Seven transit projects in Riverside County will receive just over $3 million in support of expanding public transportation resources, Caltrans announced Tuesday.

According to the agency, a total of 152 projects statewide were awarded grants totaling $97 million under the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program.

“This program is about making transit work better for more riders, funding expanded service and reducing fares, especially for those who face financial barriers to mobility,” said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. “Providing accessible, reliable and affordable public transportation all feeds into promoting a healthier environment, better access to economic opportunity and a higher quality of life.”

The largest share earmarked for Riverside County is a $1.27 million allotment to the Riverside Transit Agency to expedite service along routes plied by commuter buses between Riverside, Perris and Hemet.

The other countywide grant awards are:

— $62,517 to the city of Beaumont for “free fare programs” that are announced on targeted dates to encourage ridership;

— $154,276 to the city of Corona for route adjustments to incentivize use of public transit;

— $25,000 to the city of Corona for “free fare programs”;

— $32,797 to the Palo Verde Valley Transit Agency to support “premier route service between the Palo Verde Valley and the Coachella Valley one day per week”;

— $861,106 to the Riverside County Transportation Commission to upgrade commuter rail service on the Perris Valley Line; and

— $86,000 to the Riverside Transit Agency for incentives to expand ridership on the RapidLink Gold Line between UC Riverside and the Corona Transit Center.

Funding for all of the projects is procured from the cap-and-trade system, under which businesses purchase carbon credits, or pollution offsets, in an auction controlled by the California Air Resources Board.

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