The folllowing is a brief round up of activity from the April 6 SCAG Regional Council meeting.
Digital Action Plan
The Regional Council approved the Digital Action Plan, which outlines SCAG’s actions to provide digital accessibility and foster an equitable, prosperous and resilient region for all residents.
The growth of the SCAG region has been significantly impacted by technological advancements that revolutionized the way people access information. Despite the benefits of new technologies, a significant population in the region does not have access to these advancements. These disparities became more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic when impacted communities faced disadvantages in accessing services; such as healthcare, food, telework and e-learning. These disparities will widen as our reliance on technology increases.
The Digital Action Plan outlines clear goals and actions on this issue, and is driven by SCAG’s commitment to equity, innovation and resilience. The plan is built on four key strategies:
- Seek and secure broadband funding for local jurisdictions and stakeholders to deploy broadband infrastructure, digital devices, and advance digital equity initiatives.
- Coordinate, collaborate and build partnerships with public agencies, local jurisdictions, partners and the public, and align work efforts to collectively bridge the digital divide.
- Advocate for better data, Southern California’s fair share in funding, open access to broadband networks and assist low-income and rural households in underserved and unserved communities.
- Gather data and gain knowledge through broadband technical and strategic studies, disseminate findings and inform decision-makers and the public.
With faster broadband speeds and enhanced devices becoming more critical post-COVID-19, the plan aims to bridge the digital divide and ensure all residents in the region have access to the digital world.
Active Transportation Program
The Regional Council approved a resolution affirming the 2023 SCAG Regional Active Transportation Program (Regional Program) project list. The Regional Program consists of 73 projects totaling $361.2 million that support walking and bicycling in the region.
The California Transportation Commission adopted the 2023 Active Transportation Program guidelines and announced a call for projects in March 2022. Approximately 60 percent of the total program funding, including 22 projects in the SCAG region, was recommended by the California Transportation Commission and adopted in December 2022. The remaining 40 percent of the funding is recommended by Metropolitan Planning Organizations. SCAG’s share, referred to as the Regional Program, is approximately $361.2 million.
SCAG staff will submit the Regional Program to the California Transportation Commission for adoption at their June meeting. Click here for more details on SCAG’s Active Transportation Program.
Clean Technology Policy
To best support the region in a transition to a zero-emissions transportation system, SCAG drafted a Clean Transportation Technology Policy with the long-term aim of supporting the development, commercialization and deployment of a zero-emission transportation system and its supporting elements to improve air quality; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; meeting federal, state and regional targets; and promoting economic development, resilience and equity.
The policy states that:
- Clean transportation technology is defined as “zero- and near zero-emission vehicles, their supporting infrastructure, and other facilitating products that reduce environmental impacts over their full life cycle including upstream production and end of life.”
- SCAG will take a technology neutral approach in its study of, advancement of, and where applicable investment in clean transportation technology where SCAG defines technology neutrality as a “stance that does not give preference to a particular technology as long as it furthers the desired outcome of a zero-emission transportation system that meets or exceeds federal and state targets.”
- As part of the development of Connect SoCal 2024, SCAG will prepare a Clean Transportation Technology Compendium that will support decision making by providing information on various clean transportation technologies.
- SCAG will continue to foster innovation and will support the study and deployment of a range of affordable and scalable clean transportation technologies with consideration of the best available information and expected use case as determined by the end user, based on their operational needs, thus maintaining a technology neutral approach.
- SCAG will continue to support the region in deployment of clean transportation technology through research and evaluation, stakeholder support, resource and tool provision, intrastate and intraregional coordination, advocacy, and where applicable investment programs.
- SCAG will promote equitable use of and access to clean transportation technologies so that all may benefit from them.
SCAG will use this policy to guide the implementation of the clean transportation technology program and Connect SoCal 2024 development.