Today's Law As Amended

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AB-629 San Francisco Bay area: public transportation.(2021-2022)

As Amends the Law Today

 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Seamless and Resilient Bay Area Transit Act.
SEC. 2.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Transit connectivity and integration in the nine-county San Francisco Bay area has been a longstanding challenge. Legislative efforts to mandate and incentivize coordination between dozens of disparate transit agencies date back to 1996 and earlier.
(b) Low-income residents, many of whom have experienced displacement and have long commutes requiring many transfers, are among the most adversely affected by the fragmentation, experiencing a significant financial burden from needing to pay multiple separate transit fares or being forced into costly vehicle ownership.
(c) As of 2017, only 5 percent of all trips in the San Francisco Bay area were made using transit. Per-capita transit ridership in the region decreased 12 percent between 1991 and 2016. “Plan Bay Area 2050,” prepared by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, has identified that to achieve climate, equity and economic goals, the share of commuters who travel by transit must increase from 13 percent in 2015 to at least 20 percent by 2050.
(d) With 31 percent of bay area essential workers relying on public transit to get to work, transit plays a critical role during emergencies. Close coordination among agencies facilitates prioritization of critical needs, efficient deployment of resources, and clear communication to customers.
(e) In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in May 2020, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission convened a 32-member Blue Ribbon Transit Recovery Task Force composed of transit agency managers, advocates, and elected officials, aimed at coordinating transit recovery efforts and identifying reforms that would position the bay area’s transit system to emerge from the pandemic stronger and more connected than before.
(f) In November 2020, the Blue Ribbon Transit Recovery Task Force adopted a vision of transit transformation to “design, adequately invest in and effectively manage a public transit network that is inclusive, appropriately frequent, accessible, reliable, and integrated with unified service, fares, schedules, customer information and identity, serving all bay area populations, resulting in increased transit ridership and reduced growth in vehicle miles traveled.”
SEC. 3.
 It is the intent of the Legislature to enact subsequent legislation that would do the following:
(a) Support the adopted vision and goals of the Blue Ribbon Transit Recovery Task Force to enable the creation of a high-ridership, reliable, accessible, resilient, and seamlessly integrated public transportation system in the nine-county San Francisco Bay area.
(b) Institutionalize transit system network management for the nine-county San Francisco Bay area, informed by the recommendations of the Transit Transformation Action Plan prepared by the Blue Ribbon Transit Recovery Task Force and subsequent action taken by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

SEC. 4.

 Section 66501 is added to the Government Code, to read:

 The Legislature finds and declares that it is the policy of the state that all transportation agencies in the region, including the commission, congestion management agencies, and transit agencies, work toward the following goals:
(a) Integrate all transit in the region to operate as one seamless, easy-to-use, multimodal transit system from the perspective of the user.
(b) Equitably expand and improve access to high-quality, reliable, and affordable public transportation.
(c) Prioritize institutional reforms that support the creation of a more seamless and resilient public transportation network.

SEC. 5.

 Section 66502 of the Government Code is amended to read:

 (a)  There is hereby created, as a local area planning agency and not as a part of the executive branch of the state government, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to provide comprehensive regional transportation planning for the region comprised of the City and County of San Francisco and the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.
(b) For purposes of this title, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Commission” means the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
As (2)   used in this title, “region”  “Region”  means the region described in this section.  subdivision (a). 

SEC. 6.

 Section 66513.3 is added to the Government Code, to read:

 (a) The commission shall consult with transit agencies, local jurisdictions, county transportation agencies, and the general public to establish and maintain a transit priority network for the region that designates corridors that will most benefit from interventions to support fast and reliable transit service. Interventions include roadway management, bus infrastructure improvements, right-of-way designations, traffic signal operations, traffic and parking enforcement, parking restrictions, and other actions designed to provide faster and more reliable transit travel. In designating corridors as part of the transit priority network, the commission shall do all of the following:
(1) Consider transit ridership, equity, network connectivity, current and future growth patterns, and the importance of the segment to the overall transit network.
(2) Evaluate all road segments nominated by transit agencies, local jurisdictions, and county transportation agencies.
(3) Consider for inclusion any high-quality bus corridor, as defined in Section 65913.15.
(4) Include transit corridors funded through the Solutions for Congested Corridors Program (Chapter 8.5 (commencing with Section 2390) of Division 3 of the Streets and Highways Code).
(b) On or before January 1, 2024, the commission shall, in partnership with the Department of Transportation and the operators of managed lanes in the region, take the following steps to ensure the regional managed lanes network supports seamless operation of high-capacity transit:
(1) Develop regional policy goals, performance measures, and targets that will guide decisionmaking for the buildout and operation of the regional managed lanes network.
(2) Initiate a process with the Department of Transportation and the Department of the California Highway Patrol to establish options for delivering managed lanes that support reliable bus travel while minimizing roadway expansions that may increase vehicle miles traveled.
(3) Submit a report to the Legislature recommending changes to state and federal law that would support a more efficient and sustainable regional managed lanes network and regional high-capacity transit in compliance with Section 9795. The report shall also be submitted to the Senate Committee on Transportation, the Assembly Committee on Transportation, and relevant committees of the United States Congress.

SEC. 7.

 Section 66516.1 is added to the Government Code, to read:

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:
(1) Transit riders in the region face a confusing array of fares, significant variability in price for the same distance and transit mode, 16 different youth discount rates, and 14 different senior discount rates.
(2) While many transit agencies’ discount programs aim to advance equity and expand access to disadvantaged populations, the lack of an integrated fare structure punishes low-income riders who commute across transit agency boundaries.
(b) On or before February 1, 2022, the commission shall submit a copy of the study entitled the Fare Coordination and Integration Study and Business Case to the Senate Committee on Transportation, and the Assembly Committee on Transportation.
(c) On or before January 1, 2023, the commission shall submit a report to the Senate Committee on Transportation and the Assembly Committee on Transportation on the progress of implementing the recommendations included in the study described in subdivision (b).
(d) On or before July 1, 2023, the commission shall create a pilot program to implement an accumulator pass among multiple operators providing service in at least three adjacent counties.
(e) For purposes of this section, “accumulator pass” means a fare product that charges users for their transit usage on a per-trip basis, but limits total user costs to a daily, weekly, or monthly maximum amount, with the goal of incentivizing and rewarding frequent transit use.

SEC. 8.

 Section 66516.7 is added to the Government Code, to read:

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:
(1) The lack of a universal regional transit map and common wayfinding format at transit stops and stations in the region adds to the fragmented experience transit riders encounter, especially when planning a trip across multiple operators.
(2) Research has shown that the way transit lines and stations are displayed on maps strongly influences how travelers use the system.
(b) The commission, in consultation with transit agencies, shall, on or before July 1, 2024, do both of the following:
(1) Develop a comprehensive, standardized regional transit mapping and wayfinding system, including common branding for regional transit service and a shared digital mapping platform. Standards and resources shall be developed to display this information on print, digital, and interactive media. The system shall identify the standards that are required and the standards that allow for customization.
(2) Develop an implementation and maintenance strategy and funding plan to deploy the comprehensive, standardized regional transit mapping and wayfinding system. The commission may adopt a phased deployment of the system.
(c) Each transit agency shall use only the comprehensive, standardized regional transit mapping and wayfinding system by July 1, 2025, unless the commission adopts a schedule that sets out an alternate deployment timeline.

SEC. 9.

 Section 66516.9 is added to the Government Code, to read:

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Studies have shown that travelers view the wait time at a transit stop as the most inconvenient part of the transit journey experience.
(2) Despite best efforts by the transit operators to adhere to their published schedules, the conditions on the roadway, including congestion and other unplanned delays, create unpredictability for on-time arrivals.
(3) The development of technology enabling real-time transit information, including arrival and departure predictions, vehicle locations, occupancy, and service alerts, has created an opportunity for transit agencies to alleviate the wait-time frustrations and provide riders with other useful trip information.
(4) Transit riders should have access to consistent and uniform real-time information across all transit services in the region.
(b) A transit operator in the region shall, on or before January 1, 2023, do all of the following:
(1) Use open data standards to make available all routes, schedules, and fares in the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data format.
(2) Make real-time transit vehicle data available in GTFS-Realtime or a similar data format considered best practice in the industry.
(3) Track actual transmission of real-time information by transit vehicles and report that information to the commission to ensure that schedule predictions are available.
(c) The commission shall coordinate the activities of transit operators pursuant to subdivision (b), serve as the point of contact for data development and dissemination to third parties, and develop an implementation and funding plan for deployment of real-time information.
SEC. 10.
 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.