BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 528
                                                                  Page  1

          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
          AB 528 (Lowenthal)
          As Amended  June 4, 2013
          Majority vote
           
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          |ASSEMBLY:  |53-20|(May 20, 2013)  |SENATE: |29-8 |(August 19,    |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2013)          |
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           Original Committee Reference:    TRANS  .

           SUMMARY  :  Deletes, recasts, and modifies the requirements of the  
          State Rail Plan (rail plan) and clarifies requirements of the  
          California High-Speed Rail Business Plan (business plan).   
          Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Makes findings and declarations recognizing the federal  
            Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA)  
            requirements for states to develop rail plans in order to be  
            eligible for federal rail capital grants.  

          2)Establishes that the California Department of Transportation  
            (Caltrans) is responsible for the preparation of the rail plan  
            and is designated as the responsible agency for the  
            development of the federally required rail plan.  
             
          3)Requires Caltrans to prepare the rail plan and, pursuant to  
            PRIIA, designates it as the state rail transportation  
            authority to prepare, maintain, coordinate, and administer the  
            rail plan.  

          4)Specifies the requirements for the passenger rail element to  
            include the following:  

             a)   A statement of compliance with PRIIA;  

             b)   Plans for a comprehensive and integrated statewide  
               passenger rail system, including high-speed rail,  
               conventional intercity and commuter rail, and connections  
               to urban rail systems;  

             c)   A review of all high-speed rail routes, the rail freight  
               system, conventional intercity and commuter rail systems,  
               and urban rail system connections to high-speed rail and  








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               conventional intercity and commuter rail systems, including  
               a statement of the state's passenger rail objectives for  
               routes in the state;  

             d)   An identification of the improvements that have utility  
               to both rail freight and passenger rail services in the  
               state, performed in consultation with the freight railroad  
               industry; and,

             e)   An inventory of the existing rail transportation system  
               and rail services and facilities in the state, and an  
               analysis of the role of rail transportation within the  
               state's overall transportation system.  

          1)Requires the freight rail element to discuss all of the  
            following:  

             a)   Environmental impacts that include air quality, land  
               use, and community impacts;  

             b)   Financing issues that include the planned means to  
               obtain federal and state funding;  

             c)   Rail issues that include regional, intrastate, and  
               interstate issues;  

             d)   Intermodal connections that include seaports and  
               intermodal terminals;  

             e)   A statement of current system deficiencies;  

             f)   Service objectives that improve efficiency,  
               accessibility, and safety;  

             g)   New technology that includes logistics and process  
               improvement; and,

             h)   Light density rail line analyses that include traffic  
               density, track characteristics, project selection criteria,  
               and benefit-cost criteria.  

          2)Requires the final rail plan to be submitted to the  
            Transportation Agency for approval and requires the approved  
            plan be submitted, on or before March 1, 2017, to the  
            Legislature, the Governor, the Public Utilities Commission,  








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            the California High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA), and the  
            California Transportation Commission.  

          3)Requires the rail plan to be updated every five years  
            thereafter, at a minimum.  

          4)Deletes requirements for obsolete elements of the rail plan  
            relative to decrepit rail passenger stations and special  
            amenities for service on the San Joaquin intercity rail  
            passenger service.  

          5)Revises, for clarification and elimination of redundancies,  
            the elements of the HSRA business plan.  

          6)Requires the business plan to be submitted to the Legislature  
            by May 1, 2014, and every two years thereafter.  

          The Senate amendments  :  Require the rail plan to be submitted to  
          the California Transportation Commission for advice six months  
          prior to submitting the final rail plan to the Transportation  
          Agency for approval and require the approved rail plan to be  
          submitted to the Legislature, the Governor, and other specified  
          entities.  

          FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.  
           

           COMMENTS  :  Successful rail development depends on the  
          integration of various modes of transportation-including  
          intercity, commuter and urban rail transit, as well as the state  
          and local roadway network.  According to the author, the rail  
          plan prepared by Caltrans and the business plan prepared by HSRA  
          are in need of revision to reflect new requirements as proposed  
          by federal law, as well to modify them to be more streamlined  
          and efficient.  

           State Rail Plan  :  Since 1995, Caltrans has prepared a 10-year  
          intercity rail transportation plan, which it updates biennially.  
           Caltrans submits the plan to the California Transportation  
          Commission for its "advice and consent" and then forwards it the  
          Governor, Legislature, and the California Public Utilities  
          Commission. 

          PRIIA establishes requirements for state rail plans, including  








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          the requirement for updates every five years.  PRIIA also  
          conditions submittal of federal capital grant applications upon  
          completed state rail plans.  

          This bill would align the policies and schedules for the state  
          plan with the federal requirements.  Additionally, obsolete rail  
          plan reporting requirements are to be deleted in reference to  
          decrepit rail stations and extra amenities for the San Joaquin  
          Amtrak intercity rail passenger services.  

           HSRA Business Plan  :  Under current law, HSRA is required to  
          prepare and submit their business plan to the Legislature by  
          January 1, 2012.  Further, the law specifies the required  
          elements of the business plan, several of which are redundant  
          and overlapping.  This bill establishes a reporting deadline of  
          May 1, 2014, for the biennial submission of the business plan  
          and also cleans up some of its reporting elements to eliminate  
          redundancies.  

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


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