Colorado General Assembly Wraps Up with Positive Results for Transportation Bills

The second regular session of the Seventy Fourth Colorado General Assembly adjourned on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. The session was deemed a success by Governor Polis, who, in a press release on May 9 said, “During the 2024 legislative session, we tackled the issues that keep Coloradans up at night. By addressing the high cost of housing, making historic investments in transit, saving Coloradans billions on their property taxes, cutting the income and sales tax rates, fully funding schools, and making Colorado safer, we are building a stronger, more affordable Colorado. I’m thrilled by the bold progress we have made this year and thank the legislators for their continued commitment to ensure Colorado remains the best state to live in”.  

When it comes to transportation legislation, the session was a nail-biter to the finish on two important bills supported by Commuting Solutions and the Northwest Mayors & Commissioners Coalition (NW MCC).  We are happy to report that both of the following bills were passed and are heading to Governor Polis’s desk:

SB24-032– Methods to Increase the Use of Transit – PASSED!!

Prime Sponsors: Sen. Kevin Priola, Sen. Faith Winter, Rep. Stephanie Vigil, and Rep. Julia Marvin.

What does this bill do?
  • Statewide Transit Pass: Creation of a statewide transit pass exploratory committee within the Department of Transportation 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.
  • Ozone Season Transit Grant Program: This program, initially created in 2022, is made permanent by repealing the statute that would repeal the program on July 1, 2024.  The name of the program will be changed to the Zero Fare Transit Fund.
  • Zero Fare Transit Fund: This fund will consist of $10 million to be transferred from the Multimodal Transportation Options Fund on July 1, 2024. The Colorado Energy Office is authorized to use the money in this fund to provide youth fare-free transit grants in addition to ozone season transit grants. Eligible transit agencies, through the transit association, and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) may apply for either an ozone season transit grant OR a youth fare-free transit grant, but not both.

SB24-065 Mobile Electronic Devices and Motor Vehicle Driving — PASSED!

Prime Sponsors: Senator Chris Hansen, Senator Rhonda Fields, Rep. Meg Froelich, Rep. David Ortiz

What does this bill do?
  • Prohibits Mobile Electronic Device Use in Vehicles – the bill expands the current prohibition to include drivers 18 years of age and older, except in the following situations:
    • By an individual reporting an emergency to state or local authorities
    • By an employee or contractor of a utility when responding to a utility emergency
    • By an employee or contractor of a city or county who is acting within the scope of their duties as a code enforcement officer or animal protection officer.
    • By a first responder
    • By an individual when a vehicle is parked
  • Creates the Following Penalties for Violation:
    • First offense – $75 and 2 license suspension points
    • Second offense within 24 months – $150 and 3 license suspension points
    • Third or subsequent offense within 24 months – $250 and 4 license suspension points

SB24-065 includes very specific language regarding the definition of “use of a mobile device” and how this violation is to be handled by law enforcement.  The use of a mobile device is defined as:

  1. Physically holding a mobile electronic device in the driver’s hand or pinning a mobile device to a driver’s ear to conduct voice-based communication.
  2. Watching a video or movie on a mobile electronic device, other than data related to navigation of the vehicle.
  3. Writing, sending, or reading text-based communication, including text messages, instant messages, email, or internet data.

    Commuting Solutions is proud to support legislation that makes our roadways safer and promotes sustainable transportation for today and future generations.  We send a huge thank you to all of the sponsors of these bills for your leadership and dedication!

    You can find many more details about these and other bills on the Colorado General Assembly website:  https://leg.colorado.gov/.

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    Commuting Solutions
    WCA Lunch

    May 29, 2024  | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
    At Elevations Credit Union in Broomfield