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Innovative microtransit projects among the awardees of nearly $800M in TIRCP funding

  •   2 min read

CalSTA’s TIRCP funding will support large-scale transit projects throughout California that will reduce GhG emissions and congestion while improving the quality and safety of transit service.

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On July 7, 2022 the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) announced nearly $800M in Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) funding for transformative projects that will modernize California’s intercity rail, bus, and ferry transit system. This round of funding not only affirmed microtransit as an eligible TIRCP project, but demonstrated that microtransit programs are highly competitive for this funding source. Of the 23 projects awarded, 5 applications (over 20%!) received capital and operating dollars to launch and expand microtransit services:

  • Anaheim Transportation Network (ATN)
  • Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) with Antelope Valley Schools Transportation Agency (AVSTA)
  • City of Cupertino with the City of Santa Clara
  • Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD)
  • Tulare County Regional Transit Agency (TCRTA) with Kings Area Rural Transit (KART), Visalia Transit (VT), and San Joaquin JPA

The TIRCP program can fund a wide range of capital expenditures associated with microtransit projects including the acquisition of vehicles and licensing of software. Also, through the capital cost of contracting policy, an entity can cover up to 50% of a turnkey contract with a microtransit provider, including for operating and other expenses. 

TIRCP applications that addressed bridging the “first- and last-mile” barrier to transit and reducing community reliance on single occupancy vehicles proved especially successful. For instance, Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) will allocate their TIRCP funds towards improving connectivity between priority communities and intermodal hubs. Anaheim Transportation Network (ATN) will use TIRCP funds to purchase an additional 10 vehicles for their microtransit service and improve first/last mile connectivity for their residents. The City of Cupertino will leverage the funds to expand its on-demand shuttle service into the City of Santa Clara.

We are excited to see CalSTA investing in microtransit projects that augment existing transit infrastructure. We have seen firsthand, from Sacramento to Antioch to Bakersfield, that this model can draw passengers to transit and reduce reliance on single occupancy vehicles.

The recently enacted budget in CA will invest an additional $7.65 billion in TIRCP over the next three years – some through population based formula allocations and some through additional competitive grants that may open up in the near future. TIRCP applicants can partner with private companies to develop, propose, and deliver projects. If you’re interested in working with us on an TIRCP grant application, we’d love to chat! Please reach out to partnerships@ridewithvia.com.

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