SB 125 Transit Program

Overview

SB 125 (Chapter 54, Statutes of 2023) guides the distribution of $4 billion in General Fund through the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program on a population-based formula to regional transportation planning agencies, which will have the flexibility to use the money to fund transit operations or capital improvements. The transportation budget trailer bill also establishes the $1.1 billion Zero-Emission Transit Capital Program to be allocated to regional transportation planning agencies on a population-based formula and another formula based on revenues to fund zero-emission transit equipment and operations. SB 125 includes an accountability program to govern the distribution of these funds, on which there is more detail below.

In addition, SB 125 establishes a Transit Transformation Task Force led by the California State Transportation Agency to develop policy recommendations to grow transit ridership, improve the transit experience and address long-term operational needs.

Accountability and Program Development

SB 125 requires CalSTA to develop and administer an accountability program to govern the distribution of funds for the Zero-Emission Transit Capital Program and the General Fund component of the TIRCP. CalSTA adopted guidelines governing the distribution of these funding sources in consultation with local agencies. To be eligible to receive money from these funding sources, regional transportation planning agencies must submit a regional short-term financial plan to CalSTA.

SB  125 Program Schedule

Item

Date

Release Informal Draft Guidelines (PDF)

August 18, 2023

Informal Draft Guidelines Explanatory Webinar  
PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)
Webinar Recording (YouTube link)

August 28, 2023

Release SB 125 Draft Guidelines (PDF)
Draft Guidelines Comparison Document (PDF)

September 1, 2023

Formal Draft Guidelines Workshop 
PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)
Workshop Recording (YouTube link)

September 7, 2023

Closing Date for Comments on Draft Guidelines*

September 14, 2023

SB 125 Final Guidelines (PDF)
Final Guidelines Comparison Document (PDF)
SB125 Fund Request Form (.xlsx)

September 29, 2023

Optional, time-limited, focused virtual meetings for agencies to discuss and clarify program requirements (will be scheduled by request)*

October 16-December 8, 2023

Initial Allocation Package Submittal Due

December 31, 2023

Regionally Compiled Transit Operator Data Due

December 31, 2023

Requested Funding Will be Allocated No Later Than

April 30, 2024

*Comments and requests for meetings can be submitted to: SB125transit@calsta.ca.gov 

Regional transportation planning agencies must also submit a long-term financial plan to CalSTA by June 26, 2026, to be eligible to receive TIRCP grants in the 2026–27 fiscal year or any subsequent fiscal years.

Transit Transformation Task Force

SB 125 requires CalSTA to establish and convene the Transit Transformation Task Force on or before January 1, 2024, and include representatives from the department, various local agencies, academic institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and other stakeholders. The task force is required to solicit and develop a structured, coordinated process for engagement of all parties to develop policy recommendations to grow transit ridership and improve the transit experience for all users of those services. CalSTA, in consultation with the task force, is required to prepare and submit a report of findings and policy recommendations based on the task force’s efforts to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature on or before October 31, 2025. The report must include a detailed analysis of specified issues and recommendations on specified topics, including, among others, reforming the Transportation Development Act.

CalSTA announced the 25-member task force on December 8, 2023. CalSTA anticipates the task force will hold in-person meetings every two months beginning in February 2024.

Meetings

Transit Transformation Task Force Welcome Email and Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act Information - December 15, 2023 (PDF)

Transit Transformation Task Force Email Notification of February 2024 Meeting - January 26, 2024 (PDF)