Commuting Solutions and the NW MCC Support Two Transportation Bills Currently Under Consideration in the 2024 Legislative Session

The 2024 Legislative Session is shaping up to be an important one for the future of transportation in Colorado. There are currently several transportation bills under consideration, and likely more to come. Commuting Solutions and the Northwest Mayors & Commissioners Coalition (NW MCC) are actively supporting the following two bills.

Transportation Bills Supported by Commuting Solutions and the NW MCC

SB24-032 Methods to Increase the Use of Transit

Introduced on January 10 by Senators Priola and Lewis and Representative Vigil (D), SB24-032 Methods to Increase the Use of Transit has passed the Senate Transportation & Energy Committee and has been referred to the Committee on Finance. It would create a statewide transit pass exploratory committee, make the Ozone Season Transit Grant Program permanent, create the Youth Fare Free Transit Grant Program, and create an income tax credit for transit pass purchases. The bill, if passed would result in the following:

  • Statewide Pass – Create a statewide transit pass exploratory committee within CDOT with the goal of implementing a statewide transit pass by January 1, 2028. The committee is required to submit a proposal for the creation, implementation, and administration of a statewide transit pass, including recommendations for any necessary legislation in connection with the proposal, to CDOT and the members of the transportation legislation review committee of the general assembly on or before July 1, 2026.
  • Ozone Season Transit Grant Program – Make the ozone season transit grant program created in 2022 permanent by repealing the statute that would repeal it on July 1, 2024.
  • Youth Fare Free Transit Grant Program – Create the youth fare free transit grant program in CDOT to provide grants to RTD and other transit associations to provide fare free year-round transit services for individuals who are 19 years of age or younger.
  • Appropriations – $14 million total in ongoing General Fund appropriation to support free fare during a portion of ozone season ($7 million) and year-round free youth passes ($7 million)

SB24-065 Mobile Electronic Devices & Motor Vehicle Driving

Introduced on January 19 by Senators Hansen and Fields and Representatives Froelich and Ortiz, SB21-065 Mobile Electronic Devices & Motor Vehicle Driving would prohibit individuals 18 and older from using a mobile electronic device when driving unless the individual is using a hands free accessory. Current law prohibits individuals under the age of 18 from using a mobile device. This bill has passed the Senate Transportation & Energy Committee and has been referred to the Committee on Appropriations. If passed the bill would:

  • Prohibit Mobile Electronic Device Use in Vehicles – the bill would expand 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 a first responder
    • By an individual when a vehicle is parked
  • Create the Following Penalties for Violation:
    • First offense – $75 and 2 license suspension pointsSecond offense within 24 months – $150 and 3 license suspension points
    • Third or subsequent offense within 24 months – $250 and 4 license suspension points.

For your personal research about representatives, transportation bills and their status, the Colorado General Assembly’s website is an excellent and timely resource for all current and past legislation.

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