$10 Billion for Transit and Climate: MTC Considers New Proposals to Fund Transit and Greenhouse Gas Reductions
Two transportation funding proposals to bolster the region’s aging public transit network and reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be considered by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) this month. MTC’s Programming and Allocations Committee on December 11 will consider staff recommendations for referral to the full Commission at its December 18 meeting. The proposals have been updated to reflect public comments received since their release last month.
Totaling nearly $10 billion, both proposals come out of the recently adopted Plan Bay Area, the region’s long-range transportation and housing blueprint.
The Cap and Trade Funding Framework proposes using $3 billion in anticipated California Cap and Trade revenues expected to be available to the Bay Area through 2040 to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. At least 25 percent of the funding must be targeted to low-income communities, pursuant to language adopted in Plan Bay Area. The proposal also sets forth a comprehensive process for developing the Project Selection Guidelines and assumes a timeline of roughly 6-12 months before staff would bring the guidelines to the Commission for approval. Adoption of guidelines would precede any program or project selection, with the exception of the Transit Core Capacity Challenge Grant Program.
The Cap and Trade Funding Framework identifies five areas for funding:
- $900 million for the Core Capacity Challenge Grants described below – an amount that is factored into the $7.5 billion available for that program;
- $450 million for transit operating and efficiency costs;
- $1.05 billion for “One Bay Area Grants,” MTC’s program to provide counties with funding for needed transportation improvements and planning to support development near transit stations;
- $300 million for MTC’s Climate Initiatives Program, which funds a range of programs to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, including $75 million for the Safe Routes to School Program; and
- $450 million to improve goods movement and efficiency and to mitigate environmental impacts of moving freight through communities.
The second funding proposal, the Transit Core Capacity Challenge Grant program, seeks to fund capital needs for the region’s three largest public transit operators – San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (Muni), BART and AC Transit, which together carry 80 percent of the region’s transit passengers, as well as more than 75 percent of the region’s low-income and minority riders. The approximately $7.5 billion program would fund transit vehicle replacement, fleet expansion and key facility upgrades.
Operators would also need to meet certain performance and efficiency objectives. Funds for the program come from federal, state, regional and local sources, including bridge toll revenues, and would require a 30 percent match from the three operators (which explains the “Challenge” part of the program name). A key element of the local matching funds for Muni would come from future revenue sources identified by the San Francisco Mayor’s Transportation Task Force, as detailed here. For more information, visit www.onebayarea.org.
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