The State of California is on track to take in an estimated $52 billion more to help pay for the state’s transportation needs for the next decade. It will come largely from a 12 cent increase in the base gasoline tax and higher vehicle registration fees that are based on vehicle value. Most of the money raised will go to state and local road programs along with public transit and traffic congestion.
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After the bill became law in April, the Sacramento Bee published a breakdown of where the money will go:
Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program – $3.24 billion a year on average: Off the top, the program allocates several hundred million dollars to various endeavors:
▪ $400 million to maintain and repair state bridges and culverts
▪ $200 million for Sacramento and 23 other counties with local transportation taxes
▪ $100 million to increase the number of trips by bike and on foot
▪ $25 million for the freeway service patrol program
▪ $25 million for sustainable communities planning grants to local governments
▪ $7 million total for transportation-related research and education at UC ($5 million) and CSU ($2 million)
▪ $5 million in workforce development grants to local agencies
Of the roughly $2.48 billion remaining, half would go to Caltrans for state highway maintenance and rehabilitation. The other half would go to cities and counties for road maintenance and repair projects as well as railroad grade separations. It also pays for an emphasis on “complete streets” that provide more safety for walkers and bikers, capture stormwater, and include other features.
State highways – $1.49 billion
Local streets and roads – $1.48 billion
Public transit – $700 million: Receives an additional one-time $256 million from the transportation loan payback. The money will pay for local bus and light-rail systems, new equipment, and other capital expenses.
Trade – $365 million: Pays for projects to improve movement of goods from the state’s large ports and other trade facilities.
Traffic – $250 million: Congested Corridors Program is intended to reduce traffic on California’s most heavily traveled roads.
Here’s the new piece of information. The new revenue created new projects which will now be bringing in new jobs. Caltrans is now looking to fill more than 1,100 job openings. The jobs are open all over the state, specifically in Los Angeles, Fresno, Marysville, and Oakland. Both blue-collar and white-collar jobs are open. The Transportation Department is looking for civil and electrical engineers, surveyors, and environmental planners, in addition to maintenance workers, mechanics, and heavy equipment operators.
If you’re inclined, you can apply for a job with California’s Transportation Department here.
It will be interesting to see how many positions are filled and how quickly they’re filled.
And if California reaches its goal of having 98% of state highway pavement in good or fair condition and at least 500 bridges fixed, all by the year 2027.
Next year, voters decide on a state constitutional amendment that will keep lawmakers from using the money for things other than transportation.