Transportation measures are critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving public health, and linking households to basic needs and opportunities.
Pathways for Reducing Transportation Emissions
Strategies to reduce transportation emissions fall into three primary categories:
Electrify cars, buses, and trucks (coupled with decarbonized electricity) and provide charging infrastructure
Reduce reliance on single-occupancy vehicles by supporting alternative modes of transit (walking, biking, transit, car-sharing)
Land use changes that reduce vehicle-miles-traveled by fostering denser development near transit and providing housing close to workplaces.
Many state agencies fund one or more types of transportation-related investments. Most multisector programs fund projects with a transportation component, as noted in our tables depicting multisector programs. Below, we organize the transportation-specific investments by the type of recipient (individual, households, and businesses versus programs available to local governments and communities) and by more discrete funding decisions, including a sampling of pilot projects and one-time funding decisions.
The Strategic Growth Council also manages multi-sector programs, which can include but are not limited to transportation investments.
California Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF): The state auctions a percentage of the allowances in the cap-and-trade program. The revenue must be devoted to greenhouse gas reductions. Informed by state agencies’ Investment Plan, completed every three years, the Legislature apportions the GGRF funds to specific programs.
General Fund: In the 2021 and 2022 budget bills, the legislature provided billions of dollars to support vehicle electrification, including charging infrastructure.
Air Pollution Control Fund: This fund holds penalties and fees collected from entities that violate pollution control laws, like penalties from recent settlements with car manufacturers. The legislature allocates these funds to agencies for air pollution improvement projects.
Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Settlement: The funding allocations are set in California’s Beneficiary Mitigation Plan. One funding category is for ZEV infrastructure for light-duty vehicles.
Air Quality Improvement Fund: This fund comes from smog abatement fees collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles and funds the Air Quality Improvement Program.
SB 1: The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, committed $54 billion over 10 years to fix roads and bridges as well as devoting additional resources to transit, active transportation, and safety. The designated funding is in the “Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account.”
CEC Clean Transportation Program funds: Vehicle and vessel registration, vehicle identification plates, and smog abatement fees.
Proposition 39: This 2012 proposition authorized funds for school and community college investments in energy efficiency and expanded clean energy, and it provides funds for replacing diesel school buses.
Federal transportation dollars: State transportation agencies also provide a conduit for federal transportation funds from traditional transportation bills, as well as from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021, which dedicated substantial funding for transportation infrastructure (among many other investments).
Transportation funding opportunities are organized as follows: