BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 650
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 4, 2011

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                 AB 650 (Blumenfield) - As Amended:  March 31, 2011 

          Policy Committee:                              
          TransportationVote:9-1

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program: 
          No     Reimbursable:               

           SUMMARY  

          This bill establishes a 12-member task force to report on the 
          state's public transportation needs over the next 25 years.  
          Specifically, this bill:   

          1)Requires the Senate Committee on Rules and the Speaker of the 
            Assembly to jointly appoint the task force members, including 
            a chair, by March 31, 2012.  Members will not be paid, but 
            shall receive necessary travel expenses.  

          2)Requires the task force, within 45 days of the last joint 
            appointment, to develop a clear scope of work, including a 
            general statement of purpose, enumerated research objectives 
            and associated tasks, a timeline for achieving those tasks, 
            consultant requirements, and a budget.  

          3)Requires the task force to meet at least twice each month, 
            which can be via conference call, and to hold at conduct at 
            least nine public listening sessions around the state.  

          4)Requires the task force to issue a written report by March 31, 
            2013, addressing all of the following:  

             a)   The current state of California's transit system.  
             b)   Best practices, based on a review of transit systems 
               worldwide.  
             c)   The level and types of transit needed to meet specified 
               goals.  
             d)   The estimated cost of creating the needed system in the 
               near term (within five years), midterm (within 15 years), 
               and long term (within 25 years).  








                                                                  AB 650
                                                                  Page  2

             e)   Potential sources of funding to sustain the system's 
               needs and requirements and methods for attaining that 
               funding.  
             f)   Suggested scenarios for phasing in transit development 
               and recommendations for action.   

          1)Appropriates $750,000 from the Public Transportation Account 
            (PTA) to Caltrans, to accomplish this bill's purposes, and 
            requires Caltrans to provide all administrative staff support 
            to the task force.
           
          FISCAL EFFECT  

          One-time $750,000 cost from the PTA for the task force, which is 
          to cover the cost of meetings, listening sessions, consulting 
          contracts, and Caltrans support staff.


           COMMENTS  

           Purpose  . The author notes the recent declines in transit funding 
          and the resulting reductions in service, even at a time of 
          increasing demand. The author argues that "A comprehensive 
          report produced by a task force of qualified representatives is 
          necessary to provide viable solutions to our statewide public 
          transportation problems.  The task force will draw upon expert 
          research that lays out the current state of mass transit in the 
          state, what the state needs to do to ensure the system meets 
          demand, how much it would cost, and practical recommendations on 
          how to pay for that system."

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916) 319-2081