Disadvantaged communities in California are specifically targeted for transportation investments with state funds, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) will further expand these investments. The IIJA investments are directed towards improving public health, elevating the overall quality of life, and fostering economic opportunity in California’s most underserved communities while contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Active Transportation Program (ATP) projects benefitting disadvantaged communities

Investments in disadvantaged communities through the ATP have been ongoing since 2014, with additional support expected from the IIJA and general fund investments. The following chart visually represents ATP funding dedicated to disadvantaged communities.

Updated November 27, 2023

A total of $5.7 billion has been dedicated to 971 ATP projects benefiting disadvantaged communities throughout California. Four of the 208 projects in Northern California totaling $14.7 million are devoted to statewide initiatives. These initiatives are designed to strengthen the capabilities of transportation partners across California, enabling them to deliver active transportation projects successfully.

Percent of Active Transportation Program (ATP) dollars benefitting disadvantaged communities

The ATP aims to promote active modes of transportation, enhance safety and mobility for non-motorized users, contribute to greenhouse gas reduction targets, and offer diverse projects to benefit disadvantaged communities. The gauge chart below illustrates the percentage of ATP funds allocated directly to support these underprivileged communities.

Updated November 27, 2023

92% of the total ATP project funds ($5.73 billion out of $6.2 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 https://www.transportation.gov/equity-Justice40.

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): $109 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): $516 million
  • Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG) (Reserved for Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside): $1.221 billion

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