County Awarded $16M to Expand Transit and Passenger Rail Service
By the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG)
California State Transportation Agency recently announced $2.5 billion to fund 16 ongoing public transportation projects statewide to expand transit and passenger rail service. Projects in Santa Barbara county received $16 million from the first of two rounds of funding announcements in the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program.
The $16 million for projects in Santa Barbara county were awarded to Santa Barbara County Association of Governments in partnership with the City of Goleta to complete the Goleta Train Depot Project, and Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency to address bluff erosion north of Gaviota State Beach.
Santa Barbara County Association of Governments made a push for more funding for regional public transit and intercity rail from the state legislature that led to historic investments from state to help support vital projects in the region.
“The state of California is making significant investments to bring much-need resources that strengthen infrastructure across the state to improve transportation options and enhance mobility throughout the state,” said Senator Monique Limón. “This marks a historic moment that the state has been able to provide additional investments to support existing projects and I look forward to celebrating the completion of the Goleta Train Depot Project.”
Pacific Surfliner on the Gaviota Coast (Photo: Mike Eliason)
Santa Barbara County Association of Governments was awarded $5.6 million for the Goleta Train Depot project. The award was leveraged by a $1 million local contribution from the City of Goleta. In 2018, Santa Barbara County Association of Governments received $13 million in state Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program grant for the Goleta Train Depot project. This is the first time since the state program began in 2015 it has provided supplemental funding for existing projects to be completed.
“The Goleta Train Depot project is a landmark project for our community and now one-step closer to completion with the $5.6 million in funding from the state,” said Marjie Kirn, executive director of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments. “We look forward to celebrating the start of construction with the City of Goleta later this year.”
The Goleta Train Depot Project is to construct new multi-modal train station at the existing AMTRAK platform on South La Patera Lane in Goleta with the intent to increase rail ridership and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Through the completion of a full-service station, the project will improve connections to bus transit, accommodate transit service to/from the Santa Barbara Airport and the University of California, Santa Barbara, add new bicycle and pedestrian facilities and allow accommodation for potential additional train storage to support increased passenger rail service.
With the help of the $10.4 million state investment, the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency is improving coastal resiliency through slope stabilization efforts in Santa Barbara County as part of a Corridor Hardening Improvement Program. Together with Union Pacific Railroad, LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency will work toward repairs in areas north of Gaviota State Beach.
The Transit Intercity Rail Capital Program has provided more than $9.1 billion in funding to nearly 100 projects since 2015, funded primarily from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, Cap-and-Trade program proceeds, and the General Fund.
A complete list of the recipients can be found here.