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1946 - Cher, great-granddaughter of Placerita Canyon homesteader Frank Walker and onetime Placerita property owner, born in El Centro, Calif. [story]
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Caltrans announced Wednesday that 131 local projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving public transportation were issued $74.6 million in funding from the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program.

This program is one of the strategies the state is employing to meet its ambitious goals to address climate change, and specifically prioritizes projects that will serve disadvantaged communities.

“These projects are not only going to show very real benefits to local communities, but will help build a more sustainable transportation system that will benefit all Californians,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “These projects are not only going to make public transportation more efficient and affordable to more Californians, but make it more climate friendly as well.”

These projects are part of the California Climate Investments, which use proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a variety of additional benefits to California communities. Some of the local projects that will benefit from these funding disbursements include:

Expanded Service for Multiple Routes: $8,156,592 to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to expand transit service along five routes, thus improving access to public transportation, increasing mobility and encouraging a greater use of transit.

New Gold Line Foothill Extension: $7,007,087 to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to add six new stations that will extend light rail transit service to the San Gabriel Valley. This project will include trains operating seven days a week.

Student Transit Pass Reduced Fare Program: $794,903 to the North County Transit District to establish a reduced SPRINTER/BREEZE monthly pass program with three post-secondary educational institutions and one school district. The goal is to increase ridership at the student level to promote long-term transit ridership.

Perris Valley Line Station Passenger Upgrades: $391,049 to the Riverside County Transportation Commission to upgrade the Perris Valley Line stations to support active transportation and encourage ridership. The project includes covered benches, bike covers/lockers and energy-efficient lighting. These capital improvements seek to increase the connectivity of alternative modes of transportation while encouraging greater use of transit.

Bus Stop Enhancement and Access Improvement Program: $173,076 to the Stanislaus County Public Works Transit Division to improve transit bus stops to meet ADA accessibility requirements as well as enhance transit service to increase ridership on Stanislaus Regional Transit’s routes by improving passengers comfort and safety.

A complete list of the 131 projects is attached. Eighty-five of the projects are targeted specifically to benefit disadvantaged communities. Of the $74.6 million in funding allocated, $70.4 million will benefit disadvantaged communities.

The program was created to provide operating and capital assistance for transit agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility, with a priority on serving disadvantaged communities. Approved projects will support new or expanded bus or rail services, or expanded intermodal transit facilities. They may also include equipment acquisition, fueling, and maintenance and other costs to operate these services or facilities, with each project reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Low Carbon Transit Operations Program is one of several state programs which are funded through auction proceeds from the California Air Resources Board’s Cap-and-Trade Program into the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Funding from this program will go toward direct investments in transit programs that reduce GHG emissions and benefit disadvantaged communities throughout California. This program will have a continuous appropriation of 5 percent of total Cap-and-Trade funding.

The Cap-and-Trade Program is one of many programs developed under AB 32 to fight climate change. It is designed to reduce greenhouse gases from the largest sources of emission in California, and to drive innovation and steer the State toward a clean energy economy. For more information on the Cap-and-Trade Program visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/capandtrade.html

For more information on the State’s program to spend auction proceeds from the Cap-and-Trade Program visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/auctionproceeds/auctionproceeds.html

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