(a) (1) 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 demonstration program on a maximum of two transportation corridors in San Diego County.
(2) The program, under the circumstances described in subdivision (b), may direct and authorize the entry and use of high-occupancy vehicle lanes in corridors identified in paragraph (1) 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. A high-occupancy vehicle lane may only be operated as a high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane during the hours that the lane is otherwise restricted to use by high-occupancy vehicles.
(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 high-occupancy vehicle lanes identified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) 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 pursuant to an agreement that addresses all matters related to design, construction, maintenance, and operation of state highway system facilities in connection with the value pricing and transit development demonstration program.
(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.
(2) The revenue generated from the program shall be available to SANDAG for the direct expenses related to the operation (including collection and enforcement), maintenance, and administration of the demonstration program. Administrative expenses shall not exceed 3 percent of the revenues.
(3) All remaining revenue generated by the demonstration program shall be used in the corridor from which the revenue was generated exclusively for preconstruction, construction, and other related costs of high-occupancy vehicle facilities, transportation corridor improvements, and the improvement of transit service, including, but not limited to, support for transit operations pursuant to an expenditure plan adopted by SANDAG.
(f) (1) SANDAG may issue bonds at any time to finance any costs necessary to implement the value pricing program established pursuant to subdivision (a) and any expenditures as may be provided for in the expenditure plan adopted pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (e), payable from the revenues generated from the program.
(2) The maximum bonded indebtedness that may be outstanding at any one time shall not exceed an amount that may be serviced from the estimated revenues generated from the program.
(3) The bonds shall bear interest at a rate or rates not exceeding the maximum allowable by law, payable at intervals determined by SANDAG.
(4) Any bond issued pursuant to this subdivision shall contain on its face a statement to the following effect:
“Neither the full faith and credit nor the taxing power of the State of California is pledged to the payment of principal of, as the interest of this bond.”
(5) Bonds shall be issued pursuant to a resolution of SANDAG adopted by a two-thirds vote of its governing board. The resolution shall state all of the following:
(A) The purposes for which the proposed debt is to be incurred.
(B) The estimated cost of accomplishing those purposes.
(C) The amount of the principal of the indebtedness.
(D) The maximum term of the bonds and the interest rate.
(E) The denomination or denominations of the bonds, which shall not be less than five thousand dollars ($5,000).
(F) The form of the bonds.
(g) Not later than three years after SANDAG first collects revenues from any of the projects described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), SANDAG shall submit a report to the Legislature on its findings, conclusions, and recommendations concerning the demonstration program authorized by this section. The report shall include an analysis of the effect of the HOT lanes on the adjacent mixed-flow lanes and any comments submitted by the department and the Department of the California Highway Patrol regarding operation of the lane.
(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 528, Sec. 2. (AB 2090) Effective January 1, 2015.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018