BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 528
          Author:   Lowenthal (D)
          Amended:  6/4/13 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE TRANSPORTATION & HOUSING COMMITTEE  :  10-0, 6/11/13
          AYES:  DeSaulnier, Gaines, Beall, Cannella, Galgiani, Hueso,  
            Lara, Liu, Pavley, Wyland
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Roth

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  53-20, 5/20/13 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    State rail planning

           SOURCE  :     Author


           DIGEST  :    This bill makes several changes to the required  
          contents of and timelines for the state rail plan and the  
          high-speed rail business plan. 

           ANALYSIS  :    

           California State Rail Plan

           Since 2008, federal law has required states to adopt  
          comprehensive rail plans in order to be eligible for new federal  
          rail capital grants.

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          The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) must  
          submit biennially a 10-year state rail plan to the Legislature,  
          governor, California Public Utility Commission, and California  
          Transportation Commission (CTC).  Existing law requires Caltrans  
          to submit the plan to the CTC for its advice and consent six  
          months prior to submission to the other recipients.

          The rail plan consists of a passenger and a freight element and  
          existing law is very prescriptive as to the plan's contents.   
          Specifically, the passenger element of the plan must, among  
          other things, include:

           Actual capital and operating expenditures and revenues by  
            source for the prior two years;

           Proposed capital and operating expenditures for the next ten  
            years;

           Identification and cost of capital facilities necessary to  
            enhance the state intercity rail program's competitiveness;

           A discussion of fare policies and practices, including  
            proposals that would maximize ridership and revenues;

           A performance evaluation of all intercity rail services over  
            the prior two years;

           A map showing all existing and proposed intercity and commuter  
            rail routes and services;

           An evaluation of reports by regional planning agencies on  
            commuter service alternatives; and

           A report on overall marketing strategy and marketing activity  
            expenditures.

          Existing law requires CTC to include capital investments in the  
          intercity passenger rail plan and in regional and urban rail  
          transit programs in the State Transportation Improvement Program  
          (STIP), the state's five-year transportation capital outlay  
          program.  The CTC updates and adopts the STIP every two years. 

           High-Speed Rail Business Plan


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           The Legislature created the High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) to  
          direct the development and implementation of a fully integrated  
          intercity high-speed rail service in the state.  In 2009, the  
          Legislature passed and the governor signed into law SB 783  
          (Ashburn, Chapter 618, Statutes of 2009), requiring HSRA to  
          submit to the Legislature a business plan by January 1, 2012,  
          and every two years thereafter.

          Specifically, existing law requires the high-speed rail business  
          plan to include:

           Identification of the type of service HSRA plans to develop;

           A description of primary benefits the service will provide;

           A forecast of anticipated ridership, as well as capital,  
            operating, and maintenance costs;

           An estimate and description of total anticipated federal,  
            state, local, and other funds intended to fund the  
            construction and operation of the system;

           The proposed construction timeline for all eligible corridors  
            statewide;

           A discussion of all reasonably foreseeable risks, including  
            financial, ridership, right-of-way acquisition, environmental  
            clearances, construction, equipment, and technology; and

           The authority's strategies or processes to manage those risks  
            identified.

          This bill makes several changes to required contents of and  
          timelines for the state rail plan and the high-speed rail  
          business plan, as follows:

          1.Related to the state rail plan, this bill:

             A.   Designates Caltrans as the state rail transportation  
               authority pursuant to federal law;

             B.   Requires the plan to be updated, at a minimum, every  
               five years instead of every two years;


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             C.   Requires the Secretary of the Transportation Agency to  
               approve the plan before submittal; and

             D.   Requires the passenger rail element to include:

                     A statement of compliance with federal law;

                     Plans for a comprehensive and integrated statewide  
                 passenger rail system, including a discussion of the  
                 performance of and recommendations for the intercity  
                 passenger rail program;

                     A review of all high-speed rail routes, the rail  
                 freight system, conventional intercity and commuter rail  
                 systems; and

                     A freight rail element discussing various financial  
                 and service issues.

          1.Related to the high-speed rail business plan, this bill:

             A.   Moves the deadline for the plan from January 1 to May 1  
               of every even year; and

             B.   More clearly describes the required elements of the  
               plan.
          
           Comments
           
          According to the author, statutes describing the Caltrans rail  
          plan and HSRA's business plan are in need of revision to reflect  
          new federal requirements, as well as to make the development of  
          the plans more streamlined and efficient.  Successful rail  
          development depends on the integration of various modes of  
          transportation, and these plans are critical to the state's  
          integration efforts of these modes.

          Changes to state rail plan should improve it.  The Legislature  
          added many of the requirements in existing law for the state  
          rail plan in the mid-1990's, so they are focused on specific  
          issues Caltrans faced then relating to the intercity rail  
          program that Caltrans has since addressed.  For example,  
          existing law requires Caltrans to include in its biennial rail  
          plan a discussion of the impacts of adding checked baggage and  

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          dining service to the intercity rail service through the Central  
          Valley.  Caltrans has extensively studied the issue, and it is  
          no longer necessary to include it in the rail plan.  In  
          addition, the federal government now includes requirements for  
          all state rail plans that are not included in existing state  
          law.  This bill removes many of the unnecessary state rail plan  
          requirements and better aligns state law with federal  
          requirements.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  6/25/13)

          Union Pacific Railroad
          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  53-20, 5/20/13
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Ammiano, Atkins, Bloom, Blumenfield,  
            Bocanegra, Bonilla, Bonta, Bradford, Brown, Buchanan, Ian  
            Calderon, Campos, Chau, Chesbro, Cooley, Daly, Dickinson,  
            Eggman, Fong, Frazier, Garcia, Gatto, Gomez, Gordon, Gray,  
            Hall, Roger Hernández, Levine, Linder, Lowenthal, Medina,  
            Mitchell, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, Nestande, Olsen, Pan,  
            Perea, V. Manuel Pérez, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Rendon, Skinner,  
            Stone, Ting, Weber, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada, John A.  
            Pérez
          NOES:  Allen, Bigelow, Chávez, Conway, Dahle, Donnelly, Beth  
            Gaines, Grove, Hagman, Harkey, Jones, Maienschein, Mansoor,  
            Melendez, Morrell, Patterson, Salas, Wagner, Waldron, Wilk
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Fox, Gorell, Holden, Jones-Sawyer, Logue,  
            Vacancy, Vacancy


          JA:nl  6/25/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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