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October 11, 2023

SolTrans Receives California Clean Air Grant for Sereno Transit Center

Mandi Renshaw

October 10, 2023

Solano County, CA- On Monday, October 9, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that cities and local agencies throughout the state will receive $114.5 million in grants to remove litter, beautify neighborhoods, and transform public spaces into points of pride. The funding is the latest piece of Governor Newsom’s Clean California initiative, a $1.2 billion, multiyear clean-up effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, create thousands of jobs, and engage communities to revitalize public spaces.

Solano County Transit (SolTrans) received $971,000 of the $114.5 million grant to beautify the Sereno Transit Center (STC) located in Vallejo, CA. STC is currently primarily concrete and an urban heat island. With this grant, SolTrans wishes to reduce its climate impact and improve rider comfort by adding shade trees and native, drought-tolerant plants in addition to a street-facing mural and artist-painted utility boxes. Living hedge fencing will be added to prevent furniture dumping. Existing bus stops will be renovated, and additional structures added with more comfortable seating, protective barriers from weather elements, and anti-graffiti shields. These improvements will enhance public health by providing more security, shade, and protection to the riders from outdoor elements. The art murals on the center’s building and utility boxes will serve as an added element of the cultural connection and community placemaking.

SolTrans’ grant writer Reilly Kent said upon receiving the grant award news,” When you put great minds together and your heart into it, it’s amazing what we can do for our community. I’m proud of the work staff has done here and I can’t wait to see the Sereno Transit Center vision realized.” This grant application was a big undertaking that required a lot of staff time and input from all departments, but the visionary is SolTrans’ Senior Analyst Angela Jackson, who will also be the lead in bringing the grant to fruition. The project is set to break ground in spring 2024 and will be completed within the year.

SolTrans Vice Chair Terry Scott said, “The work SolTrans has planned to improve and beautify the Sereno Transit Center will greatly improve the transit experience for our riders, but most importantly, enhancing the space will be something the surrounding neighbors and community can take pride in and enjoy.”

SolTrans’ project is one of 60 projects receiving funding to improve parks, tribal lands, neighborhoods, transit hubs, walking paths, streets, roadsides, recreation fields, community gathering spots, and places of cultural importance or historical interest in underserved communities. This funding builds on the nearly $300 million in grants to more than 100 local Clean California projects statewide that Governor Newsom announced in March of 2022. Following the positive community response, Governor Newsom and the state legislature approved another $100 million last year for a second round of local projects.

Since launching Clean California in July 2021, Caltrans has removed an estimated 1.9 million cubic yards of litter from state highways. The program has created more than 4,000 jobs that have helped Californians overcome barriers to employment, including 357 people who had been experiencing homelessness, and drawn more than 10,000 volunteers to events ranging from community cleanups to large debris collections for appliances, tires, and mattresses. To learn more, visit Clean California.

Solano County Transit (SolTrans) has been the public transportation provider for south Solano County since July 2011. SolTrans provides local and SolanoExpress fixed routes and complementary paratransit. The agency is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) governed by a six-member Board of Directors, composed of two representatives from the cities of Benicia and Vallejo, Solano County’s representative on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), and a representative from the Solano Transportation Authority.


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