Law:Division 19.5. California High-speed Rail Service (California)

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Chapter 1. General Provisions,findings, And Definitions

Ca Codes (puc:185000-185012) Public Utilities Code Section 185000-185012



185000. This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the California High-Speed Rail Act.


185010. The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following: (a) California, over the past decades, has built an extensive network of freeways and airports to meet the state's growing transportation needs. (b) These facilities are not adequate to meet the mobility needs of the current population. (c) The population of the state and the travel demands of its citizens are expected to continue to grow at a rapid rate. (d) The cost of expanding the current network of highways and airports fully to meet current and future transportation needs is prohibitive, and a total expansion strategy would be detrimental to air quality. (e) Intercity rail service, when coordinated with urban transit and airports, is an efficient, practical, and less polluting transportation mode that can fill the gap between future demand and present capacity. (f) Advances in rail technology have allowed intercity rail systems in Europe and Japan to attain speeds of up to 200 miles per hour and compete effectively with air travel for trips in the 200 to 500-mile range. (g) Development of a high-speed rail system is a necessary and viable alternative to automobile and air travel in the state. (h) In order for the state to have a comprehensive network of high-speed intercity rail systems by the year 2020, it must begin preparation of a high-speed intercity rail plan similar to California' s former freeway plan and designate an entity with stable and predictable funding sources to implement the plan. (i) Utilizing existing human and manufacturing resources to build a large network of high-speed rail systems will generate jobs and economic growth for today's population and produce a transportation network for future generations. (j) Upon confirmation of the need and costs by detailed studies, the private sector, together with the state, can build and operate new high-speed intercity rail systems utilizing private and public financing. (k) The existing high-speed rail commission is completing its work and a successor authority to continue planning is necessary.


185012. As used in this division, unless the context requires otherwise, the following terms have the following meanings: (a) "Authority" means the High-Speed Rail Authority. (b) "Department" means the Department of Transportation. (c) "High-speed rail" means intercity passenger rail service that utilizes an alignment and technology that makes it capable of sustained speeds of 200 miles per hour or greater.


Chapter 2. The High-speed Rail Authority

Ca Codes (puc:185020-185024) Public Utilities Code Section 185020-185024



185020. (a) There is in state government a High-Speed Rail Authority. (b) (1) The authority is composed of nine members as follows: (A) Five members appointed by the Governor. (B) Two members appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. (C) Two members appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly. (2) For the purposes of making appointments to the authority, the Governor, the Senate Committee on Rules, and the Speaker of the Assembly shall take into consideration geographical diversity to ensure that all regions of the state are adequately represented. (c) Except as provided in subdivision (d), and until their successors are appointed, members of the authority shall hold office for terms of four years. A vacancy shall be filled by the appointing power making the original appointment, by appointing a member to serve the remainder of the term. (d) (1) On and after January 1, 2001, the terms of all persons who are then members of the authority shall expire, but those members may continue to serve until they are reappointed or until their successors are appointed. In order to provide for evenly staggered terms, persons appointed or reappointed to the authority after January 1, 2001, shall be appointed to initial terms to expire as follows: (A) Of the five persons appointed by the Governor, one shall be appointed to a term which expires on December 31, 2002, one shall be appointed to a term which expires on December 31, 2003, one shall be appointed to a term which expires on December 31, 2004, and two shall be appointed to terms which expires on December 31, 2005. (B) Of the two persons appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, one shall be appointed to a term which expires on December 31, 2002, and one shall be appointed to a term which expires on December 31, 2004. (C) Of the two persons appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, one shall be appointed to a term which expires on December 31, 2003, and one shall be appointed to a term which expires on December 31, 2005. (2) Following expiration of each of the initial terms provided for in this subdivision, the term shall expire every four years thereafter on December 31. (e) Members of the authority are subject to the Political Reform Act of 1974 (Title 9 (commencing with Section 81000)). (f) From among its members, the authority shall elect a chairperson, who shall preside at all meetings of the authority, and a vice chairperson to preside in the absence of the chairperson. The chairperson shall serve a term of one year. (g) Five members of the authority constitute a quorum for taking any action by the authority.


185022. (a) Each member of the authority shall receive compensation of one hundred dollars ($100) for each day that the member is attending to the business of the authority, but shall not receive more than five hundred dollars ($500) in any calendar month. (b) Members of the authority shall be reimbursed for their actual travel expenses incurred in attending to the business of the authority.

185024. (a) The authority shall appoint an executive director, exempt from civil service, who shall serve at the pleasure of the authority, to administer the affairs of the authority as directed by the authority. (b) For purposes of managing and administering the ongoing work of the authority in implementing the high-speed train project, the Governor, upon the recommendation of the executive director, may appoint up to six additional individuals, exempt from civil service, who shall serve at the pleasure of the executive director. Pursuant to this subdivision, the Governor may appoint persons only for the following positions: (1) Chief program manager. (2) Up to three regional directors. (3) Chief financial officer. (4) Director of risk management and project controls. (c) The compensation of the executive director and the additional persons authorized by subdivision (b) shall be established by the authority, and approved by the Department of Personnel Administration, in an amount that is reasonably necessary, in the discretion of the authority, to attract and hold a person of superior qualifications. The authority shall cause to be conducted, through the use of independent outside advisers, a salary survey to determine the compensation for the positions under this subdivision. The Department of Personnel Administration may, in its discretion, accept a previously completed salary survey that meets the requirements of this subdivision, and shall review the methodology used in the survey. The salary survey shall consider both of the following: (1) Other state, regional, and local transportation agencies that are most comparable to the authority and its responsibilities. (2) Other relevant labor pools. The compensation set by the authority shall not exceed the highest comparable compensation for a position of that type, as determined by the salary survey. Based on the salary survey, these positions shall be paid a salary established by the authority and approved by the Department of Personnel Administration. (d) The executive director may, as authorized by the authority, appoint necessary staff to carry out the provisions of this part.


Chapter 3. Responsibilities Of The Authority

Ca Codes (puc:185030-185038) Public Utilities Code Section 185030-185038



185030. The authority shall direct the development and implementation of intercity high-speed rail service that is fully integrated with the state's existing intercity rail and bus network, consisting of interlinked conventional and high-speed rail lines and associated feeder buses. The intercity network in turn shall be fully coordinated and connected with commuter rail lines and urban rail transit lines developed by local agencies, as well as other transit services, through the use of common station facilities whenever possible.

185032. (a) (1) Upon an appropriation in the Budget Act for that purpose, the authority shall prepare a plan for the construction and operation of a high-speed train network for the state, consistent with and continuing the work of the Intercity High-Speed Rail Commission conducted prior to January 1, 1997. The plan shall include an appropriate network of conventional intercity passenger rail service and shall be coordinated with existing and planned commuter and urban rail systems. (2) The authorization and responsibility for planning, construction, and operation of high-speed passenger train service at speeds exceeding 125 miles per hour in this state is exclusively granted to the authority. (3) Except as provided in paragraph (2), nothing in this subdivision precludes other local, regional, or state agencies from exercising powers provided by law with regard to planning or operating, or both, passenger rail service. (b) The plan, upon completion, shall be submitted to the Legislature and the Governor for approval by the enactment of a statute.


185033. (a) The authority shall prepare, publish, adopt, and submit to the Legislature, not later than January 1, 2012, and every two years thereafter, a business plan. At least 60 days prior to the publication of the plan, the authority shall publish a draft business plan for public review and comment. The draft plan shall also be submitted to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing, the Assembly Committee on Transportation, the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, and the Assembly Committee on Budget. The business plan shall identify all of the following: the type of service the authority anticipates it will develop, such as local, express, commuter, regional, or interregional; a description of the primary benefits the system will provide; a forecast of the anticipated patronage, operating and maintenance costs, and capital costs for the system; an estimate and description of the total anticipated federal, state, local, and other funds the authority intends to access to fund the construction and operation of the system; and the proposed chronology for the construction of the eligible corridors of the statewide high-speed train system. The business plan shall also include a discussion of all reasonably foreseeable risks the project may encounter, including, but not limited to, risks associated with the project's finances, patronage, right-of-way acquisition, environmental clearances, construction, equipment, and technology, and other risks associated with the project's development. The plan shall describe the authority's strategies, processes, or other actions it intends to utilize to manage those risks. (b) (1) In addition to the requirements of subdivision (a), the business plan shall include, but need not be limited to, all of the following elements: (A) Using the most recent patronage forecast for the system, develop a forecast of the expected patronage and service levels for the Phase 1 corridor as identified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 2704.04 of the Streets and Highways Code and by each segment or combination of segments for which a project level environmental analysis is being prepared for Phase 1. The forecast shall assume a high, medium, and low level of patronage and a realistic operating planning scenario for each level of service. Alternative fare structures shall be considered when determining the level of patronage. (B) Based on the patronage forecast in subparagraph (A), develop alternative financial pro formas for the different levels of service, and identify the operating break-even points for each alternative. Each pro forma shall assume the terms of subparagraph (J) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 2704.08 of the Streets and Highways Code. (C) Identify the expected schedule for completing environmental review, and initiating and completing construction for each segment of Phase 1. (D) Identify the source of federal, state, and local funds available for the project that will augment funds from the bond act and the level of confidence for obtaining each type of funding. (E) Identify written agreements with public or private entities to fund components of the high-speed rail system, including stations and terminals, any impediments to the completion of the system, such as the inability to gain access to existing railroad rights-of-way. (F) Identify alternative public-private development strategies for the implementation of Phase 1. (2) To the extent feasible, the business plan should draw upon information and material developed according to other requirements, including, but not limited to, the preappropriation review process and the preexpenditure review process in the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century pursuant to Section 2704.08 of the Streets and Highways Code. The authority shall hold at least one public hearing on the business plan and shall adopt the plan at a regularly scheduled meeting. When adopting the plan, the authority shall take into consideration comments from the public hearing and written comments that it receives in that regard, and any hearings that the Legislature may hold prior to adoption of the plan.

185034. The authority may do any of the following: (1) Conduct engineering and other studies related to the selection and acquisition of rights-of-way and the selection of a franchisee, including, but not limited to, environmental impact studies, socioeconomic impact studies, and financial feasibility studies. (2) Evaluate alternative high-speed rail technologies, systems and operators, and select an appropriate high-speed rail system. (3) Establish criteria for the award of a franchise. (4) Accept grants, fees, and allocations from the state, from political subdivisions of the state or from the federal government, foreign governments, and private sources. (5) Select a proposed franchisee, a proposed route, and proposed terminal sites. (6) Enter into contracts with public and private entities for the preparation of the plan. (7) Prepare a detailed financing plan, including any necessary taxes, fees, or bonds to pay for the construction of the high-speed train network. (8) Develop a proposed high-speed rail financial plan, including necessary taxes, bonds, or both, or other indebtedness, and submit the plan to the Legislature and to the Governor. (9) Keep the public informed of its activities.


185035. (a) The authority shall establish an independent peer review group for the purpose of reviewing the planning, engineering, financing, and other elements of the authority's plans and issuing an analysis of appropriateness and accuracy of the authority's assumptions and an analysis of the viability of the authority's financing plan, including the funding plan for each corridor required pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 2704.08 of the Streets and Highways Code. (b) The peer review group shall include all of the following: (1) Two individuals with experience in the construction or operation of high-speed trains in Europe, Asia, or both, designated by the Treasurer. (2) Two individuals, one with experience in engineering and construction of high-speed trains and one with experience in project finance, designated by the Controller. (3) One representative from a financial services or financial consulting firm who shall not have been a contractor or subcontractor of the authority for the previous three years, designated by the Director of Finance. (4) One representative with experience in environmental planning, designated by the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing. (5) Two expert representatives from agencies providing intercity or commuter passenger train services in California, designated by the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing. (c) The peer review group shall evaluate the authority's funding plans and prepare its independent judgment as to the feasibility and reasonableness of the plans, appropriateness of assumptions, analyses, and estimates, and any other observations or evaluations it deems necessary. (d) The authority shall provide the peer review group any and all information that the peer review group may request to carry out its responsibilities. (e) The peer review group shall report its findings and conclusions to the Legislature no later than 60 days after receiving the plans.

185036. Upon approval by the Legislature, by the enactment of a statute, or approval by the voters of a financial plan providing the necessary funding for the construction of a high-speed network, the authority may do any of the following: (a) Enter into contracts with private or public entities for the design, construction, and operation of high-speed trains. The contracts may be separated into individual tasks or segments or may include all tasks and segments, including a design-build or design-build-operate contract. (b) Acquire rights-of-way through purchase or eminent domain. (c) Issue debt, secured by pledges of state funds, federal grants, or project revenues. The pledge of state funds shall be limited to those funds expressly authorized by statute or voter-approved initiatives. (d) Enter into cooperative or joint development agreements with local governments or private entities. (e) Set fares and schedules. (f) Relocate highways and utilities.


185037. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for any project along the high-speed rail network, the authority may contract with the department to perform project design and engineering services, including construction inspection services. (b) For purposes of this section, "project design and engineering services, including construction inspection services" means preliminary engineering, planning, prebid services, right-of-way acquisition, preparation of environmental documents, preparation of plans, specifications, and estimates, construction inspection including surveying and materials testing, quality control inspection including highway and utility relocation, and grade separations.


185038. Any legal or equitable action brought against the authority shall be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction in the County of Sacramento. For purposes of this section, subdivision (1) of Section 401 of the Code of Civil Procedure does not apply.


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