BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND HOUSING
                              Senator Jim Beall, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:          SB 530            Hearing Date:    4/28/2015
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          |Author:   |Pan                                                   |
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          |Version:  |4/22/2015                                             |
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          |Urgency:  |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes             |
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          |Consultant|Randy Chinn                                           |
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          SUBJECT:  Quadricycles


          DIGEST:  This bill expands the definition of "pedicab" to  
          include pedal-powered vehicles that can carry up to 15  
          passengers, and creates minimum operational and equipment  
          requirements.
          
          ANALYSIS:
          
          Existing law defines various types of vehicles with differing  
          rights and responsibilities.  Bicycles, motorized bicycles,  
          pedicabs, neighborhood electric vehicles, motorcycles, passenger  
          vehicles, and buses are just some of the different types of  
          vehicles allowed to use California streets and highways.

          This bill deals with four-wheeled, primarily pedal-powered  
          vehicles that carry up to 15 passengers.  These are substantial  
          vehicles, about the size of a car, and can cost up to $100,000. 



          In Sacramento, San Diego, and other California cities, these  
          vehicles are used to offer guided riding tours through tourist  
          and entertainment areas, often accompanied with stops at bars  
          and restaurants.  These businesses have so far been licensed by  
          the host city without any state involvement.  This has created  
          some uncertainty about whether these vehicles can lawfully use  
          city streets as there is no existing vehicle definition which  
          specifically covers them, particularly if the vehicle has a  







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          motor to assist the pedaling passengers.  

          This bill expands the definition of pedicab to include a device  
          which is primarily pedal-powered, has a seating capacity of not  
          more than 15 passengers, and cannot travel faster than 15 miles  
          per hour.  This type of pedicab must be equipped with basic  
          safety equipment including seat belts, seat backs, brakes,  
          reflectors, headlights and grab rails, and must be operated by a  
          21-year-old adult with a valid California driver's license.   
          Existing devices have until January 1, 2017 to retrofit with  
          this equipment.

          This bill provides that if a city allows alcohol to be consumed  
          on board, the operator shall also provide an on-board adult  
          safety monitor and both the driver and safety monitor must have  
          completed the Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs program  
          implemented by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

          COMMENTS:

          1)Purpose of the bill.  The author notes that the four existing  
            quadricycle companies in California operate under conditions  
            which vary in each municipality.  This bill seeks to establish  
            a uniform set of rules and a standard of best practices for  
            quadricycles where alcohol will be consumed on board.  The  
            author notes that the industry is growing rapidly, and that  
            California should address regulation at a statewide level  
            before there are any accidents or injuries, as have been  
            reported in other states.

          2)Local control.  The quadricycle business is relatively new and  
            small:  There are probably less than a dozen of these types of  
            vehicles operating in California.  The operators are small  
            businesses who seem to have arrived at satisfactory operating  
            rules with their local governments.  There's no evidence of  
            operating or safety issues with the vehicles in California.   
            Other states have had some noise and other issues associated  
            with alcohol consumption; there was a tip-over in Milwaukee.

            The bill creates a minimal regulatory structure with minimum  
            safety and operating requirements.  Defining quadricycles as  
            pedicabs authorizes their operation on highways and subjects  
            the pedicab operator to existing laws regarding driving under  
            the influence of alcohol and drugs.  
          








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          3)Drink?  This bill creates some additional safety requirements  
            if local governments choose to permit alcoholic beverages to  
            be consumed on board.  The author believes that instituting  
            minimum state standards will make local permission more  
            likely.  There is precedent for this as limousines permit  
            alcohol in their passenger compartments.  However, there is a  
            difference in that the quadricycle passengers are active  
            participants, providing the propulsion for these vehicles.   
            Passengers are also sitting on stools, sometimes directly  
            above the road.  Moreover, the quadricycles are open-air, and  
            therefore the drinking will be visible to the public.  Current  
            law prohibits open containers in public spaces if prohibited  
            by the city or county.  

          4)Competitive Advantage?  Some quadricycle operators were  
            concerned that a prior version of the bill provided some  
            operators with a competitive advantage by establishing rules  
            which would require costly retrofits for certain operators.   
            The author has amended the bill and believes he has satisfied  
            those concerns.

          Related Legislation:
          
          AB 604 (Olsen) - Creates a new class of vehicle, known as a  
          motorized skateboard, and allows them to operate on streets and  
          sidewalks.
           
          FISCAL EFFECT:  Appropriation:  No    Fiscal Com.:  Yes     
          Local:  Yes


            POSITIONS:  (Communicated to the committee before noon on  
          Wednesday,
                          April 22, 2015.)
          
            SUPPORT:  (prior version)
          Roberta MacGlashan, Sacramento County Supervisor
          Off the Chair
          Pedal On

          OPPOSITION: (prior version)
          Sacramento Brew Bike
          Social Cycle










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