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For Immediate Release

July 7, 2022

MONTEREY-SALINAS TRANSIT (MST) AWARDED $25M GRANT BY STATE OF CALIFORNIA TRANSIT AND INTERCITY RAIL CAPITAL PROGRAM (TIRCP) TO HELP FUND SURF! BUSWAY AND BUS RAPID TRANSIT PROJECT

Today, Monterey-Salinas Transit was awarded a $25M grant from the State of California Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP).

The TIRCP was created by Senate Bill (SB) 862 (Chapter 36, Statutes of 2014) and modified by SB 9 (Chapter 710, Statutes of 2015), to provide grants from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) to fund transformative capital improvements that will modernize California’s intercity, commuter, and urban rail systems, and bus and ferry transit systems, to significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, vehicle miles traveled, and congestion.

The $25M will help fund the estimated $50M construction cost creating a dedicated busway parallel to Highway 1 between the cities of Marina and Seaside, along the central coast of California with transit service connecting Salinas, the Salinas Valley, and the communities of the Monterey Peninsula. With this frequent and reliable service, over 500,000 passengers will be served by high quality transit every year. The announcement comes less than week after State Senator John Laird announced securement of another $2.5M state budget appropriation for the project.

Currently, buses are delayed in traffic congestion on the crowded highway. The SURF! project will provide buses with the ability to bypass highway congestion, improve on-time performance, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide better access and more service for those in our community who depend on public transit, boost the economy through direct and indirect activities, and incentivize the use of transit. These benefits align with the State of California’s commitment to protecting our environment, providing high quality public transportation options for residents and visitors, and stimulating local economies.

“Transportation Agency for Monterey County staff and our partners at MST know the SURF! Busway and Bus Rapid Transit will be a transformational project that will greatly enhance our existing transportation network”, said TAMC Executive Director, Todd Muck. “A major investment of this magnitude by the state makes a strong statement about their confidence that the project will increase transit ridership and better connect communities; improve mobility options within disadvantaged communities creating opportunities to access to jobs, education, and healthcare; and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, and micro-plastics generated by automobiles as we continue being kind to our planet”, said MST General Manager/CEO, Carl Sedoryk.

For schedule information, visit www.mst.org or call MST toll free at 1-888-MST-BUS1 (1-888-678-2871). For RealTime bus arrival information, text “Next” and your four-digit bus stop ID (ex., “Next 9103”) to 25370, call 1-888-MST-BUS1 with your four-digit bus stop ID, download the free Transit App, or use Google Maps. Follow MST on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mst_bus for the latest service alerts.

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