In a span of two days, the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority learned it was granted a windfall in public funding.
The good news began when the agency was notified of a $30 million award for the Redlands Passenger Rail Project (RPRP) under the 2018 Transit and Intercity Rail Program (TIRCP) that was soon followed by last week’s announcement of a recommendation from the California Transportation Commission for the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) to receive an additional $217 million in funding under SB1. This award represented nearly 11 percent of all SB1 funds granted this year.
In a statement, the agency acknowledged its aggressive pursuit of state grant funding was rewarded. According to SBCTA President Alan D. Wapner, “This infusion of nearly a quarter-billion-dollars into our transportation system is an extraordinary accomplishment toward addressing the extreme demand for mobility in our county.”
He continued, “This is exactly the kind of investment needed to stimulate economic vitality and improve the quality of life for our residents.”
SBCTA Executive Director Dr. Raymond Wolfe commented about the Redlands Passenger Rail Project stating, “RPRP, which will operate as Arrow, is a great example of what we believe can transform rail travel throughout Southern California.”
In addition to the $30 million in TIRCP funds, according to Wolfe, RPRP will also receive $75 million in SB1 grants – for a total of $105 million. He noted how the project will not only provide a vital connection from the eastern end of the valley to the Metrolink rail system, it will also incorporate some of the latest innovations in environmentally friendly Zero or Low-Emission trains.
Beyond funding for RPRP, the California Transportation Commission’s recommendation included $117 million for the I-10 Corridor project, $24 million for the U.S. 395 widening project and in response to a joint application with LA Metro—another $39 million to extend the Gold Line service from Claremont to Montclair.