Disadvantaged Communities (DAC)

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Josh Pulverman
Senior Transportation Planner
(916) 657-3863

Program Overview:

Senate Bill (SB) 535 was passed in 2012 directing that, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a quarter of the proceeds from Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds must also go to projects that provide a benefit to disadvantaged communities (DAC) (a minimum of 25 percent of the total investment are required). These investments are aimed at improving public health, quality of life and economic opportunity in California’s most burdened communities at the same time they’re reducing pollution that causes climate change.

In September 2016, Assembly Bill (AB) 1550 was passed, which modified SB 535. AB 1550 requires that a minimum of 25 percent of the proceeds be invested in projects that are located within and benefiting individuals living in DACs. In addition, AB 1550 requires an additional minimum of 5 percent of funds be invested in projects that benefit low-income households or communities statewide; and that an additional 5 percent be invested in projects that benefit low-income households or communities that are within a ½ mile of a DAC.

The Caltrans DAC liaison provides technical assistance to DACs and recipients of funding from the Transit and Intercity Capital Program (TIRCP) and the Low-Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP) to achieve the objectives of Senate Bill 535 and AB 1550. The DAC liaisons goal is to strengthen the coordination and partnership between Caltrans, Air Resources Board (ARB), Strategic Growth Council (SGC), California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) as well as potential applicants including regional, local agencies and local communities. Such priorities include:

  • Increase participation from DACs;
  • Promote outreach efforts and strategies to serve the common need in the community;
  • Aim to improve public health, quality of life and economic opportunity to reduce Greenhouse Gases in California’s most burdened communities;
  • Ensure projects awarded through TIRCP and LCTOP will provide direct and meaningful benefits to DACs; and
  • Strengthen the coordination and partnership between State and regional and local agencies.

What is a DAC?:

Disadvantaged communities in California are specifically targeted for investment of proceeds from the State’s Cap-and-Trade program. These investments are aimed at improving public health, quality of life and economic opportunity in California’s most burdened communities at the same time they’re reducing pollution that causes climate change.


Background:

The availability of auction proceeds provides a unique opportunity to make investments that both further the purposes of AB 32 and yield significant benefits for disadvantaged communities. In 2012, the Legislature passed and Governor Brown signed into law AB 1532 (Pérez, Chapter 807, Statutes of 2012) and SB 535 (De León, Chapter 830, Statutes of 2012), followed in 2016 by AB 1550 (Gomez, Chapter 369, Statutes of 2016). SB 535 and AB 1550 provide strong direction for how auction proceeds must be invested to benefit disadvantaged communities.

The implementing legislation provides the framework for investments that can meet multiple policy objectives by requiring funds be both invested in disadvantaged communities and for the benefit of those communities.

For example, an affordable housing project located in a disadvantaged community and near transit can be complemented with a clean car sharing program that improves mobility and air quality for disadvantaged community residents. This type of complementary investment approach enhances the economic, environmental, and public health benefits to a disadvantaged community.

Provided below are SB 535 and AB 1550 requirements for allocating funds to benefit DACs:


SB 535

  • Allocate at least 25 percent of the available proceeds to projects that provide benefits to disadvantaged communities.
  • Allocate at least 10 percent of the available proceeds to projects located within disadvantaged communities.

AB 1550

  • Allocate at least 25 percent of available proceeds to projects that are located within and benefiting individuals living in disadvantaged communities.
  • Allocate an additional 5 percent of available proceeds to projects that benefit low-income households or communities statewide, and
  • Allocate an additional 5 percent of available proceeds to projects that benefit low-income households or communities that are within a ½ mile of a disadvantaged community.

Click here for comments or questions on DAC related to TIRCP, and

Click here for comments or questions on DAC related to LCTOP.


Statewide Alerts and Other Information

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Contact Information

Physical Address:

Department of Transportation
Division of Rail and Mass Transportation
1120 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mailing Address:

Please choose one of the following:

(Concerning Rail Ops Support and Equipment)

Caltrans Division of Rail and Mass Transportation
MS 74
P. O. Box 942874
Sacramento, CA 94274-0001

(Concerning State and Federal Transit Programs)

Caltrans Division of Rail and Mass Transportation
MS 39
P. O. Box 942874
Sacramento, CA 94274-0001

General Information:

DRMT Phone 916-654-8811
DRMT Fax (Rail) 916-653-4565
DRMT Fax (Mass Trans) 916-654-9366
Amtrak 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245)

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