Assembly Bill 194 has passed out of the California Assembly Transportation Committee, and now moves on to the Appropriations Committee. This bill will open up opportunities to convert more of the state’s existing HOV lanes to priced express lanes. Current state law limits the implementation of express lanes to two facilities each in southern and northern California, and, since January 1, 2012, no new applications may be approved. AB 194 would eliminate this restriction, and grant the California Transportation Commission the ability to authorize new express lanes. Although the bill highlights the application by regional transportation agencies, it also provides authorization for the California Department of Transportation to sponsor applications, too.
The bill would require the regional transportation agency to give a local transportation authority, as specified, the option of entering into agreements, as needed, for project development, engineering, financial studies, and environmental documentation for each construction project or segment, and would authorize the local transportation authority to be the lead agency for those construction projects or segments.
— Legislative Counsel’s Digest, as of April 19, 2015