The bill 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 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 The program is repealed, effective July 1, 2024.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 division is required to report to the transportation legislation review committee on the pilot project. The pilot project is repealed, effective July 1, 2026.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)