Riechel Reports - Events - City of San Bruno CA

Connect 4 South San Francisco - CA

Article Source:  San Mateo County Transit District - CA

March 12, 2024 
Media Contact: Randol White, 415-515-7624 

Governor Newsom awards nearly $150 million to reconnect underserved communities divided by highways as part of a historic new program 

A groundbreaking new pilot program will distribute nearly $150 million to transform and reconnect three underserved communities in California divided by highways. 

The San Mateo County Transportation Authority (TA) submitted one of the winning projects as a vision for transforming portions of South San Francisco. It’s called Connect 4 South San Francisco (Connect4SSF) because it aims to connect four historically underserved communities through bicycle, pedestrian, and transit improvements with emphasis on housing, jobs, and open space. 

The TA hosted today’s official announcement ceremony at its headquarters in San Carlos. Caltrans District 4 Director Dina El-Tawansy emceed the event. Speakers included California Secretary of Transportation Toks Omishakin, Caltrans Director Tony Tavares, TA Board Chair Carlos Romero, South San Francisco Mayor James Coleman, Rise South City Executive Director Julio Garcia, and OneShoreline Chair Dave Pine. 

“Transportation at its best is a uniter, connecting people and communities with convenient and safe access to jobs, family and services,” said Omishakin. “Transportation at its worst is a barrier, dividing communities, increasing harms and cutting off access to opportunity. We must strive to always unite and never divide, and today represents an important step in righting the wrongs of the past by putting people and communities first.” 

“These collaborations will be unlike any in Caltrans history and empower a new generation of community-driven transportation decisions,” Tavares said. “Caltrans will work hand-in-hand with community-based partners and cities on solutions to reconnect neighborhoods that have been split by highway projects and help heal past harms.” 

“This funding is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will allow us to provide better multimodal transportation options to fill gaps for our most undeserved areas of San Mateo County and repair past practices that may have adversely affected disadvantaged communities,” said Romero. 

“South San Francisco is honored to be selected and proud to use this program to implement solutions that address the historic injustices caused by divisive infrastructure and truly restore community connectivity,” said Coleman. 

“I am excited to see the focus in this project on Colma creek which today is a barrier to our community and in the future, as it was in the past, can be something for the people to use and love which will also hopefully extend to the Bay Trail and waterfront,” said Garcia. 

“OneShoreline is committed to working with the TA, South San Francisco, and other partners to integrate sustainability and climate resiliance into this project and create a model for other regions,” said Pine. 

Projects in San Diego and Arcata were also announced on Tuesday. Representatives from Arcata, including Mayor Meredith Matthews and Cal Poly Humbold Vice President of Academic Affairs Jenn Capps also spoke. A separate event was held in San Diego. 

The programs will be funded through Governor Gavin Newsom’s clean transportation infrastructure package that was part of the 2022-23 state budget.  

“No other state has ever launched a program like this, reimagining the barriers we helped build to instead create a community-based solution focused on reconnection and rebirth,” said Newsom. “California is once again leading the way to repair the shameful history of redlining and other exclusionary, racist policies of the past to create a more connected, equitable future with vibrant, thriving communities for all.” 

The Reconnecting Communities: Highways Boulevard pilot program, first proposed in the Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure, seeks to transform underused highways that divided underserved communities into multimodal corridors and vibrant public spaces.  


About the Transportation Authority (TA): Created to administer Measure A, San Mateo County’s cent sales tax, the TA provides funding for transportation projects and programs in San Mateo County. In 2004, more than 75 percent of San Mateo County voters reauthorize Measure A for an additional 25 years. In 2018, voters approved Measure W, the San Mateo County Congestion Relief Plan an additional cent sales tax. The TA will administer half the revenue of Measure W and the San Mateo County Transit District will administer the other half to fund and implement the Congestion Relief Plan.  

San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans, Caltrain and TA), 1250 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos, CA 94070, United States

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