Transportation Funding: Federal Money is Coming to Fund California Transportation Infrastructure, But Where is the Money Going?
In early November, a Bipartisan Federal Infrastructure Bill was signed into law. This has some positive and some concerning implications for ClimatePlanners throughout our state. Before we dive in, we should acknowledge the numerous articles that break down what exactly was in the bill, including the following links:
- Streetsblog: How the Infrastructure Deal will make transit better?
- NACo: Legislative Analysis of Infrastructure and Jobs Act.
- CalBike: How will the Infrastructure bill impact Bike Riders?
- White House factsheet: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Will Deliver for California.
- Vox: States Have The Power to Make or Break the Infrastructure Law.
Back in 2007, ClimatePlan was founded by 11 different nonprofits for the sole purpose of ensuring AB32 / SB375 was passed and implemented in California. 14 years later, we’re still working to strengthen SB375 implementation throughout our state as we believe it’s a critical piece of the puzzle in creating healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities. In this current legislative session, there are several pieces of legislation to strengthen SB375. We recently sat down with Julia Jordan, Policy Coordinator at Leadership Counsel, to hear more about SB375 and what is being done to improve implementation of SB375 in the legislature.
What is SB 375 and what does it mandate in California?
SB 375 has been around since 2008. It essentially added a component to California’s regional transportation planning process to better address greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the transportation sector and specifically, GHGs from passenger vehicles (cars). Regional transportation plans have been around for even longer than that and require the creation of a 20-year vision for transportation investments and priorities.
SB 375 requires each Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in California to include a “Sustainable Communities Strategy” (SCS) in their regional transportation plan. This plan demonstrates how each region will meet their GHG reduction targets, which are set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Different regions of the state have been putting together SCS plans to meet climate goals for the last 13 years and the process involves a lot of different agencies - CARB, the California Transportation Commission (CTC), local governments, transit agencies, and MPOs who are responsible for making those plans. The analysis in SCSs also includes information on that region’s transportation network, housing availability, affordability, land use and population data in the region and how that region is expecting to grow. The projects that are put in the SCS become eligible for local, state and federal funding, so it is critical that the public is able to equitably engage and inform the plans.
More information on details of SB 375 can be found here in this resource from the Institute for Local Government.Read more