(a) Any city, county, transit operator, or the department may submit an application
to the department for an advance of funds for the purchase of abandoned railroad rights-of-way
pursuant to Section 99317 of the Public Utilities Code. The department shall evaluate the applications in accordance with criteria and procedures
adopted by the commission and shall submit the applications and its recommendations
thereon to the commission not later than February 1 of each year.
(b) The commission shall adopt criteria and procedures for the evaluation of applications
by the department. The criteria shall include, but not be limited to all of the following:
(1) The viability of the right-of-way as a transit corridor.
(2) The extent of local financial participation in the acquisition.
(3) The degree to which the unacquired right-of-way is jeopardized by encroaching
(c) The commission shall annually adopt a priority list for the advance of funds available
for the purpose of this section. The commission shall establish and forward to all applicants a preliminary list
at least 30 days prior to the date of a commission hearing on the list. The commission shall adopt the priority list, as proposed or as amended, at a subsequent
commission hearing following the initial hearing. The commission shall advance funds available for the purposes of this section in
accordance with the adopted priority list.
(d) Any advance of funds pursuant to this section shall be repaid within a three-year
period and shall be repaid with interest at a rate equal the interest rate earned
on moneys in the Pooled Money Investment Fund.
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