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AB-1350 Free youth transit passes: eligibility for state funding.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/15/2020 09:00 PM
AB1350:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  January 15, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  January 06, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 26, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1350


Introduced by Assembly Member Gonzalez
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Chu, Gipson, and Nazarian)

February 22, 2019


An act to add Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 99100) to Part 11 of Division 10 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to transportation.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1350, as amended, Gonzalez. Free youth transit passes: eligibility for state funding.
Existing law declares that the fostering, continuance, and development of public transportation systems are a matter of state concern. Existing law authorizes the Department of Transportation to administer various programs and allocates moneys for various public transportation purposes.
This bill would require transit agencies to offer free youth transit passes to persons under 18 years of age and under in order to be eligible for state funding under the Mills-Deddeh Transit Development Act, the State Transit Assistance Program, or the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program. The bill would also require a free youth transit pass to count as a full price fare for purposes of calculating the ratio of fare revenues to operating costs.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Global climate change poses a serious threat to the economic well-being, public health, natural resources, and the environment of California.
(b) Greenhouse gas emissions that have been exacerbated by human activity play a central role in accelerating adverse climate change outcomes.
(c) California laws and regulations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions address one of the most important issues of our time, and increasing the use of public transportation is a vital component in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050.
(d) In addition to contributing to California’s climate goals, public transportation systems provide an essential public service to all of the people of the state, including elderly, disabled, youth, and citizens of limited means. Providing programs that develop ridership and adoption of public transit help contribute to achieving established statewide climate goals.
(e) Student transit pass programs have been shown to increase overall transit ridership and fill empty seats on trains and buses, resulting in reduced costs per rider and improved service because of higher demand.
(f) Targeting student transit pass programs to middle school, high school, college, and university students can promote the development of lifelong transit riders and further bolster the capacity and reliability of transit systems.
(g) Transit pass programs in this state and across the country have resulted in significant increases in transit ridership and have made it easier and cheaper for students to get to schools and jobs.
(h) Student transit pass programs can help the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions, vehicle miles traveled, petroleum use, air pollution, and improve overall community health.
(i) Student transit pass programs can lower pollution around elementary schools, thereby improving student health.
(j) Schools are often a major generator of traffic in cities, and student transit pass programs can help reduce the traffic and parking problems in neighborhoods around schools.
(k) Student transit pass programs can reduce the need for colleges to use campus land for expensive parking structures when this land and money could be better used for educational purposes.
(l) Student transit pass programs have decreased the necessity of, and costs associated with, driving to and from school, thereby reducing the overall cost of school attendance and the parental burdens on working families.
(m) A University of California at Los Angeles study of 35 college and university student transit pass programs across the United States in 2001 showed ridership increases of 71 to 200 percent after the implementation of these programs.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 99100) is added to Part 11 of Division 10 of the Public Utilities Code, to read:
CHAPTER  2. Free Youth Transit Passes

99100.
 Notwithstanding any other law, a transit agency shall offer free youth transit passes to persons under 18 years of age and under in order to be eligible for state funding under the Mills-Deddeh Transit Development Act (Division 11 (commencing with Section 120000)), the State Transit Assistance Program described in subdivision (a) of Section 99312.2, or the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program created by Part 3 (commencing with Section 75230) of Division 44 of the Public Resources Code.

99101.
 A free youth transit pass provided pursuant to Section 99100 shall count as a full price fare for purposes of calculating the ratio of fare revenues to operating costs.