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AB-1848 High-speed rail: Metrolink commuter rail system.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/06/2020 09:00 PM
AB1848:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1848


Introduced by Assembly Member Lackey

January 06, 2020


An act relating to high-speed rail, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1848, as introduced, Lackey. High-speed rail: Metrolink commuter rail system.
The California High-Speed Rail Act creates the High-Speed Rail Authority to develop and implement a high-speed rail system in the state. The Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century, approved by the voters as Proposition 1A at the November 4, 2008, general election, provides for the issuance of $9,000,000,000 in general obligation bonds for high-speed rail purposes and $950,000,000 for other related rail purposes.
This bill would appropriate $4,000,000,000 of those bond revenues to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority to fund improvements to the Metrolink commuter rail system. The bill would require those improvements to support blended operation with high-speed trainsets upon completion of specified phases of the high-speed rail system, and would require that infrastructure upgrades funded by this appropriation make the corridor or usable segment thereof suitable and ready for high-speed train operation.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: YES   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) Metrolink operates the nation’s third largest commuter rail system, based on its 536 total route miles, and serves six southern California counties, which cumulatively have a population of 21,500,000 people—over one-half of California’s total population.
(b) Approximately 15,000,000 people live within five miles of one of Metrolink’s 62 rail stations, which are located throughout southern California.
(c) Nearly 12,000,000 passengers rode Metrolink’s commuter rail system during its 2018–19 fiscal year.
(d) Metrolink annually eliminates, on average, 130,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 335,080,746 vehicle miles traveled (VMT) from area roadways.
(e) Eighty-one percent of weekday Metrolink passenger trips are work-related, which reduces traffic volume by up to 28 percent during the peak hour in the peak direction on parallel freeways such as Interstate Route 5, Interstate Route 10, State Route 57, U.S. Route 101, State Route 134, Interstate Route 215, and Interstate Route 710, which are some of the most congested roadways in the nation.

SEC. 2.

 (a) The sum of four billion dollars ($4,000,000,000) is hereby appropriated from the High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Fund, which is created pursuant to Section 2704.05 of the Streets and Highways Code, to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority to fund improvements to the Metrolink commuter rail system consistent with Chapter 20 (commencing with Section 2704) of Division 3 of the Streets and Highways Code.
(b) The Legislature finds and declares that the goal of this appropriation is to help reduce rail passenger commute times by 50 percent or more by January 1, 2028, along the following rail corridors:
(1) The City of Palmdale to the Los Angeles Union Station, via the City of Santa Clarita and Newhall.
(2) The City of Riverside to the Los Angeles Union Station, via the Cities of Corona, Fullerton, and Buena Park.
(3) The City of Oceanside to the Los Angeles Union Station, via the City of Irvine.
(c) These improvements shall support blended operation with high-speed trainsets upon completion of Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the high-speed rail system described in Chapter 20 (commencing with Section 2704) of Division 3 of the Streets and Highways Code.
(d) (1) Infrastructure upgrades funded by this section shall make the corridor or usable segment thereof suitable and ready for high-speed train operation.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “suitable and ready for high-speed train operation” means that the corridor or usable segment thereof will enable high-speed trains to operate immediately or after additional planned investments are made on the corridor or useable segment thereof, and passenger train service providers will benefit from the project in the near-term, consistent with Section 2704.78 of the Streets and Highways Code.