BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 1964 (Bloom) - High-occupancy vehicle lanes:  vehicle  
          exceptions
          
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          |Version: June 30, 2016          |Policy Vote: T. & H. 10 - 0     |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: Yes                    |
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          |Hearing Date: August 1, 2016    |Consultant: Mark McKenzie       |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.



          Bill  
          Summary:  AB 1964 would extend the authority to operate certain  
          plug-in hybrid clean air vehicles in HOV lanes, regardless of  
          occupancy levels, under the "green sticker program" and make  
          revisions to the program, as specified.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
           The Department of Transportation (Caltrans) would incur  
            ongoing administrative costs of approximately $125,000 for the  
            duration of the extended operative date of the "green sticker  
            program."  Costs are attributable to continuing analysis and  
            reporting activities required under federal law. (State  
            Highway Account)

           Unknown Caltrans costs, in the range of $400,000 to $1 million  
            related to provisions that allow a regional transportation  







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            planning agency to request the removal of a clean air vehicle  
            exemption in HOV lanes (State Highway Account).  Actual costs  
            would be informed by the number of requests and the complexity  
            of each impacted region.  Costs include data collection and  
            analysis to determine the merit of a request, sign replacement  
            costs, and educational campaigns in affected regions.

           Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) costs to revise the "green  
            sticker program" would be minor and absorbable, and any costs  
            would be offset by decal fees.  (Motor Vehicle Account) 

           California Air Resources Board (CARB) costs of approximately  
            $39,000 annually to review and verify "green sticker" eligible  
            vehicles and track the market share of those vehicles for  
            purposes of the bill.  (Motor Vehicle Account)

           Minor and absorbable costs to the California Highway Patrol  
            (CHP).  Staff notes that the rolling expiration dates of the  
            revised "green sticker program" will complicate enforcement  
            efforts because CHP would need to verify eligibility for HOV  
            access by running a plate rather than simple visual  
            verification that a vehicle has a decal. (Motor Vehicle  
            Account)


          Background:  Existing federal law authorizes states to allow certain  
          low-emission vehicles with a single occupant to use  
          high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes until September 30, 2019, and  
          allows states to allow certain alternative fuel vehicles and new  
          qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles to use those  
          lanes until September 30, 2025.  If the vehicles cause a  
          degradation of HOV lane operations, the state must limit or  
          discontinue clean air vehicle use of the lanes.  Existing law  
          authorizes Caltrans to ban clean air vehicles from HOV lanes if  
          unacceptable congestion levels can be attributed to those  
          vehicles.
          Existing law exempts certain clean air and alternative fuel  
          vehicles from HOV lane occupancy requirements until January 1,  
          2019 if it displays a specified decal issued by DMV.  The "white  
          sticker program" authorizes pure battery electric vehicles,  
          dedicated compressed natural gas or liquid petroleum gas  
          vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to access HOV lanes,  
          regardless of occupancy.  There are no statutory limits on the  
          number of while stickers that may be issued, and as of June of  








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          this year, DMV had issued 106,706 identifying decals.  The  
          "green sticker program" authorizes plug-in hybrid vehicles to  
          access HOV lanes, regardless of occupancy.  Existing law limits  
          the number of green stickers to 85,000, and the limit was  
          reached in December of 2015.




          Proposed Law:  
            AB 1964 would make the following changes to the "green sticker  
          program:"
           Remove the current 85,000 limit on the number of decals that  
            may be issued by DMV under the "green sticker program."
           Establish a January 1, 2019 sunset date for all current clean  
            air sticker programs, consistent with current law.
           Specify that green stickers issued prior to January 1, 2018,  
            will sunset on January 1, 2019, pursuant to existing law, but  
            provides that green stickers issued between January 1, 2018  
            and January 1, 2019, are valid until January 1, 2021.
           Specify that green stickers issued on or after January 1,  
            2019, under the revised program requirements specified in this  
            bill, are valid until January 1st of the fourth year after the  
            year of issuance.  These decals must be distinguishable from  
            prior stickers.
           Prohibit DMV from issuing stickers under the new program if  
            the sale of eligible vehicles reaches at least 9.2% of the  
            total new car market share for two consecutive years, upon  
            notification by CARB.  Regardless of whether sales fall below  
            that point, the bill prohibits the DMV from reinstating the  
            program.
           Specify that if the new program becomes inoperative due to  
            expiration of federal authorization, the driver of a vehicle  
            with an otherwise valid sticker shall not be cited for a  
            violation within the first 60 days of the program becoming  
            inoperative
           Require Caltrans to remove individual HOV lanes from access by  
            green sticker vehicles upon request of, and with the  
            concurrence of, the relevant regional transportation planning  
            agency if the operation of those vehicles in the HOV lane  
            significantly contributes to congestion in those lanes within  
            the next 12 months, and increased enforcement efforts or  
            increasing vehicle occupancy that would alleviate that  
            congestion is either infeasible or would increase overall  








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            corridor congestion.




          Related  
          Legislation:  SB 838 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review),  
          the Senate version of the 2016-17 Budget transportation trailer  
          bill which is currently on the Senate Floor, includes provisions  
          that would retain the current January 2019 expiration date of  
          the "green sticker program" while deleting the current 85,000  
          cap on the number of decals.  The Assembly version  
          transportation trailer bill (AB 1610), which is currently on the  
          Assembly Floor, does not include provisions related to the  
          "green sticker program."


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