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State and Federal

SRTS Toolkit

State and Federal programs provide both funding and guidance to local transportation programs through numerous agencies, boards, commissions and offices.

State of California

While the State of California depends upon regional transportation agencies for planning within each region, the State is responsible for transportation planning that facilitates the efficient movement of people and goods across all regions.  The State also oversees the distribution of transportation dollars.  It does this through legislative policy making and administrative agencies.

California State Legislature

The California state legislature establishes overall policies and determines funding allocations. The legislature appropriates funds through its annual budget for transportation projects.

California Transportation Commission

The California Transportation Commission reviews and adopts the State Transportation Improvement Program and approves projects nominated by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and regional agencies for state funding.  Most funds are for state highways, which provide for inter-regional travel.  Some state roadways, like urban highways, pass through cities and serve local traffic, and so funding can include pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Caltrans is the state agency responsible for highway, bridge and rail transportation planning, construction and maintenance.  When a state highway goes through a rural or urban community the community needs to work with Caltrans to address pedestrian and bicycle safety for those roads and crossings.  Additionally, Caltrans administers local transportation funding programs including both California Safe Routes to School (SR2S) awards and federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) awards.

California Air Resources Board

The California Air Resources Board has regulatory authority for reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions. The Board oversees climate change reduction measures for all economic sectors, including transportation and metropolitan planning. More specifically, the Air Resources Board oversees implementation of strategies to reduce driving and improve network management pursuant to SB 375.

California Strategic Growth Council

The California Strategic Growth Council provides information and grants to local governments to support sustainable planning and development.

California Department of Public Health

The California Department of Public Health promotes physical activity, active transportation, injury prevention, urban greening, access to healthy foods and community safety to improve the health of all Californians. The California Safe Routes to School Technical Assistance Resource Center is housed within the California Department of Public Health.

Office of Planning and Research

The California Office of Planning and Research serves the Governor and cabinet for long-range planning and research and is the comprehensive state planning agency.

California Department of Housing and Community Development

The California Department of Housing and Community Development administers the Transit-Oriented Development Program, whichprovides low-interest loans for rental housing developments that include affordable units and mortgage assistance for home ownership developments.  In addition, grants are available to cities, counties and transit agencies for infrastructure improvements necessary for specified housing developments or to facilitate connections between these developments and the transit station.


The United States Department of Transportation is a federal cabinet-level department concerned with transportation. The U.S. Department of Transportation provides guidance, policy, and administers federal funding for transportation by air, highways, rail, transit and water.  The priorities within the federal transportation budget are vulnerable with each new budget when categories and amounts can be modified. The Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration are agencies of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970 and is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. It works daily to help prevent crashes and their attendant costs, both human and financial. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has dedicated staff and resources specific to safe routes to school to improve child pedestrian and bicycle safety, including this toolkit developed with the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.

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