rail, and improved rail safety. The program has a goal of providing at least 25 percent of benefits to disadvantaged communities in California, and last year more than 95 percent of project funds were awarded to projects that benefited disadvantaged communities.
TIRCP applications must be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 12, 2018. The Transportation Agency will announce the grant recipients by April 30, 2018.
Senate Bill 1 created the State Rail Assistance Program by directing a portion of new revenue specifically to intercity rail and commuter rail. This revenue is estimated to be $25 million in 2017-18, $39 million in 2018-19, and $41 million in 2019-20. The majority of program funding is directed by statutory formula to rail operators, with guidelines defining process and timeline for agencies to obtain funding. The applications requested in this round facilitate access to formula determined funding levels.
SRA applications must be submitted electronically to SRA@calsta.ca.gov by December 15, 2017 to be considered for initial funding receipt in February 2018. Applications received at a later date will be considered on a rolling basis. Initial project approvals will be announced by the Transportation Agency by January 31, 2018.