For too long, the vast majority of our state’s transportation funding has gone to building highways, leaving millions of Californians gasping for air and struggling to get around on unsafe streets and unreliable public transportation.
A new trio of bills moving through the state legislature would start to change that trend and bring much-needed transit service, affordability, and representation to low-income communities and communities of color.
Here are some details about all three bills:
AB 17 (Holden) – Free and reduced -fare transit passes for students
This bill would create a program to provide free or reduced-fare transit passes to low-income California students in middle school, high school, and college. By making it more affordable for students to get to school and work, student transit passes help our economy and increase opportunity. They also encourage student who drive to take transit instead, which cuts climate pollution and traffic congestion.
AB 179 (Cervantes) – More equitable representation on the California Transportation Commission (CTC)
This bill would require that six of the CTC’s 11 commissioners have expertise in sustainable transportation, public health, climate, and/or environmental justice. The CTC allocates the majority of transportation funds in the state, so it’s imperative that appointees have relevant knowledge and are able to represent transit riders and communities disproportionately burdened by air pollution from transportation.
AB 1640 (E. Garcia) – Priority funding for transportation in low-income communities
This bill would target 25% of each region’s transportation funds from the state (RTIP) for projects that provide direct, meaningful benefits to low-income communities, and create a participatory process for prioritizing projects and assessing meaningful benefits. This would begin to help communities emerge from under the burden created by years of inequitable transportation investments and have a voice in planning a more just future. AB 1640 is a two-year bill, so it won’t be decided this year – but we still need to build support so it can advance in 2018.
Please join TransForm and these allies across the state in supporting this bill package: TAKE ACTION NOW!
California Bicycle Coalition
California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice
Student Senate for California Community Colleges