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This week, Caltrans awarded $1.62 million in Transportation Planning Grants to efforts that benefit the San Joaquin region. The County of San Joaquin, San Joaquin Regional Transit District, SJCOG (in partnership with other transportation agencies), and the Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Rail Authority will receive funds though the state-funded grants.
The County of San Joaquin will receive $240,000 to update the County's Bicycle Master Plan which was last updated in 2010. The update will better identify current bicycling needs in unincorporated San Joaquin County and help prioritize future project implementation. The updated Master Plan will also assist the County in future identification of potential Complete Streets implementation opportunities.
“This grant funding demonstrates the local and regional commitment to building sustainable communities in San Joaquin County,” said San Joaquin County Supervisor and SJCOG Chair, Kathy Miller.
The San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) will receive $177,060 to create a roadmap and detailed plan to implement a solar energy system. These funds will be used most efficiently by following a detailed implementation plan that will include a project phasing plan, identification of locations for charging stations, battery storage capacity and capabilities, and analysis of energy generation/storage needed to support a growing zero-emission bus fleet. RTD will also receive $132,795 to conduct a transit consolidation study to analyze implications for RTD extending its regional role to operate local services in each city in San Joaquin County with the goal of providing service quality improvements and cost savings.
The Tuolumne County Transportation Council - in partnership with the San Joaquin Council of Governments, California Bicycle Coalition, Calaveras County Council of Governments, Stanislaus Council of Governments, and Alpine County Local Transportation Commission - will receive $318,503 for an interregional planning effort aimed to improve bicycle safety, enhance the region for bicycle tourism, and enhance multi-modal travel. A final report will detail priority projects, conceptual designs, and cost estimates, as well as next steps and funding strategies.
The Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Rail Authority will receive $750,000 for the Altamont Rail Connection Feasibility Study that will “develop the basis for investments necessary to establish rail connectivity between BART and ACE, providing direct service connections, and serving mega-regional and State goals for inter-connectivity.”
Caltrans received 180 applications for a total of $51 million in planning projects, but was only able to award a portion of that amount. The purpose of the grants is to help support Caltrans’s mission to provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability. The grants went to small rural cities, large cities and regions, and transit agencies throughout the state. Funding comes from a mix of state and federal funding, including Senate Bill 1, federal planning, and research grants.
Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, provides $25 million annually in local planning grants for multimodal transportation and land use planning projects which support regional sustainable community strategies and help achieve California's greenhouse gas reduction targets. Grants are awarded both competitively and by formula to eligible projects. These grants are intended to help strengthen the economy, promote equity and protect the environment.