Carbajal Secures $20 million for Central Coast Infrastructure Projects in House Transportation Bill

Legislation to create jobs, curb greenhouse gas emissions, and bring California’s infrastructure into modern era includes several Central Coast priorities

Santa Barbara, CA - Today, Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) announced that he has secured $20 million in direct funding for local priorities in the House’s transportation and infrastructure package, the INVEST in America Act, and advanced several measures designed to create jobs, improve quality of life for Central Coast residents, and tackle the climate crisis. 

The bill passed out of committee last night on a bipartisan basis and will now head to the House floor for a vote.  

“I am proud to have secured vital resources to improve quality of life for every resident on the Central Coast, including funding for three key local infrastructure projects that were included in the bill. In addition to these direct funds, several pieces of legislation I authored to protect public safety, support local infrastructure projects, and preserve transit options, have been included,” said Rep. Carbajal. “The transportation sector is America’s biggest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. It is crucial that we look to the future and modernize this sector of our economy so it is part of the solution to the climate crisis, not part of the problem. I look forward to seeing this bipartisan bill through to the finish line and will continue to advocate for necessary investments in our infrastructure to revitalize our economy and prepare for the future.” 

"I applaud Representative Carbajal for his work to solve the persistent backlog of transportation infrastructure and public transit options for communities like Santa Barbara County on the Central Coast," said Santa Barbara County Association of Governments Executive Director, Marjie Kirn. "Carbajal's aggressive advocacy is just what we need to deliver central coast priorities like funding for the U.S. 101 Carpinteria to Santa Barbara project, protecting transit partners’ access to resources, and recognizing the seriousness of strong Federal partnerships to build a climate resilient future."

"The INVEST in America Act is forward thinking and provides financial resources to ensure this region's mobility choices meet the needs of the next generation of travelers," said San Luis Obispo Council of Governments Executive Director, Pete Rodgers. "Replacing conventional public transit coaches with zero-emission buses will put San Luis Obispo County on the map as a leader in innovative clean transit solutions."

The INVEST in America Act will: 

Fund Local Projects: 

  • $5 million for the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority to purchase 11 Battery-Electric Buses to replace diesel-powered buses in San Luis Obispo. 
  • $11 million for the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments to fund the Highway 101 Multimodal Corridor Project. Funding will be used for improvements to Highway 101 between Santa Barbara and Montecito and enhancements to adjacent local streets, including the Cabrillo Boulevard Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement Project. 
  • $4 million for the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments to build a non-motorized multi-use path along State Route 1, connecting the communities of Morro Bay and Cayucos in San Luis Obispo County.

Address Central Coast Transportation Needs: 

  • Carbajal successfully fought to include his Small Transit Communities Modernization Act in the package. The bill directly benefits the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District by establishing a 3-year phase out, as opposed to a hard stop, in critical funding to help the transit district prepare for the future. 
  • Counties and local governments are major owners of America’s transportation systems, controlling roughly 45% of all public roads. Carbajal requested, and secured, $1 billion in direct allocations to local and municipal governments across the country to advance locally-selected infrastructure projects. 

Improve Public Safety

  • Doubles spending levels for improvements to U.S. Forest Service roads so first responders are better able to fight fires and protect surrounding communities. This increase is based on Carbajal’s bipartisan FOREST Act.
  • Includes Carbajal’s bipartisan Railroad Yardmaster Protection Act, which sets limits on how long yardmasters are required to work. Yardmasters oversee all employees on a rail yard, including signal operators, switch operators and brake operators. The bill ensures yardmasters are not required to work more than 12 hours on duty, which threatens the safety of workers and the public.

Enhance Public Transportation

  • The bill invests $109 billion, a record investment, in transit systems to increase routes and provide more frequent service. These improvements would increase access to jobs, expand tourism, and reduce traffic congestion by providing reliable public transportation for commuters. 
  • Provides funding for the development of new high-speed rail projects and triples funding for Amtrak to $32 billion, which will allow for better services, accessibility improvements, and improved safety. Nearly 3 million riders utilized Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner, which connects San Diego to the Central Coast, in 2016. 

Tackles Climate Change 

  • Invests $4 billion for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, helping the U.S. shift to the next generation of clean vehicles. 
  • Dedicates $8.3 billion to reduce carbon pollution in the transportation sector, which is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. 
  • Scales up investment in zero-emission transit vehicles, like buses, to support fleet conversion that would reduce air pollution and traffic congestion.

Rep. Salud Carbajal represents California’s 24th congressional district, encompassing Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and part of Ventura County. He sits on the House Armed Services Committee, Agriculture Committee, and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he serves as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.


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