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



Current Version: 05/20/21 - Amended Assembly         Compare Versions information image


AB455:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 20, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 455


Introduced by Assembly Member Bonta Wicks
(Coauthors: Coauthor: Assembly Members Wicks and Member Chiu)
(Coauthor: Senator Wiener)

February 08, 2021


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


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 455, as amended, Bonta Wicks. 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 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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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.