SACRAMENTO, CALIF. (COURTHOUSE NEWS SERVICE) — California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that the Golden State is awarding more than $2.5 billion to 16 different local transit projects throughout the state.
“The projects funded represent critical transportation and will provide alternatives to driving with access to a modernized, public transit system,” Newsom said in a statement. “California is unwavering in our commitment to our world-leading climate agenda, including record levels of investments in public transportation projects to electrify fleets, expand and improve service, and spark ridership growth.”
Much of the money will go to two projects in what have generally been considered less-fancied parts of the Los Angeles area: Inglewood and the East Valley. The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor, a 6.7 mile section of light rail in the northern part of Los Angeles, will receive $600 million, while the Inglewood Transit Connector, a 1.6-mile people mover — an automated, elevated rail line that will connect the K Line with SoFi Stadium and other entertainment venues — will receive $407 million, with an eye toward completing it by 2028 when LA will host the Summer Olympics.
Los Angeles and its surrounding cities are in the midst of an ambitious expansion of the area's rail network. The county's regional transit agency Metro hopes to have a number of projects completed by the time LA hosts the Games for the third time.
“These historic investments in transit and intercity rail projects will help get these transformative projects over the finish line and into operation so the people of California can enjoy more of the mobility, safety, environmental and equity benefits that come with riding transit,” said California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin in a statement.
The grant money also includes $375 million for extending the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) through to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara.
State transit officials said they would be awarding another $1.14 billion to "new transit projects and improvements at high-priority intersections where rail lines and public streets meet by the end of April."
Funding comes from California's cap-and-trade scheme and a transit infrastructure bill passed in 2017.