This bill would create the Transit Pass Program, to be administered by the Department of Transportation, for K-12 and college students throughout the state. The bill would distribute the monies according to the State Transit Assistance Formula; the amended version of the bill doesn't name a specific funding source, although the original proposal called for $50 million from the state climate program (see here for more on cap-and-trade).
Studies suggest that high school and college students represent one of the largest segments of "drive alone" automobile users in California, and that providing free or reduced-cost access to public transportation significantly reduces the demand for student parking. Small-scale student transit programs have been successful at several California community colleges and universities. Student transit programs at UC Davis and Sacramento State increased student transit ridership by over 70 percent! With bus and train fares and tuition costs rising over recent years, these transit programs are an effective way to help students manage their expenses and their mobility, while also creating lifelong ridership habits that can lead to reduced driving - and emissions - over the long term. And that's exactly what our state's climate funds should be used for.
After passing the full Assembly on June 2, 2016, AB 2222 was held in Senate Appropriations and will not pass this year. TransForm supported this bill as a part of the 2016 Transportation Equity Package. Read more on our blog.