Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC


  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

CHAPTER 2. Street Railroads [7801 - 7818]
  ( Chapter 2 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )


Street railroads are governed by Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 7501), so far as it is applicable, unless street railroads are therein specially excepted.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 144, Sec. 172.)


When a street railroad is constructed, owned, or operated by any natural person, this chapter is applicable to such person in like manner as it is applicable to corporations.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)


Any street railroad or any street railway corporation may sell, lease, convey, exchange, transfer, or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of its property and assets, including franchises, under authority of a resolution of its board of directors and with the approval of the principal terms of the transaction and the nature and the amount of the consideration by a vote or written consent of shareholders entitled to exercise a majority of the voting power of the corporation when the sale, lease, conveyance, exchange or transfer of its properties is made to a municipal corporation or any other political subdivision within the State.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)


Authority to lay railroad tracks through the streets and public highways of any city or city and county may be obtained for a term of years not exceeding 50, from the governing body of the city or city and county, under such restrictions and limitations, and upon such terms and payment of license tax, as the governing body may provide. Permission shall not be granted to propel cars upon such tracks otherwise than by electricity or by wire ropes running under the streets and moved by stationary engines except as provided in Section 7813. The governing body in granting the right, or at any time after the right is granted, may impose such terms, restrictions, and limitations as to the use of streets and the construction and mode of operating the road as it deems to be for the public safety or welfare.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)


The city governing body, in granting the right of way to a street railroad corporation, in addition to the restrictions which they are authorized to impose, shall require a strict compliance with the following conditions, except in the cases of prismoidal or other elevated railways:

(a) The railway shall be constructed in such manner as will present the least obstruction to the freedom of the streets on which it is erected.

(b) The tracks shall not be more than five feet wide within the rails, and shall have a space between them sufficient to allow the cars to pass each other freely.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)


The legislative body of any city or city and county may permit two or more lines of street railway to use the same portion of the same street or the same tracks upon such terms as are agreed upon by the companies operating the railways, but no permission shall be granted to one company to use the same tracks or portions of the same street for more than five consecutive blocks, without the consent of the person or company occupying that portion of the street and then only upon payment of an equal portion of the cost of construction of the tracks and appurtenances used by the railways jointly.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)


Where the portion of the street is occupied by a track or tracks of a different gauge from the track or tracks proposed to be constructed thereon by a line of street railway under a different management, the latter street railway may nevertheless construct its track or tracks, subject to the provisions of Section 7806, over the same ground as is occupied by the prior track or tracks, if they can be so constructed as not to interfere with the operation of the prior track or tracks beyond such necessary interference therewith as is incident to such construction with reasonable skill, care, and diligence.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)


Any city or city and county may own and operate street railways within or without its corporate limits and may occupy the same street or tracks occupied or used by any street railway within its limits for any number of blocks, upon payment to the owner thereof of an equal portion of the estimated cost of construction, at the time of such occupation, of such tracks or appurtenances as the city or city and county elects to use jointly with the street railway.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)


Any proposed railroad track may be permitted to cross any track already constructed, the crossing being made as provided in Chapter 1 of this division. In laying down the track and preparing therefor, not more than one block shall be obstructed at any one time, nor for a longer period than 10 working days.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)


Street railway cars shall be of the most approved construction for the comfort and convenience of passengers, and provided with brakes to stop them, when required. A violation of this section subjects the corporation to a fine of two hundred dollars ($200) for each offense.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 1092, Sec. 360. Effective September 27, 1983. Operative January 1, 1984, by Sec. 427 of Ch. 1092.)


Cities in or through which street railroads run may make such further regulations for the government of the street railroads as may be necessary to a full enjoyment of the franchise and the enforcement of the conditions provided herein.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)


In every grant to construct street railroads, the right to grade, sewer, pave, macadamize, or otherwise improve, alter, or repair the streets or highways, is reserved to the city and cannot be alienated or impaired. The work shall be done so as to obstruct the railroad as little as possible, and if required, the street railway corporation shall shift its rails so as to avoid the obstructions made thereby.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)


The right to lay down a track for grading purposes and to maintain it for a period not to exceed three years may be granted by the governing body of any city, city and county, or county, but no such track shall remain more than three years upon any one street. The track shall be laid level with the street, and shall be operated under such restrictions as not to interfere with the use of the street by the public. The governing body may grant the right to use steam or any other motive power in propelling the cars used on the grading track, when public convenience or utility demands it, but the reasons therefor shall be set forth in the ordinance, and the right to rescind the ordinance at any time reserved.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)


Any corporation, or agent or employee thereof, demanding or charging a greater sum of money for fare on the cars of a street railroad than that fixed by law forfeits to the person from whom the sum is received, or who is thus overcharged, the sum of two hundred dollars ($200), to be recovered in a civil action against the corporation.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 149, Sec. 78. Effective January 1, 2004.)


Every street railroad corporation shall provide, and on request furnish to all persons desiring a passage on its cars, any required quantity of passenger tickets or checks, each to be good for one ride. Any corporation failing to provide and furnish tickets or checks to any person desiring to purchase them at the prescribed rate shall forfeit to such person the sum of two hundred dollars ($200), to be recovered as provided in Section 7814. The provisions of this section shall not apply to such street railroad corporations as charge but five cents ($0.05) fare.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)


Upon the trial of an action for any of the sums forfeited, as provided in Sections 7814 or 7815, proof that the person demanding or receiving the money as fare, or for the sale of the ticket or check, was at the time of making the demand or receiving the money, engaged in an office of the corporation, or vehicle belonging to the corporation, shall be prima facie evidence that such person was the agent, servant, or employee of the corporation, to receive the money, and give the ticket or check mentioned.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)


Any street railroad corporation operating cars on the streets of cities or on the county roads within the State for the conveyance of passengers, propelled by means of wire ropes attached to stationary engines, or by electricity or compressed air, who runs, operates, or uses any car or dummy, unless each car and dummy, while in use, is fitted with a brake capable of bringing the car to a stop within a reasonable distance, and a suitable fender, or appliance placed in front or attached to the trucks of the dummy, or car, for the purpose of removing and clearing obstructions from the track, and preventing any obstacles, obstructions, or person on the track from getting under the dummy or car, and removing the same out of danger, and out of the way of the dummy or car, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Where the commission prescribes the fender or brake to be used, a compliance therewith constitutes a full compliance with this section.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)


Any person operating or driving a street car who becomes or is intoxicated while so engaged in operating or driving such street car is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC