The Point: RCTC’s Annual Report spotlights the Commission’s various success throughout the past year

Following up a banner year in 2022, a year in which RCTC delivered a staggering five capital projects, the agency carried that momentum into 2023 – advancing projects and investing in transportation improvements for communities across Riverside County. This progress was highlighted in RCTC’s 2023 Annual Report. 

Investments in Riverside County’s highways and roads continued in 2023. The agency started and ended the year strong – breaking ground on the transformative 71/91 Interchange Project in January, followed by the highly-anticipated opening of the 15/91 Express Lanes Connector in October. Together, these projects will improve connectivity, reduce traffic flow, and expand transportation options for the region. 

Enhancing public transportation continued to be a point of emphasis for RCTC in 2023. The transformational Coachella Valley Rail Project (CV Rail) was added to the federal Identification and Development Program and awarded $500,000 by the Federal Railroad Administration. This designation and grant award recognizes the value CV Rail will bring to Riverside County and throughout southern California. Crews on the Moreno Valley/March Field Station Improvements Project continued working on adding a second platform and extending the existing platform to accommodate the standard six car Metrolink trains, moving the project closer to completion later this year. Additionally, the California State Transportation Agency awarded $15.5 million to the Metrolink Double Track Project on the 91/Perris Valley Line to improve reliability and future capacity for service, capping off a strong year of state and federal investment in the county’s rail network.

RCTC celebrated a special birthday – the Freeway Service Patrol’s (FSP) 30 years of service. FSP drivers assisted over 56,000 motorists during the past year and more than one million motorists total since the program’s inception in 1993. FSP drivers aid stranded motorists by jump-starting batteries, fixing flat tires, conducting other minor roadside repairs, or towing vehicles to CHP-approved locations.  

Sharing is caring – motorists were encouraged to share rides and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the popular IE Commuter program. The program supported more than 1,100 employers with ridesharing programs and reduced 10.7 million pounds of vehicle emissions in 2023. 

RCTC’s environmental stewardship extends beyond just transportation. As the managing agency of the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority (RCA), RCTC continues to help the RCA drive conservation efforts in western Riverside County. The RCA is tasked with establishing a 500,000-acre habitat reserve under the Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) – one of the largest conservation plans in the nation. 2023 was a year marked by significant funding and agency-led advocacy effort successes. The RCA secured nearly $27 million in various state and federal grants and acquired more 1,120 acres of sensitive habitat for protection. As of this writing, over 415,000 acres of habitat have been assembled as part of the MSHCP. 

The twice voter-approved Measure A continued to be a critical funding source for transit services, local roads, and highway projects. In 2023, RCTC approved over $310 million in Measure A funding for countywide projects: $135 million in funding for 18 significant regional transportation projects as part of the Regional Arterial Program, an additional $143.9 million for 285 local road projects, and allocated over $32 million in Measure A funds for local bus systems, passenger rail, and specialized transit services. 

As we move forward into 2024, RCTC is looking ahead at the future of transportation in our communities. To address the growing needs of Riverside County, RCTC has drafted a 2024 Traffic Relief Plan outlining future transportation infrastructure enhancements, increased transit services, and repairing our local streets and roads. Residents are urged to provide their input at to make sure future transportation needs continue to be met. 

Learn more about RCTC’s 2023 work and accomplishments in the official Annual Report.