Torres Secures More Than $305 Million in Federal Funding to Alleviate Traffic and Improve Infrastructure in the Inland Empire

According  to  a 2018 California State University-San Bernardino report, commuting costs for San Bernardino and Los Angeles County residents averaged $11,138 per year

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres (CA-35) announced House passage of more than $305 million in federal funding she requested for transportation and infrastructure improvements in the Fiscal Year 2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Funding Bill. The California State University-San Bernardino (CSUSB) 2018 Inland Empire Annual Survey found that San Bernardino and Los Angeles County residents spend a mean of 38 miles and 62 minutes commuting round trip to work per day, averaging a yearly cost of $11,138. Specifically, the legislation provides:

$178,894,926 in additional highways and transit funds for California to increase road and rail safety.

$15 million for transit-oriented development (TOD) planning funding to help address urban sprawl and overwhelming traffic problems, which could be used to plan economic development at stations throughout the Foothill Gold Line extension’s Glendora to Montclair transit corridor.

$12 million for the Regional Infrastructure Accelerator (RIA) Program, which could help attract outside financing for local and state governments when the technical assistance and funding to get projects off the ground.

$100 million increase for National Infrastructure Investments (TIGER/BUILD), for a total of $1 billion, which could be used to fund projects like the City of Fontana’s #BUILDFontana project. This could help build new roads, sidewalks, bike paths to provide more than 3,500 students with safe routes to school and create hundreds of construction jobs and 2,500 permanent jobs when completed. 

Support to recipients of federal funding to ensure communication with public and private utility providers when planning transportation projects.     

“As a long-time resident of the Inland Empire, I know that you can’t step foot outside your door without seeing the need for better transportation infrastructure. That’s what makes this year’s transportation funding bill such a critical investment in families who spend countless hours and thousands of dollars commuting on our region’s crumbling roadways,” said Torres. “I was proud to work with my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to deliver much-needed relief and federal funding to rebuild our roadways and advance important transportation projects, like the Foothill Gold Line extension, to cut down on traffic congestion and commuting costs, increase safety, and improve our air quality. This bill ensures that the 35th Congressional District can continue to be a job creator and economic engine for California.”

As a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, Torres played a key role in securing this funding in the Transportation and Housing bill that passed the House on June 25, as part of H.R. 3055, the second “minibus” package of the fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills. Last Congress, two of Torres’ legislative proposals to increase funding for infrastructure and transit programs were unanimously approved by the House. The first provision provided $12 million for the RIA Demonstration Program, which she created as part of the 2015 FAST Act, to connect localities with private financing options, provide technical assistance, and encourage regional planning. The second provision directed $10 million to planning for TOD to help cities increase development with a focus on integrated planning.

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