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Health Equity Forum: Technical Assistance Spotlight – March 2015

Active Transportation Program Accepting Funding Applications Beginning this Week

By Jeanie Ward-Waller, Senior California Policy Manager, Safe Routes to School National Partnership

The Active Transportation Program (ATP) is a statewide competitive grant program that promotes bicycling and walking conditions with infrastructure improvements and encouragement programs. The ATP prioritizes projects that target safety for children traveling to school (Safe Routes to School grants) and improve streets and sidewalks for residents of disadvantaged communities as defined on page 8 of the ATP guidelines. Examples of these projects include fixing sidewalks, adding raised crosswalks, installing flashing signage at intersections, and creating bike lanes or paths. In 2015, the California Transportation Commission will approve $360 million in grants to communities across the state. The call for projects will be released on March 26 and the deadline to apply for funding is June 1, 2015.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership worked with partners at PolicyLink, California WALKS, and the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability to conduct a statewide workshop on March 4th to help potential applicants for ATP grants begin to develop competitive applications. Presenters shared insight and common themes from successful project applications in the 2014 ATP grant cycle. We heard about programs like the Riverside County Department of Public Health’s top-scoring application for a Safe Routes to School education and encouragement program in the City of Jarupa Valley. 

Workshop attendees brought lots of questions about the application and implementation process, including who can apply and how to partner with community-based organizations, public health departments, and school districts to apply for funds.  Also, there were questions about whether it's beneficial to combine infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects in one application. The event also featured lively local breakout discussions. The workshop was hosted via video conference in Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Riverside County. You can view the presentations from the workshop on our website.

If you interested in applying for an ATP grant in 2015, Caltrans is hosting two sets of workshops during the next month all over the state. The first set of workshops, already underway, will cover the details of the ATP application and is geared toward the technical aspects of the program. The second set of workshops, beginning this week, will provide technical assistance specifically for small and disadvantaged communities around the state. For more information on the Active Transportation Program and links to many more resources, go to, or contact me at