Helen Kerstein
(916) 319-8364
Forestry, Parks, and High Speed Rail
Frank Jimenez
(916) 319-8324
Highways and Roads, Recycling, Agriculture, and Toxics
Luke Koushmaro
(916) 319-8355
Mass Transportation, Traffic Enforcement, Statewide Planning and Infrastructure
Rachel Ehlers
(916) 319-8330
Deputy Legislative Analyst: Environment and Transportation



To browse all LAO publications, visit our Publications page.


Public-Private Partnerships

December 22, 2010 - Presented to: Hon. Alan Lowenthal Senator, 27th District


High-Speed Rail Language Issues [Revised]

June 7, 2010 - Presented to Budget Conference Committee


Webcast: The 2010-11 Budget--Transportation

March 5, 2010 - In this short webcast, analysts Eric Thronson and Jessica Digiambattista discuss the recently published LAO report "The 2010-11 Budget: Transportation."


2010-11 Budget Analysis: High-Speed Rail Authority

March 3, 2010 - We review the 2010-11 budget request of the High-Speed Rail Authority.


The 2010-11 Budget: Transportation

March 2, 2010 - The Governor’s budget proposes $18 billion in expenditures (mostly from special funds) for transportation programs in 2010‑11. We recommend the Legislature (1) reduce Caltrans' capital outlay support (COS) staffing by about 1,500 (and $200 million a year) to align with actual workload if Caltrans does not provide workload justification for its COS budget; (2) reject the Governor's request to appropriate $3.45 billion in future federal transportation funds for public-private partnerships because this program does not appear to be permissible under current law and because details are not available regarding how the majority of the funds (about $2.5 billion) would be used; and (3) adopt new reporting requirements for the High-Speed Rail Authority to increase accountability.

(Short video introducing this report)


Governor’s Transportation Funding Proposal

January 21, 2010 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Hon. Denise Moreno Ducheny, Chair


Federal Economic Stimulus Funds for Transportation

January 20, 2010 - Presented to: Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Hon. Alan Lowenthal, Chair


The 2009 High-Speed Rail Business Plan

January 12, 2010 - Presented to: Assembly Transportation Committee, Hon. Mike Eng, Chair


Using Federal Economic Stimulus Funds for Transportation: An Update

November 23, 2009 - We reviewed the progress of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), local road agencies, and transit operators in their use of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds in the months since the enactment of the federal stimulus programs and found that (1) Caltrans has made good progress in the use of almost $1 billion made available to the department, already putting out to bid contracts for 92 percent of the funds; (2) local road agencies have been slower to use their obligated ARRA transportation funds, with contracts for only one–third of their funds out to bid; and (3) the progress of transit system operators is unclear due to a lack of complete information. From the data we were able to compile, however, the operators appear to be making good progress. We recommend that the Legislature hold oversight hearings on the use of ARRA transportation funds to determine if any actions are necessary to ensure that California meets various ARRA deadlines.


Use of Local Share of Gas Tax Revenues

June 10, 2009 - Presented to Budget Conference Committee


May Revision Overview: Transportation

May 28, 2009 - Presented to Budget Conference Committee Budget Conference Committee


The High-Speed Rail Authority

March 17, 2009 - Presented to: Senate Transportation and Housing Committee


State Funding for Transportation

February 5, 2009 - Presented to Assembly Transportation Committee


2009-10 Budget Analysis Series: Transportation

February 3, 2009 - The Governor’s budget proposes $16.5 billion in expenditures (mostly from special funds) for transportation programs in 2009‑10. This is a net decrease of $3 billion, or about 16 percent, below the estimated current-year expenditure level. In this report we examine ways the Legislature can reduce the impact of the Governor’s transportation funding proposals. We also explain how a number of major funding sources for transportation are unstable, and describe ramifications of this situation for transportation programs. We offer several recommendations to the Legislature to help stabilize funding for these purposes. The specific actions the Legislature can take include more clearly setting funding priorities, providing more funding from ongoing sources by raising the per gallon tax on gasoline and diesel, and exploring new ways of funding transportation programs, such as charging a mileage-based fee to generate revenues for transportation. In addition, we look at how the state is implementing Proposition 1B bond programs for transportation and offer recommendations to improve program accountability. We also examine the Governor's economic stimulus proposals for transportation and recommend that the Legislature consider an alternative to achieve greater stimulus effect.


Advancing Transportation Projects To Stimulate the Economy: An Alternative Approach

December 10, 2008 - As part of his 2008–09 special session package, the Governor proposed to speed up construction of $822 million in planned state transportation projects. We believe that the concept of accelerating transportation projects has merit. We offer an alternative approach that we believe would provide greater benefits with a similar amount of funding. Specifically, we recommend the use of revenue bonds backed by future gas tax revenues to accelerate 122 highway rehabilitation projects. These projects would be ready for construction in 2008–09, 2009–10, and 2010–11, but are not scheduled for construction until later years, due to limited funding. Our bond proposal would require voter approval. Accordingly, we recommend the Legislature place a measure on the next ballot to seek voter approval to issue $800 million in gas tax revenue bonds to fund these projects.