The new California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) opened its doors today for the first time, carrying out the Governor’s government reorganization plan, which included replacing the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (BTH) with a new state agency focused solely on transportation.
“The size and complexity of the state’s transportation system, combined with the important policy challenges now facing this state, demand cabinet-level attention and focus,” said Secretary Brian Kelly while testifying before the Little Hoover Commission in 2012 about the purpose of the new agency. “The mission of the California State Transportation Agency is to develop and coordinate the policies and programs of the state’s transportation entities to achieve the state’s mobility, safety and air quality objectives from its transportation system,” Kelly added.
As a result of these changes, CalSTA now consists of departments, boards and offices each with a focus on the safety and mobility of California’s traveling public. The following transportation-related entities now fall under CalSTA:
• Board of Pilot Commissioners
• California Highway Patrol
• California Transportation Commission
• Department of Transportation
• Department of Motor Vehicles
• High-Speed Rail Authority
• New Motor Vehicle Board
• Office of Traffic Safety
BTH, in anticipation of CalSTA formation, had taken steps to coordinate policies and programs of the transportation-related entities within the Agency’s jurisdiction. For example, an independent review of Caltrans operations was recently ordered to be conducted by the State Smart Transportation Initiative. The California Transportation Infrastructure Priorities Workgroup was announced to help set priorities for transportation spending and explore long-term funding options. The California Freight Advisory Committee was formed to help formulate the state's plans for freight-related transportation investments in California.
Sustainability and environmental stewardship are also key priorities for CalSTA and its departments. The High-Speed Rail Authority is publishing its annual report today documenting its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. The report describes a project greenhouse gas emissions inventory and lays out qualitative and quantitative reductions from mitigation activities and rail modernization projects. The Authority is committed to achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions related to all construction activities.
Caltrans also recently released a comprehensive report detailing its efforts to fight climate change by curbing greenhouse gas emissions and embracing new technology such as low-energy cement and efficient LED lighting. The report shows that Caltrans or its contractors have reduced emissions by at least 161,000 tons annually, the equivalent of removing 31,000 cars from the road. Caltrans was one of the first state agencies to successfully certify its greenhouse gas emissions inventory with the California Climate Action Registry.
The new California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) offices is now located at 915 Capitol Mall, Suite 350B, Sacramento, California 95814. For more information visit the Agency’s new website at www.calsta.ca.gov.