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HB19-1199

Colorado Clean Pass Act

Concerning the conditions under which operation of a plug-in electric motor vehicle on an express lane without regard to the number of persons in the vehicle and without payment of a toll or with payment of a reduced toll is allowed.
Session:
2019 Regular Session
Subject:
Transportation & Motor Vehicles
Bill Summary

On and after July 1, 2022, the bill requires the high-performance transportation enterprise (HPTE) to impose an express lane access fee (access fee) in a specified amount annually at the time of registration of any eligible plug-in electric motor vehicle that weighs 19,500 pounds or less, that is certified as being qualified for the federal plug-in electric drive motor vehicle tax credit or can be recharged from an external source of electricity and that stores electricity in a rechargeable battery that propels or contributes to the propulsion of the vehicle's drive wheels if the owner of the vehicle chooses to pay the access fee in exchange for the right to operate the vehicle on express lanes without regard to the number of persons in the vehicle for free on any express lane that is a high occupancy vehicle lane and for a reduced toll on any express lane that is a toll lane or a high occupancy toll lane. HPTE is not authorized to impose the access fee upon the registration of a vehicle registered for a registration period beginning on or after July 1, 2020, but before July 1, 2022, but, upon the registration of a vehicle for such a registration period, the owner of an eligible plug-in electric motor vehicle may choose to apply for the right to operate the vehicle for free on any express lane that is a high occupancy vehicle lane without regard to the number of persons in the vehicle and for a reduced toll on any express lane that is a toll lane or a high occupancy toll lane.

A plug-in electric motor vehicle is an "eligible plug-in electric motor vehicle" if it is being registered for its 1st, 2nd, or 3rd registration period under the ownership of the same owner and if making the vehicle eligible would not cause the total number of eligible vehicles to exceed a specified cap that increases annually for 5 years until reaching a permanent maximum amount. "Express lane" is defined to include any high occupancy vehicle lane, toll lane, or high occupancy toll lane that HPTE, a private partner of HPTE, or HPTE in conjunction with a private partner of HPTE or the department of transportation (CDOT) operates and maintains or that HPTE designates as an express lane, which currently includes:

  • Operating express lanes on Interstate Highway 25 between downtown Denver and 120th Avenue, on Interstate Highway 70 between Idaho Springs and Empire, and on U.S. Highway 36 between Denver and Boulder; and
  • Planned express lanes on: (1) Interstate Highway 25 between 120th Avenue and State Highway E-470, Johnstown and Fort Collins, and Monument and Castle Rock; (2) Interstate Highway 70 between Interstate Highway 25 and Chambers Road; and (3) State Highway C-470 between Interstate Highway 25 and Wadsworth Boulevard.

Each county clerk and recorder, acting as an authorized agent of the department of revenue, is required to collect the access fee, and access fee revenue is credited to the statewide transportation enterprise special revenue fund for use by HPTE. The owner of an eligible plug-in electric motor vehicle may choose not to pay the access fee, but must pay the fee to be authorized to operate the vehicle for free on any express lane that is a high occupancy vehicle lane and for a reduced toll on any express lane that is a toll lane or a high occupancy toll lane, without regard to the number of persons in the vehicle. If the free or reduced toll use of express lanes by eligible plug-in electric motor vehicles is determined to cause a decrease in the level of service for other bona fide users of the express lanes so that CDOT or HPTE is violating or will violate within the next 3 months contractual level of service guarantees or will be unable to satisfy debt service coverage requirements, then CDOT may restrict or eliminate free and reduced toll use of the express lanes by eligible plug-in electric motor vehicles for as long as the violation or inability is expected to continue. CDOT is required to report annually during its "State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act" hearing regarding the actual and projected free and reduced toll use of express lanes by eligible plug-in electric vehicles and any actions that it has taken or expects to take to restrict, limit, or restore such use.

The existing authorization for a limited number of inherently low-emission vehicles or hybrid vehicles to use express lanes without regard to the number of persons in the vehicle and without paying a toll expires for each participating vehicle on the date of the first registration of the vehicle for a registration period that begins on or after July 1, 2022.

The department of revenue and CDOT are required to coordinate to establish electronic processes that:

  • Automatically notify HPTE and, if deemed necessary by HPTE, any private partner of HPTE that operates an express lane, when the owner of a plug-in electric motor vehicle pays the access fee so that HPTE, directly or through its private partners, can successfully administer and enforce the conditions of access for eligible plug-in electric motor vehicles to express lanes; and
  • Automatically notify each authorized agent when the access fee can or cannot be collected in accordance with the limitation on the number of eligible plug-in electric motor vehicles.

CDOT is authorized to promulgate administrative rules to ensure proper implementation, administration, and enforcement of the conditions of access for eligible plug-in electric motor vehicles to express lanes.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status

Introduced
Under Consideration

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