Thursday, June 21 , 2018, 1:39 pm | Mostly Cloudy 68º


State Transportation Bill a Boon for Local Roads, Transit

Both houses of the state Legislature have passed historic new transportation funding legislation that will benefit local streets, roads, state highways and transit in Santa Barbara County.

SB 1 passed both the state Senate and Assembly with the bare minimum votes necessary to ensure passage. Gov. Jerry Brown, who pushed hard for the bill’s passage, is expected to sign the bill into law. SB1 will raise more than $5.2 billion in state transportation revenue annually.

Local streets and roads in Santa Barbara County will be beneficiaries of more than $15 million in annual new funding from SB 1. Local transit providers will also benefit from $3.2 million annually in new funding.

Caltrans will also receive new funding to maintain state highways and new multi-modal congestion relief grant programs in the legislation could benefit both the 101 HOV widening project and passenger rail in the 101 corridor.

SBCAG Executive Director Marjie Kirn said, “The SBCAG Board and I are extremely grateful to State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson and state Assembly member Monique Limon for their strong support of SB1.

“Passage of this new transportation funding is the best news we have ever had for improving local road maintenance, and funding the ‘lane-and-train’ to reduce congestion in the 101 corridor.

“The voters of Santa Barbara County stepped up to fund our local share of the cost of these projects by passing Measure A with 79 percent support and we are very optimistic the state will now help us finish the job,” Lirn said.

"The state of California has suffered from under-investment in our transportation infrastructure for the past 20 years.

“Our state legislators took a historic step forward with SB1 to deliver the necessary funding to maintain and improve local streets and roads, state highways, passenger rail and active transportation projects," she said.

SB1 contains a new state grant program called Solutions for Congested Corridors along with funding programs for freight, additional new funding for Self-Help Counties and for active transportation projects.

SBCAG’s multi-modal lane-and-train strategy is aligned closely with the type of projects contemplated by the governor’s administration and the Legislature in designing the new grant programs in SB1.

Brown has identified the 101 Widening Project as one of the state’s highest transportation priorities.

— Gregg Hart for SBCAG.


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