Transit Initiative Program Guidelines


These guidelines establish a framework for the successful delivery of transit projects through collaboration between the Clean CA Program, Caltrans districts, and local/transit agencies. This initiative is centered around the critical role of Caltrans districts in delivering this initiative and underscores the importance of district partnerships with local/transit agencies in their respective jurisdictions. It aims to enhance public transit infrastructure, focusing on active transportation, micro-mobility, and transit station enhancements with art, landscaping, or similar improvements to bus stops and stations. By prioritizing districts and transit agencies facing challenges in waste management, graffiti, and aesthetic appeal, it addresses critical needs while aligning with the CalSTA objectives on climate action.

The primary objective of this initiative is to enhance the cleanliness and attractiveness of rail and bus stations which extends to various public transit systems and encompasses a wide range of improvements such as art installations, landscaping enhancements, and similar projects. By beautifying these transit facilities, it seeks to create a positive and welcoming environment for commuters and contribute to the overall improvement of the transit experience. Furthermore, these projects will not only enhance the physical appearance of transit stations but also promote public transit usage, equitable access, and climate action.

The focus of this initiative is on multimodal transportation, recognizing the diverse needs of transit users, including those utilizing transit shelters, bus services, bicycles, and pedestrians. By addressing the needs of various modes of transportation, the program aims to create integrated and accessible transit environments that cater to the needs of all riders.

District Partnerships

The districts possess in-depth knowledge of the local context and unique challenges, making them invaluable contributors to the project identification, development, and implementation processes. They are encouraged to foster strong partnerships with local/transit agencies to ensure seamless coordination and efficient project delivery. By leveraging their expertise and collaborating closely with stakeholders, districts can effectively address waste management, graffiti, and aesthetic appeal challenges in urbanized areas, ultimately enhancing public transit experiences within their districts.

Project Proposals


  • Enhance Public Spaces and Reduce Waste: Project proposals should demonstrate efforts to enhance public spaces, including transit stations and bus stops, and reduce waste and debris within public rights-of-way, parks, pathways, and transit centers. Improvements such as art installations, landscaping, seating, shelters, signage, amenities, and anti-graffiti and preventative littering measures should be considered to create cleaner and more attractive public spaces.
  • Promote Equity and Community Engagement: Project proposals should aim to promote equity for underserved communities. Proposals should reflect community priorities and engage local communities in the development and selection of projects.
  • Implement Sustainable Practices: Projects should incorporate sustainable practices, including greening efforts that provide shade, reduce the urban heat island effect, and use native, low-water plants. These measures align with the goal of enhancing public health, cultural connection, and community
  • Protect Vulnerable Populations: Grant-funded projects should not displace persons experiencing homelessness, ensuring a compassionate and inclusive approach to public space improvements.
  • Transit Station and Bus Stop Enhancements: Projects should focus on enhancing the functionality, accessibility, and aesthetic appeal of transit stations and bus stops. This can include improvements such as art installations, landscaping, seating, shelters, signage, amenities, and anti-graffiti and preventative littering measures that improve the overall passenger experience.
  • Prioritize Active Transportation: Projects should prioritize and promote active transportation modes such as walking, cycling, and other non-motorized Enhancing infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, including sidewalks, bike lanes, and bike-sharing programs, should be emphasized to encourage active commuting.
  • Integrate Micro-Mobility: Consideration should be given to integrating micro- mobility options like bike-sharing, scooter-sharing, or other innovative forms of transportation within the transit system to provide diverse and accessible transportation choices.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will undergo a thorough review and assessment process by the Clean CA Program, considering alignment with the following criteria:

  1. Transit Demand/Need/Usage and Equity:

    • Priority will be given based on the level of transit demand and ridership at the proposed project sites, with a special focus on projects that directly benefit underserved communities, including disadvantaged and low-income areas. This includes districts and transit agencies that experience heavy ridership and where improvements to transit infrastructure, such as bus stops and transit stations, can enhance the overall transit experience and promote
    • Projects in areas with high transit demand and heavy ridership, especially those in underserved communities, will receive higher priority. Consideration will be given to sites facing challenges in waste management, graffiti, lack of aesthetic appeal, and other factors impacting the transit experience.
  2. Local/Transit Agency Collaboration and Community Engagement:

    • Projects that demonstrate active collaboration and coordination with local and transit agencies will receive higher priority. Partnerships that align with the goals and priorities of local agencies and integrate seamlessly into existing transit infrastructure will be prioritized. Involvement of relevant stakeholders, such as local communities, advocacy groups, and tribal governments, will also be considered to ensure the proposed projects meet the needs and preferences of the affected communities.
    • The level of community engagement and how project proposals reflect community priorities will be assessed.
  3. High Visibility, Urgency, and Public Health:

    • Projects located in prominent areas, highly trafficked locations, or those addressing urgent needs within the district will receive higher priority. Emphasis will be given to projects that have high visibility and can make a significant impact on the community and public health.
    • Projects that contribute to public health improvements, cultural connection, and community placemaking by creating welcoming and accessible public spaces for walking and recreation will be prioritized.
  4. Project Delivery and Sustainability:

    • Projects with a clear timeline and milestones for completion, which can be delivered within the designated district timeline without compromising quality or safety, will receive higher priority. Demonstrated feasibility and efficient project delivery will be considered.
    • Projects that align with CalSTA's climate action objectives, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote sustainable transportation alternatives, and contribute to the state's efforts in combating climate change, will also receive higher priority.
  5. Active Transportation and Micro-Mobility Focus:

    • Projects that prioritize active transportation modes such as walking, cycling, and other non-motorized options will receive higher Consideration will be given to projects that improve infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists, including sidewalks, bike lanes, and bike-sharing programs.
  6. Waste Management and Graffiti Mitigation:

    • Priority will be given to projects that address waste management and graffiti challenges faced by districts and transit agencies. Initiatives focusing on litter reduction, sustainable waste practices, anti-graffiti measures, and community programs for graffiti removal and prevention in and around transit stations and bus stops will be prioritized.
  7. Aesthetic Enhancement and Beautification:

    • Projects focusing on landscaping, public art installations, improved lighting, and other enhancements contributing to the visual appeal of transit facilities and public spaces will receive higher scores. Emphasis on beautifying public spaces in alignment with the program's objectives will be considered.

Proposal Submissions

  • The Clean CA transit partnership project proposal template should be used for submitting the project proposal template. Ensure that all sections of the template

are completed comprehensively and provide sufficient detail to support the evaluation and decision-making process.

  • Local/transit agencies, in collaboration with districts, complete the template and submit comprehensive project proposals.
  • Each proposal submitted for consideration must include a letter of support from the Caltrans district that is submitting the proposal. The letter of support should demonstrate the district's endorsement and commitment to the project. It will serve as evidence of the district's collaboration and partnership with local/transit agencies, ensuring seamless coordination and efficient project delivery. The inclusion of the letter will help validate the project's feasibility and foster confidence in the proposed transit partnership project's successful implementation.

Outreach and Partnership

  1. Preparation and Planning:

    • Clean CA Program releases the Clean CA transit guidelines, grant agreement template, and partnership project proposal template to districts for
    • Clean CA Program and Caltrans districts coordinate on outreach
    • Districts identify potential local/transit agency partners aligned with transit initiative objectives.
  1. District Evaluation (Regional Goals):

    • Districts conduct a thorough assessment of local challenges related to waste management, graffiti, and aesthetic appeal in transit areas.
    • Identify specific areas with high transit demand and areas with potential for aesthetic improvements.
  1. Local/Transit Agency Assessment:

    • Districts evaluate transit agencies and local stakeholders to understand their challenges, needs, and priorities.
    • Evaluate potential sites for project implementation based on transit demand, ridership, and community engagement opportunities.
  1. Stakeholder Engagement

    • Districts engage with local stakeholders, city officials, transit agency representatives, and advocacy groups to discuss the initiative's objectives and potential projects.
    • Foster partnerships by addressing concerns and gathering insights from key

Selection and Notification

  1. Proposal Review and Evaluation:

    • Clean CA Program reviews all project proposals against qualitative evaluation criteria outlined in the guidelines.
    • Proposals are assessed for alignment with active transportation, micro-mobility, waste management, graffiti mitigation, aesthetics, equity, and climate action
  1. Project Selection:

    • Clean CA Program selects projects based on evaluation results and criteria alignment. High-priority projects benefiting underserved communities and addressing urgent needs are prioritized.
  1. Project Award Notification:

    • Clean CA Program notifies Caltrans districts of the selected projects by Districts inform the corresponding local/transit agencies about their project selection.


  • District Outreach to Local Agencies: August 15, 2023 to August 30, 2023
  • Proposal Submission Deadline: August 31, 2023
  • Project Award Notification: September 11, 2023
  • Project Development: September 15, 2023 to October 14, 2023
  • Project Construction: October 15, 2023 to December 31, 2024
  • Project Completion Deadline: December 31, 2024
  • Final Invoicing and Project Closeout: June 30, 2025

Funding Mechanism

The funding mechanism for Caltrans transit partnership projects involves a restricted grant agreement (RGA) between the Caltrans district and the local agency which is a legal mechanism that outlines the terms and conditions of the financial

commitment between the Caltrans district and the local agency. It serves as a formal contract that establishes the roles and responsibilities of each party in the transit partnership project.

The agreement includes the following elements:

  • Project Scope: The contribution agreement defines the scope of the project, detailing the specific improvements and enhancements to be undertaken within the local right-of-way.
  • Funding Commitment: It outlines the financial contributions, specifying the amount that the Caltrans district will provide for the project.
  • Timeline and Milestones: The agreement sets forth a clear timeline for project development, construction, and completion, including key milestones to be achieved during each phase.
  • Roles and Responsibilities: It outlines the roles and responsibilities of the Caltrans district and the local agency in the project's planning, design, and execution, ensuring seamless coordination and cooperation.
  • Compliance and Reporting: The contribution agreement may include requirements for compliance with relevant regulations, reporting on project progress, and any necessary documentation and record-keeping.
  • Dispute Resolution: In the event of any disputes or disagreements, the contribution agreement may outline a mechanism for resolving issues between the Caltrans district and the local agency.

Performance Metrics

  • Transit Station and Bus Stop Enhancements: Number of improvements such as art installations, landscaping, seating, shelters, signage, amenities, and anti-graffiti and preventative littering measures.
  • Active Transportation Elements: Number of infrastructure improvements, such as bike lanes and sidewalks, around transit stations.
  • Waste Reduction: Quantity of litter collected at transit stations and the effectiveness of increased waste collection, recycling, and public awareness campaigns.
  • Graffiti Reduction: Amount of graffiti removed and the effectiveness of anti-graffiti measures, such as enhanced surveillance, prompt removal, or art installations that deter graffiti vandalism.

Clean CA Roles/Responsibilities

  • Program Management: Responsible for overall program management and coordination of transit projects Ensure that projects align with the CalSTA objectives on climate action and meet the program's guidelines and priorities.
  • Project Selection: Select projects based on factors such as high public transit demand/need/usage, known challenges for waste management, graffiti, and lack of aesthetic appeal in urbanized districts and transit agencies.
  • Project Oversight: Provide oversight and guidance throughout the project Review project proposals, assess their feasibility and alignment with program objectives, and ensure that the projects adhere to the guidelines and timelines.
  • Technical Assistance: Provide technical assistance to districts during the project planning and implementation Provide expertise and support in areas such as active transportation, micro-mobility, transit station enhancements, and climate action.
  • Budget Management: Responsible for overseeing the allocation and management of funds for transit projects. Ensure that budgetary requirements are met and that funds are appropriately allocated to prioritize high-visibility projects with an urgency to be delivered within their respective districts.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Monitor project progress, track milestones, and evaluate the effectiveness of implemented enhancements. Assess the impact of transit projects on increasing ridership, improving waste management practices, reducing graffiti, and enhancing the aesthetic appeal of transit stations.
  • Reporting and Documentation: Maintain accurate records of project activities, including project proposals, cooperative agreements, progress reports, and project outcomes. Prepare periodic reports to communicate project status, achievements, and challenges to Caltrans leadership.

District Roles/Responsibilities

Needs Assessment

  • District Evaluation: Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the district to assess their specific challenges related to waste management, graffiti, and aesthetic appeal in transit areas.
  • Local/Transit Agency Assessment: Evaluate agencies within the district to identify their specific challenges and needs in addressing waste management, graffiti, and aesthetic improvements.

Partnership Identification

  • Research and Outreach: Actively research and identify potential local and/or transit agency partners that align with the objectives of the Clean CA Program, specifically for transit projects focusing on active transportation, micro-mobility, and transit station enhancements.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Engage with local stakeholders, such as city officials, transit agency representatives, community organizations, and advocacy groups, to foster partnerships and collaborations.

Contribution Agreement Development

  • Scope of Work: Collaborate with identified partners to define the scope of work for each project, including the specific activities, objectives, and desired outcomes.
  • Schedule and Milestones: Work with partners to establish a comprehensive schedule with realistic milestones to ensure completion of all projects. The schedule should consider project complexity, resource availability, and potential challenges that may arise during implementation.
  • Resource Planning: Determine the necessary resources, including funding, personnel, equipment, and materials, required to execute the projects
  • Legal and Administrative Considerations: Ensure that all cooperative agreements comply with Caltrans legal requirements and administrative procedures.

Project Management and Oversight

  • Project Implementation: Monitor and facilitate the implementation of projects according to the defined scope of work, schedule, and milestones.
  • Communication and Coordination: Maintain regular communication and coordination with partner organizations to address any issues, provide guidance, and track progress.
  • Performance Evaluation: Conduct periodic evaluations to assess project performance, identify any necessary adjustments, and ensure adherence to objectives and quality standards.

Reporting and Documentation

  • Progress Updates: Maintain regular communication with the Clean CA Program on project status, achievements, challenges, and any adjustments made to the scope of work or schedule.
  • Documentation Retention: Ensure proper documentation of all agreements, communication records, project plans, and reports for record-keeping and future
  • Performance Monitoring: Monitor the progress and performance of projects to ensure the allocated funds are being effectively utilized.
  • Reporting: Require regular reporting from local/transit agencies on the implementation and outcomes of the funded projects, including progress updates and evaluation results.
  • Data Collection: Coordinate with partners to collect relevant project data, metrics, and deliverables.

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Community Outreach: Engage with local communities to provide updates on project progress, gather feedback, and address any concerns or inquiries related to the urbanized transit projects.
  • Public Awareness: Promote the projects and their benefits to raise public awareness of their benefits, climate action goals, and improvements in active transportation, micro-mobility, and transit station aesthetics.