Investments in Disadvantaged Communities

Disadvantaged communities in California are specifically targeted for transportation investments with state funds. New Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funds will increase these investments. These IIJA investments are aimed at improving public health, quality of life and economic opportunity in California’s most underserved communities, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Active Transportation Program Projects Benefitting Disadvantaged Communities (As of October 4, 2022)

Investments made in disadvantaged communities through the Active Transportation Program (ATP) have occurred since 2014 and will be augmented by IIJA and general fund investments. The chart below shows ATP dollars invested in disadvantaged communities beginning in Fiscal Year 2014/2015.


As of October 4, 2022, a total of $3.76 billion dollars on 843 Active Transportation Program projects will benefit disadvantaged communities throughout California. Four of the 208 projects in Northern California, totaling $14.7 million, are statewide initiatives, which support transportation partners across California to increase their opportunity to successfully deliver active transportation projects.

Percent of Active Transportation Program Dollars Benefitting Disadvantaged Communities (As of October 4, 2022)

The goals of the Active Transportation Program (ATP) include increasing active modes of transportation, increasing the safety and mobility of non-motorized users, achieving greenhouse gas reduction goals, and providing a broad spectrum of projects to benefit disadvantaged communities. The chart below shows the percent of ATP funds that directly benefit disadvantaged communities.

93.8% of Active Transportation Program project dollars ($3.76 billion out of $4.0 billion) benefit disadvantaged communities.

Justice40 Initiative

IIJA funds present an opportunity to address gaps in transportation infrastructure and public services by working toward the goal that many of IIJA grants, programs, and initiatives allocate at least 40% of the benefits from federal investments to disadvantaged communities.

Through the Justice40 Initiative, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and Caltrans will work to increase affordable transportation options, that connect Californians to good-paying jobs, fight climate change, and improve access to resources and quality of life in communities in every state and territory in the country.

The initiative allows DOT to identify and prioritize projects that benefit rural, suburban, tribal, and urban communities facing barriers to affordable, equitable, reliable, and safe transportation. A list of these programs can be found at

IIJA’s Formula Grant Programs

The following IIJA Formula Programs are covered programs on the Justice40 list; California’s Fiscal Year 2022 Totals are:

  • Carbon Reduction Program (CRP): $107 million
  • National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (NEVI): $57 million
  • Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT): $121 million
  • Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ): $506 million
  • Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG) (Reserved for Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside): $123 million

For CMAQ, for a State that has a nonattainment or maintenance area for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), the IIJA requires States to prioritize benefits to disadvantaged communities or low-income populations living in or adjacent to such area, to the extent practicable. For Fiscal Year 2022, California received $506 million, and it was all apportioned to the regions

IIJA’s Discretionary Grant Programs

The following 6 grant programs specifically reference disadvantaged communities (DAC) in their funding priorities