The Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) announced today a new match-funding program for “last mile” transportation to help goods movement providers invest in clean truck and infrastructure technology. The program’s goal is to spur investment in clean truck infrastructure and vehicles that will significantly improve the region’s air quality.
The announcement comes as the MSRC celebrates 30 years of clean air transportation investments from its Clean Transportation Funding Program. Concurrently, SCAG adopted its 2020 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategies (Connect SoCal) to advance opportunities for deploying the most cutting-edge technologies to reduce emissions in the last-mile freight market.
Southern California is a goods movement hub, and the project comes as the COVID-19 crisis has increased truck deliveries as more people shop from home. Mobile goods movement vehicles and equipment contribute to more than half of the NOx emissions and nearly 11 percent of PM2.5 emissions in the South Coast Air Basin that cause smog and hazardous air pollution in our region.
At its September 17th meeting, the MSRC also expected adopted a Proclamation celebrating California Clean Air Day, noting its three-decade legacy of making every day clean air day via nearly a half billion dollars of clean transportation funding investments throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The MSRC-SCAG Last Mile Partnership Program is just the most recent example of its local clean air investments.
“Southern California has long been a leader in greening the region’s transportation infrastructure to improve the air that residents breathe,” said MSRC Chair and former SCAG President Larry McCallon. “We’re excited to be partnering with SCAG to identify and fund critical investments that will accelerate innovation in clean truck technology and infrastructure for the goods movement sector.”
The partnership is one of the first phases of a $60 million investment the MSRC will be making to replace polluting diesel trucks with clean fuel or zero emission alternatives. Innovations in clean truck technology have increased options for commercial providers in the goods movement industry to get consumer goods through the last mile of their destination.
“As consumers increasingly move toward electric and other clean technology vehicles, we must prepare our transportation system for zero-emission options,” said SCAG Executive Director Kome Ajise. “Clean trucks are here and this program will help increase their presence and viability on Southern California roads.”
SCAG will be developing a project solicitation notice in close consultation with the MSRC and will be announcing how interested parties can apply for funding later this year. More information about the program will be forthcoming.
The MSRC allocates Clean Transportation Funding from a $4 surcharge on vehicle license fees, specifically to be used for local projects designed to reduce air pollution from motor vehicles such as cars, trucks and buses. Thirty cents of every surcharge dollar goes into the MSRC fund. More than $450 million has been distributed for air pollution reduction programs since the MSRC was established in 1990. Clean Transportation Funding is heavily leveraged with investments from government agencies, as well as private sources, with billions of additional dollars contributed to projects throughout the region.
Membership of the MSRC is made up of representatives from the transportation agencies of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties as well as the Southern California Association of Governments, a designated regional rideshare agency, the California Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. To learn more about the MSRC, please visit CleanTransportationFunding.org.
SCAG is the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization, representing six counties, 191 cities and over 19 million residents. SCAG undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives to plan for a livable and sustainable Southern California now and in the future. For more information about SCAG’s regional efforts, please visit www.scag.ca.gov