FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
15 January 2018
MST Approves Projects Funded with New State Gas Taxes
Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) approved $772,263 in Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 funding to replace older buses with new modern, more fuel efficient buses. Also known as Senate Bill 1, the money comes from the biggest new state commitment to transportation in over 40 years. Through a long-overdue increase in the gas tax, Senate Bill 1 will invest over $50 billion in new transportation projects over the next decade including highway, bridge and local road repairs, strategic investments in congested commute and freight corridors, and transit service improvements.
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make significant investments in transportation and mobility projects that have been neglected and underfunded over the last 20 year,” says Carl Sedoryk, MST General Manager and CEO.
Annually, MST will receive approximately $2.5 million for critical transit projects, in addition to opportunities to apply for matching funds. With preliminary planning work nearing completion this summer, MST will soon use a portion of its Senate Bill 1 funding to begin the engineering and environmental work for better transit service along the Highway 1 corridor between Marina and Monterey, making a significant investment in this congested commute route. As MST works to complete this pre-construction work, Monterey County voters have already committed up to $15 million through Measure X transportation funds to build meaningful infrastructure improvements along this corridor that would reduce congestion for all those that travel in this area. And, it is likely that MST will be able to use these $15 million in local funds to leverage additional millions of state and/or federal dollars to further improve traffic flow along the Marina-to-Monterey Highway 1 corridor.
Another MST project eligible for funding under Senate Bill 1 is an upgrade and modernization of its Salinas maintenance facility. Modernizing the maintenance facility will help MST towards its goal of replacing fossil fuel powered buses with modern clean air electric buses. This project will result in improved air quality and more transit services for the disadvantaged community near East Alisal in Salinas as well as support local construction jobs.
Unfortunately, there are well-funded efforts underway to qualify a ballot measure for November 2018 to repeal this new law that provides funding for these important investments in our community.
“Unless rejected, the repeal of Senate Bill 1 will rob our local communities of the critical funding we desperately need to fix our roads, improve our transit services and facilities, and improve the quality of life throughout Monterey County,” says Carl Sedoryk, MST General Manager and CEO.
For more information, please visit www.mst.org or call Monterey-Salinas Transit toll free at 1-888-MST-BUS1.