Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill Tuesday to give smaller cities in Ventura County flexibility in spending transportation funds.
Senate Bill 203 by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, allows cities of 100,000 people or fewer in Ventura County to spend state Transportation Development Act funds on local roads as long as they meet public transit needs.
While similar cities have had this flexibility elsewhere in the state, Ventura County was excluded while it developed a transportation plan. It did so, and the plan was approved in September by the Ventura County Transportation Commission.
Key elements of the Ventura County Comprehensive Transportation Plan include greater inter-city and inter-county regional transit service, creation of the Gold Coast Transit District, greater transit service to the east county and Heritage Valley areas and a revamping of the process for addressing transit needs.
"Senate Bill 203 ensures that Ventura County's smaller cities are treated like all those in all other newly urban California counties," Pavley said.
The bill was sponsored by the commission.
"Pavley has long been a champion of public transit and SB 203 ensures that bus transit systems in Ventura County continue to address transit needs of Ventura County residents while providing some flexibility to use surplus funding to maintain city streets," said Darren Kettle, executive director of the commission.
The bill was supported by the Ventura Council of Governments and the cities of Thousand Oaks, Moorpark and Camarillo.
"I commend Darren Kettle's leadership in finalizing the Ventura County Comprehensive Transportation Plan this year and ensuring that the transit needs of the county and its individual cities are addressed," Pavley said.
Copyright 2013 - Ventura County Star, Calif.