Rail, active transportation, EV projects in county receive $74.8 million in SB 1 funds

CAMARILLO, Calif. – The California Transportation Commission (CTC) has approved $74.8 million from the Solutions for Congested Corridors Program to support construction of four rail, active transportation and electric-vehicle charging projects in Ventura County.

The CTC approved the funding at its regular meeting June 28, 2023, in Suisun City.

The Solutions for Congested Corridors Program (SCCP) is a statewide, competitive program that provides funding to achieve a balanced set of transportation, environmental, and community access improvements to reduce congestion throughout the state. The program was created by the Road Repair Accountability Act of 2017 (SB 1).

The Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) nominated the “US 101 Connected Communities Corridor Rail and Active Transportation Improvements” projects for SCCP funding. Applications were submitted in December 2022.

“This funding will bring many benefits to residents and commuters in Ventura County, whether they are traveling by rail, bicycle, on foot or in an electric vehicle. Once completed, these projects will reduce travel time for rail passengers, create a safe route for cyclists and pedestrians traveling for work or recreation, and provide support to EV drivers who wish to combine a vehicle and train trip,” said VCTC Chair and Oxnard Mayor Pro Tem Bryan MacDonald, who represents VCTC and is vice chair of the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency Board of Directors.

“VCTC is grateful to the California Transportation Commission for providing funding for these projects, as well as to Caltrans and our regional partners for their support of this application. The funding is a critical piece of the effort to create more multimodal transportation options for travelers in the Highway 101 corridor through Ventura County and beyond,” said VCTC Executive Director Martin Erickson.

The funding will support construction of four projects in Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura. The projects are:

  • 2 miles of a second main track between the Camarillo and Oxnard train stations on the Union Pacific Railroad, which will provide more flexibility for rail operators, increase capacity for more passenger trains and reduce travel time for passengers;
  • A pedestrian undercrossing at the Camarillo train station, which will help make the station compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, improving access for passengers with mobility needs; eliminate the cumbersome platform connector currently in place, increasing efficiency and access for all passengers; and improve train operability by utilizing both existing platforms.
  • Six electric vehicle charging stations (two per station) at the Camarillo, Oxnard and East Ventura train stations, which will support California’s transition to zero-emission vehicles and provide more station amenities to rail passengers;
  • 3.9 miles of a new Class I multi-use bicycle and pedestrian trail between the East Ventura train station and Wells Road along the Santa Paula Branch Line railroad in the City of Ventura and unincorporated Ventura County. Class I trails are physically separated from vehicle traffic. The trail will improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling for recreation or commuting to jobs and destinations like schools and grocery stores.

The projects are identified in VCTC’s “101 Communities Connected” multimodal corridor study, which was completed in 2020. Half of all of Ventura County’s population and jobs are concentrated in the U.S. 101 corridor, which extends from Thousand Oaks through Ventura. In addition, the corridor is a critical connector for people traveling for business and pleasure throughout the Central Coast and all of California. The four projects approved for SCCP funding will help reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse-gas emissions by providing additional rail and active transportation options to commuters and other travelers.