Amended in Senate September 4, 2015

Amended in Senate August 31, 2015

Amended in Senate July 2, 2015

Amended in Assembly June 1, 2015

Amended in Assembly April 7, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 194


Introduced by Assembly Member Frazier

(Coauthor: Senator Beall)

January 28, 2015


An act to amend Section 149.7 of, and to add Section 149.12 to, the Streets and Highways Code, relating to transportation, and making an appropriation therefor.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 194, as amended, Frazier. High-occupancy toll lanes.

Existing law provides that the Department of Transportation has full possession and control of the state highway system. Existing law authorizes the department to construct exclusive or preferential lanes for buses only or for buses and other high-occupancy vehicles.

Existing law authorizes a regional transportation agency, as defined, in cooperation with the department to apply to the California Transportation Commission to develop and operate high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, including administration and operation of a value-pricing program and exclusive or preferential lane facilities for public transit, consistent with established standards, requirements, and limitations that apply to specified facilities. Existing law requires the commission to conduct at least one public hearing in northern California and one in southern California for each eligible application submitted by the regional transportation agency. Existing law limits the number of approved facilities to not more than 4, 2 in northern California and 2 in southern California, and provides that no applications may be approved on or after January 1, 2012.

This bill would authorize a regional transportation agency or the department to apply to the commission to develop HOT lanes and other toll facilities, as specified, and would delete the January 1, 2012, deadline for HOT lane applications and remove the existing limitation on the number of facilities that may be approved. The bill would include the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority within the definition of regional transportation authority for these purposes. The bill would delete the requirement that the facilities be consistent with the established standards, requirements, and limitations that apply to specified facilities and would instead require the commission to establish eligibility criteria set forth in guidelines for the development and operation of the facilities approved by the commission on or after January 1, 2016, subject to specified minimum requirements. The bill would provide for the review and approval by the commission of each proposed toll facility pursuant to those eligibility criteria. The bill would authorize a regional transportation agency or the state, as applicable, to issue bonds, refunding bonds, or bond anticipation notes backed by revenues generated from the facilities. The bill would delete the requirement that the commission conduct at least one public hearing in northern California and one in southern California for each eligible application and would instead require the commission to conduct at least one public hearing at or near the proposed toll facility. The bill would require a regional transportation agency that applies to the commission to reimburse the commission for all of the commission’s costs and expenses incurred in processing the application and to enter into specified agreements with thebegin delete department.end deletebegin insert department and the Department of the California Highway Patrol.end insert Before submitting an application to the commission, the bill would require a regional transportation agency to consult with every local transportationbegin delete authority,end deletebegin insert authorityend insert and every congestion managementbegin delete agency,end deletebegin insert agencyend insert whose jurisdiction includes the facility that the regional transportation agency proposes to develop and operate pursuant to the above-described provisions. The bill would require the regional transportation agency to give a local transportation authority or congestion management agency, as specified, the option of entering into agreements, as needed, for project development, engineering, financial studies, and environmental documentation for each construction project or segment, and would authorize the local transportation authority or congestion management agency to be the lead agency for those construction projects or segments. The bill would provide that these provisions do not authorize or prohibit the conversion of any existing nontoll or nonuser-fee lanes into tolled or user-fee lanes, except that a high-occupancy vehicle lane may be converted into a HOT lane pursuant to its provisions.

This bill would create the Highway Toll Account in the State Transportation Fund for the management of funds received by the Department of Transportation for toll facilities operated by the department under the bill. The bill would continuously appropriate to the department the portion of revenues designated and necessary for the payment of debt service for those facilities.

begin insert

This bill would become operative only if AB 914 is enacted and takes effect on or before January 1, 2016.

end insert

Vote: majority. Appropriation: yes. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P3    1

SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

3(a) The development, improvement, expansion, and maintenance
4of an efficient, safe, and well-maintained system of roads,
5highways, and other transportation facilities is essential to the
6economic well-being and high quality of life of the people of this
7state.

8(b) High-occupancy toll lanes, express lanes, and toll roads
9provide an opportunity to more effectively manage state highways
10in order to increase passenger throughput and to reduce delays for
11freight shipments and travelers, especially those traveling by
12carpool, vanpool, or bus.

13(c) Highway tolling should be employed for the purpose of
14optimizing the performance of the transportation system on a
15transportation corridor and should not be employed strictly as a
16revenue generating facility.

P4    1

SEC. 2.  

Section 149.7 of the Streets and Highways Code is
2amended to read:

3

149.7.  

(a) Notwithstanding Sections 149 and 30800, a regional
4transportation agency, as defined in subdivision (k), or the
5begin delete department,end deletebegin insert departmentend insert may apply to the commission to develop
6and operate high-occupancy toll lanes or other toll facilities,
7including the administration and operation of a value pricing
8program and exclusive or preferential lane facilities for public
9transit or freight.

10(b) Each application for the development and operation of the
11toll facilities described in subdivision (a) shall be subject to review
12 and approval by the commission pursuant to eligibility criteria set
13forth in guidelines established by the commission. Prior to
14approving an application, the commission shall conduct at least
15one public hearing at or near the proposed toll facility for the
16purpose of receiving public comment. Upon approval of an
17application, the regional transportation agency or the department
18may develop and operate the toll facility proposed in the
19application.

20(c) The eligibility criteria set forth in the guidelines established
21by the commission pursuant to subdivision (b) shall include, at a
22minimum, all of the following:

23(1) A demonstration that the proposed toll facility will improve
24the corridor’s performance by, for example, increasing passenger
25throughput or reducing delays for freight shipments and travelers,
26especially those traveling by carpool, vanpool, and transit.

27(2) A requirement that the proposed toll facility is contained in
28the constrained portion of a conforming regional transportation
29 plan prepared pursuant to Section 65080 of the Government Code.

30(3) Evidence of cooperation between the applicable regional
31transportation agency and the department.

32(4) A discussion of how the proposed toll facility meets the
33requirements of this section.

34(5) A requirement that a project initiation document has been
35completed for the proposed toll facility.

begin insert

36(6) A demonstration that a complete funding plan has been
37prepared.

end insert

38(d) A regional transportation agency that applies to the
39commission to develop and operate toll facilities pursuant to this
P5    1section shall reimburse the commission for all of the commission’s
2costs and expenses incurred in processing the application.

3(e) Toll facilities approved by the commission on or after
4January 1, 2016, pursuant to this section, shall be subject to the
5following minimum requirements:

6(1) A regional transportation agency sponsoring a toll facility
7shall enter into an agreement withbegin insert the Department of the California
8Highway Patrol that addresses all law enforcement matters related
9to the toll facility and an agreement withend insert
the department that
10addresses all matters related to design, construction, maintenance,
11and operation of the toll facility, including, but not limited to,
12liability, financing, repair, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.

13(2) A regional transportation agency sponsoring a toll facility
14shall be responsible for reimbursing the departmentbegin delete for the
15department’send delete
begin insert and the Department of the California Highway Patrol
16for theirend insert
costs related to the toll facility pursuant to an agreement
17between the agency and thebegin delete department.end deletebegin insert department and an
18agreement between the agency and the Department of the
19California Highway Patrol.end insert

20(3) The sponsoring agency shall be responsible for establishing,
21collecting, and administering tolls, and may include discounts and
22premiums for the use of the toll facility.

23(4) The revenue generated from the operation of the toll facility
24shall be available to the sponsoring agency for the direct expenses
25related to the following:

26(A) Debt issued to construct, repair, rehabilitate, or reconstruct
27any portion of the toll facility, payment of debt service, and
28satisfaction of other covenants and obligations related to
29indebtedness of the toll facility.

30(B) The development, maintenance, repair, rehabilitation,
31improvement, reconstruction, administration, and operation of the
32toll facility, including toll collection and enforcement.

33(C) Reserves for the purposes specified in subparagraphs (A)
34and (B).

35(5) All remaining revenue generated by the toll facility shall be
36used in the corridor from which the revenue was generated pursuant
37to an expenditure plan developed by the sponsoring agency, as
38follows:

begin insert

P6    1(A) (i) For a toll facility sponsored by a regional transportation
2agency, the regional transportation agency shall develop the
3expenditure plan in consultation with the department.

end insert
begin insert

4(ii) For a toll facility sponsored by the department, the
5department shall develop the expenditure plan in consultation with
6the applicable regional transportation agency.

end insert
begin delete

7(A)

end delete

8begin insert(B)end insertbegin insert(i)end insertbegin insertend insertFor a toll facility sponsored by a regional transportation
9agency, the governing board of the regional transportation agency
10 shall review and approve the expenditure plan and any updates.

begin delete

11(B)

end delete

12begin insert(ii)end insert For a toll facility sponsored by the department, the
13commission shall review and approve the expenditure plan and
14any updates.

15(6) The sponsoring agency’s administrative expenses related to
16operation of a toll facility shall not exceed 3 percent of the toll
17revenues.

18(f) For any project under this section involving the conversion
19of an existing high-occupancy vehicle lane to a high-occupancy
20toll lane, the sponsoring agency shall demonstrate that the project
21will, at a minimum, result in expanded efficiency of the corridor
22in terms of travel time reliability, passenger throughput, or other
23efficiency benefit.

24(g) This section shall not prevent the construction of facilities
25that compete with a toll facility approved by the commission
26pursuant to this section, and the sponsoring agency shall not be
27entitled to compensation for the adverse effects on toll revenue
28due to those competing facilities.

29(h) A sponsoring agency that develops or operates a toll facility
30pursuant to this section shall provide any information or data
31requested by the commission or the Legislative Analyst. The
32commission, in cooperation with the Legislative Analyst, shall
33annually prepare a summary report on the progress of the
34development and operation of any toll facilities authorized pursuant
35to this section. The commission may submit this report as a section
36in its annual report to the Legislature required pursuant to Section
3714535 of the Government Code.

38(i) (1) A regional transportation agency may issue bonds,
39refunding bonds, or bond anticipation notes, at any time, to finance
40construction of, and construction-related expenditures for, a toll
P7    1facility approved pursuant to this section, and construction and
2construction-related expenditures that are included in the
3expenditure plan adopted pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision
4(e), payable from the revenues generated from the toll facility. The
5bonds, refunding bonds, and bond anticipation notes shall bear
6such interest rates and other features and terms as the regional
7transportation agency shall approve and may be sold by the regional
8transportation agency at public or private sale.

9(2) A bond, refunding bond, or bond anticipation note issued
10pursuant to this subdivision shall contain on its face a statement
11to the following effect:


13“Neither the full faith and credit nor the taxing power of the
14State of California is pledged to the payment of principal of, or
15the interest on, this instrument.”


17(3) Bonds, refunding bonds, and bond anticipation notes issued
18pursuant to this subdivision are legal investments for all trust funds,
19the funds of all insurance companies, banks, trust companies,
20executors, administrators, trustees, and other fiduciaries.

21(4) Interest earned on any bonds, refunding bonds, and bond
22anticipation notes issued pursuant to this subdivision shall at all
23times be free from state personal income tax and corporate income
24tax.

25(5) (A) For a toll facility operated by the department, the
26California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank or the
27Treasurer may issue bonds, refunding bonds, or bond anticipation
28notes, at any time, to finance development, construction, or
29reconstruction of, and construction-related expenditures for, a toll
30facility approved pursuant to thisbegin delete section,end deletebegin insert sectionend insert and construction
31and construction-related expenditures that are included in the
32expenditure plan adopted pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision
33(e), payable solely from the toll revenue and ancillary revenues
34generated from the toll facility.

35(B) This subdivision shall be deemed to provide all necessary
36state law authority for purposes of Section 63024.5 of the
37Government Code.

38(j) (1) Before submitting an application pursuant to subdivision
39(a), a regional transportation agency shall consult with every local
40transportation authority designated pursuant to Division 12.5
P8    1(commencing with Section 131000) or Division 19 (commencing
2with Section 180000) of the Public Utilitiesbegin delete Code,end deletebegin insert Codeend insert and every
3congestion managementbegin delete agency,end deletebegin insert agencyend insert whose jurisdiction
4includes the toll facility that the regional transportation agency
5proposes to develop and operate.

6(2) A regional transportation agency shall give a local
7transportation authority or congestion management agency
8 described in paragraph (1) the option to enter into agreements, as
9needed, for project development, engineering, financial studies,
10and environmental documentation for each construction project
11or segment that is part of the toll facility. The local transportation
12authority or congestion management agency may be the lead
13agency for these construction projects or segments.

14(k) Notwithstanding Section 143, for purposes of this section,
15“regional transportation agency” means any of the following:

16(1) A transportation planning agency described in Section 29532
17or 29532.1 of the Government Code.

18(2) A county transportation commission established under
19Section 130050, 130050.1, or 130050.2 of the Public Utilities
20Code.

21(3) Any other local or regional transportation entity that is
22designated by statute as a regional transportation agency.

23(4) A joint exercise of powers authority established pursuant to
24Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 6500) of Division 7 of Title
251 of the Government Code, with the consent of a transportation
26planning agency or a county transportation commission for the
27jurisdiction in which the transportation project will be developed.

28(5) The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority established
29pursuant to Part 12 (commencing with Section 100000) of Division
3010 of the Public Utilities Code.

31(l) A regional transportation agency or the department may
32require any vehicle accessing a toll facility authorized under this
33section to have an electronic toll collection transponder or other
34electronic device for enforcement or tolling purposes.

35(m) Nothing in this section shall authorize or prohibit the
36conversion of any existing nontoll or nonuser-fee lanes into tolled
37or user-fee lanes, except that a high-occupancy vehicle lane may
38be converted into a high-occupancy toll lane.

39(n) Nothing in this section shall apply to, modify, limit, or
40otherwise restrict the authority of any joint powers authority
P9    1described in Section 66484.3 of the Government Code to establish
2or collectbegin delete tolls,end deletebegin insert tollsend insert or otherwise operate any toll facility or modify
3or expand a toll facility.

4

SEC. 3.  

Section 149.12 is added to the Streets and Highways
5Code
, to read:

6

149.12.  

The Highway Toll Account is hereby created in the
7State Transportation Fund for the management of funds received
8by the department for toll facilities authorized pursuant to Section
9149.7 and operated by the department. Notwithstanding Section
1013340 of the Government Code, moneys in the Highway Toll
11Account designated and necessary for the payment of any debt
12service associated with a toll facility project shall be continuously
13begin delete appropriatedend deletebegin insert appropriated,end insert without regard to fiscalbegin delete yearend deletebegin insert year,end insert to
14the department for the purposes described in subparagraph (A) of
15paragraph (4) of subdivision (e) of Section 149.7. All other moneys
16deposited in the Highway Toll Account that are derived from
17premium and accrued interest on bonds sold pursuant to Section
18149.7 shall be reserved in the account and shall be available for
19expenditure, upon appropriation by the Legislature, as specified
20in subdivision (e) of Section 149.7. Pursuant to Chapter 4
21(commencing with Section 16720) of Part 3 of Division 4 of Title
222 of the Government Code, the cost of bond issuance shall be paid
23out of the bond proceeds, including premium, if any.

24begin insert

begin insertSEC. 4.end insert  

end insert

begin insertThis act shall become operative only if Assembly Bill
25914 of the 2015-16 Regular Session is enacted and takes effect on
26or before January 1, 2016.end insert



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