The Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA) is an annual program providing state funds for city and county projects that improve safety and convenience for bicycle commuters. In accordance with the Streets and Highways Code (SHC) Section 890-894.2 - California Bicycle Transportation Act, projects must be designed and developed to achieve the functional commuting needs and physical safety of all bicyclists. Local agencies first establish eligibility by preparing and adopting a Bicycle Transportation Plan (BTP) that complies with SHC Section 891.2.  The BTP must be approved by the local agency’s Regional Transportation Planning Agency.
The California Conservation Corps (CCC) is a public service program that occasionally provides assistance on construction projects. The CCC may be written into grant applications as a project partner. In order to utilize CCC labor, project sites must be public land or publicly-accessible. CCC labor will not perform regular maintenance, but will perform annual maintenance, such as the opening of trails in the spring.
California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) grants are supported by Federal funding under the National Highway Safety Act and SAFETEA-LU. In California, the grants are administered by the Office of Traffic Safety. Grants are used to establish new traffic safety programs, expand ongoing programs or address deficiencies in current programs. Pedestrian safety is included in the list of traffic safety priority areas. Eligible grantees are governmental agencies, state colleges, state universities, local city and county government agencies, school districts, fire departments, and public emergency services providers. Grant funding cannot replace existing program expenditures, nor can traffic safety funds be used for program maintenance, research, rehabilitation, or construction. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis, and priority is given to agencies with the greatest need. Evaluation criteria to assess need include potential traffic safety impact, collision statistics and rankings, seriousness of problems, and performance on previous OTS grants. There is no maximum cap to the amount requested, but all items in the proposal must be justified to meet the objectives of the proposal.
Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant Program, administered by Caltrans, provides two grants for bicycle and pedestrian project planning and construction. The Community-Based Transportation Planning Grant funds projects that exemplify livable community concepts, including bicycle and pedestrian improvement projects. Eligible applicants include local governments, MPOs, and RPTAs. A 20 percent local match is required and projects must demonstrate a transportation component or objective.
Cool California Funding Wizard, a searchable database to locate funding across state and federal agencies for reducing the impacts of climate change and supporting sustainable communities. 
Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Funds provide grant opportunities for projects that indirectly mitigate environmental impacts of new transportation facilities. Projects should fall into one of the following three categories: highway landscaping and urban forestry, resource lands projects, or roadside recreation facilities. Funds are available for land acquisition and construction. The local Caltrans District must support the project.

Environmental Justice: Context Sensitive Planning Grants promote context sensitive planning in diverse communities and funds planning activities that assist low-income, minority, and Native American communities to become active participants in transportation planning and project development. Grants are available to transit districts, cities, counties, and tribal governments.
Highway Safety Improvement Program  funds are allocated to States as part of SAFETEA-LU. The goal of HSIP funds is to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. As required under the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) California Department of Transportation has developed and is in the process of implementing a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). A portion of the HSIP funds allocated to each state is set aside for construction and operational improvements on high-risk rural roads. If the state has a Strategic Highway Safety Plan, the remainder of the funds may be allocated to other programs, including projects on bicycle and pedestrian pathways or trails and education and enforcement. The local match varies between 0 and 10 percent. The maximum grant award is $900,000. Caltrans issues an annual call for projects for HSIP funding. Projects must meet the goals of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan.

Land and Water Conservation Fund Land (LWCF) is a federally funded program, run through the National Park Service that provides grants for planning and acquiring outdoor recreation areas and facilities, including trails. The fund is administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The fund has been reauthorized until 2015. Cities, counties, and districts authorized to acquire, develop, operate, and maintain park and recreation facilities are eligible to apply. Applicants must fund the entire project, and will be reimbursed for 50 percent of costs. Property acquired or developed under the program must be retained in perpetuity for public recreational use.

The Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act allows any county, city, special district, school district, or joint powers of authority to establish a Community Facility Districts (CFD) for the purpose of selling tax-exempt bonds to fund public improvements within that district.
Petroleum Violation Escrow Account (PVEA)  has been used to fund programs based on public transportation, computerized bus routing and ride sharing, home weatherization, energy assistance and building energy audits, highway and bridge maintenance, and reducing airport user fees. In California, Caltrans administers funds for transportation-related PVEA projects. PVEA funds do not require a match and can be used as match for additional Federal funds.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) and California Safe Routes to School (SR2S): Caltrans administers funding for Safe Routes to School projects through two separate and distinct programs: the state-legislated Program (SR2S) and the federally-legislated Program (SRTS). Both programs competitively award reimbursement grants with the goal of increasing the number of children who walk or bicycle to school. California Safe Routes to School Program expires December 21, 2012, requires a 10 percent local match, is eligible to cities and counties, and targets children in grades K-12. The fund is primarily for construction, but applicants may use up to 10 percent of the program funds for education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation activities. Under the Federal Safe Routes to School Program cities, counties, school districts, non-profits, and tribal organizations are eligible for the 100 percent reimbursable funds that target children in grades K-8. Applicants may use funds for construction or for education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation activities. Construction must be within two miles of a grade school or middle school. 
State Highway Operations & Protection Program (SHOPP) is a Caltrans funding source with the purpose of purpose of maintaining and preserving the investment in the State Highway System and supporting infrastructure. Projects typically fall into the following categories: collision reduction, major damage restoration, bridge preservation, roadway preservation, roadside preservation, mobility enhancement, and preservation of other transportation facilities related to the state highway system. In the past, SHOPP funds have been used to construct bicycle and pedestrian projects, including curb ramps, overcrossings, bike paths, sidewalks, and signal upgrades to meet ADA requirements. Jurisdictions work with Caltrans’ districts to have projects placed on the SHOPP list. 
State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP):  To be included in the STIP, projects must be identified either in the Interregional Transportation Improvement Plan (ITIP), which is prepared by Caltrans, or in the Regional Transportation Improvement Plan (RTIP). Bicycle and pedestrian projects are eligible for inclusion. Caltrans updates the STIP every two years. SAFETEA-LU, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, is the primary federal funding source for bicycle and pedestrian projects. Caltrans, the State Resources Agency and regional planning agencies administer SAFETEA-LU funding. Most, but not all of these funding programs emphasize transportation modes and purposes that reduce auto trips and provide inter-modal connections. SAFETEA-LU programs require a local match of between zero percent and 20 percent. SAFETEA-LU funds primarily capital improvements and safety and education programs that relate to the surface transportation system. To be eligible for Federal transportation funds, States are required to develop a State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and update it at least every four years. A STIP is a multi-year capital improvement program of transportation projects that coordinates transportation-related capital improvements planned by metropolitan planning organizations and the state. 
Wildlife Conservation Board Public Access Program provides grants to public agencies and non-profit groups and organizations in California. The focus of the Board’s grant funding program is the acquisition of lands or improvements that preserve wildlife habitat or provide recreational access for hunting, fishing, or other wildlife-oriented activities. Projects eligible for funding include interpretive trails, river access, and trailhead parking areas. The State of California must have a proprietary interest in the project. Local agencies are generally responsible for the planning and engineering phases of each project.
Community Development Block Grants fund projects and programs that develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income. Federal Community Development Block Grant Grantees may use CDBG funds for activities that include (but are not limited to) acquiring real property; building public facilities and improvements, such as streets, sidewalks, and recreational facilities; and planning and administrative expenses, such as costs related to developing a consolidated plan and managing CDBG funds. The state makes funds available to eligible agencies (cities and counties) through a variety of different grant types. Grantees enter into a contract with the state.
Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) is a block grant program that provides funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects, among many other transportation projects. Under the RSTP, Metropolitan planning organizations prioritize and approve projects that will receive RSTP funds. Metropolitan planning organizations can transfer funding from other federal transportation sources to the RSTP program in order to gain more flexibility in the way the monies are allocated. In California, 76 percent of RSTP funds are allocated to urban areas with populations of at least 200,000. The remaining funds are available statewide.
San Diego: SANDAG Board of Directors allocates funds under the Transportation Development Act (TDA) and TransNet local sales tax program to support bicycle and pedestrian transportation projects in the San Diego region through a competitive process on an annual basis with input from the SANDAG Bicycle-Pedestrian Working Group using criteria that support regional transportation goals consistent with the Regional Comprehensive Plan and Regional Transportation Plan. 
San Francisco Bay Area: The BAAQMD Bicycle Facility Program (BFP) provides grant funding to reduce motor vehicle emissions through the implementation of new bikeways and bicycle parking facilities in the Bay Area.
San Francisco Bay Area: The Regional Bicycle Program (RBP) funds construction of bikeways on the Regional Bikeway Network for the Bay Area. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) administers RBP funds to county CMA’s based on population, bikeway network capital cost, and unbuilt network miles.
San Francisco Bay AreaSafe Routes to Transit (SR2T) Regional Measure 2 (RM2), approved in March 2004, raised the toll on seven state-owned Bay Area bridges by one dollar for 20 years. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) allocates the $20 million of RM2 funding to the Safe Routes to Transit Program, which provides competitive grant funding for capital and planning projects that improve bicycle and pedestrian access to transit facilities. Eligible projects must reduce congestion on one or more of the Bay Area’s toll bridges. Transform and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition administer SR2T funding.
San Francisco Bay AreaTransportation for Livable Communities Program (TLC) provides grant monies to public agencies to encourage land use decisions that support compact, pedestrian and bicycle-friendly development near transit hubs. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) stipulates all eligible TLC projects to be within Priority Development Areas (PDAs), which focus growth around transit, in its Transportation Plan 2035. MTC selects projects based on their status (planned or proposed) and their development intensity. MTC administers the TLC program with funds from the Regional Surface Transportation Project and caps grants at $400,000. Funds may be used for capital projects or planning.
San Francisco Bay Area: The Transportation Fund for Clean Air (TCFA) is administered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). Projects must be consistent with the 1988 California Clean Air Act and the Bay Area Ozone Strategy. TFCA funds covers a wide range of project types, including bicycle facility improvements such as bike lanes, bicycle racks, and lockers; arterial management improvements to speed traffic flow on major arterials; and smart growth.
San Mateo: Transportation Development Act (TDA) and Regional Bicycle Program (RBP). TheCity/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County administers the TDA and the RBP, two funding sources for bicycle and pedestrian projects in San Mateo County. These funds are just one of many funding sources available for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
San Mateo County: Measure A. The San Mateo County Transportation Authority (TA) administers Measure A revenues to fund a wide variety of transportation-related projects and programs.
San Mateo County: The Peninsula Traffic Congestion and Relief Alliance is San Mateo County’s Transportation Demand Management Agency. The Alliance provides small grants and cash incentives that allow communities and employers to provide bicycle parking and provide commuter benefits that encourage transit, walking and biking. Programs include the Commute Benefit Employer Incentive Program, which allows employers to provide employees with up to $230 pre-tax for most commute expenses, and the Bicycle Parking Incentive Program, which reimburses employers for 50 percent of the cost of bicycle parking, up to $500 per unit.
Sonoma County: Ped and Bike Plan Measure M. In 2004, voters in Sonoma County passed Measure M, a quarter percent sales tax for transportation improvements. Four percent of the funds will be used for bicycle and pedestrian routes. As provided for in the measure, theSonoma County Transportation Agency (SCTA) is responsible for developing and updating a strategic plan to guide allocation decisions and project delivery. In 2005 SCTA developed the initial strategic plan, The Traffic Relief Act for Sonoma County. The strategic plan will be updated every five years during the term of the plan.
Transportation Development Act (TDA) Article 3 funds are state block grants awarded annually to local jurisdictions for transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects in California. Funds originate from the Local Transportation Fund (LTF), which is derived from a quarter-cent of the general state sales tax. LTF funds are returned to each county based on sales tax revenues. Eligible pedestrian and bicycle projects include: construction and engineering for capital projects; maintenance of bikeways; bicycle safety education programs (up to five percent of funds); and development of comprehensive bicycle or pedestrian facilities plans. A city or county may apply for funding to develop or update bicycle plans not more than once every five years. TDA funds may be used to meet local match requirements for federal funding sources. Two percent of the total TDA apportionment is available for bicycle and pedestrian funding.
Federally-Administered Funding
Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) CARE is a competitive grant program administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency that offers an innovative way for a community to organize and take action to reduce toxic pollution in its local environment. Transportation and “smart-growth” types of projects are eligible.

The National Scenic Byways Program identifies roads with outstanding scenic, historic, and cultural, natural, recreational, and archaeological qualities as National Scenic Byways. The program provides funding for scenic byway projects and for planning, designing, and developing scenic byway programs. There is a 20 percent match requirement. National Scenic Byways Program can be used to fund on-street and off-street bicycle facilities, pedestrian facilities, intersection improvements, user maps and other publications. Grant applications for National Scenic Byways Programs are forwarded to the FHWA division office by the state or tribal scenic byways coordinator.

Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks and Public Lands Program, formerly the Alternative Transportation in Parks and Public Lands (ATPPL) Program, funds transportation modes that reduce congestion in parks and public lands. The program funds planning and capital expenses for alternative modes in state and national lands, including bicycle and pedestrian paths. Any local, state, federal agency or tribal group that manages federal lands may apply for funds. Project awards range from $40,000 to $3 million.

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) allocates funds to states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. Examples of trail uses include hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, and other non-motorized and motorized uses. The State Department of Parks and Recreation administers RTP funds in California. A minimum 12 percent of local match is required. RTP projects must be ADA-compliant and may be used for:

  • Maintenance and restoration of existing trails
  • Purchase and lease of trail construction and maintenance equipment
  • Construction of new trails, including unpaved trails
  • Acquisition of easements or property for trails
  • State-administrative costs related to this program (limited to seven percent of a State's funds)
  • Operation of educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection related to trails (limited to five percent of a State's funds). 
The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program is a National Parks Service program that provides technical assistance via direct staff involvement, to establish and restore greenways, rivers, trails, watersheds and open space. It provides only for planning assistance—there are no implementation monies available. Projects are prioritized for assistance based upon criteria that include conserving significant community resources, fostering cooperation between agencies, serving a large number of users, encouraging public involvement in planning and implementation and focusing on lasting accomplishments.
Integration into Larger Projects “Routine accommodation” policies at Caltrans and MTC require agencies to design, construct, operate, and maintain transportation facilities using best practices for pedestrians and bicyclists. Local jurisdictions can begin to expect that some portion of pedestrian and bicyclist project costs, when they are built as part of larger transportation projects, will be covered in project construction budgets.
New Construction Future construction projects are a means of providing sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities. To ensure that roadway construction projects provide facilities where needed and feasible, it is important that an effective review process be in place so that new roads meet the counties’ and cities’ standards and guidelines for the development of sidewalks and pedestrian facilities. A developer may also attempt to reduce the number of trips (and hence impacts and cost) by paying for on- and off-site bicycle and pedestrian improvements designed to encourage residents, employees and visitors to the new development to walk rather than drive.
Parks and Recreation  Funds are generally derived from property and sales taxes and some fee revenues, and they are sometimes used directly for pathway or pathway-related facilities, including bathrooms, pocket parks, lighting, parking, and landscaping.
Special Improvement Districts Counties and cities may establish special improvement districts to provide funding for specified public improvement projects within the designated district. Business Improvement Districts and Special Assessment Districts are example of special improvement districts.