Programs To Reduce Ozone Through Increased Transit
The act creates the ozone season transit grant program (program) in the Colorado energy office (office). The program provides grants to the regional transportation district (RTD) and transit associations in order to provide free transit services for at least 30 days during ozone season. A transit association receiving a grant may use the money to make grants to eligible transit agencies. The eligible transit agencies may use the money to provide at least 30 days of new or expanded free transit services during ozone season. The RTD may use grant money to cover up to 80% of the costs of providing free transit for at least 30 days on all services offered by the RTD during ozone season. Eligible transit agencies and the RTD can use the money to cover lost fare box revenues and to pay for other expenses necessary to implement the program, including expenses associated with an increase in ridership as a result of the program. The RTD and a transportation association receiving a grant are required to report to the office on the services offered and estimates of the change in ridership as a result of the program. The act transfers $28 million from the general fund to a newly-created ozone season transit grant program fund, and the money is continuously appropriated to the office for the program.
The office is required to establish policies governing the program and to report to the house and senate transportation committees by December 31 of each year of the program. The program is repealed, effective July 1, 2024.
The transit and rail division (division) in the department of transportation is required to create a 3-year pilot project to extend state-run transit services throughout the state with the goals of reducing ground level ozone, increasing ridership, and reducing vehicle miles traveled in the state. The act transfers $30 million from the general fund to the state highway fund for the project. The division is required to annually report to the transportation legislation review committee on the pilot project. The pilot project is repealed, effective July 1, 2026.
The act transfers $10 million dollars from the general fund to the state highway fund for use by the transportation development division for the revitalizing main streets program. In spending the money, the division is required to give priority to programs that improve air quality through increased use of transit.
The act amends statutes governing testing for commercial driver's licenses to allow a test to be conducted by a driving tester who is under contract with a testing unit or a statewide association working with transit agencies in addition to a driving tester who is employed by a testing unit. As soon as practicable after the effective date of the act, the rules promulgated by the department of revenue must include provisions allowing a testing unit that does not employ a driving tester to be licensed and conduct tests using a driving tester who is under contract with the testing unit or a statewide association working with transit agencies.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)