82R12206 VOO-D
  By: McClendon H.B. No. 2327
  relating to the establishment and operation of a motor-bus-only
  lane pilot program in certain counties.
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 455, Transportation Code, is amended by
  adding Section 455.006 to read as follows:
         Sec. 455.006.  MOTOR-BUS-ONLY LANE PILOT PROGRAM.  (a)  The
  department, in consultation with the Department of Public Safety
  and in conjunction with the appropriate mass transit authorities
  and the municipalities served by those authorities, shall establish
  and operate a motor-bus-only lane pilot program for highways in
  Bexar, Denton, El Paso, and Travis Counties that are part of the
  state highway system and have shoulders of sufficient width and
  structural integrity.
         (b)  The program shall:
               (1)  provide for the use by motor buses of highway
  shoulders as a low-speed bypass of congested highway lanes when the
  speed of vehicles being operated on the main traveled part of the
  adjacent highways is 35 miles per hour or less;
               (2)  limit the maximum speed of a motor bus being
  operated on a motor-bus-only lane to the lower of:
                     (A)  15 miles per hour greater than the speed of
  vehicles being operated on the main traveled part of the adjacent
  highway; or
                     (B)  35 miles per hour;
               (3)  provide for attainment of local operational
  experience with the conversion of existing highway shoulders to
  motor-bus-only lanes during peak traffic periods; and
               (4)  include consideration of the following:
                     (A)  safety;
                     (B)  travel time and reliability;
                     (C)  driver and passenger perceptions;
                     (D)  level of service and maintenance; and
                     (E)  capital improvements.
         (c)  The department shall also include in the program:
               (1)  bus driver safety training;
               (2)  public awareness and education;
               (3)  bus operating rules that require bus drivers to
  yield to passenger cars and emergency vehicles; and
               (4)  roadside signs and pavement markings indicating
  that affected lanes are reserved for public transit motor-bus-only
         (d)  The department, in coordination with appropriate
  transit authorities, shall fund the implementation of the program
  features under Subsection (c). Metropolitan rapid transit
  authorities that participate in the program shall reimburse the
  department for the funds spent on implementation of the program
  features. A metropolitan rapid transit authority that includes an
  advanced transportation district may use funds from the district to
  pay for expenses associated with the pilot program.
         (e)  The department shall initiate the motor-bus-only lane
  program as soon as practicable but not later than December 31, 2011.  
  Not later than December 31, 2013, the department shall submit to the
  governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of
  representatives, and the presiding officer of each legislative
  standing committee with primary jurisdiction over transportation a
  written report that contains:
               (1)  a description of the results of the program based
  on local operational experience described in Subsection (b)(3);
               (2)  any recommendations for changes to the program;
               (3)  a plan on how the department will convert the
  program into a permanent program.
         (f)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), the department may not
  establish or operate a motor-bus-only lane on a highway or toll
  facility maintained by a regional tollway authority established
  under Chapter 366 without the authority's consent.
         SECTION 2.  Section 542.002, Transportation Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         Sec. 542.002.  GOVERNMENT VEHICLES. A provision of this
  subtitle applicable to an operator of a vehicle applies to the
  operator of a vehicle owned or operated by the United States, this
  state, or a political subdivision of this state, except as
  specifically provided otherwise by this subtitle [for an authorized
  emergency vehicle].
         SECTION 3.  Section 545.058(c), Transportation Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (c)  A limitation in this section on driving on an improved
  shoulder does not apply to:
               (1)  an authorized emergency vehicle responding to a
               (2)  a police patrol; [or]
               (3)  a bicycle; or
               (4)  a motor bus of a transportation entity described
  by Section 455.006 operating on a shoulder designated by the Texas
  Department of Transportation under that section.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2011.