Time to Pull Out the Veto Pen
Two bills – one that would undermine work being done to address crime and safety issues on public transit and another that would weaken California’s ability to compete with other states in advancing autonomous trucking – are both headed to Gov. Newsom’s desk after efforts to defeat them in the Legislature came up short. The Bay Area Council is urging Gov. Newsom to veto both.
AB 819 would ease penalties on serial fare evaders on public transit, including systems like BART where 25% of riders say they have witnessed scofflaws jumping fare gates. The illegal practice costs the financially struggling system at least $25 million annually and is highly associated with crime, cleanliness and public health issues that have kept many riders away from the system. The Bay Area Council was the leading proponent in convincing the BART Board of Directors to oppose AB 819 and we have submitted a letter to Gov. Newsom urging his veto.
The Bay Area Council is also urging Gov. Newsom’s veto on AB 316, which would effectively tell companies that are developing innovative autonomous trucking technology to leave California. And hand over the many jobs and millions of dollars in investment associated with the industry to other states. The bill would prohibit many large self-driving trucks from roads and highways unless they also have a human driver. And it would represent a serious setback for efforts to modernize our good movements infrastructure. Even the DMV says AB 316 is wrong-headed, citing statistics that show autonomous vehicles have a significantly better safety record than human-piloted vehicles.