Fiona Ma for State Assembly

Assembly passes bill to cut commute time from SF to Sacramento

Maybe it's just coincidence that it was proposed by a San Francisco lawmaker, maybe not, but legislation designed to ease the commute from San Francisco to the Capitol easily cleared the Assembly recently.

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma will be termed out in December, so she would not personally benefit from her proposal, Assembly Bill 2200.

The measure is designed to chop precious minutes from morning and evening rush-hour commutes in one direction - eastbound on Interstate 80 in the morning and westbound in the evening, from the Bay Bridge to the Carquinez Bridge.

Specifically, AB 2200 would suspend carpool lanes in that "reverse commute direction" during times that the lanes currently are operational, from 5 am. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

Ma contends that the carpool lanes, requiring three or more persons per vehicle, are underutilized in that direction and that suspending them could ease traffic in other lanes. Her bill would expire in January 2020.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee estimates that AB 2200 would cost about $180,000 to change 75 ground signs and six overhead signs.

The measure cleared the Assembly, 52-16 last week.

Both San Francisco Assembly members - Democrats Ma and Tom Ammiano -- voted yes.