Last week we wrote about the comments by the former Chairman of the High Speed Rail Authority stating his theory that the state will seek to divert much – and maybe all – of cap-and-trade auction revenues to the state’s high-speed rail projects. This would be a mistake because there are many other transportation related projects and programs throughout the state that need funding now.
These include funding to expand transit systems and increase frequency and quality of service, expand bicycle and pedestrian networks, urban green space and parks, and supply affordable, energy efficient homes near transit. These projects would provide real transportation choices for Californians in all corners of the state and support the state’s overarching goals of reducing per capita VMT to support climate emission reduction goals under AB 32. For everyday citizens, however, there’s a lot more at stake. Better access to more efficient transit means families can drive less and even make the choice to give up one or more cars. This means significant transportation costs savings at a time when so many are still struggling to make ends meet. It’s a win-win for the state’s economy and our environment.