Initially, UC Berkeley/PATH executed a three-year funding agreement (and subsequently a two-year extension) with Caltrans HQ for research, project development, and planning (including hiring staff), technical specifications, outreach, and documentation. Moving forward, a new contract is required each year with specific deliverables, in order to keep the project on track. The goal of Caltrans HQ was to develop a pilot with processes and products that would be used in other corridors in California. Therefore, the contract contained funding for research and development that would not normally be present in future corridor funding.
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Funding for the freeway improvements is the responsibility of Caltrans. For the I-210 Pilot, Caltrans District 7 – in cooperation with Caltrans HQ – submitted a Project Initiation Document (PID) for State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) funding for the freeway improvements and $24.8M was approved. The funds will be used to install CCTVs, maintenance vehicle pullouts, upgrade traffic signal systems, replace loop detectors, install CMSs and connect existing TMS field elements, etc.
Outside Funding (local, regional, state, federal)
Initial research will need to be conducted to determine whether federal, state, regional, and/or local funds are available for ICM projects in the corridor area. General approaches include:
Identify and monitor state and federal funding sources
For the I-210 Pilot, for example, the Connected Corridors team conducted initial internet research to identify state and federal funding through grants and awards, and through both public and private sector sources. An Excel spreadsheet was prepared to track the research that was done on funding possibilities, awards, and grants and updated twice/year.
Identify and monitor regional and local funding
The team followed the same process as above, except at the regional and local level, including local transportation sales tax measures and pass-throughs from state and/or regional agencies.
Identify and monitor sources of Caltrans funds
Caltrans Headquarters has the ability to pay for some items in the budget while the local Caltrans District has the ability to pay for other items. Additionally, the Districts can apply for funding through programs such as the State Highway Operations and Protection Program (SHOPP).
Other grants may be available from the Federal Highway Administration (or agencies under the FWHA), United States Department of Transportation (DOT), through postings in the Federal Register, and/or through Grants.gov and by searching the internet with the following keywords: “ICM grants,” “AASHTO,” “California Office of Traffic Safety,” “Caltrans,” and “NHTSA.”
There are various awards in specific categories for transportation projects. While these awards do not necessarily provide funding, they can be advantageous for the project by raising its visibility and recognizing its value. Awards include, but are not limited to:
Research transportation sales tax measures
In California, 20 counties have transportation sales tax measures. In the case of the I-210 Pilot, for example, LA Metro has three measures (the most current is Measure R; prior measures include Proposition A and Proposition C), and is considering a ballot measure in 2016 to either extend and/or pass a new measure. The regional Councils of Governments throughout Los Angeles are leading the process to identify projects for the transportation sales tax measure (for the I-210 it’s the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments). The projects will also be considered for Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). Future phases of Connected Corridors in the San Gabriel Valley are identified as part of a project currently on the Measure R renewal project list. A Caltrans representative was a member of the Project Development Team for the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, and participated in the meetings to develop the project list.
Local funds may be available from existing or expanded budgets, for Operations and Maintenance, or from “return to source” funds from regional sales tax measures (for example). Local agency partners should be encouraged to provide local funds in addition to providing staff time and other resources.
- Funding for the arterial improvements is the responsibility of the local jurisdictions and transit agencies, either individually, or as a group. For the I-210 Pilot, the cities, County, and transit agencies, with Caltrans District 7 as the lead agency, submitted a joint application to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) for the 2015 Call for Projects. The team requested $6.7M for traffic signal improvements, controller and firmware improvements and upgrades, detection upgrades, transit interfaces, etc. Funding for the Call for Projects comes from a variety of local, state, and federal sources such as Proposition C funds, Regional Improvement Funds (RIP), and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funds. PATH hired a consultant to write and organize the Call for Projects application and PATH staff wrote some of the sections and coordinated the Letters of Support.
- Transportation Sales Tax Measures – In California, 20 counties have transportation sales tax measures. In the case of the I-210 Pilot, LA Metro has three measures (the most current is Measure R; prior measures include Proposition A and Proposition C), and is considering a ballot measure in 2016 to either extend and/or pass a new measure. The regional Councils of Governments are leading the process to identify projects for the transportation sales tax measure (for the I-210 it’s the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments). The projects will also be considered for Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). Future phases of Connected Corridors in the San Gabriel Valley are identified as part of a project currently on the Measure R renewal project list. A Connected Corridors team member was a part of the Project Development Team, and participated in the meetings to develop the project list.
- The transportation funding page at LA Metro (the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Commission) has information on Los Angeles programs but also links to additional transportation programming resources.
ICM Deployment Planning Grant
In early 2015, the US Secretary of Transportation awarded the I-210 Pilot a Phase I planning grant in the amount of $200,000. The specific purpose is to provide funding support for the application of ICM Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) products including ICM Implementation Guidance; Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation (AMS) guidance; Model Systems Engineering documents; and technology transfer activities such as technical support workshops and peer-to-peer support. Caltrans was the lead agency and prepared the grant applications. Caltrans is also overseeing and monitoring the grant funds.
For California, there are several sources of funding available but they change or are updated often.
This is a 2015 document called “Transportation Funding in California” that lists not only possible sources, but is a primer on transportation funding in general.
As with state sources, the programs, project types, criteria, etc. change year to year. There are several websites that can be searched for information:
- www.grants.gov: This website provides a lot of information and can be searched by category, agency, etc.
- www.federalregister.gov: Another site that has many Federal opportunities and can be sorted.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site can be searched for potential funding opportunities as can the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act established the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Program (ATCMTD) to make competitive grants available for large scale installation and operation of advanced transportation technologies to improve safety, efficiency, system performance, and infrastructure return on investment. The Program is currently authorized through 2020 for $60 million per year.
Eligible activities include:
- advanced traveler information systems;
- advanced transportation management technologies;
- infrastructure maintenance, monitoring, and condition assessment;
- advanced public transportation systems;
- transportation system performance data collection, analysis, and dissemination systems;
- advanced safety systems, including vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications;
- technologies associated with autonomous vehicles, and other collision avoidance technologies, including systems using cellular technology;
- integration of intelligent transportation systems with the Smart Grid and other energy distribution and charging systems;
- electronic pricing and payment systems; or
- advanced mobility and access technologies, such as dynamic ridesharing and information systems to support human services for elderly and disabled individuals. [23.U.S.C. 503(c)(4)(E)]
The Program will only cover up to 50% of the project cost, so matching funds must be considered before applying. The I-210 Pilot applied for the grant in 2016 and 2017. SHOPP funds and regional funding from LA Metro were both used as the Pilot’s match.
The application is due at the beginning of June each year. More information is available on the FHWA’s FAST Act webpage.