BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


          AB  
          726 (Nazarian)


          As Amended  September 1, 2015


          Majority vote


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          |ASSEMBLY:  |77-0  |(May 7, 2015)  |SENATE: |40-0  |(September 9,    |
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          Original Committee Reference:  L. GOV.




          SUMMARY:  Authorizes the Los Angeles County Metropolitan  
          Transportation Authority (MTA) to operate articulated buses that  
          do not exceed 82 feet on the Orange Line in Los Angeles County.   



          The Senate amendments:


          1)Require MTA to establish a route review committee prior to the  
            operation of an articulated bus that is greater than 60 feet  
            in length.  


          2)Require the route review committee to perform a review of the  
            Orange Line route and any necessary routes from the Orange  








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            Line to maintenance and storage yards upon which MTA proposes  
            to operate a bus greater than 60 feet in length, prior to the  
            operation of those buses.  


          3)Require the review to include a field review of the Orange  
            Line and proposed routes, and require the field reviews to  
            include both of the following:


             a)   Consultation with traffic engineers from public agencies  
               that have jurisdiction over the routes where the buses are  
               proposed to operate to ensure coordination with the  
               affected state and local public agencies for purposes of  
               public safety; and,  


             b)   Consultation with pavement engineers from public  
               agencies that have jurisdiction over the routes where the  
               buses are proposed to operate to ensure that any impacts of  
               the weight of the vehicles upon the streets and roads that  
               are used to access the right-of-way or are crossed by the  
               right-of-way are considered.  


          4)Require the route review committee to be comprised of four  
            members, as follows:


             a)   A member representing MTA, appointed by MTA's general  
               manager;


             b)   A member who is a traffic engineer, appointed by MTA's  
               general manager;


             c)   A member appointed by the labor organization that is the  
               exclusive representative of the bus drivers of MTA; and,


             d)   A member representing law enforcement, appointed by the  








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               law enforcement agency that has authority over the proposed  
               routes.  


          5)Provide that the implementation of the authority granted by  
            this bill is also subject to the following:


             a)   Determination by a majority vote of the route review  
               committee that the Orange Line and routes for maintenance  
               and storage are suitable for the safe operation of  
               articulated buses; and,


             b)   Determination by the Department of the California  
               Highway Patrol and the Department of Transportation, if  
               portions of the proposed routes are on highways under the  
               jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation, that  
               those portions of the routes are suitable for the operation  
               of buses, as specified.  


          6)Require the route review committee to determine, by majority  
            vote, the following:


             a)   If the Orange Line is suitable for the safe operation of  
               a bus exceeding 60 feet in length, by not exceeding 82 feet  
               in length; and,


             b)   If the routes are suitable for the safe operation of the  
               articulated buses between the Orange Line, maintenance  
               facilities, and storage yards.  


          7)Clarify that MTA may operate the articulated buses between the  
            Orange Line route, terminals, and maintenance facilities.  


          8)Make technical and conforming changes.  









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          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Establishes MTA as the successor agency to the Southern  
            California Rapid Transit District and the Los Angeles County  
            Transportation Commission and prescribes its membership and  
            duties.  
          2)Prohibits a vehicle from exceeding a length of 40 feet and  
            creates a number of exemptions to that limit.  


          3)Prohibits an articulated bus from exceeding a length of 60  
            feet.  




          AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY, this bill:  


          1)Provided an exemption to the vehicle length limit in existing  
            law to allow MTA to operate articulated buses that do not  
            exceed 82 feet on the route designated as the Orange Line in  
            Los Angeles County.  


          2)Specified that the authority granted by this bill to MTA is  
            subject to specified collective bargaining requirements.  


          3)Found and declared that a special law is necessary because of  
            the unique circumstances of a large number of riders using  
            buses operated by MTA on the Orange Line and the need to  
            reduce overcrowding on those buses.  


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











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          COMMENTS:  


          1)Bill Summary.  This bill provides an exemption to the maximum  
            articulated bus length limit in current law and authorizes MTA  
            to use articulated buses up to 82 feet on the Orange Line  
            route in Los Angeles County.  Additionally, this bill  
            specifies that MTA's use of the longer articulated buses is  
            subject to collective bargaining requirements, and the  
            majority vote of a route review committee.  This bill also  
            requires MTA to consult with traffic and pavement engineers on  
            the effect of articulated buses on safety and pavement wear.   
            This bill is sponsored by MTA.  


          2)MTA and the Orange Line.  MTA was created pursuant to AB 152  
            (Katz), Chapter 60, Statutes of 1992, through the  
            consolidation of the Los Angeles County Transportation  
            Commission and the Southern California Rapid Transit District.  
             MTA is now the third-largest public transportation system in  
            the United States by ridership, serving a 1,433 square mile  
            area.  After purchasing and converting an abandoned railroad  
            line parallel to the Ventura Freeway (United States Route  
            101), MTA opened the Orange Line in the San Fernando Valley in  
            October of 2005.  The Orange Line opened as a 14-mile route  
            consisting of two-lane dedicated busways for 60 foot  
            articulated buses.  The Orange Line crosses 34 streets and  
            five midblock pedestrian crosswalks, and at signalized  
            intersections, loop detectors give Orange Line buses traffic  
            signal priority.  Adjacent to the dedicated busways there are  
            eight miles of bicycle and pedestrian paths, with designated  
            on-street bike lanes for the remaining six miles.  In 2012 MTA  
            did a four-mile northern extension of the Orange Line,  
            connecting four new stations.  


          3)Author's Statement.  According to the author, "In order to  
            effectively address the growing public transportation needs of  
            the San Fernando Valley, alleviate congestion and take  
            advantage of available transportation resources, this bill  








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            will offer MTA the flexibility they need to operate buses up  
            to 82 feet in length along the Orange Line."  


          4)Prior Legislation.  There is extensive legislative history  
            surrounding the discussion of bus length limits.  This bill is  
            not MTA's first attempt to gain the authority to use larger  
            articulated buses on the Orange Line.  SB 650 (Padilla) of  
            2007 would have authorized transit agencies to operate  
            articulated buses up to 65 feet subject to a number of  
            restrictions, including limiting the buses to operate on a  
            dedicated right-of-way, and the establishment of a route  
            review committee.  The provisions relating to bus length were  
            eventually amended out of SB 650.   


          5)Arguments in Support.  Supporters argue that this bill will  
            give the necessary local flexibility to address the growing  
            demands of public transportation in the greater San Fernando  
            Valley.  


          6)Arguments in Opposition.  None on file.  


          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Misa Lennox / L. GOV. / (916) 319-3958  FN:  
          0002225