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AB-455 San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge: transit-only traffic lanes.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 03/26/2021 04:00 AM
AB455:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 455


Introduced by Assembly Member Bonta
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Wicks)
(Coauthor: Senator Wiener)

February 08, 2021


An act to add Section 66513.5 to the Government Code, amend Section 30918 of the Streets and Highways Code, relating to transportation.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 455, as amended, Bonta. Bay Bridge Fast Forward Program. San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge: transit-only traffic lanes.
Existing law creates the Metropolitan Transportation Commission as a local area planning agency for the 9-county San Francisco Bay area with comprehensive regional transportation planning and other related responsibilities. Existing law creates the Bay Area Toll Authority as a separate entity governed by the same governing board as the commission and makes the authority responsible for the administration of toll revenues from the state-owned toll bridges in the San Francisco Bay area. Existing law creates various transit districts located in the San Francisco Bay area, with specified powers and duties relative to providing public transit services. requires the Department of Transportation to collect tolls, operate, maintain, and provide rehabilitation of all state-owned toll bridges in the San Francisco Bay area, and be responsible for the design and construction of improvements on those bridges in accordance with programming and scheduling requirements adopted by the authority.
Under existing law, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is part of the state highway system. Existing law authorizes the department to construct exclusive or preferential lanes for buses only or for buses and other high-occupancy vehicles, and may authorize or permit the exclusive or preferential use of designated lanes on existing highways that are part of the state highway system.
This bill would authorize the authority, in consultation with the department, to designate transit-only traffic lanes on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

This bill would require the Bay Area Toll Authority, in consultation with the commission, Department of Transportation, and certain transit entities, to identify, plan, and deliver a comprehensive set of operational, transit, and infrastructure investments for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge corridor, which would be known collectively as the Bay Bridge Fast Forward Program. The bill would require the authority, in consultation with the commission, department, and certain transit operators, on or before January 1, 2023, to prepare and submit to the Legislature a comprehensive plan to improve bus and very high occupancy vehicle speed and travel time reliability along the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge corridor in a manner that maximizes the number of people that can cross the bridge during congested periods. The bill would authorize the authority, in consultation with the department, on and after January 1, 2025, if a specified travel speed reliability performance target for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge corridor has not been met for a consecutive 6-month period, to, as a pilot program, designate a lane on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge exclusively for use by buses and very high occupancy vehicles during congested periods, and would require the authority, in consultation with the department and certain transit operators, to submit to the Legislature a report evaluating the pilot program’s impact. The bill would require the department to pursue federal approval or waivers, as necessary, to implement these provisions.

This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge corridor.

By imposing new requirements on local entities, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YESNO  

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The Bay Bridge Corridor has a uniquely high proportion of travel by transit use, with morning peak hour transit riders numbering nearly three times as many as automobile travelers in 2015.
(2) The Bay Bridge Corridor is consistently among the most used road segments in the San Francisco Bay area, resulting in a situation where full buses that are frequently stuck in traffic congestion causing service that is slow and unreliable for customers and costly for transit operators.
(3) The state has invested more than $500,000,000 in a modern transit terminal, known as the Transbay Transit Center, connected to the Bay Bridge by exclusive access ramps, with capacity to serve 300 buses per hour.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Bay Area Toll Authority, in consultation with the Department of Transportation, establish tolls, vehicle occupancy requirements, incident response procedures, other operational improvements, and capital investment priorities in order to achieve fast and reliable bus transit within the corridor, meaning that during the morning and evening weekday peak commute times, buses will average at least 45 miles per hour in both directions along the Bay Bridge Corridor no less than 90 percent of weekdays each month.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that transit-only lane additions in the Bay Bridge Corridor result in a greater number of people per hour being able to cross the bridge.

SEC. 2.

 Section 30918 of the Streets and Highways Code is amended to read:

30918.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to maintain tolls on all of the bridges specified in Section 30910 at rates sufficient to meet any obligation to the holders of bonds secured by the bridge toll revenues. The authority shall retain authority to set the toll schedule as may be necessary to meet those bond obligations. The authority shall provide at least 30 days’ notice to the transportation policy committee of each house of the Legislature and shall hold a public hearing before adopting a toll schedule reflecting the increased toll rate.
(b) The authority shall increase the toll rates specified in the adopted toll schedule in order to meet its obligations and covenants under any bond resolution or indenture of the authority for any outstanding toll bridge revenue bonds issued by the authority and the requirements of any constituent instruments defining the rights of holders of related obligations of the authority entered into pursuant to Section 5922 of the Government Code and, notwithstanding Section 30887 or subdivision (d) of Section 30916 of this code, or any other law, may increase the toll rates specified in the adopted toll schedule to provide funds for the planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, repair, replacement, rehabilitation, and seismic retrofit of the state-owned toll bridges specified in Section 30910 of this code, to provide funding to meet the requirements of Sections 30884 and 30911 of this code, and to provide funding to meet the requirements of voter-approved regional measures pursuant to Sections 30914, 30921, and 30923 of this code.
(c) Notwithstanding any other law, the authority’s toll structure for the state-owned toll bridges specified in Section 30910 may vary from bridge to bridge and may include discounts consistent with the following:
(1) The authority may include discounts for the following vehicles:
(A) Vehicles classified by the authority as high-occupancy vehicles.
(B) Vehicles that pay for tolls electronically or through other non-cash methods. The authority may charge differential rates based on the chosen method.
(2) The authority shall provide a 50-percent discount on the amount of the toll increase approved pursuant to Section 30923 on the second bridge crossing for those commuters using a two-axle vehicle who pay tolls electronically or through other noncash methods and who cross two bridges specified in Section 30910 during commute hours. The authority shall establish reasonable and practical operating rules to implement this paragraph.
(d) If the authority establishes high-occupancy vehicle lane fee discounts or access for vehicles classified by the authority as high-occupancy vehicles for any bridge or segments of a highway that connect to the bridge, the authority shall establish the occupancy requirements that shall apply on each segment of highway that connects with that bridge, in consultation with the department.
(e) All tolls referred to in this section and Sections 30916, 31010, and 31011 may be treated by the authority as a single revenue source for accounting and administrative purposes and for the purposes of any bond indenture or resolution and any agreement entered into pursuant to Section 5922 of the Government Code.
(f) It is the intent of the Legislature that the authority should consider the needs and requirements of both its electronic and cash-paying customers when it designates toll payment options at the toll plazas for the toll bridges under its jurisdiction.
(g) (1) The authority may, in consultation with the department, designate transit-only traffic lanes on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “transit-only traffic lane” means any designated transit-only lane on which use is restricted to mass transit vehicles, or other designated vehicles including taxis and vanpools, during posted times. “Other designated vehicles” may include high-occupancy vehicles if the occupancy threshold is established in a manner that does not prevent mass transit vehicles from meeting weekday peak commute average travel times of at least 45 miles per hour in both directions along the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge at least 90 percent of the weekdays each calendar month.

SEC. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the unique transportation and congestion issues on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
SECTION 1.Section 66513.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:
66513.5.

(a)For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(1)“Bay Bridge” means the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

(2)“Bay Bridge corridor” means the corridor between the Salesforce Transit Center and each of the following locations:

(A)The State Route 24 and Interstate Highway 580 interchange.

(B)The Powell Street on-ramp to Interstate Highway 580.

(C)The intersection of Frontage Road and West Grand Avenue in the City of Oakland.

(D)The Interstate Highway 880 and Interstate Highway 980 interchange.

(3)“Phase 1 plan” means the plan described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d).

(4)“Transit operators” means those entities that provide express bus service in the Bay Bridge corridor, including the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, Western Contra Costa Transit Authority, Solano Transportation Authority, and National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak).

(5)“Travel speed reliability performance target” means a monthly target for buses and very high occupancy vehicles during the morning and evening weekday peak commute times to average at least 45 miles per hour in both directions along the Bay Bridge corridor. The monthly target is met if such average is below 45 miles per hour no more than two days per calendar month. The entities described in subdivision (b) may adjust this target to account for a Bay Bridge corridor segment that has a speed limit lower than 45 miles per hour.

(6)“Very high occupancy vehicle” means a motor vehicle carrying five or more people, including the driver.

(b)The Bay Area Toll Authority, in consultation with the commission, Department of Transportation, City of Oakland’s Department of Transportation, transit operators, San Francisco County Transportation Authority, Alameda County Transportation Commission, and Contra Costa Transportation Authority, shall identify, plan, and deliver a comprehensive set of operational, transit, and infrastructure investments for the Bay Bridge corridor, which shall be known collectively as the Bay Bridge Fast Forward Program.

(c)The Bay Bridge Fast Forward Program shall include two phases.

(d)(1)Phase 1 shall address the most congested parts of the Bay Bridge corridor in order to most significantly improve bus and very high occupancy vehicle movement along the Bay Bridge corridor.

(2)(A)On or before January 1, 2023, the Bay Area Toll Authority, in consultation with the commission, Department of Transportation, and transit operators, shall prepare and submit to the Legislature a comprehensive phase 1 plan to improve bus and very high occupancy vehicle speed and travel time reliability along the Bay Bridge corridor in a manner that maximizes the number of people that can cross the bridge during congested periods.

(B)The requirement for submitting a plan imposed under this paragraph is inoperative on January 1, 2027, pursuant to Section 10231.5.

(3)The phase 1 plan shall include all of the following elements:

(A)A detailed set of transit, operational, and infrastructure investments to be implemented on or before January 1, 2025, to improve bus and high-occupancy vehicle travel time reliability and speeds along the Bay Bridge corridor, which shall include a timeline and funding strategy for each investment.

(B)An evaluation of, and implementation plan for, a bus and very high occupancy vehicle lane westbound on the Bay Bridge and projected speed and travel time reliability benefits of the lane for bus and high-occupancy vehicles in the Bay Bridge corridor under at least the following three implementation scenarios:

(i)The lane is implemented concurrent with the investments described in subparagraph (A).

(ii)The lane is implemented after the investments described in subparagraph (A) are made and assumes that those investments yield ridership and service growth for buses and very high occupancy vehicles.

(iii)The lane is implemented after the investments described in subparagraph (A) are made and assumes both that those investments yield ridership and service growth for buses and very high occupancy vehicles and that a toll schedule designed to incentivize bus and very high occupancy vehicle use is implemented.

(C)A metering light strategy that prioritizes bus and very high occupancy vehicle travel time reliability and speeds during the morning weekday peak commute time in the Bay Bridge’s westbound direction.

(D)A fare and toll pricing strategy to manage the queues at the Bay Bridge toll plaza, manage a bus and very high occupancy vehicle-only lane on the Bay Bridge, meet the travel speed reliability performance target, and attract additional bus and very high occupancy vehicle users.

(E)An evaluation of, and implementation plan for, a bus and very high occupancy vehicle lane eastbound on the Bay Bridge and projected speed and travel time reliability benefits of the lane for bus and high-occupancy vehicles.

(F)A very high occupancy vehicle lane enforcement strategy that enumerates resources, authorities, regulatory reforms, infrastructure, standards, and technology necessary to minimize the lane violation rate.

(G)A statement of how proposed actions and scenarios in the phase 1 plan support the objective of maximizing the number of people who can travel across the Bay Bridge during congested periods.

(e)Phase 2 shall include a conceptual design for delivering a lane on the Bay Bridge designated exclusively for bus and very high occupancy vehicle use.

(f)(1)It is the intent of the Legislature that the travel speed reliability performance target be met on or before January 1, 2025.

(2)The Bay Area Toll Authority, in consultation with the Department of Transportation, shall annually submit to the Legislature a report on travel speed reliability performance target attainment and strategies deployed in furtherance of that target.

(3)On and after January 1, 2025, if the travel speed reliability performance target has not been met for a consecutive six-month period, the Bay Area Toll Authority, in consultation with the Department of Transportation, may, as a pilot program, designate during congested periods a lane on the Bay Bridge exclusively for use by buses and very high occupancy vehicles. Upon the conclusion of the pilot program, the Bay Area Toll Authority, in consultation with the Department of Transportation and transit operators, shall develop a report evaluating the impact of the pilot program and submit the report to the Legislature.

(g)The Department of Transportation shall pursue federal approval or waivers, as necessary, to implement this section.

(h)A report to be submitted to the Legislature pursuant to this section shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795.

SEC. 2.

The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the unique transportation and congestion issues along the Bay Bridge corridor, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 66513.5 of the Government Code.

SEC. 3.

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.