The Point: SCAG has awarded grant funds to innovative transportation projects across Riverside County

Over the last few years, grants for transportation projects have become increasingly competitive as agencies work to address the mobility needs of growing communities. Not only is the grant application process lengthy and complex, but an award is also not guaranteed. Recently, the Riverside County Transportation Commission worked closely with the Riverside Transit Agency, the city of Coachella, and the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) to assemble a series of grant applications for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Regional Early Action Planning (REAP 2.0) grants program.

As a result of these efforts, five grants totaling more than $11 million are being awarded to projects in Riverside County. RCTC will receive $3 million to evaluate enhanced transit services on I-15, I-215, and along the San Jacinto Branch rail line in western Riverside County as part of the agency’s Core Capacity Innovative Transit Study. The study aims to create a fully integrated transportation network that allows for multimodal access while leveraging advanced technology. The study will also consider vanpool and rideshare share improvements, active transportation improvements around proposed existing transit stops, and the deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems.

“REAP 2.0 provides vital funding to strategic transportation planning efforts that address traffic congestion, pollution, and equity across Riverside County.”

– Commission Chair and Lake Elsinore City Councilmember Robert “Bob” Magee

CV Link in Coachella Valley

Segment of CV Link in Coachella Valley

The following five Riverside County projects are approved for funding through the REAP 2.0 program:

  • Riverside Transit Agency GoMicro Microtransit Pilot Program Extension ($2,378,635)
  • CVAG Vehicle Miles Traveled Study ($2,005,000)
  • Riverside County Transportation Commission Core Capacity Innovative Transit Study ($3,000,000)
  • City of Coachella Rail Station Feasibility Study and Integrated Land Use and Transit Network ($2,005,000)
  • CVAG (CV) Link Community Connectors Analysis ($1,700,000)

The REAP 2.0 program was open to County Transportation Commissions, such as the RCTC, to apply for a limited amount of funding for projects aimed at reducing congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and vehicles miles traveled. Through these projects, RCTC is not only working to address issues related to congestion and air pollution, but also addressing the needs of disadvantaged communities and encouraging sustainable development that produces economic and environmental benefits.

As part of the REAP 2.0 program, submissions had to demonstrate that the studies and projects would eventually encourage housing development closer to where people live and work, reducing the need to travel long distances. These grants will accelerate the state’s progress towards housing goals and climate commitments through a strengthened partnership between the state, its regions, and local entities.