CAPTI Frequently Asked Questions
- What is CAPTI?
CAPTI is the Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure. CAPTI details a holistic investment framework and outlines accompanying strategies and actions on how the State should invest billions of dollars of transportation funding where state agencies play a role in project selection or nomination. The investment framework, strategies, and actions help the transportation sector aggressively combat and adapt to the climate crisis, while supporting public health, safety, and social equity goals. CAPTI maintains California’s commitment to continue a “fix-it-first” approach to maintaining the state’s highways, roads and bridges. Below are some frequently asked questions asked about the document.
- Why is CAPTI necessary?
As the largest contributor to California’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), reducing emissions throughout all aspects of the transportation sector is urgently needed to address the climate crisis.
Even under the most aggressive scenarios for zero-emission vehicle adoption and a transition to cleaner fuels, California cannot meet its climate goals relying solely on a shift in transportation technologies. This means we must work to reduce our dependence on driving and reduce overall vehicle miles traveled to meet our climate goals.
Moreover, reducing our dependence on driving is also key for our state’s equity, healthy, and safety goals—not just climate.
- What is the difference between the CAPTI Investment Framework, guiding principles, strategies, and actions?
The draft CAPTI Investment Framework is a set of 10 cross-cutting guiding principles aimed at shaping future state transportation funding decisions. These guiding principles signal the state’s intent for aligning state transportation infrastructure investments with state climate, health, and social equity goals, built on the foundation of the “fix-it-first” approach established in SB 1.
The draft plan’s strategies outline general approaches for implementing the guiding principles, while the actions detail specific commitments to needed changes to state transportation planning, project scoping, programming, and mitigation activities to align with the CAPTI Investment Framework.
- How will CAPTI impact state transportation funding? What programs will be affected by CAPTI?
Under CAPTI, where feasible and within existing funding program structures, the state will invest competitive transportation funds in sustainable infrastructure projects that align with its climate, health, and social equity goals. The CAPTI Investment Framework will guide CalSTA decision-making around the Transit and Intercity Rail Program, the State Highway Operations and Protection Program, the Interregional Transportation Improvement Program, as well as the CTC’s policies on the Active Transportation Program, the Solutions for Congested Corridors Program, the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, and the Local Partnership Program. CAPTI details the impacts on these programs and planning processes.
Although California’s statewide transportation funding programs have different statutory purposes and invest in various types of infrastructure, collectively they can offer a shared transportation vision. Understanding that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to the transportation needs of the state’s diverse communities, CAPTI calls for a range of investment strategies.
CAPTI is intended to identify opportunities where the state can combat the climate crisis through competitive state transportation funding programs. This approach highlights the state’s commitment to innovative, sustainable transportation projects, while maintaining the “fix-it-first” approach of SB 1. There is not a single strategy or action in the plan that suggests using transportation funds for anything other than transportation.
While other state programs also affect the transportation sector, they fall outside the scope of the Executive Orders that form the foundation of CAPTI. However, state agencies may voluntarily look to the CAPTI Investment Framework to develop plans or to structure the transportation portions of funding programs under their control.
- Will CAPTI change or reduce funding for projects with funds already awarded? How does CAPTI impact projects that are already under development?
CAPTI remains mindful of previous commitments and projects that are well underway and does not propose any changes that would impact previous programming or award decisions. Projects or project segments that have been programmed or already awarded funding are not expected to identify opportunities to improve consistency with the CAPTI Investment Framework.
Projects or project segments under development that do not have committed funding may continue to seek funding from state transportation programs. However, these projects will be subject to any guidelines or process changes as a result of the implementation of the actions suggested in CAPTI. The impact of guidelines changes will be determined through the guidelines update process for each program and stakeholder input received through the guidelines update process.
- Will CAPTI make projects take longer to complete?
CAPTI has several strategies aimed at speeding up project delivery. The key will be to fast track innovative, new projects that align with the CAPTI framework by prioritizing them for pre-construction funding, and to align construction-focused competitive programs to encourage CAPTI-supported projects.
- Will CAPTI ban highway capacity projects?
No. CAPTI will not ban highway capacity projects. However, upon approval of CAPTI and program guidelines updates, projects that could substantially increase vehicle miles traveled (VMT), generally in urbanized areas, may not achieve the same prioritization or competitiveness in some programs as in previous years.
CAPTI outlines strategies and actions that will advance more sustainable, equitable, and healthy modes of transportation, such as walking, biking, transit, and rail, as well as accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicle technology.
- We are a community that does not currently have the types of transportation projects in the works that CAPTI emphasizes— what should we do?
A key component of CAPTI is its focus on “fix-it-first” projects, which is expected to continue to make up the majority of the $5 billion investment the state makes through the CAPTI identified programs. These types of maintenance projects are found in every community.
A critical goal of CAPTI is to direct transportation planning resources and guidance to smaller or rural communities that do not receive the same level of resources as large metropolitan regions. CalSTA will convene a discussion with these local and regional rural transportation partners to identify and explore actions to equip rural communities with the tools they need to further the vision of the CAPTI Framework. CAPTI focuses on equitable distribution of state resources in order to create a pipeline of projects for under-resourced communities and to meet our climate and equity goals. State agencies will also provide technical support and assistance to help local governments and community-based organizations collaborate and develop proposals and project scopes.
- How can the state ensure that rural communities with fewer transportation alternatives can continue to receive funds for needed transportation infrastructure?
CAPTI recognizes that smaller and rural communities often do not have access to the same resources as large metro regions. Aligning Caltrans’ planning efforts with the CAPTI Investment Framework and ongoing investments in less-resourced regions in the state are critical to meeting our climate and equity goals.
CAPTI contains strategies designed to support California’s rural communities in a variety of key areas. Some examples include:
- Increasing investment in active transportation—such as walking and biking—in smaller rural communities that have conventional State Highway Systems serving as their main streets.
- Targeting Corridor Planning resources in smaller or less resourced communities in the state to help Regions Rise Together.
- Convening local and regional rural transportation partners to identify sustainable rural transportation solutions and explore actions to equip rural communities with the tools they need to further the vision of the CAPTI Framework.
- Providing technical assistance and support to small and rural transit operators to implement new features and technologies in their service areas.
- Supporting the development of innovative safety solutions for rural communities that advance sustainable transportation modes.
- Supporting the innovation in and development of the zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) market and helping ensure these vehicles are accessible to all, particularly to those in more rural or remote communities.
- How will this policy shift affect regional goods movement and the investments needed to support freight?
CAPTI includes strategies that prioritize inclusion of zero-emission freight infrastructure as part of larger corridor improvements that improve freight mobility to advance the state’s air quality and climate goals. State agencies will work with the freight industry to encourage and help accelerate the widespread transition to zero-emission technologies and infrastructure.
- How does the plan address social equity?
The draft CAPTI recognizes that disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities have experienced disproportionate burdens from the transportation system and have not fully shared in the benefits of transportation investments. CAPTI recognizes that traditional, longstanding practices of prioritizing the movement of vehicles over the movement of people has widened inequities. Additionally, CAPTI recognizes that these same communities are disproportionately impacted by the effects of the climate crisis – including increased pollution and adverse health outcomes – and have less capacity and fewer resources to cope with, adapt to, or recover from climate impacts. Accordingly, the CAPTI guiding principles, strategies and action commit to confronting these longstanding inequities and focus on reducing harms and increasing benefits to disadvantaged, low-income, and BIPOC communities.
Among the key strategies identified in the report is the development of an Equity Index tool by Caltrans to assist in the evaluation and prioritization of Caltrans projects, as well as establishing an advisory committee(s) focused on transportation equity and environmental justice issues stemming from transportation planning and programming. Promoting walking, biking, transit, and other modes of active transportation improves the health of Californians and reduces dependence on driving and overall VMT.
- What is the Equity Index and will it apply to all projects?
Caltrans is developing an Equity Index as a tool to help evaluate and prioritize projects that it develops, delivers, or submits to competitive state transportation funding programs. The Equity Index will include an array of indicators and metrics designed to improve the social equity outcomes of transportation projects and to prioritize projects that provide the greatest social equity benefit. Caltrans expects the development of the Equity Index and a pilot phase to take at least a year to ensure time for stakeholder and public input.
The Equity Index is not a required tool for local and regional agencies. However, Caltrans intends to make the tool available to local and regional agencies for project evaluation.
- How does this plan address safety?
CAPTI calls for making safety improvements to reduce fatalities and severe injuries on roadways, railways and transit systems as one of the draft plan’s guiding principles. Specifically, the guiding principle focuses on encouraging context-appropriate speeds, prioritizing vulnerable user safety to support mode shift, designing roadways to accommodate for potential human error and injury tolerances, and ultimately implementing a safe systems approach. For more information on Caltrans’ implementation of a safe systems approach, visit https://dot.ca.gov/programs/safety-programs.
- Will you clarify the action around increasing funding to the Active Transportation Program? What funding sources are you looking to for this action?
Throughout the development of the CAPTI, stakeholders have asked to increase funding to the Active Transportation Program (ATP) to address the high demand for limited resources. CalSTA is committed to finding a pathway forward with stakeholders to increase funding to the ATP and is soliciting feedback on potential funding pathways including:
- Flexing future federal funding into the ATP
- Pursuing a programmatic “match” approach where a local contribution from existing competitive funding programs would be matched with funds from the State Highway Account to increase the ATP, or
- Taking small continuous contributions from across several programs (e.g., SHOPP, TCEP, SCCP, TIRCP, etc.) to minimize impact to any single funding source.
CalSTA maintains that the ideal approach for increasing funding for ATP would be through new funding—most likely through future federal funding. However, CalSTA is also interested in stakeholder input to identify the best potential funding sources and proposed amounts for a meaningful infusion of funds to the ATP from existing sources if new funding does not come to fruition.
- How will the actions identified within CAPTI be implemented?
CAPTI designates a Lead Agency for each action which will be responsible for the action’s implementation through their respective processes and procedures in Appendix A. Appendix A also identifies short-term and medium-term implementation timelines—within the next two years and between three to seven years, respectively—for each action.
- Are local and regional agencies expected to adopt the CAPTI Investment Framework?
No, local and regional agencies are not expected to adopt the CAPTI Investment Framework. The CAPTI Investment Framework serves as a framework for state agencies responsible for transportation to align their planning, project development, and programming decisions, processes, and policies with the state’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis. However, guidelines implementing CAPTI will encourage projects submitted by local or regional agencies to state competitive funding programs to align with the Framework in order to increase competitiveness for state sponsorship and support, and ultimately funding.
- Will Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) be required to revisit their Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) project lists to prioritize projects consistent with the CAPTI Investment Framework?
MPOs will not be required to revisit their RTP project lists. However, given the highly competitive nature of the programs affected by CAPTI, projects that are not in alignment with the CAPTI Investment Framework may not be as competitive. CalSTA encourages regions that are seeking state funds to prioritize the projects they submit for state funding based on the CAPTI Framework where feasible.
- What opportunities will I have to share my agency’s priorities and comments?
CalSTA developed the draft plan through extensive outreach and engagement with hundreds of stakeholders during the past 18 months. The draft was open for public review and feedback through May 19, 2021.