Metro receives 26 percent of statewide SB-1 gas tax funding

We posted a couple weeks ago about the California Transportation Commission’s staff recommendations for state grant funding to Metro. It’s now official, with the CTC having voted to approve the grants on Wednesday. Here’s Metro’s news release:

The California Transportation Commission today approved $703.6 million in SB-1 funding for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) as part of its transportation funding allocations for agencies statewide.

The California Transportation Agency (CalSTA) also recently announced its SB-1 award for funding Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Improvements, with more than $1 billion designated for Metro. With today’s award of $703.6 million from the CTC and the award of $1.088 billion from CalSTA, the State has made a commitment to fund more than $1.8 billion in projects for Metro over a number of years.

SB-1 is the state’s “gas tax” and vehicle fee transportation funding program approved by the Legislature in 2017 and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The awards represent the largest allocation of SB-1 funds in California to date. Metro received approximately 26 percent of total funding available statewide, underscoring the magnitude of needed transportation improvements for the congested L.A. region. The funding will go to Metro’s program of projects which include highway, transit and goods movement elements. The county’s annual transit ridership is four times that of any other county in the state. Metro also has the highest annual passenger miles of any other operator in California. L.A. County has seven of the state’s 10 most congested highway corridors and its ports handle 86 percent of all containers for California.

“The path to a more sustainable, resilient tomorrow runs through our investments in infrastructure today,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti. “SB-1 is putting billions of dollars to work fixing our roads and creating more sustainable transportation options — giving Californians healthier air to breathe, less congestion and good-paying jobs that will stimulate economic growth across our state.”

Metro will combine SB-1 gas tax funds with its own locally generated transportation sales tax contributions to continue transforming L.A. County’s transportation system and delivering Measure M and R projects.

“Metro is now leading a transportation revolution in Los Angeles County thanks to our locally funded Measure M and R programs,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “Our programs depend on significant funding participation from both the state and federal governments. These SB-1 funds will help us leverage our local funding commitments to fully and quickly implement our region’s critically needed transportation improvements.”

Metro’s projects were selected as some of the best solutions to transform the county’s urban bus and rail system, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled and improve overall mobility in the region.

Metro transportation projects announced for SB-1 funding in several program categories include:

Local Partnership Program
Solutions for Congested Corridors Program

• Airport Metro Connector 96th Street Transit Station Project: $150 million

Trade Corridor Enhancement Program

• Interstate 5 Golden State Chokepoint Relief Project: $247 million
• SR-57/60 Confluence: Chokepoint Relief Program: $22 million
• America’s Global Freight Gateway: Southern California Rail Project: $128.6 million
• Interstate 605/State Route 91 Interchange Improvement: Gateway Cities Freight Crossroads Project: $32 million
• State Route 71 Freeway Conversion Project: $44 million

The CalSTA’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Improvements Program seeks to modernize transportation infrastructure, improve safety and grow rail ridership. The Transit Capital projects that were awarded multi-year funding include:

Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program – $1.088 Billion

• Gold Line Foothill Light Rail Extension to Montclair
• East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor
• West Santa Ana Branch Light Rail Transit Corridor
• Green Line Light Rail Extension to Torrance
• Orange/Red Line to Gold Line BRT Transit Corridor
• Vermont Transit Corridor

6 replies

  1. Makes sense since LA County has ~26 percent of California’s residents. It’s a shame, though, that the state allocated proportionately rather than based on need (ex: LA County has the big ports and the most challenging traffic issues, but that didn’t get us any extra funding beyond that based on headcount)

  2. Will these funds be available every year? If so, there’s potential here for a lot of money coming into the county for projects like Van Nuys.

    • From what I’ve read, it looks like these funds are derived from the revenue from the first 10 years of SB-1 taxes, so it will be a while before any other projects can be funded from this revenue source.

  3. It’s good that the amount awarded is proportional to the county’s portion of the state’s population. LA County is 26% of the state population.

    • Yes, but Angelenos drive less than the average state resident and thus use less gasoline and pay less of this tax so it is still a win.