BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
          AB 716 (Dickinson)
          As Amended  August 18, 2011
          Majority vote
           
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          |ASSEMBLY:  |66-8 |(May 19, 2011)  |SENATE: |38-0 |(August 30,    |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2011)          |
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           Original Committee Reference:    TRANS.  

           SUMMARY  :  Makes changes to the authorization conferred upon the 
          Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) and the Fresno Area 
          Express (FAX) to implement transit security measures, such as 
          passenger exclusions or prohibition orders, to curb passenger 
          misconduct and reduce nuisance behavior in specified transit 
          facilities.  

           The Senate amendments  :  
           
           1)Add the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) 
            to the bill's provisions, allowing BART to implement the 
            additional transit security measures currently allowed for 
            only RT and FAX.  Extends the authorization to BART until 
            January 1, 2015.  
             
          2)Clarify the authorization for RT to designate RT personnel as 
            inspectors or supervisors to enforce the provisions of the 
            bill relative to prohibited acts on or in public 
            transportation systems or vehicles if the persons satisfy 
            specified training requirements.   
                 
           3)Modify the requirements for membership on the advisory 
            committee to require at least one member with law enforcement 
            experience.  
                
           4)Make other necessary, conforming changes relative to 
            enforcement of exclusion and prohibition orders.   

          EXISTING LAW  :  

          1)Authorizes RT or FAX to issue a prohibition order to any 
            person who, on at least three separate occasions within a 
            period of 60 consecutive days, is cited for an infraction 








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            committed in or on a vehicle, bus stop, or light rail station 
            of the transit district for any act that is a violation as 
            specified in statute.   

          2)Authorizes a prohibition order to be issued to a person 
            arrested or convicted for any misdemeanor or felony committed 
            in or on a vehicle, bus stop, or light rail station of RT or 
            FAX.  

          3)Prohibits a person subject to a prohibition order from 
            entering the property, facilities, or vehicles of RT or FAX 
            for a period of time deemed appropriate.  

          4)Specifies prohibition processes, notification procedures, and 
            hearing and appeals procedures.  
             
          5)Requires RT or FAX to establish an advisory committee and to 
            ensure that personnel charged with issuance and enforcement of 
            prohibition orders receive training as emphasized and as 
            recommended by the advisory committee.  Tasks the advisory 
            committee with responsibilities as specified.  Authorizes 
            existing advisory committees to be used if appropriate.  

          6)Establishes that a violation of a prohibition order is 
            punishable as an infraction.  Expands the authorization of RT 
            to allow designated persons regularly employed by RT as 
            inspectors or supervisors whose duties include enforcement of 
            RT ordinances, to also make arrests for infractions.  

          7)Establishes RT to meet the present and future public 
            transportation needs of the Sacramento region.  RT currently 
            operates 64 bus routes and 37.5 miles of light rail within a 
            418 square-mile service area.  RT served over 31.5 million 
            passengers in fiscal year 2010.  Its facilities include 48 
            light rail stations, 31 bus and light rail transfer centers, 
            and 18 park-and-ride lots.  It also serves over 3,300 bus 
            stops throughout Sacramento County.  

          8)Not established in state law, FAX is operated by the City of 
            Fresno and provides 20 fixed-route bus lines serving the 
            greater Fresno metropolitan area.  For fiscal year 2009, it 
            provided 18 million fixed-route and 234,000 demand-response 
            passenger trips within its service area.  

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill was substantially similar 








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          to the version passed by the Senate.  
             
           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations 
          Committee, minor nonreimbursable costs to Sacramento and Fresno 
          Counties related to prosecution of misdemeanor violations, 
          offset to some extent by fine revenues.  

           COMMENTS  :  At a time when motor vehicle fuel prices are 
          escalating and reaching all-time highs on an almost daily basis, 
          people throughout the state are turning to alternative means of 
          transportation other than the personal vehicle.  Public transit 
          is one such alternative mode of transportation that people are 
          using, resulting in increased transit ridership at all-time high 
          levels.  In 2008, the Assembly Transportation Committee passed 
          legislation that was subsequently enacted that provided RT and 
          FAX another enforcement tool to provide safer public transit 
          rides.  That legislation, SB 1561 (Steinberg) Chapter 528, 
          Statutes of 2008, allows the RT and FAX transit district 
          officers to keep unruly patrons from using the transit vehicles 
          and facilities by issuing prohibition orders, denying them entry 
          onto the vehicles or facilities.  SB 1561 (Steinberg) also 
          requires an annual report by the two transit districts.  
          Summaries of the RT and FAX annual reports are as follows:  

          In its recent annual report, RT indicates that there have been 
          129 violations from October 1, 2009 to October 31, 2010.  The 
          top three violations included:  

          1)Willfully disturbing others on or in a system facility or 
            vehicle by engaging in boisterous or unruly behavior (59%).  

          2)Urinating or defecating in a system facility, except in a 
            lavatory (17%).  

          3)Interfering with the operator of the transit vehicle and 
            impeding the safe boarding or alighting of passengers (12%).  

          None of these violations were by repeat offenders within the 60 
          day period.  The annual report recommends that the law be 
          strengthened in three areas:  

          1)Increase the "look back" time period from 60 to 90 days in 
            which infractions can be considered allowing exclusions if the 
            violation is repeated on three occasions.   









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          2)Include fare violations as one of the elements for excludable 
            violations.  

          3)Establish a penalty for violating an exclusion order.  

          Similarly, in its annual report, FAX indicates that it "has 
          experienced an increase in unruly behavior, primarily a result 
          of drug/alcohol use.  However, unruly behavior, including 
          assaults is increasing? The FAX Transit Security Committee 
          believes that the Legislature needs to put more teeth in the 
          law.  The 60-day time period for three violations before 
          prohibition does not send a strong message to violators.  The 
          Transit Security Committee believes 90 days would be more 
          appropriate and effective? The current exclusion law does not 
          impose a specific penalty on someone who has been excluded but 
          continues to board the buses.  Many of the worst violators 
          receive prohibitions but scoff at the authority's inability to 
          enforce it.  The Transit Security Committee would like to see a 
          reasonable fine imposed when prohibited riders continue to board 
          our services."  

          Author's intent of the bill:  The author contends that "In 
          recent years, the Sacramento Regional Transit (RT) Board of 
          Directors and staff have received increasing numbers of 
          complaints from riders regarding the safety of RT vehicles, 
          parking lots and passenger waiting areas.  By allowing 
          Sacramento Regional Transit and the Fresno Area Express to 
          exclude passengers cited for certain offenses these agencies 
          will be able to reduce passenger disruptions and improve overall 
          service. To encourage ridership and to reduce emissions 
          associated with daily commuting; potential passengers need to 
          feel that transit services are a safe alternative to driving."   

           
           Support:  Writing in support of this bill, RT indicates that 
          "the authority for the program expires at the end of 2011 and AB 
          716 would extend that expiration date indefinitely to ensure the 
          continuation of our efforts to provide an improved public 
          transit environment and experience."  
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :   Ed Imai / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093 


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