(a) Notwithstanding Sections 149 and 30800 of this code, and Section 21655.5 of the Vehicle Code, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) may conduct, administer, and operate a value pricing and transit development program on the Interstate Highway Route 15 (I-15) high-occupancy vehicle expressway. The program to implement high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, under the circumstances described in subdivision (b), may direct and authorize the entry and use of the I-15 high-occupancy vehicle lanes by single-occupant vehicles during peak periods, as defined by SANDAG, for a fee. The amount of the fee shall be established from time to time by SANDAG, and collected in a manner determined by SANDAG.
(b) With the consent of the department, SANDAG shall establish appropriate performance measures, such as speed or travel times, for the purpose of ensuring optimal use of the HOT lanes by high-occupancy vehicles without adversely affecting other traffic on the state highway system. Unrestricted access to the lanes by high-occupancy vehicles shall be available at all times, except that those high-occupancy vehicles may be required to have an electronic transponder or other electronic device for enforcement purposes. At least annually, the department shall audit the performance during peak traffic hours and report the results of that audit at meetings of the program management team.
(c) Single-occupant vehicles that are certified or authorized by SANDAG for entry into, and use of, the I-15 high-occupancy vehicle lanes are exempt from Section 21655.5 of the Vehicle Code, and the driver shall not be in violation of the Vehicle Code because of that entry and use.
(d) SANDAG shall carry out the program in cooperation with the department, and shall consult the department in the operation of the project and on matters related to highway design and construction.
(e) (1) Agreements between SANDAG, the department, and the Department of the California Highway Patrol shall identify the respective obligations and liabilities of those entities and assign them responsibilities relating to the program. The agreements entered into pursuant to this section shall be consistent with agreements between the department and the United States Department of Transportation relating to this program and shall include clear and concise procedures for enforcement by the Department of the California Highway Patrol of laws prohibiting the unauthorized use of the high-occupancy vehicle lanes. The agreements shall provide for reimbursement of state agencies, from revenues generated by the program, federal funds specifically allocated to SANDAG for the program by the federal government, or other funding sources that are not otherwise available to state agencies for transportation-related projects, for costs incurred in connection with the implementation or operation of the program. Reimbursement for SANDAG’s program-related planning and administrative costs in the operation of the program shall not exceed 3 percent of the revenues.
(2) All remaining revenue shall be used in the I-15 corridor exclusively for (A) the improvement of transit service, including, but not limited to, support for transit operations, (B) transportation corridor improvements, and (C) high-occupancy vehicle facilities, and shall not be used for any other purpose.
(f) SANDAG, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board, and the department shall cooperatively develop a single transit capital improvement plan for the I-15 corridor.
(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 528, Sec. 1. (AB 2090) Effective January 1, 2015.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018