CARB pilot program awards additional $25 million to support equitable, clean transportation options in disadvantaged and low-income communities
SACRAMENTO — The California Air Resources Board has awarded three grants totaling $25 million to provide innovative clean transportation solutions for disadvantaged and low-income communities in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland.
The grants come from the Sustainable Transportation Equity Project, or STEP, a pilot program launched by CARB in 2020 to improve transportation equity. The latest funding supports implementation of additional clean transportation projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities, or those overburdened by pollution. Each project was chosen from competitive proposals received during CARB’s fiscal year 2019-20 STEP solicitation. Recipients include partnerships between a lead applicant, co-applicants such as public, private or nonprofit organizations, and community partners.
“This pioneering project is boosting transportation equity in communities that historically have faced higher levels of pollution,” CARB Chair Liane Randolph said. “STEP grants, paid for by cap-and-trade dollars, will help people get where they need to go — be it the doctor’s office or daycare — without using a personal vehicle. And Governor Newsom’s 2022 budget invests additional funding for more innovative projects like this one. That funding will provide options for clean mobility and transportation in low-income and disadvantaged communities by helping drivers scrap old clunkers and replace them with clean cars, providing financial help to buy electric cars, and making EV carsharing available.”
STEP aims to increase transportation equity in disadvantaged and low-income communities by funding clean transportation solutions that are determined by community residents and that work best for each individual community. Projects funded include a new shuttle service; electric carshare and bikeshare services; public transit and shared mobility subsidies; urban forestry; pedestrian improvements; active transportation education and outreach events; and workforce development activities. All projects incorporate significant community engagement during all phases of project planning, development and implementation.
- Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) — $6,765,527.62
- San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency — $10,569,100.00
- Oakland Department of Transportation — $8,074,895.15
These awards are contingent on final results of fiscal year 2021-22 cap-and-trade auctions.
“We are elated for this generous award from the California Air Resource Board. The grant is in line with the agency’s commitment to equitably serve San Francisco’s transit-dependent and historically neglected and polluted neighborhoods,” SFMTA Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin said. “I am very thankful for the enormous amount of time and valuable input from the Bayview community and look forward to rolling out this shuttle service tailored to the feedback we received. This clean transportation effort decreases the neighborhood’s pollution while increasing accessibility for the resident’s essential trips in and around the community.”
"LADOT’s commitment is to strive to deliver a transportation system for L.A. that creates opportunity for everyone," LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds said. "Thanks to the CARB STEP grants and its resources, we are able to advance our Universal Basic Mobility pilot that will bring more safe and green options for Angelenos to get to where they need to be."
Out of 34 proposals submitted for STEP funding in fiscal year 2019-20, CARB initially awarded eight planning and capacity building grants and three grants supporting project implementation, totaling $19.5 million. These 11 previously funded projects are now underway.
STEP is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that has put billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities. Other programs that promote low-carbon transportation solutions in California include Clean Mobility Options, a pilot providing first-come, first-served funding for smaller-scale shared mobility projects, and the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program, which provides grants and affordable financing to help people buy clean cars.