Caltrans Grant Application Guide: California SB 1 - Adaptation Planning grants

California Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, was signed into law on April 28, 2017, to invest $54 billion over the next 10 years to repair roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California. These funds will be split equally between state and local investments and administered by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The new SB 1 planning grant funds include $20 million over three years for Adaptation Planning Grants to local and regional agencies for climate change adaptation planning. $7 million dollars are available for the FY 2017-18 grant cycle, $7 million dollars will be available in 2018-19, and $6 million dollars will be available in 2019-20. 

The Caltrans FY 2018-19 Grant Application Guidelines state that the SB 1 grant funding is intended to support and implement Regional Transportation Plan Sustainable Communities Strategies (where applicable) and to ultimately achieve the State’s greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 2050, respectively. The 2018-2019 Adaptation Planning Grants Awards List includes innovative projects across the state that will address climate impacts on transportation assets including sea level rise, high heat, floods, and more.  

Caltrans encourages applicants to address transportation needs of disadvantaged communities, including communities vulnerable to climate change impacts. Applicants may also consider other population characteristics, such as income or level of education. Tools and resources are suggested in the guidelines to help applicants define a context-dependent definition of a disadvantaged community.


The minimum application amount is $100,000 and the maximum application amount is $1,000,000. The required local match is 11.47 percent. The following are eligible to apply as a primary applicant: MPOs, RTPAs, Transit Agencies, Cities and Counties, Native American Tribal Governments, Local and Regional Agencies, and Special Districts. 

Grant Specific Objectives as described in the Caltrans guidelines include the following:

Applicants should demonstrate how the proposed effort would:

  • Integrate Grant Program Considerations
  • Advance transportation related GHG emission reduction project types/strategies (i.e., mode shift, demand management, travel cost, operational efficiency, accessibility, and coordination with future employment and residential land use, etc.)
  • Identify and address deficiencies in the multimodal transportation system, including the needs of environmental justice and disadvantaged communities, including Native American Tribal Governments and rural communities
  • Encourage stakeholder collaboration
  • Involve active community engagement
  • Coordinate transportation, housing, and land use planning
  • Promote the region’s RTP SCS (where applicable), State planning priorities (Government Code Section 65041.1, and climate adaptation goals (Safeguarding California)
  • Result in funded and programmed multimodal transportation system improvements

Some of the example Sustainable Communities grant project types that focus on adaptation include:

  • Studies, plans or planning methods that advance a community’s effort to address the impacts of climate change and sea level rise
  • Health and transportation studies, including health equity transportation studies and other plans that incorporate health into transportation planning
  • Climate change adaptation plans for transportation facilities
  • Identification of policies, strategies, and programs to preserve transit facilities and optimize transit infrastructure



Publication Date: January 5, 2018

Related Organizations:

  • California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Funding program

States Affected:

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