Caltrans Awarded $7.7 Million Advanced Technology Grant to Improve Transportation Access in Southern California


District:   Headquarters
Contact:  Will Arnold
Phone:    (916) 956-0633

Los Angeles – Caltrans today announced that it was awarded $7.7 million in federal Advanced Transportation Technology and Innovation (ATTAIN) grant funding to support the Southern California Mobility Wallet, an innovative way to improve access to transportation through a seamless payment system. 

“We have to innovate and incorporate technology in order to meet the transportation needs of all Californians. This grant will increase access and mobility for underserved communities and help move California toward a universal payment system for transit.”

Tony Tavares, Caltrans Director
The ATTAIN grant will expand the Southern California Mobility Wallet project, which uses “open-loop” payments technology to offer seamless payment to highway and transit services for Los Angeles County residents. An open-loop system allows travelers to pay with bank or credit cards to access different vendors, facilitating multiple public transit or highway payments and improving the experience across all modes of travel including public transit, electric vehicle charging stations, and roadway tolling.

The project also issues direct funds to Los Angeles County residents to pay for mobility services, enabling travelers to purchase rides on local public transportation with their contactless credit and debit cards. Residents without access to traditional banking will be issued a contactless debit card that can be used at any retailer that accepts bank card payments, and funds will be directly issued to this card for their mobility needs.

The Southern California Mobility Wallet stems from a partnership between the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Caltrans, which created and manages the California Integrated Travel Project (Cal-ITP), an initiative to expand multimodal travel throughout California by standardizing payments, trip planning, and customer discounts. Cal-ITP has successfully led contactless open-loop payment implementations in California on Monterey-Salinas and Santa Barbara buses; Sacramento light rail; intercity passenger rail between Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area; on-demand transit vans; and LAX’s FlyAway bus, which connects airport passengers to commuter rail in Los Angeles. Learn more about Cal-ITP at

ATTAIN grants are administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration and funded by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA). Also known as the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” the IIJA is a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation's infrastructure to improve the sustainability and resiliency of our energy, water, broadband and transportation systems. Since November 2021, California has received $20 billion in federal infrastructure funding. That includes more than $15 billion in federal transportation funding to upgrade the state’s roads, bridges, rail, public transit, airports, electric vehicle charging network, ports, and waterways. These transportation investments alone have already created nearly 48,000 jobs.