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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XXVI
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Chapter 341
PUBLIC TRANSIT
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CHAPTER 341
CHAPTER 341
PUBLIC TRANSIT
341.011 Florida Public Transit Act; short title.
341.031 Definitions relating to Florida Public Transit Act.
341.041 Transit responsibilities of the department.
341.051 Administration and financing of public transit and intercity bus service programs and projects.
341.052 Public transit block grant program; administration; eligible projects; limitation.
341.0521 Public records exemption.
341.053 Intermodal Development Program; administration; eligible projects; limitations.
341.061 Transit safety standards; inspections and system safety reviews.
341.071 Transit productivity and performance measures; reports.
341.101 State purchase of mass transit vehicles and facilities.
341.102 Regulation of nonpublic sector buses.
341.103 Disposal of personal property found on a public transportation system.
341.301 Definitions; ss. 341.302-341.303.
341.302 Rail program; duties and responsibilities of the department.
341.3025 Multicounty public rail system fares and enforcement.
341.303 Funding authorization and appropriations; eligibility and participation.
341.501 High-technology transportation systems; joint project agreement or assistance.
341.8201 Short title.
341.8203 Definitions.
341.822 Powers and duties.
341.8225 Department of Transportation sole governmental entity to acquire, construct, or operate high-speed rail projects; exception.
341.825 Communication facilities.
341.836 Associated development.
341.838 Fares, rates, rents, fees, and charges.
341.839 Alternate means.
341.840 Tax exemption.
341.842 Liberal construction.
341.011 Florida Public Transit Act; short title.Sections 341.011-341.061 shall be known and may be cited as the “Florida Public Transit Act.”
History.s. 1, ch. 78-283; s. 1, ch. 84-340.
341.031 Definitions relating to Florida Public Transit Act.As used in ss. 341.011-341.061, the term:
(1) “Public transit provider” or “provider” means a public agency providing public transit service, including rail authorities created in chapter 343.
(2) “Fixed-guideway transportation system” means a public transit system for the transporting of people by a conveyance, or a series of interconnected conveyances, which conveyance or series of conveyances is specifically designed for travel on a stationary rail or other guideway, whether located on, above, or under the ground.
(3) “Eligible transit operating costs” means the total administrative, management, and operation costs directly incident to the provision of public transit services, excluding any depreciation or amortization of capital assets.
(4) “Local revenue sources” means the sum of funds received from a local government entity to assist in paying transit operation costs, including tax funds, and revenue earned from fare box receipts, charter service, contract service, express service, and nontransportation activities.
(5) “Paratransit” means those elements of public transit which provide service between specific origins and destinations selected by the individual user with such service being provided at a time that is agreed upon by the user and the provider of the service. Paratransit service is provided by taxis, limousines, “dial-a-ride” buses, and other demand-responsive operations that are characterized by their nonscheduled, nonfixed route nature.
(6) “Public transit” means the transporting of people by conveyances, or systems of conveyances, traveling on land or water, local or regional in nature, and available for use by the public. Public transit systems may be either governmentally owned or privately owned. Public transit specifically includes those forms of transportation commonly known as “paratransit.”
(7) “Public transit capital project” means a project undertaken by a public agency to provide public transit to its constituency, and is limited to acquisition, design, construction, reconstruction, or improvement of a governmentally owned or operated transit system.
(8) “Public transit service development project” means a project undertaken by a public agency to determine whether a new or innovative technique or measure can be utilized to improve or expand public transit services to its constituency. The duration of the project shall be limited according to the type of the project in conformance with the provisions of s. 341.051(5)(e), but in no case shall exceed a period of 3 years. Public transit service development projects specifically include projects involving the utilization of new technologies, services, routes, or vehicle frequencies; the purchase of special transportation services; and other such techniques for increasing service to the riding public as are applicable to specific localities and transit user groups.
(9) “Commuter assistance program” means financial and technical assistance by the department to promote alternatives to the use of automobiles by a single commuter. The term includes the following program areas:
(a) “Ridesharing,” which means an arrangement between persons with a common destination, or destinations, within the same proximity, to share the use of a motor vehicle on a recurring basis for round-trip transportation to and from their place of employment or other common destination. For purposes of ridesharing, employment shall be deemed to commence when an employee arrives at the employer’s place of employment to report for work and shall be deemed to terminate when the employee leaves the employer’s place of employment, excluding areas not under the control of the employer. However, an employee shall be deemed to be within the course of employment when the employee is engaged in the performance of duties assigned or directed by the employer, or acting in the furtherance of the business of the employer, irrespective of location.
(b) “Transportation demand management,” which means techniques that can be used to increase the efficiency of existing transportation systems by influencing demand on the systems and by reducing the number of automobile trips during peak hours of highway use.
(c) “Transportation management association,” which means an organization which helps solve transportation problems by encouraging businesses and governments to implement ridesharing and demand management strategies.
(10) “Transit corridor project” means a project that is undertaken by a public agency and designed to relieve congestion and improve capacity within an identified transportation corridor by increasing people-carrying capacity of the system through the use and facilitated movement of high-occupancy conveyances. Each transit corridor project must meet the requirements established in s. 341.051(5)(d). Initial project duration shall not exceed a period of 2 years unless the project is reauthorized by the Legislature. Such reauthorization shall be based upon a determination that the project is meeting or exceeding the criteria, developed pursuant to s. 341.051(5)(d), by which the success of the project is being judged and by inclusion of the project in a departmental appropriation request.
(11) “Intercity bus service” means regularly scheduled bus service for the general public which operates with limited stops over fixed routes connecting two or more urban areas not in close proximity; has the capacity for transporting baggage carried by passengers; makes meaningful connections with scheduled intercity bus service to more distant points, if such service is available; maintains scheduled information in the National Official Bus Guide; and provides package express service incidental to passenger transportation.
(12) “Eligible bus carrier” or “carrier” means a private company that has operated defined intercity bus service in the state, with formal authority in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Surface Transportation Board of the Federal Department of Transportation, for a minimum of 2 years.
(13) “Eligible intercity bus costs” means the total costs directly incident to the provision of intercity bus service, including any depreciation or amortization of capital assets purchased without public financial assistance.
(14) “Intercity bus capital project” means a capital project undertaken by an intercity bus carrier to provide intercity bus service, and is limited to acquisition, design, construction, reconstruction, or improvement of a privately operated intercity bus service. Projects may include that portion of a governmentally owned or operated transit system designed to support privately operated intercity bus service.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-283; s. 2, ch. 82-95; s. 3, ch. 84-340; s. 20, ch. 85-81; s. 80, ch. 90-136; s. 65, ch. 92-152; ss. 35, 62, ch. 93-164; s. 85, ch. 2002-20; s. 1, ch. 2003-291.
341.041 Transit responsibilities of the department.The department shall, within the resources provided pursuant to chapter 216:
(1) Develop a statewide plan that provides for public transit and intercity bus service needs at least 5 years in advance. The plan shall be developed in a manner that will assure maximum use of existing facilities, and optimum integration and coordination of the various modes of transportation, including both governmentally owned and privately owned resources, in the most cost-effective manner possible. The plan shall also incorporate plans adopted by local and regional planning agencies which are consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with adopted strategic policy plans and approved local government comprehensive plans for the region and units of local government covered by the plan and shall, insofar as practical, conform to federal planning requirements. The plan shall be consistent with the goals of the Florida Transportation Plan developed pursuant to s. 339.155.
(2) Formulate a specific program of projects and project financing to respond to identified transit and intercity bus service needs as part of the work program.
(3) Develop, publish, and administer state measures concerning system management, performance, productivity, cost distribution, and safety of governmentally owned public transit systems and privately owned or operated systems financed wholly or in part by state funding. Such measures shall be developed jointly with representatives of affected publicly owned transit systems and in coordination with affected privately owned systems, with full consideration given to nationwide industry norms.
(4) Provide technical and financial assistance to units of local government and intercity bus carriers, based on an analysis of public transit and intercity bus service problems and needs, to assist in establishing and implementing effective transit systems and related support programs. In providing such assistance, the department may assist public agencies that provide public transit and intercity bus carriers that provide intercity bus services by making department-owned transit vehicles and appurtenances available for lease to such agencies for special needs of limited duration.
(5) Coordinate activities between the public entities and private entities on matters relating to public transit and intercity bus services.
(6) Assist in the development and implementation of marketing and passenger information programs for public transit and intercity bus services.
(7) Provide transit service through contracts with existing publicly or privately owned transit systems, where such service represents the transit element of a corridor project designed to relieve urban traffic congestion.
(8) Provide intercity bus service, as defined in s. 341.031, to support projects that serve to maintain and enhance statewide intercity bus service. The department shall use and dedicate federal funds apportioned to intercity bus service according to federal requirements to support a statewide intercity bus network.
(9) Provide new transit service and equipment where a public need has been determined to exist pursuant to the transportation planning process and where all of the following conditions occur:
(a) No other governmental entity of appropriate jurisdiction exists.
(b) The service cannot be reasonably provided by a governmentally owned or privately owned public transit provider.
(c) The cost of providing the service does not exceed the sum of revenues resulting from user fares, special transit services such as charter operations, local fund participation, and specific legislative appropriation for this purpose.

The department may buy, sell, own, lease, and otherwise encumber facilities, transit vehicles, and appurtenances thereto, as necessary to provide such service; or the department may provide service by contracts with governmentally owned or privately owned service providers.

(10) Provide public transportation service where emergency service is required, provided that no other private or public transportation operation is available to provide needed service and that such service is clearly in the best interests of the people or communities being served. Such service shall be provided by contractual services, actual operation of state-owned transit equipment and facilities, or any other means deemed appropriate by the department and shall be limited to a period not to exceed 2 years.
(11) Administer federal and state commuter assistance programs and related federal-aid funds apportioned to the department, which promote the use of ridesharing arrangements and transportation demand management strategies, and the creation of transportation management associations. Public agencies, and private organizations established pursuant to chapter 617 and approved by the local government and the department as being consistent with local, regional, and state transportation plans, are eligible to receive funds under this program. The department shall establish adequate insurance requirements based on passenger capacity for each vehicle used in ridesharing.
(12) Assist local governmental entities and other transit operators in the planning and development of transit programs and procedures and in the identification of alternatives for achieving the most effective use of available transportation resources and increasing revenue sources as needed so that Florida’s transit systems can move toward becoming fiscally self-sufficient. The department may also advance, on a matching basis, state funds for capital improvements to transit properties in accordance with the following:
(a) Candidate programs may include, but are not limited to, the development of terminal facilities for lease by interfacing modes, the acquisition and development of adjacent land for lease or sale to public and private entities, and the acquisition and development of air rights.
(b) The criteria to be utilized in determining whether or not to advance such funds shall be adopted by rule and shall include the demonstrated need of the transit system, administrative capability, and a system financial plan as approved by the department.
(13) Assist local governmental entities in achieving a condition wherein transit systems are operated at a service level that is responsive to identified transit needs and in such a manner as to promote maximum transit usage and achieve the highest possible operating recovery ratio commensurate with the local government’s transit role and requirements.
(14) Assist local governmental entities and other transit operators in the planning, development, and coordination of transit services for Temporary Cash Assistance Program participants as defined in s. 414.0252.
(15) Create and maintain a common self-retention insurance fund to support fixed-guideway projects throughout the state when there is a contractual obligation to have the fund in existence in order to provide fixed-guideway services. The maximum limit of the fund is as required by any contractual obligation.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-283; s. 253, ch. 84-309; s. 4, ch. 84-340; s. 16, ch. 89-301; s. 81, ch. 90-136; s. 66, ch. 92-152; s. 3, ch. 95-149; s. 56, ch. 95-257; s. 11, ch. 98-57; s. 34, ch. 99-385; s. 2, ch. 2003-291; s. 6, ch. 2010-209.
341.051 Administration and financing of public transit and intercity bus service programs and projects.
(1) FEDERAL AID.
(a) The department is authorized to receive federal grants or apportionments for public transit and intercity bus service projects in this state.
(b) Local governmental entities are authorized to receive federal grants or apportionments for public transit and commuter assistance projects. In addition, the provisions of s. 337.403 notwithstanding, if the relocation of utility facilities is necessitated by the construction of a fixed-guideway public transit project and the utilities relocation is approved as a part of the project by a participating federal agency (if eligible for federal matching reimbursement), then any county chartered under s. 6(e), Art. VIII of the State Constitution shall pay at least 50 percent of the nonfederal share of the cost attributable to such relocation after deducting therefrom any increase in the value of the new facility and any salvage value derived from the old facility. The balance of the nonfederal share shall be paid by the utility.
(2) PUBLIC TRANSIT PLAN.
(a) The department shall prepare a public transit plan which shall be included in the tentative work program of the department prepared pursuant to s. 339.135(4). The provisions of s. 339.135 apply to public transit projects in the same manner that they apply to other transportation facility construction projects. Any planned department participation shall be in accordance with subsection (5).
(b) The public transit plan shall be consistent with the local plans developed in accordance with the comprehensive transportation planning process. Projects that involve funds administered by the department, and that will be undertaken and implemented by another public agency, shall be included in the public transit plan upon the request of that public agency, providing such project is eligible under the requirements established herein and subject to estimated availability of funds. Projects so included in the plan shall not be altered or removed from priority status without notice to the public agency or local governmental entities involved.
(3) APPROPRIATION REQUESTS.
(a) Public transit funds shall be requested on the basis of the funding required for the public transit plan. Appropriation requests shall identify each public transit project calling for a state expenditure of $500,000 or more.
(b) Public transit service development projects and transit corridor projects shall be individually identified in the appropriation request by the department. Such request shall show a breakdown of funds showing capital and operating expense.
(c) Unless otherwise authorized by the Legislature, the department is prohibited from entering into any agreement or contract for a public transit project which would result in the ultimate expenditure or commitment of state funds in excess of $5 million.
(4) PROJECT ELIGIBILITY.
(a) Any project that is necessary to meet the program objectives enumerated in s. 341.041, that conforms to the provisions of this section, and that is contained in the local transportation improvement program and the adopted work program of the department is eligible for the expenditure of state funds for transit purposes.
1. The project shall be a project for service or transportation facilities provided by the department under the provisions of this act, a public transit capital project, a commuter assistance project, a public transit service development project, an intercity bus service capital project, an intercity bus service project, or a transit corridor project.
2. The project must be approved by the department as being consistent with the criteria established pursuant to the provisions of this act.
(b) Such expenditures shall be in accordance with the fund participation rates and the criteria established in this section for project development and implementation, and are subject to approval by the department as being consistent with the Florida Transportation Plan and regional transportation goals and objectives.
(c) Unless otherwise authorized by the Legislature, the department is prohibited from entering into any agreement or contract for a public transit project which would result in the ultimate expenditure or commitment of state funds in excess of $5 million.
(5) FUND PARTICIPATION; CAPITAL ASSISTANCE.
(a) The department may fund up to 50 percent of the nonfederal share of the costs, not to exceed the local share, of any eligible public transit capital project or commuter assistance project that is local in scope; except, however, that departmental participation in the final design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction phases of an individual fixed-guideway project which is not approved for federal funding shall not exceed an amount equal to 12.5 percent of the total cost of each phase.
(b) The department is authorized to fund up to 100 percent of the cost of any eligible transit capital project, intercity bus service project, or commuter assistance project that is statewide in scope or involves more than one county where no other governmental entity or appropriate jurisdiction exists.
(c) The department is authorized to advance up to 80 percent of the capital cost of any eligible project that will assist Florida’s transit systems and intercity bus services in becoming fiscally self-sufficient. Such advances shall be reimbursed to the department on an appropriate schedule not to exceed 5 years after the date of provision of the advances.
(d) The department is authorized to fund up to 100 percent of the capital and net operating costs of statewide transit service development projects or transit corridor projects. All transit service development projects shall be specifically identified by way of a departmental appropriation request, and transit corridor projects shall be identified as part of the planned improvements on each transportation corridor designated by the department. The project objectives, the assigned operational and financial responsibilities, the timeframe required to develop the required service, and the criteria by which the success of the project will be judged shall be documented by the department for each such transit service development project or transit corridor project.
(e) The department is authorized to fund up to 50 percent of the capital and net operating costs of transit service development projects that are local in scope and that will improve system efficiencies, ridership, or revenues. All such projects shall be identified in the appropriation request of the department through a specific program of projects, as provided for in s. 341.041, that is selectively applied in the following functional areas and is subject to the specified times of duration:
1. Improving system operations, including, but not limited to, realigning route structures, increasing system average speed, decreasing deadhead mileage, expanding area coverage, and improving schedule adherence, for a period of up to 3 years;
2. Improving system maintenance procedures, including, but not limited to, effective preventive maintenance programs, improved mechanics training programs, decreasing service repair calls, decreasing parts inventory requirements, and decreasing equipment downtime, for a period of up to 3 years;
3. Improving marketing and consumer information programs, including, but not limited to, automated information services, organized advertising and promotion programs, and signing of designated stops, for a period of up to 2 years; and
4. Improving technology involved in overall operations, including, but not limited to, transit equipment, fare collection techniques, electronic data processing applications, and bus locators, for a period of up to 2 years.
(f) The department may fund up to 100 percent of the federal-aid apportionment for intercity bus service.
(6) ANNUAL APPROPRIATION.Funds paid into the State Transportation Trust Fund pursuant to s. 201.15 for the New Starts Transit Program are hereby annually appropriated for expenditure to support the New Starts Transit Program.
(7) INTEROPERABLE FARE COLLECTION SYSTEMS.
(a) The Legislature recognizes the importance of encouraging the seamless use of local and regional public transportation systems by residents of and visitors to the state wherever possible. The paramount concern is to encourage the implementation of fare collection systems that are interoperable and compatible with multiple public transportation systems throughout the state.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, in order to facilitate the ease of transfer from one public transportation system to another, any public transit system which connects directly with a new public rail system put into service after December 1, 2010, and which is adding a new fare media system or is upgrading its existing fare media system shall use a universally accepted contactless fare media that is compatible with the American Public Transportation Association’s Contactless Fare Media System Standard or the applicable bankcard contactless media standards and allows users to purchase fares at a single point of sale with coin, cash, or credit card. This paragraph does not require the use of a universally accepted contactless fare media for the paratransit element of any transit system or by any public transit system that does not share one or more points of origin or destination with a public rail system.

For purposes of this section, the term “net operating costs” means all operating costs of a project less any federal funds, fares, or other sources of income to the project.

History.s. 1, ch. 78-283; s. 63, ch. 83-3; ss. 9, 13, ch. 83-138; s. 254, ch. 84-309; s. 5, ch. 84-340; s. 18, ch. 87-225; s. 20, ch. 88-286; s. 17, ch. 89-301; s. 82, ch. 90-136; s. 67, ch. 92-152; s. 21, ch. 92-173; s. 36, ch. 93-164; s. 57, ch. 95-257; s. 136, ch. 99-13; s. 106, ch. 99-385; s. 86, ch. 2002-20; s. 3, ch. 2003-291; s. 34, ch. 2005-290; s. 9, ch. 2008-114; s. 25, ch. 2010-225; s. 86, ch. 2015-229.
341.052 Public transit block grant program; administration; eligible projects; limitation.
(1) There is created a public transit block grant program which shall be administered by the department. Block grant funds shall only be provided to “Section 9” providers and “Section 18” providers designated by the United States Department of Transportation and community transportation coordinators as defined in chapter 427. Eligible providers must establish public transportation development plans consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with approved local government comprehensive plans of the units of local government in which the provider is located. In developing public transportation development plans, eligible providers must solicit comments from local workforce development boards established under chapter 445. The development plans must address how the public transit provider will work with the appropriate local workforce development board to provide services to participants in the welfare transition program. Eligible providers must provide information to the local workforce development board serving the county in which the provider is located regarding the availability of transportation services to assist program participants.
(2) Costs for which public transit block grant program funds may be expended include:
(a) Costs of public bus transit and local public fixed guideway capital projects.
(b) Costs of public bus transit service development and transit corridor projects. Whenever block grant funds are used for a service development project or a transit corridor project, the use of such funds is governed by s. 341.051. Local transit service development projects and transit corridor projects currently operating under contract with the department shall continue to receive state funds according to the contract until such time as the contract expires. Transit corridor projects, wholly within one county, meeting or exceeding performance criteria as described in the contract shall be continued by the transit provider at the same or a higher level of service until such time as the department, the M.P.O., and the service provider, agree to discontinue the service. The provider may not increase fares for services in transit corridor projects wholly within one county without the consent of the department.
(c) Costs of public bus transit operations.

All projects must be consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with the approved local government comprehensive plans of the units of local government in which the project is located.

(3) The following limitations shall apply to the use of public transit block grant program funds:
(a) State participation in eligible capital projects shall be limited to 50 percent of the nonfederal share of such project costs.
(b) State participation in eligible public transit operating costs may not exceed 50 percent of such costs or an amount equal to the total revenue, excluding farebox, charter, and advertising revenue and federal funds, received by the provider for operating costs, whichever amount is less.
(c) No eligible public transit provider shall use public transit block grant funds to supplant local tax revenues made available to such provider for operations in the previous year; however, the Secretary of Transportation may waive this provision for public transit providers located in a county recovering from a state of emergency declared pursuant to part I of chapter 252.
(d) The state may not give any county more than 39 percent of the funds available for distribution under this section or more than the amount that local revenue sources provide to that transit system.
(4) To remain eligible to receive funding under the public transit block grant program, eligible public transit providers must comply with the requirements of s. 341.071(1) and the requirements of s. 341.071(2) and must comply with the provisions of paragraph (2)(b) relating to existing transit corridor projects.
(5) The department shall distribute 15 percent of the funds designated for the public transit block grant program into the Transportation Disadvantaged Trust Fund for distribution to community transportation coordinators as provided by the rules of the Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged.
(6) The department shall distribute 85 percent of the public transit block grant funds to “Section 9” and “Section 18” providers designated by the United States Department of Transportation. The funds shall be distributed to “Section 9” providers, and to “Section 18” providers that are not designated as community transportation coordinators pursuant to chapter 427, according to the following formula, except that at least $20,000 shall be distributed to each eligible provider if application of the formula provides less than that amount for any such provider:
(a) One-third shall be distributed according to the percentage that an eligible provider’s county population in the most recent year for which those population figures are available from the state census repository is of the total population of all counties served by eligible providers.
(b) One-third shall be distributed according to the percentage that the total revenue miles provided by an eligible provider, as verified by the most recent “Section 15” report to the Federal Transit Administration or a similar audited report submitted to the department, is of the total revenue miles provided by eligible providers in the state in that year.
(c) One-third shall be distributed according to the percentage that the total passengers carried by an eligible provider, as verified by the most recent “Section 15” report submitted to the Federal Transit Administration or a similar audited report submitted to the department, is of the total number of passengers carried by eligible providers in the state in that year.
(7)(a) Any funds distributed to an eligible provider pursuant to subsection (6) which cannot be expended within the limitations of the block grant program shall be returned to the department for redistribution to other eligible providers pursuant to that subsection.
(b) The department may consult with an eligible provider, before distributing funds to that provider pursuant to subsection (6), to determine whether the provider can expend its total block grant within the limitations of the block grant program. If the department and the provider agree that the total block grant cannot be expended, the provider may agree to accept a block grant of less than the total amount, in which case the funds that exceed such lesser agreed-upon amount shall be redistributed to other eligible providers pursuant to subsection (6).
(c) If an audit reveals that an eligible provider expended block grant funds on unauthorized uses, the provider must repay to the department an amount equal to the funds expended for unauthorized uses. The department shall redistribute such repayments to other eligible providers pursuant to subsection (6).
(8) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (5), (6), and (7), the department may supplement an eligible provider’s block grant allocation if funds are available; if requested by the M.P.O. or, if there is no M.P.O., by the county with jurisdiction; and if the department concurs in the request. Any supplement of a transit provider’s block grant shall be specifically identified in the tentative work program submitted by the department to the Legislature. The provisions of subsections (2) and (3) shall apply to total block grants as supplemented by allocations made under this subsection.
History.s. 83, ch. 90-136; s. 68, ch. 92-152; s. 34, ch. 93-164; s. 22, ch. 94-237; s. 15, ch. 97-100; s. 12, ch. 98-57; s. 86, ch. 2000-165; s. 11, ch. 2016-216.
341.0521 Public records exemption.Personal identifying information held by a public transit provider for the purpose of facilitating the prepayment of transit fares or the acquisition of a prepaid transit fare card or similar device is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
History.s. 1, ch. 2010-196; s. 1, ch. 2015-160.
341.053 Intermodal Development Program; administration; eligible projects; limitations.
(1) There is created within the Department of Transportation an Intermodal Development Program to provide for major capital investments in fixed-guideway transportation systems, access to seaports, airports and other transportation terminals, providing for the construction of intermodal or multimodal terminals; and to otherwise facilitate the intermodal or multimodal movement of people and goods.
(2) In recognition of the department’s role in the economic development of this state, the department shall develop a proposed intermodal development plan to connect Florida’s airports, deepwater seaports, rail systems serving both passenger and freight, and major intermodal connectors to the Strategic Intermodal System highway corridors as the primary system for the movement of people and freight in this state in order to make the intermodal development plan a fully integrated and interconnected system. The intermodal development plan must:
(a) Define and assess the state’s freight intermodal network, including airports, seaports, rail lines and terminals, intercity bus lines and terminals, and connecting highways.
(b) Prioritize statewide infrastructure investments, including the acceleration of current projects, which are found by the Freight Stakeholders Task Force to be priority projects for the efficient movement of people and freight.
(c) Be developed in a manner that will assure maximum use of existing facilities and optimum integration and coordination of the various modes of transportation, including both government-owned and privately owned resources, in the most cost-effective manner possible.
(3) The Intermodal Development Program shall be administered by the department.
(4) The department shall review funding requests from a rail authority created pursuant to chapter 343. The department may include projects of the authorities, including planning and design, in the tentative work program.
(5) No single transportation authority operating a fixed-guideway transportation system, or single fixed-guideway transportation system not administered by a transportation authority, receiving funds under the Intermodal Development Program shall receive more than 331/3 percent of the total intermodal development funds appropriated between July 1, 1990, and June 30, 2015. In determining the distribution of funds under the Intermodal Development Program in any fiscal year, the department shall assume that future appropriation levels will be equal to the current appropriation level.
(6) The department is authorized to fund projects within the Intermodal Development Program, which are consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with approved local government comprehensive plans of the units of local government in which the project is located. Projects that are eligible for funding under this program include major capital investments in public rail and fixed-guideway transportation facilities and systems which provide intermodal access; road, rail, intercity bus service, or fixed-guideway access to, from, or between seaports, airports, and other transportation terminals; construction of intermodal or multimodal terminals; development and construction of dedicated bus lanes; and projects which otherwise facilitate the intermodal or multimodal movement of people and goods.
History.s. 84, ch. 90-136; s. 69, ch. 92-152; s. 66, ch. 93-164; s. 47, ch. 99-385; s. 87, ch. 2002-20; s. 4, ch. 2003-291; s. 91, ch. 2012-174.
341.061 Transit safety standards; inspections and system safety reviews.
(1)(a) The department shall adopt by rule minimum safety standards for governmentally owned fixed-guideway transportation systems and privately owned or operated fixed-guideway transportation systems operating in this state which are financed wholly or partly by state funds. Standards must be site-specific for fixed-guideway transportation systems and shall be developed jointly by the department and representatives of the affected systems, giving full consideration to nationwide industry safety norms relating to the development and operation of fixed-guideway transportation systems.
(b) Each fixed-guideway transportation system shall develop a safety program plan that complies with established standards and shall certify to the department that the plan complies with the standards. Following certification to the department, the fixed-guideway transportation system shall implement and comply with the plan during the development and operation of the system. Each fixed-guideway transportation system shall verify annually in writing to the department that it has complied with its adopted safety program plan.
(c) Before beginning passenger service operations, a fixed-guideway transportation system must certify in writing to the department that the system is safe for passenger service. Further, before a fixed-guideway transportation system the operations of which have been suspended as a result of noncompliance with established standards returns to service, the system must certify in writing to the department that the system is safe for passenger service.
(d) If a fixed-guideway transportation system does not comply with paragraph (b) or paragraph (c) or if, upon certification by a fixed-guideway transportation system, the department has good cause to believe that the system is not complying with its adopted safety program plan or is not safe for passenger service, the department may conduct a review of the system for safety compliance. Upon completion of its review, the department shall provide a copy of the review report to the affected system. Any adverse findings and any corrective actions required and the time allowed for such actions must be stated in the report. If at any time continued operation of the system, or a portion thereof, poses an immediate danger to public safety, the system operator shall suspend affected system service until corrective action is taken. If the system operator fails to take corrective action or fails to suspend service when immediate danger to the public exists, the department may require the affected system service to be suspended.
(2)(a) The department shall adopt by rule minimum equipment and operational safety standards for all governmentally owned bus transit systems and privately owned or operated bus transit systems operating in this state that are financed wholly or partly by state funds, all bus transit systems created pursuant to chapter 427, and all privately owned or operated bus transit systems under contract with any of the foregoing systems. Standards for bus transit systems shall be developed jointly by the department and representatives of the transit systems. Each such bus transit system shall develop a transit safety program plan that complies with established standards and shall certify to the department that the plan complies with the standards. Following certification to the department, the bus transit system shall implement and comply with the plan during the operation of the transit system.
(b) Each bus transit system shall, as part of the safety program plan, require that all transit buses operated by the system be inspected at least annually in accordance with established standards. Qualified personnel of the bus transit system or public or private entities qualified by the bus transit system shall perform safety inspections. Each bus transit system shall certify annually in writing to the department that it has complied with its adopted safety program plan and, as part of that plan, that safety inspections have been performed by a qualified entity at least once that year on all transit buses operated by such system.
(c) If a bus transit system does not comply with paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) or if, upon certification by a bus transit system, the department has good cause to believe that the system is not complying with its adopted safety program plan or is not safe for passenger service, the department may conduct a review of the system for safety compliance. Upon completion of its review, the department shall provide a copy of the review report to the affected system. Any adverse findings and any corrective actions required and the time allowed for such actions must be stated in the report. If at any time continued operation of the system, or a portion thereof, poses an immediate danger to public safety, the system operator shall suspend affected system service until corrective action is taken. If the system operator fails to take corrective action or fails to suspend service when immediate danger to the public exists, the department may require the affected system service to be suspended.
History.s. 6, ch. 84-340; s. 37, ch. 86-243.
341.071 Transit productivity and performance measures; reports.
(1) Where there is an approved local government comprehensive plan in the political subdivision or political subdivisions in which the public transportation system is located, each public transit provider shall establish public transportation development plans consistent with approved local government comprehensive plans.
(2) Each public transit provider shall establish productivity and performance measures, which must be approved by the department and which must be selected from measures developed pursuant to s. 341.041(3). Each provider shall, by January 31 of each year, report to the department relative to these measures. In approving these measures, the department shall give consideration to the goals and objectives of each system, the needs of the local area, and the role for public transit in the local area. The report shall also specifically address potential enhancements to productivity and performance which would have the effect of increasing farebox recovery ratio.
(3) Each public transit provider shall publish in the local newspaper of its area the productivity and performance measures established for the year and a report which provides quantitative data relative to the attainment of established productivity and performance measures.
History.s. 85, ch. 90-136; s. 46, ch. 2007-196.
341.101 State purchase of mass transit vehicles and facilities.
(1) The Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration is authorized to acquire, finance, lease, or sell, and the department is authorized to lease or purchase, mass transit vehicles and facilities pursuant to ss. 288.23-288.30 and ss. 215.57-215.83.
(2) As used in s. 166.021, a “municipal purpose” also includes any and all means for the transportation of people and goods from place to place, which means of transportation are developed, operated, or maintained in whole or in part from public funds.
History.ss. 2, 3, ch. 70-239; s. 255, ch. 84-309; s. 7, ch. 84-340; s. 284, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.
Note.Former s. 334.023.
341.102 Regulation of nonpublic sector buses.Except for contract agreements awarded pursuant to chapter 427, a county, as defined in s. 125.011(1), or a local governmental entity located within such a county, may not unduly restrict or impose any economic regulation upon any private sector contract transportation agreement. A private sector contract transportation agreement is a prearranged written contract between a bus owner and a public sector or private sector entity for the prearranged transportation of specific passengers, not including street hails, by a nonpublic sector bus over public roads that do not overlap public transportation corridors by more than 70 percent; provided, such passengers are employees, patients, or clients of the public sector or private sector entity, and such entity has a legitimate business or governmental purpose in transporting such employees, patients, or clients; and such entity’s primary business is not transportation of passengers by motor vehicle, as defined in s. 320.01. For the purpose of this subsection, a nonpublic sector bus is defined as a vehicle designed for carrying more than 10 passengers. A public transportation corridor consists of those public roads within one-quarter mile of, and including, existing public transportation routes. Nothing contained in this subsection shall restrict local governmental entities from enacting necessary safety, insurance, and traffic ordinances.
History.s. 5, ch. 81-209; s. 256, ch. 84-309; s. 8, ch. 84-340; s. 123, ch. 90-136; s. 1, ch. 90-230; s. 70, ch. 92-152; s. 6, ch. 2012-6.
341.103 Disposal of personal property found on a public transportation system.
(1) If personal property is found on a public transportation system, the director of the system or the director’s designee shall take charge of the property and make a record of the date such property was found. If, within 90 calendar days after such property is found, or for a longer period of time as may be deemed appropriate by the director or the director’s designee under the circumstances, the property is not claimed by the owner, the director or the director’s designee may:
(a) Retain any or all of the property for use by the public transportation system or for use by the state or the unit of local government owning or operating the public transportation system;
(b) Trade or donate such property to another unit of local government or a state agency;
(c) Donate the property to a charitable organization;
(d) Sell the property; or
(e) Dispose of the property through an appropriate refuse removal company or a company that provides salvage services for the type of personal property found or located on the public transportation system.
(2) The public transportation system shall notify the owner, if known, that the property has been found and of its intent to dispose of such property.
(3) If the public transportation system elects to sell the property, it shall be sold at a public auction on the Internet or at a specified physical location. Notice of the time and place of sale must be given at least 10 calendar days before the date of sale in a publication of general circulation within the county where the public transportation system is located and after written notice, via certified mail, return receipt requested, is provided to the owner, if his or her identity and address are known. Such notice is sufficient if it refers to the public transportation system’s intention to sell all then-accumulated found property. There is no requirement that the notice identify each item to be sold. The rightful owner of such property may reclaim the property at any time before sale by presenting acceptable evidence of ownership to the public transportation system director or the director’s designee. All proceeds from the sale of the property shall be retained by the public transportation system for use by the public transportation system in any lawfully authorized manner.
(4) A purchaser or recipient of personal property sold or obtained in good faith under this section shall take possession of the property free of the rights of the persons previously holding any legal or equitable interest therein, whether or not recorded.
History.s. 10, ch. 2014-169.
341.301 Definitions; ss. 341.302-341.303.As used in ss. 341.302-341.303, the term:
(1) “Ancillary development” includes any lessee or licensee of the department, including other governmental entities, vendors, retailers, restaurateurs, or contract service providers, within a department-owned rail corridor, except for providers of commuter rail service, intercity rail passenger service, or freight rail service. The term includes air and subsurface rights, services that provide a local area network for devices for transmitting data over wireless networks, and advertising.
(2) “Branch line continuance project” means a project that involves branch line rehabilitation, new connecting track, rail banking, and other similar types of projects, including those specifically identified in the federal Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976, and subsequent amendments to that act.
(3) “Commuter rail passenger” or “passengers” means all persons, ticketed or unticketed, using the commuter rail service on a department-owned rail corridor:
(a) On board trains, locomotives, rail cars, or rail equipment employed in commuter rail service or entraining thereon and detraining therefrom;
(b) On or about the rail corridor for any purpose related to the commuter rail service, including parking, inquiring about commuter rail service, or purchasing tickets therefor, and coming to, waiting for, leaving from, or observing trains, locomotives, rail cars, or rail equipment; or
(c) Meeting, assisting, or in the company of any person described in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b).
(4) “Commuter rail service” means the transportation of commuter rail passengers and other passengers by rail pursuant to a rail program provided by the department or any other governmental entity.
(5) “Governmental entity” or “entities” has the same meaning as provided in s. 11.45, including a “public agency” as defined in s. 163.01.
(6) “Intercity rail transportation system” means the network of railroad facilities used or available for interstate and intrastate passenger and freight operations by railroads, whether or not on a schedule or whether or not restricted.
(7) “Limited covered accident” means:
(a) A collision directly between the trains, locomotives, rail cars, or rail equipment of the department and the freight rail operator only, where the collision is caused by or arising from the willful misconduct of the freight rail operator or its subsidiaries, agents, licensees, employees, officers, or directors or where punitive damages or exemplary damages are awarded due to the conduct of the freight rail operator or its subsidiaries, agents, licensees, employees, officers, or directors; or
(b) A collision directly between the trains, locomotives, rail cars, or rail equipment of the department and National Railroad Passenger Corporation only, where the collision is caused by or arising from the willful misconduct of National Railroad Passenger Corporation or its subsidiaries, agents, licensees, employees, officers, or directors or where punitive damages or exemplary damages are awarded due to the conduct of National Railroad Passenger Corporation or its subsidiaries, agents, licensees, employees, officers, or directors.
(8) “Rail corridor” means a linear contiguous strip of real property that is used for rail service. The term includes the corridor and structures essential to railroad operations, including the land, structures, improvements, rights-of-way, easements, rail lines, rail beds, guideway structures, switches, yards, parking facilities, power relays, switching houses, rail stations, any ancillary development, and any other facilities or equipment used for the purposes of construction, operation, or maintenance of a railroad that provides rail service.
(9) “Rail corridor invitee” means all persons who are on or about a department-owned rail corridor:
(a) For any purpose related to any ancillary development thereon; or
(b) Meeting, assisting, or in the company of any person described in paragraph (a).
(10) “Rail programs” means those programs administered by the state or other governmental entities which involve projects affecting the movement of people or goods by rail lines that have been or will be constructed to serve freight or passenger markets within a city or between cities.
(11) “Rail service development project” means a project undertaken by a public agency to determine whether a new or innovative technique or measure can be utilized to improve or expand rail service. The duration of the project funding shall be limited according to the type of project and in no case shall exceed 3 years. Rail service development projects include those projects and other actions undertaken to enhance railroad operating efficiency or increased rail service, including measures that result in improved speed profiles, operations, or technological applications that lead to reductions in operating costs and increases in productivity or service.
(12) “Railroad” or “rail system” means any common carrier fixed-guideway transportation system such as the conventional steel rail-supported, steel-wheeled system as well as the high-speed rail system defined in s. 341.8203.
(13) “Railroad capital improvement project” means a project identified by the rail component of the Florida Transportation Plan, which project involves the leasing, acquisition, design, construction, reconstruction, or improvement to the existing intercity rail transportation system or future segments thereof, including such items as locomotives and other rolling stock, tracks, terminals, and rights-of-way for the continuance or expansion of rail service as necessary to ensure the continued effectiveness of the state’s rail facilities and systems in meeting mobility and industrial development needs.
(14) “Railroad operations” means the use of the rail corridor to conduct commuter rail service, intercity rail passenger service, or freight rail service.
(15) “Train” means any locomotive engine that is powered by diesel fuel, electricity, or other means, with or without cars coupled thereto, and operated upon a railroad track or any other form of fixed guideway, except that the term does not include a light rail vehicle such as a streetcar or people mover.
History.s. 1, ch. 84-333; s. 38, ch. 86-243; s. 42, ch. 95-143; s. 32, ch. 2004-5; s. 5, ch. 2009-271; s. 1, ch. 2012-174.
341.302 Rail program; duties and responsibilities of the department.The department, in conjunction with other governmental entities, including the rail enterprise and the private sector, shall develop and implement a rail program of statewide application designed to ensure the proper maintenance, safety, revitalization, and expansion of the rail system to assure its continued and increased availability to respond to statewide mobility needs. Within the resources provided pursuant to chapter 216, and as authorized under federal law, the department shall:
(1) Provide the overall leadership, coordination, and financial and technical assistance necessary to assure the effective responses of the state’s rail system to current and anticipated mobility needs.
(2) Promote and facilitate the implementation of advanced rail systems, including high-speed rail and magnetic levitation systems.
(3) Develop and periodically update the rail system plan, on the basis of an analysis of statewide transportation needs.
(a) The plan may contain detailed regional components, consistent with regional transportation plans, as needed to ensure connectivity within the state’s regions, and it shall be consistent with the Florida Transportation Plan developed pursuant to s. 339.155. The rail system plan shall include an identification of priorities, programs, and funding levels required to meet statewide and regional needs. The rail system plan shall be developed in a manner that will assure the maximum use of existing facilities and the optimum integration and coordination of the various modes of transportation, public and private, in the most cost-effective manner possible. The rail system plan shall be updated no later than January 1, 2011, and at least every 5 years thereafter, and include plans for both passenger rail service and freight rail service, accompanied by a report to the Legislature regarding the status of the plan.
(b) In recognition of the department’s role in the enhancement of the state’s rail system to improve freight and passenger mobility, the department shall:
1. Work closely with all affected communities along an impacted freight rail corridor to identify and address anticipated impacts associated with an increase in freight rail traffic due to implementation of passenger rail.
2. In coordination with the affected local governments and CSX Transportation, Inc., finalize all viable alternatives from the department’s Rail Traffic Evaluation Study to identify and develop an alternative route for through freight rail traffic moving through Central Florida, including the counties of Polk and Hillsborough, which would address, to the extent practicable, the effects of commuter rail.
3. Provide technical assistance to a coalition of local governments in Central Florida, including the counties of Brevard, Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Manatee, Sarasota, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia, and the municipalities within those counties, to develop a regional rail system plan that addresses passenger and freight opportunities in the region, is consistent with the Florida Rail System Plan, and incorporates appropriate elements of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Authority Master Plan, the Metroplan Orlando Regional Transit System Concept Plan, including the SunRail project, and the Florida Department of Transportation Alternate Rail Traffic Evaluation.
(4) As part of the work program of the department, formulate a specific program of projects and financing to respond to identified railroad needs.
(5) Provide technical and financial assistance to units of local government to address identified rail transportation needs.
(6) Secure and administer federal grants, loans, and apportionments for rail projects within this state when necessary to further the statewide program.
(7) Develop and administer state standards concerning the safety and performance of rail systems, hazardous material handling, and operations. Such standards shall be developed jointly with representatives of affected rail systems, with full consideration given to nationwide industry norms, and shall define the minimum acceptable standards for safety and performance.
(8) Conduct, at a minimum, inspections of track and rolling stock; train signals and related equipment; hazardous materials transportation, including the loading, unloading, and labeling of hazardous materials at shippers’, receivers’, and transfer points; and train operating practices to determine adherence to state and federal standards. Department personnel may enforce any safety regulation issued under the Federal Government’s preemptive authority over interstate commerce.
(9) Assess penalties, in accordance with the applicable federal regulations, for the failure to adhere to the state standards.
(10) Administer rail operating and construction programs, which programs shall include the regulation of maxi-mum train operating speeds, the opening and closing of public grade crossings, the construction and rehabilitation of public grade crossings, and the installation of traffic control devices at public grade crossings, the administering of the programs by the department including participation in the cost of the programs.
(11) Coordinate and facilitate the relocation of railroads from congested urban areas to nonurban areas when relocation has been determined feasible and desirable from the standpoint of safety, operational efficiency, and economics.
(12) Implement a program of branch line continuance projects when an analysis of the industrial and economic potential of the line indicates that public involvement is required to preserve essential rail service and facilities.
(13) Provide new rail service and equipment when:
(a) Pursuant to the transportation planning process, a public need has been determined to exist;
(b) The cost of providing such service does not exceed the sum of revenues from fares charged to users, services purchased by other public agencies, local fund participation, and specific legislative appropriation for this purpose; and
(c) Service cannot be reasonably provided by other governmental or privately owned rail systems.

The department may own, lease, and otherwise encumber facilities, equipment, and appurtenances thereto, as necessary to provide new rail services; or the department may provide such service by contracts with privately owned service providers.

(14) Furnish required emergency rail transportation service if no other private or public rail transportation operation is available to supply the required service and such service is clearly in the best interest of the people in the communities being served. Such emergency service may be furnished through contractual arrangement, actual operation of state-owned equipment and facilities, or any other means determined appropriate by the secretary.
(15) Assist in the development and implementation of marketing programs for rail services and of information systems directed toward assisting rail systems users.
(16) Conduct research into innovative or potentially effective rail technologies and methods and maintain expertise in state-of-the-art rail developments.
(17) In conjunction with the acquisition, ownership, construction, operation, maintenance, and management of a rail corridor, have the authority to:
(a) Assume obligations pursuant to the following:
1.a. The department may assume the obligation by contract to forever protect, defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the freight rail operator, or its successors, from whom the department has acquired a real property interest in the rail corridor, and that freight rail operator’s officers, agents, and employees, from and against any liability, cost, and expense, including, but not limited to, commuter rail passengers and rail corridor invitees in the rail corridor, regardless of whether the loss, damage, destruction, injury, or death giving rise to any such liability, cost, or expense is caused in whole or in part, and to whatever nature or degree, by the fault, failure, negligence, misconduct, nonfeasance, or misfeasance of such freight rail operator, its successors, or its officers, agents, and employees, or any other person or persons whomsoever; or
b. The department may assume the obligation by contract to forever protect, defend, indemnify, and hold harmless National Railroad Passenger Corporation, or its successors, and officers, agents, and employees of National Railroad Passenger Corporation, from and against any liability, cost, and expense, including, but not limited to, commuter rail passengers and rail corridor invitees in the rail corridor, regardless of whether the loss, damage, destruction, injury, or death giving rise to any such liability, cost, or expense is caused in whole or in part, and to whatever nature or degree, by the fault, failure, negligence, misconduct, nonfeasance, or misfeasance of National Railroad Passenger Corporation, its successors, or its officers, agents, and employees, or any other person or persons whomsoever.
2. The assumption of liability of the department by contract pursuant to sub-subparagraph 1.a. or sub-subparagraph 1.b. may not in any instance exceed the following parameters of allocation of risk:
a. The department may be solely responsible for any loss, injury, or damage to commuter rail passengers, or rail corridor invitees, or trespassers, regardless of circumstances or cause, subject to sub-subparagraph b. and subparagraphs 3., 4., 5., and 6.
b.(I) In the event of a limited covered accident, the authority of the department to protect, defend, and indemnify the freight operator for all liability, cost, and expense, including punitive or exemplary damages, in excess of the deductible or self-insurance retention fund established under paragraph (b) and actually in force at the time of the limited covered accident exists only if the freight operator agrees, with respect to the limited covered accident, to protect, defend, and indemnify the department for the amount of the deductible or self-insurance retention fund established under paragraph (b) and actually in force at the time of the limited covered accident.
(II) In the event of a limited covered accident, the authority of the department to protect, defend, and indemnify National Railroad Passenger Corporation for all liability, cost, and expense, including punitive or exemplary damages, in excess of the deductible or self-insurance retention fund established under paragraph (b) and actually in force at the time of the limited covered accident exists only if National Railroad Passenger Corporation agrees, with respect to the limited covered accident, to protect, defend, and indemnify the department for the amount of the deductible or self-insurance retention fund established under paragraph (b) and actually in force at the time of the limited covered accident.
3. When only one train is involved in an incident, the department may be solely responsible for any loss, injury, or damage if the train is a department train or other train pursuant to subparagraph 4., but only if:
a. When an incident occurs with only a freight train involved, including incidents with trespassers or at grade crossings, the freight rail operator is solely responsible for any loss, injury, or damage, except for commuter rail passengers and rail corridor invitees; or
b. When an incident occurs with only a National Railroad Passenger Corporation train involved, including incidents with trespassers or at grade crossings, National Railroad Passenger Corporation is solely responsible for any loss, injury, or damage, except for commuter rail passengers and rail corridor invitees.
4. For the purposes of this subsection:
a. Any train involved in an incident that is neither the department’s train nor the freight rail operator’s train, hereinafter referred to in this subsection as an “other train,” may be treated as a department train, solely for purposes of any allocation of liability between the department and the freight rail operator only, but only if the department and the freight rail operator share responsibility equally as to third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of any incident involving both a department train and a freight rail operator train, and the allocation as between the department and the freight rail operator, regardless of whether the other train is treated as a department train, shall remain one-half each as to third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident. The involvement of any other train shall not alter the sharing of equal responsibility as to third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident; or
b. Any train involved in an incident that is neither the department’s train nor the National Railroad Passenger Corporation’s train, hereinafter referred to in this subsection as an “other train,” may be treated as a department train, solely for purposes of any allocation of liability between the department and National Railroad Passenger Corporation only, but only if the department and National Railroad Passenger Corporation share responsibility equally as to third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of any incident involving both a department train and a National Railroad Passenger Corporation train, and the allocation as between the department and National Railroad Passenger Corporation, regardless of whether the other train is treated as a department train, shall remain one-half each as to third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident. The involvement of any other train shall not alter the sharing of equal responsibility as to third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident.
5. When more than one train is involved in an incident:
a.(I) If only a department train and freight rail operator’s train, or only an other train as described in sub-subparagraph 4.a. and a freight rail operator’s train, are involved in an incident, the department may be responsible for its property and all of its people, all commuter rail passengers, and rail corridor invitees, but only if the freight rail operator is responsible for its property and all of its people, and the department and the freight rail operator each share one-half responsibility as to trespassers or third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident; or
(II) If only a department train and a National Railroad Passenger Corporation train, or only an other train as described in sub-subparagraph 4.b. and a National Railroad Passenger Corporation train, are involved in an incident, the department may be responsible for its property and all of its people, all commuter rail passengers, and rail corridor invitees, but only if National Railroad Passenger Corporation is responsible for its property and all of its people, all National Railroad Passenger Corporation’s rail passengers, and the department and National Railroad Passenger Corporation each share one-half responsibility as to trespassers or third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident.
b.(I) If a department train, a freight rail operator train, and any other train are involved in an incident, the allocation of liability between the department and the freight rail operator, regardless of whether the other train is treated as a department train, shall remain one-half each as to third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident; the involvement of any other train shall not alter the sharing of equal responsibility as to third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident; and, if the owner, operator, or insurer of the other train makes any payment to injured third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident, the allocation of credit between the department and the freight rail operator as to such payment shall not in any case reduce the freight rail operator’s third-party-sharing allocation of one-half under this paragraph to less than one-third of the total third party liability; or
(II) If a department train, a National Railroad Passenger Corporation train, and any other train are involved in an incident, the allocation of liability between the department and National Railroad Passenger Corporation, regardless of whether the other train is treated as a department train, shall remain one-half each as to third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident; the involvement of any other train shall not alter the sharing of equal responsibility as to third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident; and, if the owner, operator, or insurer of the other train makes any payment to injured third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident, the allocation of credit between the department and National Railroad Passenger Corporation as to such payment shall not in any case reduce National Railroad Passenger Corporation’s third-party-sharing allocation of one-half under this sub-subparagraph to less than one-third of the total third party liability.
6. Any such contractual duty to protect, defend, indemnify, and hold harmless such a freight rail operator or National Railroad Passenger Corporation shall expressly include a specific cap on the amount of the contractual duty, which amount shall not exceed $200 million without prior legislative approval, and the department to purchase liability insurance and establish a self-insurance retention fund in the amount of the specific cap established under this subparagraph, provided that:
a. No such contractual duty shall in any case be effective nor otherwise extend the department’s liability in scope and effect beyond the contractual liability insurance and self-insurance retention fund required pursuant to this paragraph; and
b.(I) The freight rail operator’s compensation to the department for future use of the department’s rail corridor shall include a monetary contribution to the cost of such liability coverage for the sole benefit of the freight rail operator.
(II) National Railroad Passenger Corporation’s compensation to the department for future use of the department’s rail corridor shall include a monetary contribution to the cost of such liability coverage for the sole benefit of National Railroad Passenger Corporation.
(b) Purchase liability insurance, which amount shall not exceed $200 million, and establish a self-insurance retention fund for the purpose of paying the deductible limit established in the insurance policies it may obtain, including coverage for the department, any freight rail operator as described in paragraph (a), National Railroad Passenger Corporation, commuter rail service providers, governmental entities, or any ancillary development, which self-insurance retention fund or deductible shall not exceed $10 million. The insureds shall pay a reasonable monetary contribution to the cost of such liability coverage for the sole benefit of the insured. Such insurance and self-insurance retention fund may provide coverage for all damages, including, but not limited to, compensatory, special, and exemplary, and be maintained to provide an adequate fund to cover claims and liabilities for loss, injury, or damage arising out of or connected with the ownership, operation, maintenance, and management of a rail corridor.
(c) Incur expenses for the purchase of advertisements, marketing, and promotional items.
(d) Without altering any of the rights granted to the department under this section, agree to assume the obligations to indemnify and insure, pursuant to s. 343.545, freight rail service, intercity passenger rail service, and commuter rail service on a department-owned rail corridor, whether ownership is in fee or by easement, or on a rail corridor where the department has the right to operate.

Neither the assumption by contract to protect, defend, indemnify, and hold harmless; the purchase of insurance; nor the establishment of a self-insurance retention fund shall be deemed to be a waiver of any defense of sovereign immunity for torts nor deemed to increase the limits of the department’s or the governmental entity’s liability for torts as provided in s. 768.28. The requirements of s. 287.022(1) shall not apply to the purchase of any insurance under this subsection. The provisions of this subsection shall apply and inure fully as to any other governmental entity providing commuter rail service and constructing, operating, maintaining, or managing a rail corridor on publicly owned right-of-way under contract by the governmental entity with the department or a governmental entity designated by the department. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, procurement for the construction, operation, maintenance, and management of any rail corridor described in this subsection, whether by the department, a governmental entity under contract with the department, or a governmental entity designated by the department, shall be pursuant to s. 287.057 and shall include, but not be limited to, criteria for the consideration of qualifications, technical aspects of the proposal, and price. Further, any such contract for design-build shall be procured pursuant to the criteria in s. 337.11(7).

(18) Exercise such other functions, powers, and duties in connection with the rail system plan as are necessary to develop a safe, efficient, and effective statewide transportation system.
History.s. 2, ch. 84-333; s. 18, ch. 89-301; s. 72, ch. 92-152; s. 53, ch. 93-164; s. 58, ch. 95-257; s. 35, ch. 99-385; s. 6, ch. 2009-271; s. 22, ch. 2011-4; s. 2, ch. 2012-174; ss. 44, 45, ch. 2014-53; ss. 63, 64, ch. 2015-222; ss. 99, 100, ch. 2016-62; s. 2, ch. 2017-138.
341.3025 Multicounty public rail system fares and enforcement.
(1) Any entity that owns or operates a public rail system in two or more counties of the state may adopt rules and regulations relating to the operation and management of its rail system, including regulations relating to fares, fees, and charges for the use of the facilities and services of the system.
(2) It is unlawful for any person to ride the rail system without payment of the appropriate fare or to cause goods or other items for which a fee is charged to be carried on the rail system without payment of the fee.
(3)(a) Any person riding the rail system without paying the appropriate fare or causing goods or other items for which a fee is charged to be carried without paying such fee shall be subject to citation by an enforcement officer of the system and, in addition to any other penalty provided by law, is guilty of a noncriminal violation punishable by a fine of $50 per each such violation.
(b) The citation issued to a person in violation of this section shall state the reason for the citation, the amount of the fine, and the court having jurisdiction of the offense.
(c) Each enforcement officer issuing a citation for an alleged violation of this section shall deposit the original and one copy of the citation with a court having jurisdiction over the alleged offense within 5 days after issuance to the violator.
(d) The entity operating the system shall maintain a copy of the citation.
(e) Upon the deposit of the original and one copy of such citation with a court having jurisdiction over the alleged offense, the original or copy of such citation may be disposed of only by trial in the court or other official action by a judge of the court, including forfeiture of the bail, or by the deposit of sufficient bail with or payment of a fine to the entity by the person to whom such citation has been issued.
(f) The entity shall maintain or cause to be maintained a record of the disposition of each citation issued.
(4)(a) Any person cited for an offense under this section shall sign and accept a citation indicating a promise to appear.
(b) Any person who does not elect to appear shall pay the fine either by mail or in person within 30 days of the date of receiving the citation. If the person cited follows the procedure provided in this paragraph, he or she shall be deemed to have admitted the infraction and to have waived his or her right to a trial on the issue of commission of the infraction. Such admission shall not be used as evidence in any other proceeding.
(c) Any person electing to appear before the judge shall be deemed to have waived his or her right to pay the penalty. The judge, after a trial, shall make a determination as to whether an infraction has been proven and may impose a civil penalty not to exceed $500. If the judge determines that no infraction has been committed, no cost or penalties shall be imposed, and any cost or penalty which has been paid shall be returned.
(d) Any person who fails to appear or otherwise properly respond to a citation issued under this section shall also be charged with the offense of failing to respond to such citation and, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. A written warning to this effect shall be provided at the time such citation is issued.
(e) The commission of an offense must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt at any trial.
(5) For the purpose of enforcing the payment of such fares, fees, and charges for use of the facilities and services of the system, such entity shall have the authority:
(a) To employ enforcement officers or contract with a private firm or company to verify payment of appropriate fares or fees and to issue citations to persons traveling on the system without paying the appropriate fare or to persons who cause goods or other items for which a fee is charged to be carried without paying such fee. Such enforcement officers who are not licensed security officers shall not carry firearms or other weapons or have arrest authority; armed security officers performing fare inspection services shall not have arrest authority and shall be licensed as required by chapter 493 and all other applicable laws and regulations.
(b) To maintain records of citations issued and to accept payment of fines and costs.
(6) All fines and forfeitures received by any court from violations of this section shall be paid monthly, less any administrative costs, to the entity operating the system.
(7)(a) The Legislature recognizes the importance of encouraging the seamless use of local and regional public transportation systems by residents of and visitors to the state wherever possible. The paramount concern is to encourage the implementation of fare collection systems that are interoperable and compatible with multiple public transportation systems throughout the state.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, in order to facilitate the ease of transfer from one public transportation system to another, any new public rail system that is constructed after December 1, 2010, by the state, an agency of the state, a regional transportation authority, or one or more counties or municipalities shall use a universally accepted contactless fare media that is compatible with the American Public Transportation Association’s Contactless Fare Media System Standard or the applicable bankcard contactless media standards and allows users to purchase fares at a single point of sale with coin, cash, or credit card. Additionally, any existing public rail system that is adding a new fare media system or is upgrading its existing fare media system shall use a universally accepted contactless fare media that is compatible with the American Public Transportation Association’s Contactless Fare Media System Standard or the applicable bankcard contactless media standards and allows users to purchase fares at a single point of sale with coin, cash, or credit card.
(8) Venue for prosecution or recovery for violations of rules or regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall be in the county where the entity which owns and operates the public rail system maintains its principal place of business.
History.s. 1, ch. 88-360; s. 73, ch. 92-152; s. 38, ch. 93-164; s. 506, ch. 95-148; s. 55, ch. 95-257; s. 26, ch. 2010-225.
341.303 Funding authorization and appropriations; eligibility and participation.
(1) APPROPRIATIONS REQUESTS.
(a) Rail funds shall be requested on the basis of the funding required for the implementation of the rail component of the work program.
(b) No state funds shall be allocated or expended for operation deficits of any intercity or commuter rail projects except as specifically allowed for approved rail service development projects.
(2) PROJECT ELIGIBILITY.Any project that is necessary to carry out those duties and responsibilities enumerated in s. 341.302, that is consistent with the approved local government comprehensive plan of the unit of government of the areas served by the rail service, and that is contained in the adopted work program is eligible for the expenditure of state funds in accordance with the fund participation rates established in this section.
(3) FUND PARTICIPATION; CAPITAL ASSISTANCE.
(a) The department may fund up to 50 percent of the nonfederal and nonprivate share of the costs of any eligible railroad capital improvement project that is local in scope.
(b) The department is authorized to fund up to 100 percent of the cost of any eligible railroad capital improvement project that is statewide in scope or involves more than one county if no other governmental unit of appropriate jurisdiction exists.
(c) The department is authorized to fund up to 100 percent of the costs of any railroad capital improvement project involving the acquisition of rights-of-way for future transportation purposes. Departmental fund participation in such project shall be credited as part of the appropriate share of the participation by the department in total project cost for any future project involving such rights-of-way.
(4) FUND PARTICIPATION; OPERATING COSTS.
(a) The department is authorized to fund up to 100 percent of the net operating costs of any eligible intercity or commuter rail system for up to 7 years, beginning from the open-to-service date.
(b) The term “net operating costs” means all operating costs of the project less any federal funds, fares, or other sources of income to the project.
(5) FUND PARTICIPATION; FLORIDA RAIL ENTERPRISE.The department, through the Florida Rail Enterprise, is authorized to use funds provided pursuant to s. 201.15(4)(a)4. to fund:
(a) Up to 50 percent of the nonfederal share of the costs of any eligible passenger rail capital improvement project.
(b) Up to 100 percent of planning and development costs related to the provision of a passenger rail system, including, but not limited to, preliminary engineering, revenue studies, environmental impact studies, financial advisory services, engineering design, and other appropriate professional services.
(c) The high-speed rail system.
(d) Projects necessary to identify or address anticipated impacts of increased freight rail traffic resulting from the implementation of passenger rail systems as provided in s. 341.302(3)(b).
(6) FLORIDA RAIL ENTERPRISE; BUDGET.
(a) The Florida Rail Enterprise shall be a single budget entity and shall develop a budget pursuant to chapter 216. The enterprise’s budget shall be submitted to the Legislature along with the department’s budget. All passenger rail funding by the department shall be included in this budget entity.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 to the contrary and in accordance with s. 216.351, the Executive Office of the Governor shall, on July 1 of each year, certify forward all unexpended funds appropriated or provided pursuant to this section for the enterprise. Of the unexpended funds certified forward, any unencumbered amounts shall be carried forward. Such funds carried forward shall not exceed 5 percent of the original approved operating budget of the enterprise pursuant to s. 216.181(1). Funds carried forward pursuant to this section may be used for any lawful purpose, including, but not limited to, promotional and market activities, technology, and training. Any certified-forward funds remaining undisbursed on September 30 of each year shall be carried forward.
History.s. 3, ch. 84-333; s. 21, ch. 85-81; s. 23, ch. 88-168; s. 19, ch. 89-301; s. 2, ch. 89-351; s. 74, ch. 92-152; s. 37, ch. 93-164; s. 8, ch. 2009-271; s. 31, ch. 2015-229.
341.501 High-technology transportation systems; joint project agreement or assistance.Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Department of Transportation may enter into a joint project agreement with, or otherwise assist, private or public entities, or consortia thereof, to facilitate the research, development, and demonstration of high-technology transportation systems, including, but not limited to, systems using magnetic levitation technology. The department may, subject to s. 339.135, provide funds to match any available federal aid or aid from other states or jurisdictions for effectuating the research, development, and demonstration of high-technology transportation systems. To be eligible for funding under this section, the project must be located in Florida.
History.s. 64, ch. 93-164; s. 58, ch. 96-323; s. 56, ch. 97-100; ss. 54, 88, ch. 2002-20.
341.8201 Short title.Sections 341.8201-341.842 may be cited as the “Florida Rail Enterprise Act.”
History.s. 28, ch. 2002-20; s. 31, ch. 2003-1; s. 9, ch. 2009-271.
341.8203 Definitions.As used in ss. 341.8201-341.842, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term:
(1) “Associated development” means property, equipment, buildings, or other related facilities which are built, installed, used, or established to provide financing, funding, or revenues for the planning, building, managing, and operation of a high-speed rail system and which are associated with or part of the rail stations. The term includes air and subsurface rights, services that provide local area network devices for transmitting data over wireless networks, parking facilities, retail establishments, restaurants, hotels, offices, advertising, or other commercial, civic, residential, or support facilities.
(2) “Communication facilities” means the communication systems related to high-speed passenger rail operations, including those which are built, installed, used, or established for the planning, building, managing, and operating of a high-speed rail system. The term includes the land; structures; improvements; rights-of-way; easements; positive train control systems; wireless communication towers and facilities that are designed to provide voice and data services for the safe and efficient operation of the high-speed rail system; voice, data, and wireless communication amenities made available to crew and passengers as part of a high-speed rail service; and any other facilities or equipment used for operation of, or the facilitation of communications for, a high-speed rail system. Owners of communication facilities may not offer voice or data service to any entity other than passengers, crew, or other persons involved in the operation of a high-speed rail system.
(3) “Enterprise” means the Florida Rail Enterprise.
(4) “High-speed rail system” means any high-speed fixed guideway system for transporting people or goods, which system is, by definition of the United States Department of Transportation, reasonably expected to reach speeds of at least 110 miles per hour, including, but not limited to, a monorail system, dual track rail system, suspended rail system, magnetic levitation system, pneumatic repulsion system, or other system approved by the enterprise. The term includes a corridor, associated intermodal connectors, and structures essential to the operation of the line, including the land, structures, improvements, rights-of-way, easements, rail lines, rail beds, guideway structures, switches, yards, parking facilities, power relays, switching houses, and rail stations and also includes facilities or equipment used exclusively for the purposes of design, construction, operation, maintenance, or the financing of the high-speed rail system.
(5) “Joint development” means the planning, managing, financing, or constructing of projects adjacent to, functionally related to, or otherwise related to a high-speed rail system pursuant to agreements between any person, firm, corporation, association, organization, agency, or other entity, public or private.
(6) “Rail station,” “station,” or “high-speed rail station” means any structure or transportation facility that is part of a high-speed rail system designed to accommodate the movement of passengers from one mode of transportation to another at which passengers board or disembark from transportation conveyances and transfer from one mode of transportation to another.
(7) “Railroad company” means a person developing, or providing service on, a high-speed rail system.
(8) “Selected person or entity” means the person or entity to whom the enterprise awards a contract to establish a high-speed rail system pursuant to ss. 341.8201-341.842.
History.s. 30, ch. 2002-20; s. 15, ch. 2004-366; s. 11, ch. 2009-271; s. 4, ch. 2013-213.
341.822 Powers and duties.
(1) The enterprise shall locate, plan, design, finance, construct, maintain, own, operate, administer, and manage the high-speed rail system in the state.
(2)(a) In addition to the powers granted to the department, the enterprise has full authority to exercise all powers granted to it under this chapter. Powers shall include, but are not limited to, the ability to plan, construct, maintain, repair, and operate a high-speed rail system, to acquire corridors, and to coordinate the development and operation of publicly funded passenger rail systems in the state.
(b) It is the express intention of ss. 341.8201-341.842 that the enterprise be authorized to plan, develop, own, purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire, demolish, construct, improve, relocate, equip, repair, maintain, operate, and manage the high-speed rail system; to expend funds to publicize, advertise, and promote the advantages of using the high-speed rail system and its facilities; and to cooperate, coordinate, partner, and contract with other entities, public and private, to accomplish these purposes.
(c) The enterprise shall establish a process to issue permits to railroad companies for the construction of communication facilities within a new or existing public or private high-speed rail system. The enterprise may adopt rules to administer such permits, including rules regarding the form, content, and necessary supporting documentation for permit applications; the process for submitting applications; and the application fee for a permit under s. 341.825. The enterprise shall provide a copy of a completed permit application to municipalities and counties where the high-speed rail system will be located. The enterprise shall allow each such municipality and county 30 days to provide comments to the enterprise regarding the application, including any recommendations regarding conditions that may be placed on the permit.
(3) The enterprise shall have the authority to employ procurement methods available to the department under chapters 255, 287, 334, and 337, or otherwise in accordance with law. The enterprise may also solicit proposals and, with legislative approval as evidenced by approval of the project in the department’s work program, enter into agreements with private entities, or consortia thereof, for the building, operation, ownership, or financing of the high-speed rail system.
(4) The executive director of the enterprise shall appoint staff, who shall be exempt from part II of chapter 110.
(5) The powers conferred upon the enterprise under ss. 341.8201-341.842 shall be in addition and supplemental to the existing powers of the department, and these powers shall not be construed as repealing any provision of any other law, general or local, but shall supersede such other laws that are inconsistent with the exercise of the powers provided under ss. 341.8201-341.842 and provide a complete method for the exercise of such powers granted.
(6) Any proposed rail enterprise project or improvement shall be developed in accordance with the Florida Transportation Plan and the work program under s. 339.135.
History.s. 2, ch. 2001-153; s. 32, ch. 2002-20; s. 13, ch. 2009-271; s. 5, ch. 2013-213.
341.8225 Department of Transportation sole governmental entity to acquire, construct, or operate high-speed rail projects; exception.
(1) No governmental entity other than the department may acquire, construct, maintain, or operate the high-speed rail system except upon specific authorization of the Legislature.
(2) Local governmental entities, as defined in s. 334.03(13), may negotiate with the department for the design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction of any component of the high-speed rail system within areas of their respective jurisdictions or within counties with which they have interlocal agreements.
History.s. 14, ch. 2009-271; s. 92, ch. 2012-174.
341.825 Communication facilities.
(1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.The Legislature intends to:
(a) Establish a streamlined process to authorize the location, construction, operation, and maintenance of communication facilities within new and existing high-speed rail systems.
(b) Expedite the expansion of the high-speed rail system’s wireless voice and data coverage and capacity for the safe and efficient operation of the high-speed rail system and the safety, use, and efficiency of its crew and passengers as a critical communication facilities component.
(2) APPLICATION SUBMISSION.A railroad company may submit to the enterprise an application to obtain a permit to construct communication facilities within a new or existing high-speed rail system. The application shall include an application fee limited to the amount needed to pay the anticipated cost of reviewing the application, not to exceed $10,000, which shall be deposited into the State Transportation Trust Fund. The application must include the following information:
(a) The location of the proposed communication facilities.
(b) A description of the proposed communication facilities.
(c) Any other information reasonably required by the enterprise.
(3) APPLICATION REVIEW.The enterprise shall review each application for completeness within 30 days after receipt of the application.
(a) If the enterprise determines that an application is not complete, the enterprise shall, within 30 days after the receipt of the initial application, notify the applicant in writing of any errors or omissions. An applicant shall have 30 days within which to correct the errors or omissions in the initial application.
(b) If the enterprise determines that an application is complete, the enterprise shall act upon the permit application within 60 days of the receipt of the completed application by approving in whole, approving with conditions as the enterprise deems appropriate, or denying the application, and stating the reason for issuance or denial. In determining whether an application should be approved, approved with modifications or conditions, or denied, the enterprise shall consider any comments or recommendations received from a municipality or county and the extent to which the proposed communication facilities:
1. Are located in a manner that is appropriate for the communication technology specified by the applicant.
2. Serve an existing or projected future need for communication facilities.
3. Provide sufficient wireless voice and data coverage and capacity for the safe and efficient operation of the high-speed rail system and the safety, use, and efficiency of its crew and passengers.
(c) The failure to adopt any recommendation or comment may not be a basis for challenging the issuance of a permit.
(4) EFFECT OF PERMIT.
(a) A permit authorizes the permittee to locate, construct, operate, and maintain the communication facilities within a new or existing high-speed rail system, subject to the conditions set forth in the permit. Such activities are not subject to local government land use or zoning regulations.
(b) A permit may include conditions that constitute variances and exemptions from rules of the enterprise or any other agency, which would otherwise be applicable to the communication facilities within the new or existing high-speed rail system.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the permit shall be in lieu of any license, permit, certificate, or similar document required by any local agency.
(d) Nothing in this section is intended to impose procedures or restrictions on railroad companies that are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal Surface Transportation Board pursuant to the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995, 49 U.S.C. ss. 10101, et seq.
(5) MODIFICATION OF PERMIT.A permit may be modified by the applicant after issuance upon the filing of a petition with the enterprise.
(a) A petition for modification must set forth the proposed modification and the factual reasons asserted for the modification.
(b) The enterprise shall act upon the petition within 30 days by approving or denying the application, and stating the reason for issuance or denial.
History.s. 6, ch. 2013-213.
341.836 Associated development.
(1) The enterprise, alone or as part of a joint development, may undertake associated developments to be a source of revenue for the establishment, construction, operation, or maintenance of the high-speed rail system. Such associated developments must be consistent, to the extent feasible, with applicable local government comprehensive plans and local land development regulations and otherwise be in compliance with ss. 341.8201-341.842.
(2) Sections 341.8201-341.842 do not prohibit the enterprise, the selected person or entity, or a party to a joint venture with the enterprise or its selected person or entity from obtaining approval, pursuant to any other law, for any associated development that is reasonably related to the high-speed rail system.
History.s. 44, ch. 2002-20; s. 16, ch. 2009-271.
341.838 Fares, rates, rents, fees, and charges.
(1) The enterprise may establish, revise, charge, and collect fares, rates, rents, fees, charges, and revenues for the use of and for the services furnished, or to be furnished, by the system and to contract with any person, partnership, association, corporation, or other body, public or private, in respect thereof. Such fares, rates, rents, fees, and charges shall be reviewed annually by the enterprise and may be adjusted as set forth in the contract setting such fares, rates, rents, fees, or charges. The funds collected pursuant to this section shall, with any other funds available, be used to pay the cost of designing, building, operating, financing, and maintaining the system and each and every portion thereof, to the extent that the payment of such cost has not otherwise been adequately provided for.
(2) Fares, rates, rents, fees, and charges established, revised, charged, and collected by the enterprise pursuant to this section shall not be subject to supervision or regulation by any other department, commission, board, body, bureau, or agency of this state other than the enterprise.
History.s. 46, ch. 2002-20; s. 18, ch. 2009-271.
341.839 Alternate means.Sections 341.8201-341.842 provide an additional and alternative method for accomplishing the purposes authorized therein and are supplemental and additional to powers conferred by other laws. Except as otherwise expressly provided in ss. 341.8201-341.842, none of the powers granted to the enterprise under ss. 341.8201-341.842 are subject to the supervision or require the approval or consent of any municipality or political subdivision or any commission, board, body, bureau, or official.
History.s. 47, ch. 2002-20; s. 19, ch. 2009-271.
341.840 Tax exemption.
(1) The exercise of the powers granted under ss. 341.8201-341.842 will be in all respects for the benefit of the people of this state, for the increase of their commerce, welfare, and prosperity, and for the improvement of their health and living conditions. The design, construction, operation, maintenance, and financing of a high-speed rail system by the enterprise, its agent, or the owner or lessee thereof, as herein authorized, constitutes the performance of an essential public function.
(2)(a) For the purposes of this section, the term “enterprise” does not include agents of the enterprise other than contractors who qualify as such pursuant to subsection (7).
(b) For the purposes of this section, any item or property that is within the definition of the term “associated development” in s. 341.8203(1) may not be considered part of the high-speed rail system as defined in s. 341.8203(4).
(3)(a) Purchases or leases of tangible personal property or real property by the enterprise, excluding agents of the enterprise, are exempt from taxes imposed by chapter 212 as provided in s. 212.08(6). Purchases or leases of tangible personal property that is incorporated into the high-speed rail system as a component part thereof, as determined by the enterprise, by agents of the enterprise or the owner of the high-speed rail system are exempt from sales or use taxes imposed by chapter 212. Leases, rentals, or licenses to use real property granted to agents of the enterprise or the owner of the high-speed rail system are exempt from taxes imposed by s. 212.031 if the real property becomes part of such system. The exemptions granted in this subsection do not apply to sales, leases, or licenses by the enterprise, agents of the enterprise, or the owner of the high-speed rail system.
(b) The exemption granted in paragraph (a) to purchases or leases of tangible personal property by agents of the enterprise or by the owner of the high-speed rail system applies only to property that becomes a component part of such system. It does not apply to items, including, but not limited to, cranes, bulldozers, forklifts, other machinery and equipment, tools and supplies, or other items of tangible personal property used in the construction, operation, or maintenance of the high-speed rail system when such items are not incorporated into the high-speed rail system as a component part thereof.
(4) Any bonds or other security, and all notes, mortgages, security agreements, letters of credit, or other instruments that arise out of or are given to secure the repayment of bonds or other security, issued by the enterprise, or on behalf of the enterprise, their transfer, and the income therefrom, including any profit made on the sale thereof, shall at all times be free from taxation of every kind by the state, the counties, and the municipalities and other political subdivisions in the state. This subsection, however, does not exempt from taxation or assessment the leasehold interest of a lessee in any project or any other property or interest owned by the lessee. The exemption granted by this subsection is not applicable to any tax imposed by chapter 220 on interest income or profits on the sale of debt obligations owned by corporations.
(5) When property of the enterprise is leased to another person or entity, the property shall be exempt from ad valorem taxation only if the use by the lessee qualifies the property for exemption under s. 196.199.
(6) A leasehold interest held by the enterprise is not subject to intangible tax. However, if a leasehold interest held by the enterprise is subleased to a nongovernmental lessee, such subleasehold interest shall be deemed to be an interest described in s. 199.023(1)(d), Florida Statutes 2005, and is subject to the intangible tax.
(7)(a) In order to be considered an agent of the enterprise for purposes of the exemption from sales and use tax granted by subsection (3) for tangible personal property incorporated into the high-speed rail system, a contractor of the enterprise that purchases or fabricates such tangible personal property must be certified by the enterprise as provided in this subsection.
(b)1. A contractor must apply for a renewal of the exemption not later than December 1 of each calendar year.
2. A contractor must apply to the enterprise on the application form adopted by the enterprise, which shall develop the form in consultation with the Department of Revenue.
3. The enterprise shall review each submitted application and determine whether it is complete. The enterprise shall notify the applicant of any deficiencies in the application within 30 days. Upon receipt of a completed application, the enterprise shall evaluate the application for exemption under this subsection and issue a certification that the contractor is qualified to act as an agent of the enterprise for purposes of this section or a denial of such certification within 30 days. The enterprise shall provide the Department of Revenue with a copy of each certification issued upon approval of an application. Upon receipt of a certification from the enterprise, the Department of Revenue shall issue an exemption permit to the contractor.
(c)1. The contractor may extend a copy of its exemption permit to its vendors in lieu of paying sales tax on purchases of tangible personal property qualifying for exemption under this section. Possession of a copy of the exemption permit relieves the seller of the responsibility of collecting tax on the sale, and the Department of Revenue shall look solely to the contractor for recovery of tax upon a determination that the contractor was not entitled to the exemption.
2. The contractor may extend a copy of its exemption permit to real property subcontractors supplying and installing tangible personal property that is exempt under subsection (3). Any such subcontractor may extend a copy of the permit to the subcontractor’s vendors in order to purchase qualifying tangible personal property tax-exempt. If the subcontractor uses the exemption permit to purchase tangible personal property that is determined not to qualify for exemption under subsection (3), the Department of Revenue may assess and collect any tax, penalties, and interest that are due from either the contractor holding the exemption permit or the subcontractor that extended the exemption permit to the seller.
(d) Any contractor authorized to act as an agent of the enterprise under this section shall maintain the necessary books and records to document the exempt status of purchases and fabrication costs made or incurred under the permit. In addition, an authorized contractor extending its exemption permit to its subcontractors shall maintain a copy of the subcontractor’s books, records, and invoices indicating all purchases made by the subcontractor under the authorized contractor’s permit. If, in an audit conducted by the Department of Revenue, it is determined that tangible personal property purchased or fabricated claiming exemption under this section does not meet the criteria for exemption, the amount of taxes not paid at the time of purchase or fabrication shall be immediately due and payable to the Department of Revenue, together with the appropriate interest and penalty, computed from the date of purchase, in the manner prescribed by chapter 212.
(e) If a contractor fails to apply for a high-speed rail system exemption permit, or if a contractor initially determined by the enterprise to not qualify for exemption is subsequently determined to be eligible, the contractor shall receive the benefit of the exemption in this subsection through a refund of previously paid taxes for transactions that otherwise would have been exempt. A refund may not be made for such taxes without the issuance of a certification by the enterprise that the contractor was authorized to make purchases tax-exempt and a determination by the Department of Revenue that the purchases qualified for the exemption.
(f) The enterprise may adopt rules governing the application process for exemption of a contractor as an authorized agent of the enterprise.
(g) The Department of Revenue may adopt rules governing the issuance and form of high-speed rail system exemption permits, the audit of contractors and subcontractors using such permits, the recapture of taxes on nonqualified purchases, and the manner and form of refund applications.
History.s. 48, ch. 2002-20; s. 16, ch. 2004-366; s. 53, ch. 2007-5; s. 61, ch. 2012-174; s. 52, ch. 2013-15; s. 7, ch. 2013-213.
341.842 Liberal construction.This act, being necessary for the welfare of the state and its inhabitants, shall be liberally construed to effect the purposes hereof.
History.s. 50, ch. 2002-20.