2660 Department of Transportation
Program Descriptions


The Division of Aeronautics supports California's aviation activities by promoting the safe and effective use of airports and heliports. This program oversees safety compliance and provides engineering and financial assistance for safety and infrastructure improvements. The division maintains the California Aviation System Plan, provides guidance for land use compatibility in areas around airports, administers airport noise standards and regulations, and enhances goods movement to and from airports through improved ground access.


The Capital Outlay Support program is responsible for developing capital projects on the state highway system and preparing these for the construction phase. Functions of this program include the activities necessary to deliver construction projects, such as engineering and design work, environmental studies, right-of-way acquisition, and construction inspection activities. The program also oversees private contractors that undertake the direct construction work for projects.


This program funds capacity projects in the State Transportation Improvement Program and repair projects in the State Highway Operations and Protection Program. Projects are programmed by Caltrans and funding is allocated by the California Transportation Commission. Project funding is used for acquisition of right-of-way and for construction.


This program provides state and federal funds to over 600 cities, counties and regional agencies to improve their transportation infrastructure or provide transportation services. The program also provides guidance, expertise, and oversight of transportation projects to monitor compliance with state and federal requirements to ensure successful project completion.


The program assists the department in fully utilizing available state and federal transportation funds for both the state highway and intercity rail systems. The Division of Research, Innovation and System Information provides research and data solutions needed to make informed decisions that improve California's transportation system. The Division of Transportation Programming produces the State Transportation Improvement Program, State Highway Operations and Protection Program, and the Federal Statewide Transportation Improvement Program documents.

1835038 - LEGAL

The Legal program advises the department on federal and state statutes, regulations, and case law, and how those laws impact Caltrans' policy makers, operational needs, and associated risks. Through the Legal program, Caltrans handles all of its own legal affairs, including: real property acquisition and management, construction, environmental, personnel, tort litigation, and other matters. The program handles over 1,400 active legal matters, issues, and litigation cases annually. The program also provides the High Speed Rail Authority fully reimbursed eminent domain legal services.

1835047 - OPERATIONS

This program establishes statewide policies and procedures related to traffic management, identifies and prioritizes the programming of highway safety and operational improvement projects, and manages the Statewide Transportation and Encroachment Permits programs. The program also supports efficient system operation by administering incident management and traveler information programs, providing technical support to local agencies, responding to incidents on state highways, and providing traffic design support for design engineers.


The Maintenance program preserves California's highways by maintaining and repairing the state highway system. The program achieves its objectives through a fix-it first approach, including: (1) preventive and corrective pavement maintenance; (2) bridge inspection, load rating, and maintenance; (3) culvert inspection and maintenance; and (4) maintenance and repair of traffic management system field elements. In addition, the program strives to improve highway travel, safety, and the environment through testing, research, and technology development.


This program administers state and federal grants that provide funding for operating assistance, capital improvements, and equipment to public transportation agencies. The program assists agencies with purchasing buses, rolling stock, and ferries; supports commuter and urban rail services and waterborne ferry operations; and assists in providing services accessible to the elderly and disabled. The program achieves its objectives through: (1) management of state and federal capital and operations grant programs; (2) planning, support, and coordination of mass transportation services; and (3) administering state bond programs and state funding that directly support public transportation efforts.


The Intercity Rail Passenger Program helps to reduce highway congestion and automobile fuel consumption while improving air quality and environmental protection by providing leadership in the planning and implementation of a passenger rail transportation system. The program achieves its objectives through the: (1) support and funding of the intercity rail lines administered by the Joint Powers Authorities; (2) management of state and federal rail capital improvement programs; (3) ownership of state passenger rail equipment; and (4) development of the California State Rail Plan.


The Statewide Planning program implements statewide transportation policy through coordinated planning at the federal, state, regional, and local levels. The program prepares the long-range state transportation plan, provides long-range interregional transportation system planning and transportation planning studies to inform the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), and supports departmental policies and programs such as goods movement and climate action. The program also prepares the Interregional Transportation Strategic Plan, which guides investment of the Interregional Improvement Program funds in the STIP.


The Regional Planning program implements statewide transportation policy through coordination at the regional level and develops transportation plans and projects. The program develops long-range regional transportation plans and provides long-range transportation system analysis and transportation planning studies as input to regional transportation plans. The program also prepares transportation planning studies to support Caltrans policies and programs such as air quality and smart mobility.


The Equipment Service program provides mobile fleet equipment and services to other departmental programs through: (1) purchasing fleet equipment and related components, (2) receiving, servicing, and equipping new units, (3) managing the fleet, (4) repairing and maintaining the fleet, including payments for fuel and insurance, and (5) disposing of end-of-life fleet assets.


The Administration program supports the operations of the department. Major activities include accounting, budgeting, auditing, office facility operations and management, information technology, human resources, procurement and contracting, training, workforce planning, and labor relations.