The California Transportation Commission (CTC) has allocated $27.8 million for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) purchase of new light rail vehicles, as part of a $924 million investment to improve state transportation infrastructure.
CTC made the announcement at its May meeting. While much of the investment will be used for roadway, bridge, safety and other projects, three transit projects, totaling $39.3 million, were approved for Los Angeles County:
• Metro: $27.8 million for the acquisition of 78 systemwide LRVs, with the option to buy an additional 39. (Metro’s proposed Fiscal Year 2022 budget includes $92 million for light and heavy railcar purchases for replacement and expansion.)
• Long Beach Transit/UCLA Electric Commuter Express: $6.5 million to procure five zero-emission battery-electric buses and for the construction of charging infrastructure to create “a zero-emission over-the-road coach commuter route” between the Greater Long Beach area and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
• Los Angeles Region Transit System Integration and Modernization Program: $5 million to complete the environmental documentation for the Vermont Transit Corridor, which will result in either a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or rail transit service between Hollywood Boulevard and 120th Street.
More than half of the new investment ($458 million) will come from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, which provides $5 billion in transportation funding annually split between state and local agencies, according to CTC.
“Caltrans is building a brighter future through a transportation network that serves all Californians,” Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin said. “This significant investment will help us fortify and enhance our state’s vast network of highways, bridges, transit lines, bikeways and pedestrian routes.”
In early February, CTC announced it would distribute $6.45 million to seven short line railroad infrastructure projects. And in December 2020, CTC reported it would allocate $392.4 million to 10 freight and passenger rail projects as part of a recent approval of $2 billion for 56 state projects that would reduce traffic, improve goods movement and increase transit service, among other measures.