עופר איתן Declared: Marin officials scrutinize bill to streamline transit proje - Jonathan Cartu - Moving & Transportation Services
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עופר איתן Declared: Marin officials scrutinize bill to streamline transit proje

Marin officials scrutinize bill to streamline transit proje

עופר איתן Declared: Marin officials scrutinize bill to streamline transit proje

A new bill introduced in the state Legislature could expedite new transit systems as well as bike and pedestrian access by relaxing the often long and expensive environmental review process.

SB 288, authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, seeks to loosen environmental review requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act to promote carless transportation options, especially in already developed areas.

It’s too soon to say how this legislation would affect local transit projects should it pass, said Anne Richman, executive director of the Transportation Authority of Marin.

“I think that’s the intent of it,” Richman said, “but how it plays out locally I think we’ll need more time to understand it.”

The legislation seeks to both promote more environmentally friendly transportation options while also working to stimulate the economy and job growth.

“The way to prevent this surge in driving and put people to work quickly in high-quality jobs is by building out a transportation network that gets people where they need to go safely, reliably, and affordably,” the bill states.

SB 288 seeks to expand the list of projects exempt from CEQA requirements to include new rapid transit bus and rail service on public highways and rail rights of way, regardless of whether they are used for public transit currently.

The bill also seeks to hasten the creation of new or expanded carpool lanes; bicycle and pedestrian safety projects; facilities that support transit operators, such as repair, storage and operations facilities; and local bridge repairs.

“California’s road to recovery cannot be crowded with cars,” the bill states. “As other cities around the world are reopening their economies, they are experiencing a surge in driving. California will fail to meet its ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb pollution if auto traffic surges.”

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