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SB24-032

Methods to Increase the Use of Transit

Concerning methods to increase the use of transit.
Session:
2024 Regular Session
Subject:
Transportation & Motor Vehicles
Bill Summary

Transportation Legislation Review Committee. Statewide transit pass exploratory committee. Section 1 of the bill creates the statewide transit pass exploratory committee (committee) within the department of transportation (department) to produce a viable proposal for the creation, implementation, and administration of a statewide transit pass. The committee is required to meet as necessary to produce a viable proposal by July 1, 2026, with the goal of implementing a statewide transit pass by January 1, 2028.

The committee consists of 15 members appointed by the executive director of the department and is required to include representatives of a diverse group of transit agencies throughout the state, a representative of an entity or interest group involved in passenger rail systems, a representative of an organization with a statewide perspective regarding transportation, and 2 representatives of the department, one who is knowledgeable about the department's inter-city regional bus service and one who is knowledgeable about innovative mobility.

In conducting its work and in producing a viable proposal for the creation, implementation, and administration of a statewide transit pass the committee is required to consider:

  • Various specified logistics of creating a statewide transit pass;
  • A method for determining the price of a statewide transit pass;
  • A structure for the sale of the statewide transit pass to individuals and to employers for their employees;
  • The services that will be offered to statewide transit pass holders;
  • The types of statewide transit passes that would be offered, including different options for the duration of the pass to accommodate Colorado residents and visitors to Colorado;
  • Additional opportunities for collaboration across transit agencies in the state to make it easier and more appealing for people to use transit;
  • The technology that would be necessary to monitor the use of the statewide transit pass and track ridership across transit agencies;
  • Local, tribal, state, and federal laws, rules, or regulations that need to be considered in connection with the creation of a statewide transit pass;
  • The best method for advertising and marketing a statewide transit pass;
  • The potential impacts that a statewide transit pass will have on transit pass programs that are currently offered by transit agencies;
  • The potential impacts of section 20 of article X of the state constitution to local governments in connection with revenue generated by the sale of a statewide transit pass;
  • A proposal for the structure and composition of a permanent advisory board to oversee the creation, implementation, and administration of a statewide transit pass; and
  • Any other issues that need to be discussed or addressed, as deemed necessary and appropriate by a majority vote of the members of the committee.

In producing a viable proposal for the creation, implementation, and administration of a statewide transit pass, the committee is required to solicit input from specified subject matter experts and interested parties across the state.

The committee is required to submit its proposal for the creation, implementation, and administration of a statewide transit pass, including recommendations for any necessary legislation in connection with the proposal, to the executive director and the members of the transportation legislation review committee of the general assembly on or before July 1, 2026.

Ozone season transit grant program. The ozone season transit grant program was created in the Colorado energy office in 2022. Section 2 makes the following changes to the ozone season transit grant program:

  • Relocates the ozone season transit grant program to the department;
  • Requires the transit association that receives money from the state and uses the money to make grants to transit agencies to consider grants that have been or will be awarded to the transit agency through the youth fare free transit grant program, created in the bill, when making grants to ensure that transit agencies do not receive grants through the ozone season transit grant program for services that are paid for with grants from the youth fare free transit grant program;
  • Requires the state treasurer to transfer $7 million to the ozone season transit grant program fund on July 1, 2024, and on July 1 of each year thereafter; and
  • Makes the ozone season transit grant program permanent by repealing the statute that would repeal the ozone season transit grant program on July 1, 2024.

Youth fare free transit grant program. Section 3 creates the youth fare free transit grant program in the department to provide grants to the regional transportation district (RTD) and a transit association to provide fare free year-round transit services for individuals who are 19 years of age or younger (youth).

To receive a grant, a transit association or the RTD must submit an application to the department in accordance with the policies established by the department. A transit association that receives a grant may use the money to make grants to eligible transit agencies. The eligible transit agencies and the RTD may use the grant money to provide operating support for its transit operations and general transit programs, so long as the eligible transit agency or the RTD provides uninterrupted fare free year-round transit services for youth riders.

The RTD is required to report to the department and an eligible transit agency that receives a grant from a transit association is required to report to the transit association regarding the estimated change in youth ridership during the year in which fare free services were offered compared to previous years, any changes that the RTD or the eligible transit agency would make in how it provides fare free transit services to youth or in its use of the grant money based on its experiences, and how the RTD or the eligible transit agency marketed the fare free transit services for youth. The transit association is required to submit to the department a summary of the reported information for all eligible transit agencies that received a grant through the transit association.

The bill creates the youth fare free transit grant program fund (fund) and transfers $7 million from the general fund to the fund on July 1, 2024, and on July 1 of each year thereafter. The money in the fund is continuously appropriated to the department for the youth fare free transit grant program.

The department is required to establish policies governing the youth fare free transit grant program and to report to the house of representatives transportation, housing, and local government committee and the senate transportation committee, or their successor committees, by December 31 of each year of the program.

Income tax credit for the purchase of a transit pass. For income tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2024, but before January 1, 2029, section 4 creates an income tax credit allowed to any taxpayer in an amount equal to 30% of the amount spent by the taxpayer to purchase one or more transit passes for use by the taxpayer during the income tax year for which the credit is claimed.

To claim the credit a taxpayer is required to include a credit certificate issued by the department with the income tax return filed with the department of revenue. The credit certificate that the department issues must identify the taxpayer and certify that the taxpayer purchased one or more transit passes for the taxpayer's use during the income tax year for which the credit is claimed.

The amount of the credit not used as an offset against income taxes in the current income tax year is refunded to the taxpayer.

No later than January 1, 2025, and no later than January 1 of each year thereafter through January 1, 2029, the department is required to provide the department of revenue with an electronic report of the taxpayers receiving a credit certificate.


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

Status

Introduced
Under Consideration

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Bill Text

Upcoming Schedule

Feb
27
Tuesday

Finance

2:00 pm  |  SCR 357

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