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AB-946 Transit buses: Counties of Monterey and Santa Cruz.(2013-2014)

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Assembly Bill No. 946
CHAPTER 426

An act to add Section 148.1 to the Streets and Highways Code, and to amend Section 21650 of the Vehicle Code, relating to transportation.

[ Approved by Governor  September 30, 2013. Filed with Secretary of State  September 30, 2013. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 946, Stone. Transit buses: Counties of Monterey and Santa Cruz.
Existing law creates the Monterey-Salinas Transit District and the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District with various powers and duties relative to the operation of public transit in those counties. Existing law generally requires vehicles to be driven upon the right half of a roadway, defined to include only that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel. Existing law generally prohibits the driver of a vehicle from overtaking and passing another vehicle by driving off the paved or main-traveled portion of the roadway.
This bill would authorize the Monterey-Salinas Transit District and the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District to conduct a transit bus-only program using the shoulders of certain state highways as transit bus-only traffic corridors, subject to approval by the department and the Department of the California Highway Patrol. The highway segments to be used for the program would be jointly determined by the districts, the department, and the Department of the California Highway Patrol, as provided. The bill would thereby authorize the operation of transit buses on the shoulder of a segment of a state highway designated under the program within the areas served by the transit districts. The bill would require the districts to actively work with the department and the Department of the California Highway Patrol to develop guidelines that ensure driver and vehicle safety and the integrity of the infrastructure. The bill would require monitoring of the state of repair of the highway shoulders used in the program, and would require the districts to be responsible for all costs attributable to the program, including costs related to repairs attributable to the operation of transit buses on shoulders.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 148.1 is added to the Streets and Highways Code, to read:

148.1.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Monterey-Salinas Transit District and the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District may conduct a transit bus-only program using the shoulders of certain highways in the state highway system within the areas served by the transit services of the districts, with the approval of the department and the Department of the California Highway Patrol. The department, the Department of the California Highway Patrol, and participating transit districts shall jointly determine the segments of each highway where it is appropriate to designate the shoulders as transit bus-only traffic corridors, based upon factors that shall include, but not be limited to, right-of-way availability and capacity, peak congestion hours, and the most heavily congested areas. Under the program, the participating transit districts shall actively work with the department and the Department of the California Highway Patrol to develop guidelines that ensure driver and vehicle safety and the integrity of the infrastructure.
(b) The development of the guidelines shall be done with transparency, including the opportunity for public comment.
(c) The department and the participating transit districts shall monitor the state of repair of highway shoulders used in the program, including repairs attributable to the operation of transit buses on the shoulders.
(d) The participating transit districts shall be responsible for all costs attributable to this program, including costs related to repairs attributable to the operation of transit buses on shoulders.
(e) The program may commence operation as soon as guidelines are agreed to by the transit districts, the department, and the Department of the California Highway Patrol.
(f) As used in this section, “highway” includes “freeway.”

SEC. 2.

 Section 21650 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

21650.
 Upon all highways, a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:
(a) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing that movement.
(b) When placing a vehicle in a lawful position for, and when the vehicle is lawfully making, a left turn.
(c) When the right half of a roadway is closed to traffic under construction or repair.
(d) Upon a roadway restricted to one-way traffic.
(e) When the roadway is not of sufficient width.
(f) When the vehicle is necessarily traveling so slowly as to impede the normal movement of traffic, that portion of the highway adjacent to the right edge of the roadway may be utilized temporarily when in a condition permitting safe operation.
(g) This section does not prohibit the operation of bicycles on any shoulder of a highway, on any sidewalk, on any bicycle path within a highway, or along any crosswalk or bicycle path crossing, where the operation is not otherwise prohibited by this code or local ordinance.
(h) This section does not prohibit the operation of a transit bus on the shoulder of a state highway in conjunction with the implementation of a program authorized pursuant to Section 148.1 of the Streets and Highways Code on state highways within the areas served by the transit services of the Monterey-Salinas Transit District or the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District.