High-speed rail, transit, affordable housing, and incentives for zero-emission and hybrid vehicles are among the main beneficiaries in a budget tabled last week by California Gov. Jerry Brown that divvies up US$3.1 billion in revenue from the state’s carbon cap and trade program.
In the program’s first year, cap-and-trade produced US$257.4 million in available funds, not all of which was spent. This year, Brown is allocating $600 million to the California State Transportation Agency for transit and intercity rail, $500 million to the California Air Resources Board for vehicle incentives, $500 million to the California High Speed Rail Authority, and $400 million for affordable housing development in areas where it will reduce the need for driving.
“Brown’s funding allocations for affordable housing and transit-oriented development adhere to a theme the state is beginning to embrace more and more: reducing the need for people to drive personal vehicles on a regular basis,” TechWire reports. “That means putting new low-income housing in places where it is either close to most of the things its residents need or close to public transportation that can get them there,” with the ultimate goal of reducing the vehicle miles travelled from those locations.
“The state also has begun focusing on the opposite side of that equation—trying to bring destinations closer to the places people live, or at least closer to transit,” initially by beta-testing a Smart Location Calculator developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.