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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XXVI
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Chapter 343
REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION
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CHAPTER 343
CHAPTER 343
REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION
PART I
SOUTH FLORIDA REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION
AUTHORITY
(ss. 343.51-343.58)
PART II
CENTRAL FLORIDA REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION
AUTHORITY
(ss. 343.61-343.67)
PART III
TAMPA BAY AREA REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY
(ss. 343.90-343.976)
PART I
SOUTH FLORIDA REGIONAL
TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
343.51 Short title.
343.52 Definitions.
343.53 South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.
343.54 Powers and duties.
343.545 Power to assume indemnification and insurance obligations; definitions.
343.55 Issuance of revenue bonds.
343.56 Bonds not debts or pledges of credit of state.
343.57 Pledge to bondholders not to restrict certain rights of authority.
343.58 County funding for the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.
343.51 Short title.This part may be cited as the “South Florida Regional Transportation Authority Act.”
History.s. 1, ch. 89-351; s. 1, ch. 2003-159.
343.52 Definitions.As used in this part, the term:
(1) “Area served” means Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. However, this area may be expanded by mutual consent of the authority and the board of county commissioners of Monroe County. The authority may not expand into any additional counties without the department’s prior written approval.
(2) “Authority” means the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.
(3) “Board” means the governing body of the authority.
(4) “Department” means the Department of Transportation.
(5) “Feeder transit services” means a transit system that transports passengers to or from stations within or across counties.
(6) “Member” means the individuals constituting the board.
(7) “Transit facilities” means property, avenues of access, equipment, or buildings built and installed in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties which are required to support a transit system.
(8) “Transit system” means a system used for the transportation of people and goods by means of, without limitation, a street railway, an elevated railway having a fixed guideway, a commuter railroad, a subway, motor vehicles, or motor buses, and includes a complete system of tracks, stations, and rolling stock necessary to effectuate passenger service to or from the surrounding regional municipalities.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-351; s. 2, ch. 2003-159; s. 62, ch. 2012-174; s. 10, ch. 2017-42; s. 3, ch. 2017-138.
343.53 South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.
(1) There is created and established a body politic and corporate, an agency of the state, to be known as the “South Florida Regional Transportation Authority,” hereinafter referred to as the “authority.”
(2) The governing board of the authority shall consist of 10 voting members, as follows:
(a) The county commissions of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties shall each elect a commissioner as that commission’s representative on the board. The commissioner must be a member of the county commission when elected and for the full extent of his or her term.
(b) The county commissions of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties shall each appoint a citizen member to the board who is not a member of the county commission but who is a resident of the county from which he or she is appointed and a qualified elector of that county. Insofar as practicable, the citizen member shall represent the business and civic interests of the community.
(c) The secretary of the Department of Transportation shall appoint one of the district secretaries, or his or her designee, for the districts within which the area served by the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority is located, who shall serve ex officio as a voting member.
(d) If the authority’s service area is expanded pursuant to s. 343.54(6), the county containing the new service area shall have two members appointed to the board as follows:
1. The county commission of the county shall elect a commissioner as that commission’s representative on the board. The commissioner must be a member of the county commission when elected and for the full extent of his or her term.
2. The Governor shall appoint a citizen member to the board who is not a member of the county commission but who is a resident and a qualified elector of that county.
(e) The Governor shall appoint three members to the board who are residents and qualified electors in the area served by the authority but who are not residents of the same county.
(3) Members of the governing board of the authority shall be appointed to serve 4-year staggered terms, except that the terms of the appointees of the Governor shall be concurrent.
(4) A vacancy during a term shall be filled by the respective appointing authority in the same manner as the original appointment and only for the balance of the unexpired term.
(5) The members of the authority shall serve without compensation, but are entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses actually incurred in their duties as provided by law.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-351; s. 7, ch. 91-418; s. 75, ch. 92-152; s. 508, ch. 95-148; s. 3, ch. 2003-159; s. 63, ch. 2012-174; s. 11, ch. 2017-42; s. 4, ch. 2017-138.
343.54 Powers and duties.
(1)(a) The authority created and established by this part shall have the right to own, operate, maintain, and manage a transit system in the tri-county area of Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties, hereinafter referred to as the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.
(b) It is the express intention of this part that the authority be authorized to plan, develop, own, purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire, demolish, construct, improve, relocate, equip, repair, maintain, operate, and manage a transit system and transit facilities; to establish and determine the policies necessary for the best interest of the operation and promotion of a transit system; and to adopt rules necessary to govern the operation of a transit system and transit facilities. It is the intent of the Legislature that the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority shall have overall authority to coordinate, develop, and operate a regional transportation system within the area served.
(c) Notwithstanding subsection (3), the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority may not exercise the powers in paragraph (b) with respect to an existing system for transporting people and goods by any means which is owned by another entity without the consent of that entity. Furthermore, if the authority acquires, purchases, operates, condemns, or inherits an existing entity, the authority shall also inherit and assume all rights, assets, labor agreements, appropriations, privileges, and obligations of the existing entity. This paragraph does not preclude the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority from having the primary responsibility to develop and coordinate the transportation systems within the service area of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.
(2) The authority created in this part shall be the successor and assignee of the Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority and shall inherit all rights, assets, labor agreements, appropriations, privileges, and obligations of the Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority.
(3) The authority may exercise all powers necessary, appurtenant, convenient, or incidental to the carrying out of the aforesaid purposes, including, but not limited to, the following rights and powers:
(a) To sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, complain and defend in all courts in its own name.
(b) To adopt and use a corporate seal.
(c) To have the power of eminent domain, including the procedural powers granted under chapters 73 and 74.
(d) To acquire, purchase, hold, lease as a lessee, and use any franchise or property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, necessary or desirable for carrying out the purposes of the authority.
(e) To sell, convey, exchange, lease, or otherwise dispose of any real or personal property acquired by the authority, including air rights.
(f) To fix, alter, establish, and collect rates, fares, fees, rentals, and other charges for the use of any transit system or transit facilities owned or operated by the authority.
(g) To develop and provide feeder transit services to or from stations within or across counties.
(h) To adopt bylaws for the regulation of the affairs and the conduct of the business of the authority. The bylaws shall provide for quorum and voting requirements, maintenance of minutes and other official records, and preparation and adoption of an annual budget.
(i) To lease, rent, or contract for the operation or management of any part of a transit system or transit facility, including feeder transit services and concessions. In awarding a contract, the authority shall consider, but is not limited to, the following:
1. The qualifications of each applicant.
2. The level of service.
3. The efficiency, cost, and anticipated revenue.
4. The construction, operation, and management plan.
5. The financial ability to provide reliable service.
6. The impact on other transportation modes, including the ability to interface with other transportation modes and facilities.
(j) To enforce collection of rates, fees, and charges, and to establish and enforce fines and penalties for violations of any rules.
(k) To advertise and promote transit systems, transit facilities, and activities of the authority.
(l) To employ an executive director, attorney, staff, and consultants.
(m) To cooperate with other governmental entities and to contract with other governmental agencies, including the Department of Transportation, the Federal Government, regional planning councils, counties, and municipalities.
(n) To enter into joint development agreements.
(o) To accept funds from other governmental sources, and to accept private donations.
(p) To purchase by directly contracting with local, national, or international insurance companies to provide liability insurance which the authority is contractually and legally obligated to provide, the requirements of s. 287.022(1), notwithstanding.
(q) To privatize any of the administrative functions of the authority existing as of July 1, 2012, by contracting with a private entity or entities to perform any or all of those functions, which shall require a two-thirds vote of the entire membership of the board.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, the authority may not enter into, extend, or renew any contract or other agreement that may be funded, in whole or in part, with funds provided by the department without the prior review and written approval by the department of the authority’s proposed expenditures.
(5) The authority shall develop and adopt a plan for the operation, maintenance, and expansion of the transit system. Such plan shall address the authority’s plan for the development of public and private revenue sources, and the service to be provided, including expansions of current service which are consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with approved local government comprehensive plans. The plan shall be reviewed and updated annually.
(6) The authority, by a resolution of its governing board, may expand its service area into Monroe County. The board shall determine the conditions and terms of the partnership, except as provided herein. However, the authority may not expand its service area without the consent of the board of county commissioners representing the proposed expansion area, and a county may not be added to the service area except in the year that federal reauthorization legislation for transportation funds is enacted. The authority shall not expand into any county other than Monroe County without the department’s prior written approval.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-351; s. 88, ch. 90-136; s. 76, ch. 92-152; s. 4, ch. 2003-159; s. 1, ch. 2007-255; s. 64, ch. 2012-174; s. 12, ch. 2017-42; s. 5, ch. 2017-138.
343.545 Power to assume indemnification and insurance obligations; definitions.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “All Aboard Florida” or “AAF” means All Aboard Florida Operations, LLC, or its successors and assigns.
(b) “AAF intercity rail passenger” means any person, ticketed or unticketed, using the AAF intercity passenger rail service on the rail corridor:
1. On board trains, locomotives, rail cars, or rail equipment employed in AAF intercity passenger rail service or entraining thereon and detraining therefrom;
2. On or about the rail corridor for any purpose related to the AAF intercity passenger rail service, including parking or purchasing tickets therefor and coming to, waiting for, and leaving from locomotives, rail cars, or rail equipment; or
3. Meeting, assisting, or in the company of any person described in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2.
(c) “AAF rail corridor invitee” means any rail corridor invitee who is an AAF intercity rail passenger or is otherwise present on the rail corridor at the request of, pursuant to a contract with, or otherwise for the purpose of doing business with or at the behest of AAF, including persons who are vendors or employees of vendors at the MiamiCentral station or any other station that AAF may construct on the rail corridor. The term does not include patrons at any station, except those patrons who are also AAF’s intercity rail passengers; commercial or residential tenants of the developments in and around the stations or their invitees; or any third parties performing work at a station or in the rail corridor, such as employees and invitees of PI or related entities, utilities, and fiber optic companies, or invitees or employees of the department or any county or municipality.
(d) “Commuter rail passenger” means any person, ticketed or unticketed, using the commuter rail service on the rail corridor:
1. On board trains, locomotives, rail cars, or rail equipment employed in commuter rail service or entraining thereon and detraining therefrom;
2. On or about the rail corridor for any purpose related to the commuter rail service, including parking or purchasing tickets therefor and coming to, waiting for, and leaving from locomotives, rail cars, or rail equipment; or
3. Meeting, assisting, or in the company of any person described in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2.
(e) “Commuter rail service” means the operation of the authority’s trains transporting passengers and making frequent stops within urban areas and their immediate suburbs along the rail corridor for the purpose of passengers entraining and detraining, and including the nonrevenue movement of trains for storage or maintenance. The term does not include the operation of trains by AAF transporting passengers in intercity passenger rail service between passenger rail stations established by AAF at Miami-Dade, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, or future stations but shall include the provision of non-SFRTA commuter rail service by AAF or a third party designated by AAF, including SFRTA.
(f) “Florida East Coast Railway” or “FECR” means Florida East Coast Railway, LLC, or its successors and assigns.
(g) “FECR rail corridor invitee” means any rail corridor invitee who is present on the rail corridor at the request of, pursuant to a contract with, or otherwise for the purpose of doing business with or at the behest of FECR. The term does not include patrons at any station; commercial or residential tenants of the developments in and around the stations or their invitees; or any third parties performing work at a station or in the rail corridor, such as employees and invitees of PI or related entities, utilities, and fiber optic companies or others, or invitees or employees of the department or any county or municipality.
(h) “Freight rail service” means any and all uses and purposes that are related to or ancillary to current and future freight rail operations on, along, over, under, and across the rail corridor, including operating trains, rail cars, business cars, locomotives, hi-rail vehicles, and other rail equipment for the movement of freight in overhead and local service; interchanging rail cars with other freight railroads; providing pickups, setoffs, transloading services, or storage in transit; and any and all other activities that are ancillary or related to the transportation of freight on or along the rail corridor.
(i) “Intercity passenger rail service” means all passenger service on the rail corridor other than commuter rail service and is characterized by trains making less frequent stops along the rail corridor than the commuter rail service makes.
(j) “Joint infrastructure” means any portion or segment of the rail corridor which does not contain tracks or infrastructure designated for the exclusive use of the authority, AAF, or FECR and portions of the MiamiCentral station used by both AAF and SFRTA, including, but not limited to, stairs, elevators, and escalators.
(k) “Limited covered accident” means:
1. A collision directly between the trains, locomotives, rail cars, or rail equipment of SFRTA and FECR only, where the collision is caused by or arising from the willful misconduct of FECR or its subsidiaries, agents, licensees, employees, officers, or directors, as adjudicated pursuant to a final and unappealable court order, or if punitive damages or exemplary damages are awarded due to the conduct of FECR or its subsidiaries, agents, licensees, employees, officers, or directors, as adjudicated pursuant to a final and unappealable court order; or
2. A collision directly between the trains, locomotives, rail cars, or rail equipment of SFRTA and AAF only, if the collision is caused by or arising from the willful misconduct of AAF or its subsidiaries, agents, licensees, employees, officers, or directors, as adjudicated pursuant to a final and unappealable court order, or if punitive damages or exemplary damages are awarded due to the conduct of AAF or its subsidiaries, agents, licensees, employees, officers, or directors, as adjudicated pursuant to a final and unappealable court order.
(l) “MiamiCentral” means the primary All Aboard Florida station located in downtown Miami, which includes exclusive areas used by the authority for commuter rail service.
(m) “Non-SFRTA commuter rail service” means AAF’s operation, or an AAF third-party designee’s operation, of trains in any commuter rail service on the rail corridor which is not SFRTA’s commuter rail service. The term does not include:
1. Any service operated by the authority between the MiamiCentral station and any stations in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, or points north on the FECR rail corridor; and
2. SFRTA’s commuter rail service on the South Florida Rail Corridor owned by the department.
(n) “Non-SFRTA commuter rail service operator” means the operator of any non-SFRTA commuter rail service.
(o) “Other train” means a train that is not SFRTA’s train, FECR’s train, AAF’s train, a train of a non-SFRTA commuter rail service operator, or a train of any other operator of intercity rail passenger service and must be treated as a train of the entity that made the initial request for the train to operate on the rail corridor.
(p) “PI” means FDG Flagler Station II, LLC, which has an easement on the rail corridor for nonrail uses.
(q) “Rail corridor” means the portion of a linear contiguous strip of real property which is used for rail service and owned by FECR or owned or controlled by AAF. The term applies only when the authority has, by contract, assumed the obligation to forever protect, defend, indemnify, and hold harmless FECR, AAF, or their successors, in accordance with subsection (2), and acquired an easement interest, a lease, a right to operate, or a right of access. The term includes 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.
(r) “Rail corridor invitee” means any person who is on or about the rail corridor in which the AAF, SFRTA, or non-SFRTA commuter rail service operator has an easement interest, a lease, a right to operate, or a right of access and who is:
1. Present at the behest of an AAF, an SFRTA, an FECR, or the non-SFRTA commuter rail service operator for any purpose;
2. Otherwise entitled to be on or about the rail corridor; or
3. Meeting, assisting, or in the company of a person described in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2.
(s) “SFRTA” means the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.
(t) “SFRTA rail corridor invitee” means any rail corridor invitee who is SFRTA’s commuter rail passenger or is otherwise present on the rail corridor at the request of, pursuant to a contract with, for the purpose of doing business with, or at the behest of SFRTA. The term does not include patrons at any station, except those patrons who are also SFRTA’s commuter rail passengers; any person present on the rail corridor who is a patron of the non-SFRTA commuter rail service or is meeting or assisting a person who is a patron of the non-SFRTA commuter rail service; commercial or residential tenants of the developments in and around the stations or their invitees; or any third parties performing work at a station or in the rail corridor, such as employees and invitees of PI or related entities, utilities, and fiber optic companies or others or invitees or employees of the department or any county or municipality.
(2) The authority, in conjunction with the operation of a commuter rail service on a rail corridor, has the power to assume the following obligations:
(a) To indemnify AAF and FECR in accordance with the terms specified in this paragraph for so long as AAF and FECR or their successors in interest agree to indemnify the authority in accordance with the terms specified in this paragraph.
1. Except as specifically provided in this paragraph, the authority shall protect, defend, indemnify, and hold harmless FECR and its officers, agents, employees, successors, and assigns from and against any liability, cost, and expense, including, but not limited to, SFRTA’s commuter rail passengers and rail corridor invitees in, on, or about 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 FECR or its officers, agents, employees, successors, and assigns;
2. Except as specifically provided in this paragraph, the authority shall protect, defend, indemnify, and hold harmless AAF and its officers, agents, employees, successors, and assigns from and against any liability, cost, and expense, including, but not limited to, SFRTA commuter rail passengers and SFRTA rail corridor invitees in, on, or about 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 AAF or its officers, agents, employees, successors, and assigns; and
3. The assumption of liability by the authority may not in any instance exceed the following parameters of allocation of risk:
a. The authority shall be solely responsible for any loss, injury, or damage to SFRTA commuter rail passengers, or to SFRTA rail corridor invitees, or trespassers, other than passengers or invitees of the non-SFRTA commuter rail service, regardless of circumstances or cause, subject to the terms and provisions of this paragraph.
b. FECR shall, with respect to a limited covered accident, protect, defend, and indemnify SFRTA for the amount of the self-insurance retention account.
c. AAF shall, with respect to a limited covered accident, protect, defend, and indemnify SFRTA for the amount of the self-insurance retention account.
d. When only one train is involved in an incident, including incidents with trespassers or at at-grade crossings, the authority shall be solely responsible for any loss, injury, or damage if the train is an SFRTA train.
e. When an incident occurs with only FECR’s train involved, including incidents with trespassers or at at-grade crossings, FECR shall be solely responsible for any loss, injury, or damage, except for SFRTA’s commuter rail passengers, SFRTA employees, and SFRTA rail corridor invitees.
f. When an incident occurs with only AAF’s train involved, including incidents with trespassers or at at-grade crossings, AAF shall be solely responsible for any loss, injury, or damage, except for SFRTA’s commuter rail passengers, SFRTA employees, and SFRTA rail corridor invitees.
g. For the purposes of this paragraph:
(I) An “other train” shall be treated as the train of the entity that made the initial request for the train to operate on the rail corridor.
(II) In an incident involving any other train that is not an SFRTA train, the other train shall be treated as an SFRTA train solely for purposes of any allocation of liability between:
(A) SFRTA and FECR. SFRTA and FECR shall 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 SFRTA’s train and FECR’s train, and the allocation as between SFRTA and FECR, regardless of whether the other train is treated as an SFRTA 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.
(B) SFRTA and AAF. SFRTA and AAF shall 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 SFRTA’s train and AAF’s train, and the allocation as between SFRTA and AAF, regardless of whether the other train is treated as an SFRTA 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.
h. When more than one train is involved in an incident:
(I) If only an SFRTA train and an FECR train, or only an other train that is an SFRTA train by definition and an FECR train, are involved in an incident, SFRTA shall be responsible for its property and all SFRTA’s commuter rail passengers, SFRTA employees, and SFRTA rail corridor invitees. FECR shall be responsible for its property and all of its employees and FECR rail corridor invitees. SFRTA and FECR shall each share one-half responsibility as to the joint infrastructure and rail corridor invitees who are not SFRTA rail corridor invitees or FECR rail corridor invitees, including, but not limited to, trespassers or third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident.
(II) If only an SFRTA train and an AAF train, or only an other train that is by definition an SFRTA train and an AAF train, are involved in an incident, SFRTA shall be responsible for its property and all SFRTA’s commuter rail passengers, SFRTA employees, and SFRTA rail corridor invitees. AAF shall be responsible for its property and all of its employees, AAF’s intercity rail passengers, and AAF rail corridor invitees. SFRTA and AAF shall each share one-half responsibility as to the joint infrastructure and rail corridor invitees who are not SFRTA rail corridor invitees or AAF rail corridor invitees, including, but not limited to, trespassers or third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident.
(III) If an FECR train, an SFRTA train, and an AAF train are involved in an incident, SFRTA shall be responsible for its property and all SFRTA’s commuter rail passengers, SFRTA employees, and SFRTA rail corridor invitees. AAF shall be responsible for its property and all of its employees, AAF’s intercity rail passengers, and AAF rail corridor invitees. FECR shall be responsible for its property and all of its employees and FECR rail corridor invitees. SFRTA, FECR, and AAF shall each share one-third responsibility as to the joint infrastructure and rail corridor invitees who are not SFRTA rail corridor invitees, AAF rail corridor invitees, or FECR rail corridor invitees, including, but not limited to, trespassers or third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident.
(IV) If an SFRTA train, an FECR train, and an AAF train are involved in an incident, the allocation of liability among SFRTA, FECR, and AAF shall be one-third each as to third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident.
(V) If an SFRTA train, an FECR train, and any other train are involved in an incident, the allocation of liability among SFRTA, FECR, and the other train shall be one-third each as to third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident.
(VI) If an SFRTA train, an AAF train, and any other train are involved in an incident, the allocation of liability among SFRTA, AAF, and the other train shall be one-third each as to third parties outside the rail corridor who incur loss, injury, or damage as a result of the incident.
i. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth in this paragraph, SFRTA is not obligated to indemnify FECR and AAF for any amount in excess of the insurance coverage limit. Regardless of whether SFRTA maintains the insurance coverage required pursuant to paragraph (b) to cover the indemnification obligations of this paragraph, SFRTA shall remain responsible for the indemnification obligations set forth in this paragraph up to the insurance coverage limit.
j. If the non-SFRTA commuter rail service is provided by an entity under contract with AAF, SFRTA may elect, at its sole discretion, to provide the same insurance coverage and to indemnify and hold harmless any non-SFRTA commuter rail service operator to the same extent that it provides such insurance or indemnification to AAF pursuant to this section.
(b) To purchase railroad liability insurance of $295 million per occurrence, which amount shall be adjusted in accordance with applicable law up to the insurance coverage limit, with a $5 million self-insurance retention account that shall be composed of and defined as the “SFRTA insurance program.” The SFRTA insurance program may, at SFRTA’s sole discretion, cover the obligations described in this section or any other service operated by SFRTA on a rail corridor. Because the self-insurance retention account is a part of the SFRTA insurance program, all definitions, terms, conditions, restrictions, exclusions, obligations, and duties included in any and all of the policies of insurance procured by SFRTA for the SFRTA insurance program shall apply to the self-insurance retention account and its application to claims against the applicable insureds. SFRTA shall name FECR and AAF as insureds on any policies it procures pursuant to this section at no cost to AAF and FECR and ensure that all policies shall have a waiver of exclusion for punitive damages and coverage for claims made pursuant to the Federal Employers Liability Act, 45 U.S.C. ss. 51 et seq. Such policies must also include terrorism coverage, pollution coverage, including, but not limited to, coverage applicable in the event of a railroad accident, a derailment, or an overturn, and evacuation expense coverage.
History.s. 1, ch. 2017-138.
343.55 Issuance of revenue bonds.
(1) The authority is authorized to borrow money as provided by the State Bond Act for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of any one or more projects of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority. The principal of, and the interest on, such bonds shall be payable solely from revenues pledged for their payment.
(2) The proceeds of the bonds of each issue shall be used solely for the payment of the cost of the projects for which such bonds shall have been issued, except as provided in the State Bond Act. Such proceeds shall be disbursed and used as provided in this part and in such manner and under such restrictions, if any, as the Division of Bond Finance may provide in the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds or in the trust agreement securing the same.
(3)(a) The authority may issue, reissue, or redeem bonds that do not pledge the full faith and credit of the state in such principal amounts as, in the opinion of the authority, is necessary to provide sufficient moneys for achieving its corporate purposes.
(b) The bonds of the authority, whether on original issuance or refunding, must be authorized by resolution of the authority after approval of the issuance of the bonds at a public hearing. These bonds may be term or serial bonds, shall bear such date or dates, mature at such time or times, bear interest at such rate or rates, at such times, be in such denominations, be in such form, coupon or fully registered, shall carry registration, have exchangeability and interchangeability privileges, be payable in such medium of payment and at such place or places, be subject to such terms of redemption and be entitled to such priorities on the revenues, rates, fees, rentals, or other charges or receipts of the authority as any resolution subsequent thereto may provide. The bonds must be executed by officers as the authority determines under the requirements of s. 279.06.
(c) The authority shall sell the bonds at public sale by competitive bid. However, if the authority receives a written recommendation from a financial adviser and the authority determines, by official action, that a negotiated sale of the bonds is in the best interest of the authority, the authority may negotiate sale of the bonds with the underwriter designated by the authority, after a public hearing and by a two-thirds vote of all voting members of the authority. The authority shall provide specific findings in a resolution as to the reasons requiring the negotiated sale. This resolution shall incorporate and have attached the written recommendation of the financial adviser required by this subsection.
(d) Any such resolution authorizing any bonds that do not pledge the full faith and credit of the sale may contain provisions that are part of the contract with the holders of the bonds as the authority determines proper. In addition, the authority may enter into a trust indenture or other agreement with its fiscal agent or with any bank or trust company within or without the state as security for such bonds and may, under an agreement, assign and pledge the revenues, rates, fees, rentals, tolls, or other charges or receipts of the authority.
(e) Any bond that is issued pursuant to this part is a negotiable instrument and has all the qualities and incidents of a negotiable instrument under the laws governing merchants and negotiable instruments in this state.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-351; s. 5, ch. 2003-159; s. 2, ch. 2007-255.
343.56 Bonds not debts or pledges of credit of state.Revenue bonds issued under the provisions of this part are not debts of the state or pledges of the faith and credit of the state. Such bonds are payable exclusively from revenues pledged for their payment. All such bonds shall contain a statement on their face that the state is not obligated to pay the same or the interest thereon, except from the revenues pledged for their payment, and that the faith and credit of the state is not pledged to the payment of the principal or interest of such bonds. The issuance of revenue bonds under the provisions of this part does not directly, indirectly, or contingently obligate the state to levy or to pledge any form of taxation whatsoever, or to make any appropriation for their payment. No state funds shall be used or pledged to pay the principal or interest of any bonds issued to finance or refinance any portion of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority transit system, and all such bonds shall contain a statement on their face to this effect.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-351; s. 21, ch. 2000-266; s. 6, ch. 2003-159; s. 65, ch. 2012-174.
343.57 Pledge to bondholders not to restrict certain rights of authority.The state pledges to and agrees with the holders of the bonds issued pursuant to this part that the state will not limit or restrict the rights vested in the authority to construct, reconstruct, maintain, and operate any project as defined in this part, to establish and collect such fees or other charges as may be convenient or necessary to produce sufficient revenues to meet the expenses of maintenance and operation of the system, and to fulfill the terms of any agreements made with the holders of bonds authorized by this part. The state further pledges that it will not in any way impair the rights or remedies of the holders of such bonds until the bonds, together with interest thereon, are fully paid and discharged. Nothing in this section or in any agreement between the authority and the Department of Transportation shall be construed to require the Legislature to make or continue any appropriation of state funds to the authority, including, but not limited to, the amounts specified in s. 343.58(4), nor shall any holder of bonds have any right to require the Legislature to make or continue any appropriation of state funds.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-351; s. 7, ch. 2003-159; s. 66, ch. 2012-174.
343.58 County funding for the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.
(1) Each county served by the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority must dedicate and transfer not less than $2.67 million to the authority annually. The recurring annual $2.67 million must be dedicated by the governing body of each county before October 31 of each fiscal year. These funds may be used for capital, operations, and maintenance.
(2) At least $45 million of a state-authorized, local option recurring funding source available to Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties is directed to the authority to fund its capital, operating, and maintenance expenses. The funding source shall be dedicated to the authority only if Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties impose the local option funding source.
(3) In addition, each county shall continue to annually fund the operations of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority in an amount not less than $1.565 million. Revenue raised pursuant to this subsection shall also be considered a dedicated funding source.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and effective July 1, 2010, until as provided in paragraph (d), the department shall transfer annually from the State Transportation Trust Fund to the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority the amounts specified in subparagraph (a)1. or subparagraph (a)2.
(a)1. If the authority becomes responsible for maintaining and dispatching the South Florida Rail Corridor:
a. $15 million from the State Transportation Trust Fund to the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority for operations, maintenance, and dispatch; and
b. An amount no less than the work program commitments equal to $27.1 million for fiscal year 2010-2011, as of July 1, 2009, for operating assistance to the authority and corridor track maintenance and contract maintenance for the South Florida Rail Corridor.
2. If the authority does not become responsible for maintaining and dispatching the South Florida Rail Corridor:
a. $13.3 million from the State Transportation Trust Fund to the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority for operations; and
b. An amount no less than the work program commitments equal to $17.3 million for fiscal year 2010-2011, as of July 1, 2009, for operating assistance to the authority.
(b) Funding required by this subsection may not be provided from the funds dedicated to the Florida Rail Enterprise pursuant to s. 201.15(4)(a)4.
(c)1. Funds provided to the authority by the department under this subsection constitute state financial assistance provided to a nonstate entity to carry out a state project subject to ss. 215.97 and 215.971. The department shall provide the funds in accordance with the terms of a written agreement to be entered into between the authority and the department, which shall provide for department review, approval, and audit of authority expenditure of such funds and shall include such other provisions as are required by applicable law. The department is specifically authorized to agree to advance the authority 25 percent of the total funds provided under this subsection for a state fiscal year at the beginning of each state fiscal year, with monthly payments over the fiscal year on a reimbursement basis as supported by invoices and such additional documentation and information as the department may reasonably require and a reconciliation of the advance against remaining invoices in the last quarter of the fiscal year.
2. To enable the department to evaluate the authority’s proposed uses of state funds, the authority shall annually provide the department with its proposed budget for the following authority fiscal year and shall promptly provide the department with any additional documentation or information required by the department for its evaluation of the proposed uses of the state funds.
(d) Funding required by this subsection shall cease upon commencement of an alternate dedicated local funding source sufficient for the authority to meet its responsibilities for operating, maintaining, and dispatching the South Florida Rail Corridor. The authority and the department shall cooperate in the effort to identify and implement such an alternate dedicated local funding source before July 1, 2019. Upon commencement of the alternate dedicated local funding source, the department shall convey to the authority a perpetual commuter rail easement in the South Florida Rail Corridor and all of the department’s right, title, and interest in rolling stock, equipment, tracks, and other personal property owned and used by the department for the operation and maintenance of the commuter rail operations in the South Florida Rail Corridor.
(5) The current funding obligations under subsections (1), (3), and (4) shall cease upon commencement of the collection of funding from the funding source under subsection (2). If the funding under subsection (2) is discontinued for any reason, the funding obligations under subsections (1) and (3) shall resume when collection from the funding source under subsection (2) ceases. Payment by the counties shall be on a pro rata basis the first year following cessation of the funding under subsection (2). The authority shall refund a pro rata share of the payments for the current fiscal year made pursuant to the current funding obligations under subsections (1) and (3) as soon as reasonably practicable after it begins to receive funds under subsection (2). If, by December 31, 2015, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority has not received federal matching funds based upon the dedication of funds under subsection (1), subsection (1) shall be repealed.
(6) Before the authority undertakes any new capital projects or transit system improvements not approved by the authority board, and not identified in the authority’s 5-year capital program, on or before July 1, 2012, the authority shall ensure that the funding available to the authority under this section, together with any revenues available to the authority, are currently, and are anticipated to continue to be, sufficient for the authority to meet its obligations under any agreement through which federal funds have been or are anticipated to be received by the authority.
History.s. 10, ch. 2003-159; s. 3, ch. 2007-255; s. 4, ch. 2009-271; s. 67, ch. 2012-174; s. 32, ch. 2015-229; s. 13, ch. 2017-42; s. 6, ch. 2017-138.
PART II
CENTRAL FLORIDA REGIONAL
TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
343.61 Short title.
343.62 Definitions.
343.63 Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority.
343.64 Powers and duties.
343.65 Issuance of revenue bonds.
343.66 Bonds not debts or pledges of credit of state.
343.67 Pledge to bondholders not to restrict certain rights of authority.
343.61 Short title.This part may be cited as the “Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority Act.”
History.s. 1, ch. 89-351; s. 1, ch. 93-103.
343.62 Definitions.As used in this part, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term:
(1) “Authority” means the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority.
(2) “Board” means the governing body of the authority.
(3) “Commuter railroad” means a complete system of tracks, stations, parking facilities, and rolling stock necessary to effectuate medium-distance to long-distance passenger rail service to or from the surrounding regional municipalities.
(4) “Member” means the individuals constituting the board.
(5) “Public transportation” means transportation of goods and passengers for hire, as a charter service, or without charge, by means, without limitation, of a street railway, elevated railway or fixed guideway, commuter railroad, subway, motor vehicle, motor bus, and any bus, truck, or other means of conveyance operating as a common carrier or otherwise.
(6) “Public transportation facilities” means property, equipment, or buildings that are acquired, built, installed, or established for public transportation systems.
(7) “Public transportation system” means, without limitation, a combination of real and personal property, structures, improvements, buildings, terminals, parking facilities, equipment, plans, and rights-of-way, public rail and fixed guideway transportation facilities, rail or fixed guideway access to, from, or between other transportation terminals, and commuter railroads and commuter rail facilities, or any combination thereof or addition thereto, used, directly or indirectly, useful or convenient for the purpose of public transportation by automobile, truck, bus, rapid transit vehicle, light rail, or heavy rail.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-351; s. 1, ch. 91-142; s. 2, ch. 93-103.
343.63 Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority.
(1) There is created and established a body politic and corporate, an agency of the state, to be known as the “Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority,” hereinafter referred to as the “authority.”
(2) The governing board of the authority shall consist of five voting members as follows:
(a) The chairs of the county commissions of Seminole, Orange, and Osceola Counties, or another member of the commission designated by the county chair, shall each serve as a representative on the board for the full extent of his or her term.
(b) The mayor of the City of Orlando, or a member of the Orlando City Council designated by the mayor, shall serve as a representative on the board for the full extent of his or her term.
(c) The Secretary of Transportation shall appoint the district secretary, or his or her designee, for the district within which the area served by the authority is located and this member shall be a voting member.
(3) A vacancy during a term shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment and only for the balance of the unexpired term.
(4) The members of the authority shall not be entitled to compensation, but shall be reimbursed for travel expenses actually incurred in their duties as provided by law.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-351; s. 2, ch. 91-142; s. 8, ch. 91-418; s. 77, ch. 92-152; s. 3, ch. 93-103; s. 509, ch. 95-148; s. 22, ch. 2000-266; s. 1, ch. 2003-285.
343.64 Powers and duties.
(1)(a) The authority created and established by this part shall have the right to own, operate, maintain, and manage a public transportation system in the area of Seminole, Orange, and Osceola Counties, hereinafter referred to as the Central Florida Regional Transportation System.
(b) It is the express intention of this part that the authority be authorized to plan, develop, own, purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire, demolish, construct, improve, relocate, equip, repair, maintain, operate, and manage a regional public transportation system and public transportation facilities; to establish and determine such policies as may be necessary for the best interest of the operation and promotion of a public transportation system; and to adopt such rules as may be necessary to govern the operation of a public transportation system and public transportation facilities.
(2) The authority may exercise all powers necessary, appurtenant, convenient, or incidental to the carrying out of the aforesaid purposes, including, but not limited to, the following rights and powers:
(a) To sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, complain and defend in all courts in its own name.
(b) To adopt and use a corporate seal.
(c) To have the power of eminent domain for acquisition of the public transportation facilities.
(d) To acquire, purchase, hold, lease as a lessee, and use any franchise or property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, necessary or desirable for carrying out the purposes of the authority.
(e) To sell, convey, exchange, lease, or otherwise dispose of any real or personal property acquired by the authority, including air rights.
(f) To fix, alter, establish, and collect rates, fares, fees, rentals, and other charges for the use of any public transportation system or facilities owned or operated by the authority.
(g) To develop and provide feeder transit services to rail stations.
(h) To adopt bylaws for the regulation of the affairs and the conduct of the business of the authority. The bylaws shall provide for quorum and voting requirements, maintenance of minutes and other official records, and preparation and adoption of an annual budget.
(i) To lease, rent, or contract for the operation or management of any part of a public transportation system or public transportation facility, including concessions. In awarding a contract, the authority shall consider, but is not limited to, the following:
1. The qualifications of each applicant.
2. The level of service.
3. The efficiency, cost, and anticipated revenue.
4. The construction, operation, and management plan.
5. The financial ability to provide reliable service.
6. The impact on other transportation modes, including the ability to interface with other transportation modes and facilities.
(j) To enforce collection of rates, fees, and charges; and to establish and enforce fines and penalties for violations of any rules.
(k) To advertise and promote public transportation systems, public transportation facilities, and activities of the authority.
(l) To employ an executive director, attorney, staff, and consultants.
(m) To cooperate with other governmental entities and to contract with other governmental agencies, including the Department of Transportation, the Federal Government, counties, and municipalities.
(n) To enter into joint development agreements.
(o) To accept funds from other governmental sources, and to accept private donations.
(p) To purchase directly from local, national, or international insurance companies liability insurance which the authority is contractually and legally obligated to provide, the requirements of s. 287.022(1) notwithstanding.
(q) Notwithstanding s. 343.65, to borrow money in a principal amount not to exceed $10 million in any calendar year to refinance all or part of the costs or obligations of the authority, including, but not limited to, obligations of the authority as a lessee under a lease.
(3) The authority shall develop and adopt a plan for the development of the Central Florida Commuter Rail. Such plan shall address the authority’s plan for the development of public and private revenue sources, funding of capital and operating costs, the service to be provided, and the extent to which counties within the area of operation of the authority are to be served. The plan shall be reviewed and updated annually. The plan shall be consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with the approved local government comprehensive plans of the units of local government served by the authority.
(4) The authority may employ a secretary and executive director and such legal, financial, and other professional staff or consultants, technical experts, engineers, and other employees, permanent or temporary, as it may require and may determine the qualifications and fix the compensation of such persons, firms, or corporations. The authority may establish a personnel system for employees of the authority.
(5) The authority may delegate to one or more of its officers or employees such of its powers as it shall deem necessary to carry out the purposes of this part, subject always to the supervision and control of the authority.
(6) The authority, through a resolution of its governing board, may elect to expand its service area and board partnership with any county which is a contiguous county to the existing Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority service area. The board shall determine the conditions and terms, including the number of representatives of such partnership.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-351; s. 3, ch. 91-142; s. 78, ch. 92-152; s. 4, ch. 93-103; s. 1, ch. 98-150; s. 110, ch. 99-385; s. 23, ch. 2000-266; s. 27, ch. 2010-225.
343.65 Issuance of revenue bonds.
(1) The authority is authorized to borrow money as provided by the State Bond Act for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of any one or more Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority projects. The principal of, and the interest on, such bonds shall be payable solely from revenues pledged for their payment.
(2) The proceeds of the bonds of each issue shall be used solely for the payment of the cost of Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority projects for which such bonds shall have been issued, except as provided in the State Bond Act. Such proceeds shall be disbursed and used as provided in this part and in such manner and under such restrictions, if any, as the Division of Bond Finance may provide in the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds or in the trust agreement securing the same.
(3) The Division of Bond Finance is authorized to issue revenue bonds on behalf of the authority to finance or refinance the cost of Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority projects.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-351; s. 5, ch. 93-103.
343.66 Bonds not debts or pledges of credit of state.Revenue bonds issued under the provisions of this part are not debts of the state or pledges of the faith and credit of the state. Such bonds are payable exclusively from revenues pledged for their payment. All such bonds shall contain a statement on their face that the state is not obligated to pay the same or the interest thereon, except from the revenues pledged for their payment, and that the faith and credit of the state is not pledged to the payment of the principal or interest of such bonds. The issuance of revenue bonds under the provisions of this part does not directly, indirectly, or contingently obligate the state to levy or to pledge any form of taxation whatsoever, or to make any appropriation for their payment. No state funds shall be used to pay the principal or interest of any bonds issued to finance or refinance any portion of the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority system, and all such bonds shall contain a statement on their face to this effect.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-351; s. 6, ch. 93-103.
343.67 Pledge to bondholders not to restrict certain rights of authority.The state pledges to and agrees with the holders of the bonds issued pursuant to this part that the state will not limit or restrict the rights vested in the authority to construct, reconstruct, maintain, and operate any Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority project as defined in this part, to establish and collect such fees or other charges as may be convenient or necessary to produce sufficient revenues to meet the expenses of maintenance and operation of the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority system, and to fulfill the terms of any agreements made with the holders of bonds authorized by this part. The state further pledges that it will not in any way impair the rights or remedies of the holders of such bonds until the bonds, together with interest thereon, are fully paid and discharged.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-351; s. 7, ch. 93-103.
PART III
TAMPA BAY AREA REGIONAL
TRANSIT AUTHORITY
343.90 Short title.
343.91 Definitions.
343.92 Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority.
343.922 Powers and duties.
343.94 Bond financing authority.
343.941 Bonds not debts or pledges of faith and credit of state.
343.943 Covenant of the state.
343.944 Remedies of the bondholders.
343.947 Department may be appointed agent of authority for construction.
343.95 Acquisition of lands and property.
343.96 Cooperation with other units, boards, agencies, and individuals.
343.962 Public-private partnerships.
343.97 Exemption from taxation.
343.973 Eligibility for investments and security.
343.975 Complete and additional statutory authority.
343.976 Effect on local government action.
343.90 Short title.This part may be cited as the “Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority Act.”
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254; s. 2, ch. 2017-98.
343.91 Definitions.
(1) As used in this part, the term:
(a) “Authority” means the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority, the body politic and corporate and agency of the state created by this part, covering Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties and any other contiguous county that is party to an agreement of participation.
(b) “Board” means the governing body of the authority.
(c) “Bonds” means the notes, bonds, refunding bonds, or other evidences of indebtedness or obligations, in either temporary or definitive form, which the authority is authorized to issue under this part.
(d)1. “Bus rapid transit” means a type of limited-stop bus service that relies on technology to help expedite service through priority for transit, rapid and convenient fare collection, and integration with land use to substantially upgrade performance of buses operating on exclusive, high-occupancy-vehicle lanes, expressways, or ordinary streets.
2. “Express bus” means a type of bus service designed to expedite longer trips, especially in major metropolitan areas during heavily patronized peak commuting hours, by operating over long distances without stopping on freeways or partially controlled access roadway facilities.
(e)1. “Commuter rail” means a complete system of tracks, guideways, stations, and rolling stock necessary to effectuate medium-distance to long-distance passenger rail service to, from, or within the municipalities within the authority’s designated region.
2. “Heavy rail transit” means a complete rail system operating on an electric railway with the capacity for a heavy volume of traffic, characterized by high-speed and rapid-acceleration passenger rail cars operating singly or in multicar trains on fixed rails in separate rights-of-way from which all other vehicular and pedestrian traffic are excluded. “Heavy rail transit” includes metro, subway, elevated, rapid transit, and rapid rail systems.
3. “Light rail transit” means a complete system of tracks, overhead catenaries, stations, and platforms with lightweight passenger rail cars operating singly or in short, multicar trains on fixed rails in rights-of-way that are not separated from other traffic for much of the way.
(f) “Consultation” means that one party confers with another identified party in accordance with an established process and, prior to taking action, considers that party’s views and periodically informs that party about actions taken.
(g) “Department” means the Florida Department of Transportation.
(h) “Limited access expressway” or “expressway” means a street or highway especially designed for through traffic and over, from, or to which a person does not have the right of easement, use, or access except in accordance with the rules adopted and established by the authority for the use of such facility.
(i) “Members” means the individuals constituting the governing body of the authority.
(j) “Multimodal transportation system” means a well-connected network of transportation modes reflecting a high level of accessibility between modes and proximity to supportive land use patterns.
(k) “Park-and-ride lot” means a transit station stop or a carpool or vanpool waiting area to which patrons may drive private vehicles for parking before gaining access to transit, commuter rail, or heavy rail systems or taking carpool or vanpool vehicles to their destinations.
(l) “State Board of Administration” means the body corporate existing under the provisions of s. 4, Art. IV of the State Constitution, or any successor thereto.
(m) “Transit-oriented development” means a mixed-use residential or commercial area designed to maximize access to public transportation and often incorporates features to encourage transit ridership. A transit-oriented development neighborhood typically has a center with a train station, tram stop, or bus station surrounded by relatively high-density development with progressively lower-density development spreading outward from the center, typically within 1/2 mile of the stop or station.
(n) “Transit station” means a public transportation passenger facility that is accessible either at street level or on above-grade platforms and often surrounded by pedestrian-friendly, higher-density development or park-and-ride lots.
(2) Terms importing singular number include the plural number in each case and vice versa, and terms importing persons include firms and corporations.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254; s. 8, ch. 2011-64; s. 54, ch. 2013-15; s. 3, ch. 2017-98.
343.92 Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority.
(1) There is created and established a body politic and corporate, an agency of the state, to be known as the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority.
(2) The governing board of the authority shall consist of 13 voting members appointed no later than 45 days after the creation of the authority.
(a) The secretary of the department shall appoint two advisors to the board who must be the district secretary for each of the department districts within the designated area of the authority.
(b) The 13 voting members of the board shall be as follows:
1. The county commissions of Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties shall each appoint one county commissioner to the board. Members appointed under this subparagraph shall serve 2-year terms with not more than three consecutive terms being served by any person. If a member under this subparagraph leaves elected office, a vacancy exists on the board to be filled as provided in this subparagraph within 90 days.
2.a. Two members of the board shall be the mayor, or the mayor’s designated alternate, of the largest municipality within the service area of each of the following independent transit agencies or their legislatively created successor agencies: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority. The largest municipality is that municipality with the largest population as determined by the most recent United States Decennial Census.
b. The mayor’s designated alternate must be an elected member of the municipality’s city council and approved as the mayor’s designated alternate by the municipality’s city council. In the event the mayor is unable to attend a meeting, the mayor’s designated alternate shall attend the meeting on the mayor’s behalf and has the full right to vote.
3. The following independent transit agencies or their legislatively created successor agencies shall each appoint from the membership of their governing bodies one member to the board: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority. Each member appointed under this subparagraph shall serve a 2-year term with not more than three consecutive terms being served by any person. If a member no longer meets the transit authority’s criteria for appointment, a vacancy exists on the board, which must be filled as provided in this subparagraph within 90 days.
4. The Governor shall appoint to the board four members from the regional business community, each of whom must reside in one of the counties governed by the authority and may not be an elected official. Of the members initially appointed under this subparagraph, one shall serve a 1-year term, two shall serve 2-year terms, and one shall serve a term as the initial chair as provided in subsection (5). Thereafter, a member appointed under this subparagraph shall serve a 2-year term with not more than three consecutive terms being served by any person.

Appointments may be staggered to avoid mass turnover at the end of any 2-year or 4-year period. A vacancy during a term shall be filled within 90 days in the same manner as the original appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term.

(3) The members of the board shall serve without compensation but shall be entitled to receive from the authority reimbursement for travel expenses and per diem actually incurred in connection with the business of the authority as provided in s. 112.061.
(4) Members of the board shall comply with the applicable financial disclosure requirements of ss. 112.3145, 112.3148, and 112.3149.
(5) The Governor shall appoint one of the four members appointed under subparagraph (2)(b)4. as the initial chair of the board immediately upon their appointment. The initial chair shall serve a minimum term of 2 years. The board shall elect a vice chair and secretary-treasurer from among its members who shall serve a minimum term of 1 year and shall establish the duties and powers of those positions during its inaugural meeting. During its inaugural meeting, the board shall also establish its rules of conduct and meeting procedures.
(6) At the end of the initial chair’s term, the board shall elect a chair from among the members. The chair shall hold office at the will of the board. In that election, the board shall also elect a vice chair and secretary-treasurer.
(7) The first meeting of the authority shall be held no later than 60 days after the creation of the authority.
(8) A simple majority of the board shall constitute a quorum, and a simple majority of the voting members present shall be necessary for any action to be taken by the board. The authority may meet upon the constitution of a quorum. A vacancy does not impair the right of a quorum of the board to exercise all rights and the ability to perform all duties of the authority.
(9) The authority may employ an executive director, an executive secretary, its own legal counsel and legal staff, technical experts, engineers, and such employees, permanent or temporary, as it may require. The authority shall determine the qualifications and fix the compensation of such persons, firms, or corporations and may employ a fiscal agent or agents; however, the authority shall solicit sealed proposals from at least three persons, firms, or corporations for the performance of any services as fiscal agents. The authority may, except for duties specified in chapter 120, delegate its power to one or more of its agents or employees to carry out the purposes of this part, subject always to the supervision and control of the authority.
(10) Persons appointed to a committee shall serve without compensation but may be entitled to per diem or travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254; s. 71, ch. 2008-4; s. 49, ch. 2016-239; s. 4, ch. 2017-98; s. 14, ch. 2021-188.
343.922 Powers and duties.
(1) The express purposes of the authority are to:
(a) Plan, implement, and operate mobility improvements and expansions of multimodal transportation options for passengers and freight throughout the designated region.
(b) Produce a regional transit development plan, integrating the transit development plans of participant counties, to include a prioritization of regionally significant transit projects and facilities.
1. The authority shall provide to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, on or before the beginning of the 2018 Regular Session, a plan to produce the regional transit development plan.
2. The regional transit development plan prepared by the authority must adhere to guidance and regulations set forth by the department or any successor agency, including, but not limited to:
a. Public involvement;
b. Collection and analysis of socioeconomic data;
c. Performance evaluation of existing services;
d. Service design and ridership forecasting; and
e. Financial planning.
(c) Serve, with the consent of the Governor or his or her designee, as the recipient of federal funds supporting an intercounty project or an intracounty capital project that represents a phase of an intercounty project that exists in a single county within the designated region.
(2)(a) The authority has the right to plan, develop, finance, construct, own, purchase, operate, maintain, relocate, equip, repair, and manage those public transportation projects, such as express bus services; bus rapid transit services; light rail, commuter rail, heavy rail, or other transit services; ferry services; transit stations; park-and-ride lots; transit-oriented development nodes; or feeder roads, reliever roads, connector roads, bypasses, or appurtenant facilities, that are intended to address critical transportation needs or concerns in the region as identified by the authority. These projects may also include all necessary approaches, roads, bridges, and avenues of access that are desirable and proper with the concurrence of the department, as applicable, if the project is to be part of the State Highway System.
(b) Any transportation facilities constructed by the authority may be tolled. Fare payment methods for public transportation projects shall promote seamless integration between regional and local transit systems. Tolling technologies shall be consistent with the systems used by the Florida Turnpike Enterprise for the purpose of allowing the use of a single transponder or a similar electronic tolling device for all facilities of the authority and the Florida Turnpike Enterprise.
(c) The authority shall coordinate and consult with local governments on transit or commuter rail station area plans that provide for compact, mixed-use, transit-oriented development that will support transit investments and provide a variety of workforce housing choices, recognizing the need for housing alternatives for a variety of income ranges.
(3)(a) The authority shall develop and adopt a regional transit development plan that provides a vision for a regionally integrated transportation system. The goals and objectives of the plan are to identify areas of the region where mobility, traffic safety, freight mobility, and efficient emergency evacuation alternatives need to be improved; identify areas of the region where multimodal transportation systems would be most beneficial to enhance mobility and economic development; develop methods of building partnerships with local governments, existing transit providers, expressway authorities, seaports, airports, and other local, state, and federal entities; develop methods of building partnerships with CSX Corporation and CSX Transportation, Inc., to craft mutually beneficial solutions to achieve the authority’s objectives, and with other private sector business community entities that may further the authority’s mission; and engage the public in support of regional multimodal transportation improvements. The plan shall identify and may prioritize projects that will accomplish these goals and objectives, including, without limitation, the creation of express bus and bus rapid transit services, light rail, commuter rail, and heavy rail transit services, ferry services, freight services, and any other multimodal transportation system projects that address critical transportation needs or concerns, pursuant to subsection (2); and identify the costs of the proposed projects and revenue sources that could be used to pay those costs. In developing the plan, the authority shall review and coordinate with the future land use, capital improvements, and traffic circulation elements of its member local governments’ comprehensive plans and the plans, programs, and schedules of other units of government having transit or transportation authority within whose jurisdictions the projects or improvements will be located to define and resolve potential inconsistencies between such plans and the authority’s developing plan.
(b) The authority shall consult with the department to further the goals and objectives of the Strategic Regional Transit Needs Assessment completed by the department.
(c) Before the adoption of the regional transit development plan, the authority shall hold at least one public meeting in each of the counties within the designated region. At least one public hearing must be held before the authority’s board.
(d) After its adoption, the regional transit development plan shall be updated every 5 years before July 1.
(e) The authority shall present the regional transit development plan and updates to the governing bodies of the counties within the designated region and to the legislative delegation members representing those counties within 90 days after adoption.
(4) The authority may undertake projects or other improvements in the regional transit development plan in phases as particular projects or segments become feasible, as determined by the authority. The authority shall coordinate project planning, development, and implementation with the applicable local governments. The authority’s projects that are transportation oriented must be consistent to the maximum extent feasible with the adopted local government comprehensive plans at the time such projects are funded for construction. Authority projects that are not transportation oriented and meet the definition of development pursuant to s. 380.04 must be consistent with the local comprehensive plans. In carrying out its purposes and powers, the authority may request funding and technical assistance from the department and appropriate federal and local agencies, including, but not limited to, state infrastructure bank loans.
(5) The authority is granted and may exercise all powers necessary, appurtenant, convenient, or incidental to the carrying out of the aforesaid purposes, including, but not limited to, the following rights and powers:
(a) To sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, and complain and defend in all courts in its own name.
(b) To adopt and use a corporate seal.
(c) To have the power of eminent domain, including the procedural powers granted under chapters 73 and 74.
(d) To acquire by donation or otherwise, purchase, hold, construct, maintain, improve, operate, own, lease as a lessee, and use any franchise or property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any option thereof in its own name or in conjunction with others, or any interest therein, necessary or desirable for carrying out the purposes of the authority.
(e) To sell, convey, exchange, lease as a lessor, transfer, or otherwise dispose of any real or personal property, or interest therein, acquired by the authority, including air rights.
(f) To fix, alter, establish, and collect rates, fares, fees, rentals, tolls, and other charges for the services and use of any light rail, commuter rail, heavy rail, bus rapid transit, or express bus services, ferry services, highways, feeder roads, bridges, or other transportation facilities owned or operated by the authority. These rates, fares, fees, rentals, tolls, and other charges shall always be sufficient to comply with any covenants made with the holders of any bonds issued pursuant to this part; however, such right and power may be assigned or delegated by the authority to the department.
(g) To borrow money and to make and issue negotiable notes, bonds, refunding bonds, and other evidences of indebtedness or obligations, either in temporary or definitive form, hereinafter in this chapter sometimes called “revenue bonds” of the authority, for the purpose of financing all or part of the mobility improvements within the region, as well as the appurtenant facilities, including all approaches, streets, roads, bridges, and avenues of access authorized by this part, the bonds to mature not exceeding 40 years after the date of the issuance thereof, and to secure the payment of such bonds or any part thereof by a pledge of any or all of its revenues, rates, fees, rentals, or other charges.
(h) To adopt bylaws for the regulation of the affairs and the conduct of the business of the authority. The bylaws shall provide for quorum and voting requirements, maintenance of minutes and other official records, and preparation and adoption of an annual budget.
(i) To lease, rent, or contract for the operation or management of any part of a transportation system facility built by the authority. In awarding any contract, the authority shall consider, but is not limited to, the following:
1. The qualifications of each applicant.
2. The level or quality of service.
3. The efficiency, cost, and anticipated revenue.
4. The construction, operation, and management plan.
5. The financial ability to provide reliable service.
6. The impact on other transportation modes, including the ability to interface with other transportation modes and facilities.
(j) To enforce collection of rates, fees, tolls, and charges and to establish and enforce fines and penalties for violations of any rules.
(k) To advertise, market, and promote regional transit services and facilities, freight mobility plans and projects, and the general activities of the authority.
(l) To cooperate with other governmental entities and to contract with other governmental agencies, including the Federal Government, the department, counties, transit authorities or agencies, municipalities, and expressway and bridge authorities.
(m) To enter into joint development agreements, partnerships, and other agreements with public and private entities respecting ownership and revenue participation in order to facilitate financing and constructing any project or portions thereof.
(n) To accept grants and other funds from other governmental sources and to accept private donations. However, the authority shall not be directly eligible for Transportation Regional Incentive Program funds allocated pursuant to s. 339.2819, except through interlocal agreement with an eligible recipient.
(o) To purchase directly from local, national, or international insurance companies liability insurance that the authority is contractually and legally obligated to provide, notwithstanding the requirements of s. 287.022(1).
(p) To enter into and make lease-purchase agreements with the department for terms not exceeding 40 years or until any bonds secured by a pledge of rentals thereunder, and any refundings thereof, are fully paid as to both principal and interest, whichever is longer.
(q) To make contracts of every name and nature, including, but not limited to, partnerships providing for participation in ownership and revenues, and to execute all instruments necessary or convenient for the carrying on of its business.
(r) To do all acts and things necessary or convenient for the conduct of its business and the general welfare of the authority in order to carry out the powers granted to it by this part or any other law.
(6) The authority shall institute procedures to ensure that jobs created as a result of state funding pursuant to this section shall be subject to equal opportunity hiring practices as provided for in s. 110.112.
(7) The authority shall comply with all statutory requirements of general application which relate to the filing of any report or documentation required by law, including the requirements of ss. 189.015, 189.016, 189.051, and 189.08.
(8) The authority does not have power at any time or in any manner to pledge the credit or taxing power of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof, nor shall any of the authority’s obligations be deemed to be obligations of the state or of any political subdivision or agency thereof, nor shall the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof, except the authority, be liable for the payment of the principal of or interest on such obligations.
(9)(a) An action by the authority regarding state funding of commuter rail, heavy rail transit, or light rail transit, as defined in s. 343.91, or any combination thereof, requires approval by a majority vote of each M.P.O. serving the county or counties where such rail transit investment will be made, and the approval by an act of the Legislature.
(b) Subject to the requirements of s. 106.113, the authority may not engage in any advocacy regarding a referendum, ordinance, legislation, or proposal under consideration by any governmental entity or the Legislature which seeks to approve the funding of commuter rail, heavy rail transit, or light rail transit, as defined in s. 343.91, or any combination thereof.
(10) The authority must conduct a feasibility study, through an independent third party, for any project of commuter rail, heavy rail transit, or light rail transit, as defined in s. 343.91, or any combination thereof, before proceeding with the development of the project and before any related contract is issued. The feasibility study shall be submitted, upon completion, to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the boards of county commissioners of Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254; s. 83, ch. 2014-22; s. 21, ch. 2014-223; s. 50, ch. 2016-239; s. 5, ch. 2017-98; s. 70, ch. 2020-2; s. 15, ch. 2021-188.
343.94 Bond financing authority.
(1) Pursuant to s. 11(f), Art. VII of the State Constitution, the Legislature approves bond financing by the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority for construction of or improvements to commuter rail systems, transit systems, ferry systems, highways, bridges, toll collection facilities, interchanges to the system, and any other transportation facility appurtenant, necessary, or incidental to the system. Subject to terms and conditions of applicable revenue bond resolutions and covenants, such costs may be financed in whole or in part by revenue bonds issued pursuant to paragraph (2)(a) or paragraph (2)(b), whether currently issued or issued in the future or by a combination of such bonds.
(2)(a) Bonds may be issued on behalf of the authority pursuant to the State Bond Act.
(b) Alternatively, the authority may issue its own bonds pursuant to this part at such times and in such principal amount as, in the opinion of the authority, is necessary to provide sufficient moneys for achieving its purposes; however, such bonds may not pledge the full faith and credit of the state. Bonds issued by the authority pursuant to this paragraph or paragraph (a), whether on original issuance or on refunding, shall be authorized by resolution of the members thereof, may be either term or serial bonds, and shall bear such date or dates, mature at such time or times, not exceeding 40 years after their respective dates, bear interest at such rate or rates, be payable semiannually, be in such denominations, be in such form, either coupon or fully registered, carry such registration, exchangeability, and interchangeability privileges, be payable in such medium of payment and at such place or places, be subject to such terms of redemption, and be entitled to such priorities on the revenues, rates, fees, rentals, or other charges or receipts of the authority, including revenues from lease-purchase agreements, as such resolution or any resolution subsequent thereto may provide. The bonds shall be executed either by manual or facsimile signature by such officers as the authority shall determine; however, such bonds shall bear at least one signature that is manually executed thereon, and the coupons attached to such bonds shall bear the facsimile signature or signatures of such officer or officers as shall be designated by the authority and have the seal of the authority affixed, imprinted, reproduced, or lithographed thereon, all as may be prescribed in such resolution or resolutions.
(c) Bonds issued pursuant to paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) shall be sold at public sale in the manner provided by the State Bond Act. However, if the authority, by official action at a public meeting, determines that a negotiated sale of such bonds is in the best interest of the authority, the authority may negotiate the sale of such bonds with the underwriter designated by the authority and the Division of Bond Finance within the State Board of Administration with respect to bonds issued pursuant to paragraph (a) or solely by the authority with respect to bonds issued pursuant to paragraph (b). The authority’s determination to negotiate the sale of such bonds may be based, in part, upon the written advice of the authority’s financial adviser. Pending the preparation of definitive bonds, interim certificates may be issued to the purchaser or purchasers of such bonds and may contain such terms and conditions as the authority may determine.
(d) The authority may issue bonds pursuant to paragraph (b) to refund any bonds previously issued regardless of whether the bonds being refunded were issued by the authority pursuant to this chapter or on behalf of the authority pursuant to the State Bond Act.
(3) Any such resolution or resolutions authorizing any bonds hereunder may contain provisions that are part of the contract with the holders of such bonds, as to:
(a) The pledging of all or any part of the revenues, fares, rates, fees, rentals, or other charges or receipts of the authority, derived by the authority.
(b) The completion, improvement, operation, extension, maintenance, repair, or lease of the system and the duties of the authority and others, including the department, with reference thereto.
(c) Limitations on the purposes to which the proceeds of the bonds, then or thereafter to be issued, or of any loan or grant by the United States or the state may be applied.
(d) The fixing, charging, establishing, and collecting of rates, fees, rentals, or other charges for use of the services and facilities constructed by the authority.
(e) The setting aside of reserves or sinking funds or repair and replacement funds and the regulation and disposition thereof.
(f) Limitations on the issuance of additional bonds.
(g) The terms and provisions of any lease-purchase agreement, deed of trust, or indenture securing the bonds or under which the same may be issued.
(h) Any other or additional agreements with the holders of the bonds which the authority may deem desirable and proper.
(4) The authority may employ fiscal agents as provided by this part or the State Board of Administration may, upon request of the authority, act as fiscal agent for the authority in the issuance of any bonds that are issued pursuant to this part, and the State Board of Administration may, upon request of the authority, take over the management, control, administration, custody, and payment of any or all debt services or funds or assets now or hereafter available for any bonds issued pursuant to this part. The authority may enter into any deeds of trust, indentures, or other agreements with its fiscal agent, or with any bank or trust company within or without the state, as security for such bonds and may, under such agreements, sign and pledge all or any of the revenues, rates, fees, rentals, or other charges or receipts of the authority. Such deed of trust, indenture, or other agreement may contain such provisions as are customary in such instruments or as the authority authorizes, including, but without limitation, provisions as to:
(a) The completion, improvement, operation, extension, maintenance, repair, and lease of highway, bridge, and related transportation facilities and appurtenances and the duties of the authority and others with reference thereto.
(b) The application of funds and the safeguarding of funds on hand or on deposit.
(c) The rights and remedies of the trustee and the holders of the bonds.
(d) The terms and provisions of the bonds or the resolutions authorizing the issuance of the bonds.
(5) Any of the bonds issued pursuant to this part are, and are hereby declared to be, negotiable instruments and have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the law merchant and the negotiable instruments law of the state.
(6) Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this part, each project, building, or facility that has been financed by the issuance of bonds or other evidence of indebtedness under this part and any refinancing thereof are hereby approved as provided for in s. 11(f), Art. VII of the State Constitution.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254; s. 9, ch. 2011-64; s. 6, ch. 2017-98.
343.941 Bonds not debts or pledges of faith and credit of state.Revenue bonds issued under the provisions of this part are not debts of the state or pledges of the faith and credit of the state. Such bonds are payable exclusively from revenues pledged for their payment. Each such bond shall contain a statement on its face that the state is not obligated to pay the same or the interest thereon, except from the revenues pledged for its payment, and that the faith and credit of the state is not pledged to the payment of the principal or interest of such bond. The issuance of revenue bonds under the provisions of this part does not directly, indirectly, or contingently obligate the state to levy or to pledge any form of taxation whatsoever, or to make any appropriation for their payment. No state funds shall be used to pay the principal or interest of any bonds issued to finance or refinance any portion of the authority’s transportation projects, and each such bond shall contain a statement on its face to this effect.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254.
343.943 Covenant of the state.The state does hereby pledge to, and agrees with, any person, firm, or corporation or federal or state agency subscribing to or acquiring the bonds to be issued by the authority for the purposes of this part that the state will not limit or alter the rights hereby vested in the authority and the department until all bonds at any time issued, together with the interest thereon, are fully paid and discharged insofar as the same affects the rights of the holders of bonds issued hereunder. The state does further pledge to, and agree with, the United States that, if any federal agency constructs or contributes any funds for the completion, extension, or improvement of the system or any part or portion thereof, the state will not alter or limit the rights and powers of the authority and the department in any manner which would be inconsistent with the continued maintenance and operation of the system or the completion, extension, or improvement thereof or which would be inconsistent with the due performance of any agreements between the authority and any such federal agency. The authority and the department shall continue to have and may exercise all powers herein granted so long as necessary or desirable for the carrying out of the purposes of this part and the purposes of the United States in the completion, extension, or improvement of the system or any part or portion thereof.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254.
343.944 Remedies of the bondholders.
(1) The rights and the remedies in this section conferred upon or granted to the bondholders are in addition to and not in limitation of any rights and remedies lawfully granted to such bondholders by the resolution or resolutions providing for the issuance of bonds or by a deed of trust, indenture, or other agreement under which the bonds may be issued or secured. If the authority defaults in the payment of the principal of or interest on any of the bonds issued pursuant to the provisions of this part after such principal of or interest on the bonds becomes due, whether at maturity or upon call for redemption, and such default continues for a period of 30 days, or if the authority or the department fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of this part or any agreement made with, or for the benefit of, the holders of the bonds, the holders of 25 percent in aggregate principal amount of the bonds then outstanding may appoint a trustee to represent such bondholders for the purposes hereof, if such holders of 25 percent in aggregate principal amount of the bonds then outstanding shall first give notice of their intention to appoint a trustee to the authority. Such notice shall be deemed to have been given if given in writing, deposited in a securely sealed postpaid wrapper, mailed at a regularly maintained United States post office box or station, and addressed, respectively, to the chair of the authority.
(2) Such trustee and any trustee under any deed of trust, indenture, or other agreement may and, upon written request of the holders of 25 percent or such other percentages as are specified in any deed of trust, indenture, or other agreement aforesaid in principal amount of the bonds then outstanding, shall, in any court of competent jurisdiction, in his, her, or its own name:
(a) By mandamus or other suit, action, or proceeding at law or in equity, enforce all rights of the bondholders, including the right to require the authority to fix, establish, maintain, collect, and charge rates, fees, rentals, and other charges adequate to carry out any agreement as to or pledge of the revenues or receipts of the authority, to carry out any other covenants and agreements with or for the benefit of the bondholders, and to perform its and their duties under this part.
(b) Bring suit upon the bonds.
(c) By action or suit in equity, require the authority or the department to account as if it were the trustee of an express trust for the bondholders.
(d) By action or suit in equity, enjoin any acts or things that may be unlawful or in violation of the rights of the bondholders.
(3) Any trustee, when appointed as aforesaid or acting under a deed of trust, indenture, or other agreement, and regardless of whether all bonds have been declared due and payable, may appoint a receiver who may enter upon and take possession of the system or the facilities or any part or parts thereof, the rates, fees, rentals, or other revenues, charges, or receipts from which are or may be applicable to the payment of the bonds so in default and operate and maintain the same for and on behalf of and in the name of the authority and the bondholders, and collect and receive all rates, fees, rentals, and other charges or receipts or revenues arising therefrom in the same manner as the authority might do, and shall deposit all such moneys in a separate account and apply such moneys in such manner as the court shall direct. In any suit, action, or proceeding by the trustee, the fees, counsel fees, and expenses of the trustee and the receiver, if any, and all costs and disbursements allowed by the court shall be a first charge on any rates, fees, rentals, or other charges, revenues, or receipts derived from the system or the facilities or services or any part or parts thereof, which rates, fees, rentals, or other charges, revenues, or receipts may be applicable to the payment of the bonds so in default. Such trustee, in addition to the foregoing, possesses all of the powers necessary for the exercise of any functions specifically set forth herein or incident to the representation of the bondholders in the enforcement and protection of their rights.
(4) This section or any other section of this part does not authorize any receiver appointed pursuant hereto for the purpose of operating and maintaining the system or any facilities or part or parts thereof to sell, assign, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of any of the assets of whatever kind and character belonging to the authority. It is the intention of this part to limit the powers of such receiver to the operation and maintenance of the system or any facility or part or parts thereof, as the court may direct, in the name of and for and on behalf of the authority and the bondholders. In any suit, action, or proceeding at law or in equity, a holder of bonds on the authority, a trustee, or any court may not compel or direct a receiver to sell, assign, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of any assets of whatever kind or character belonging to the authority. A receiver also may not be authorized to sell, assign, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of any assets of whatever kind or character belonging to the authority in any suit, action, or proceeding at law or in equity.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254; s. 10, ch. 2011-64.
343.947 Department may be appointed agent of authority for construction.The department may be appointed by the authority as its agent for the purpose of constructing and completing transportation projects, and improvements and extensions thereto, in the authority’s regional transit development plan. In such event, the authority shall provide the department with complete copies of all documents, agreements, resolutions, contracts, and instruments relating thereto; shall request the department to do such construction work, including the planning, surveying, and actual construction of the completion, extensions, and improvements to the system; and shall transfer to the credit of an account of the department in the treasury of the state the necessary funds therefor. The department shall proceed with such construction and use the funds for such purpose in the same manner that it is now authorized to use the funds otherwise provided by law for its use in construction of commuter rail systems, transit systems, ferry systems, roads, bridges, and related transportation facilities.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254; s. 7, ch. 2017-98.
343.95 Acquisition of lands and property.
(1) For the purposes of this part, the authority may acquire private or public property and property rights, including rights of access, air, view, and light, by gift, devise, purchase, or condemnation by eminent domain proceedings, as the authority may deem necessary for any purpose of this part, including, but not limited to, any lands reasonably necessary for securing applicable permits, areas necessary for management of access, borrow pits, drainage ditches, water retention areas, rest areas, replacement access for landowners whose access is impaired due to the construction of a facility, and replacement rights-of-way for relocated rail and utility facilities; for existing, proposed, or anticipated transportation facilities within the region designated by the authority; or for the purposes of screening, relocation, removal, or disposal of junkyards and scrap metal processing facilities. The authority may condemn any material and property necessary for such purposes.
(2) The right of eminent domain herein conferred shall be exercised by the authority in the manner provided by law.
(3) When the authority acquires property for a transportation facility within the designated region, the authority is not subject to any liability imposed by chapter 376 or chapter 403 for preexisting soil or groundwater contamination due solely to its ownership. This subsection does not affect the rights or liabilities of any past or future owners of the acquired property, nor does it affect the liability of any governmental entity for the results of its actions which create or exacerbate a pollution source. The authority and the Department of Environmental Protection may enter into interagency agreements for the performance, funding, and reimbursement of the investigative and remedial acts necessary for property acquired by the authority.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254; s. 8, ch. 2017-98.
343.96 Cooperation with other units, boards, agencies, and individuals.Express authority and power is hereby given and granted to any county, municipality, drainage district, road and bridge district, school district, or any other political subdivision, board, commission, or individual in or of the state to make and enter into contracts, leases, conveyances, partnerships, or other agreements with the authority within the provisions and purposes of this part. The authority may make and enter into contracts, leases, conveyances, partnerships, and other agreements with any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the state and any and all federal agencies, corporations, and individuals for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this part.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254.
343.962 Public-private partnerships.
(1) The authority may receive or solicit proposals and enter into agreements with private entities or consortia thereof for the building, operation, ownership, or financing of multimodal transportation systems, transit-oriented development nodes, transit stations, or related facilities within the jurisdiction of the authority. Before approval, the authority must determine that a proposed project:
(a) Is in the public’s best interest.
(b) Would not require state funds to be used unless the project is on or provides increased mobility on the State Highway System.
(c) Would have adequate safeguards to ensure that additional costs or unreasonable service disruptions would not be realized by the traveling public and citizens of the state in the event of default or the cancellation of the agreement by the authority.
(2) The authority shall ensure that all reasonable costs to the state related to transportation facilities that are not part of the State Highway System are borne by the private entity or any partnership created to develop the facilities. The authority shall also ensure that all reasonable costs to the state and substantially affected local governments and utilities related to the private transportation facility are borne by the private entity for transportation facilities that are owned by private entities. For projects on the State Highway System or that provide increased mobility on the State Highway System, the department may use state resources to participate in funding and financing the project as provided for under the department’s enabling legislation.
(3) The authority may request proposals and receive unsolicited proposals for public-private multimodal transportation projects, and, upon receipt of any unsolicited proposal or determination to issue a request for proposals, the authority must publish a notice in the Florida Administrative Register and a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the proposed project is located at least once a week for 2 weeks requesting proposals or, if an unsolicited proposal was received, stating that it has received the proposal and will accept, for 60 days after the initial date of publication, other proposals for the same project purpose. A copy of the notice must be mailed to each local government in the affected areas. After the public notification period has expired, the authority shall rank the proposals in order of preference. In ranking the proposals, the authority shall consider professional qualifications, general business terms, innovative engineering or cost-reduction terms, finance plans, and the need for state funds to deliver the proposal. If the authority is not satisfied with the results of the negotiations, it may, at its sole discretion, terminate negotiations with the proposer. If these negotiations are unsuccessful, the authority may go to the second and lower-ranked firms, in order, using the same procedure. If only one proposal is received, the authority may negotiate in good faith and, if it is not satisfied with the results, it may, at its sole discretion, terminate negotiations with the proposer. Notwithstanding this subsection, the authority may, at its discretion, reject all proposals at any point in the process up to completion of a contract with the proposer.
(4) Agreements entered into pursuant to this section may authorize the public-private entity to impose tolls or fares for the use of the facility. However, the amount and use of toll or fare revenues shall be regulated by the authority to avoid unreasonable costs to users of the facility.
(5) Each public-private transportation facility constructed pursuant to this section shall comply with all requirements of federal, state, and local laws; state, regional, and local comprehensive plans; the authority’s rules, policies, procedures, and standards for transportation facilities; and any other conditions that the authority determines to be in the public’s best interest.
(6) The authority may exercise any of its powers, including eminent domain, to facilitate the development and construction of multimodal transportation projects pursuant to this section. The authority may pay all or part of the cost of operating and maintaining the facility or may provide services to the private entity, for which services it shall receive full or partial reimbursement.
(7) Except as provided in this section, this section is not intended to amend existing law by granting additional powers to or imposing further restrictions on the governmental entities with regard to regulating and entering into cooperative arrangements with the private sector for the planning, construction, and operation of transportation facilities.
(8) The authority may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section and shall, by rule, establish an application fee for the submission of unsolicited proposals under this section. The fee must be sufficient to pay the costs of evaluating the proposals.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254; s. 29, ch. 2013-14.
343.97 Exemption from taxation.The effectuation of the authorized purposes of the authority created under this part is for the benefit of the people of this state, for the increase of their commerce and prosperity, and for the improvement of their health and living conditions, and, because the authority performs essential governmental functions in effectuating such purposes, the authority is not required to pay any taxes or assessments of any kind or nature whatsoever upon any property acquired or used by it for such purposes, or upon any rates, fees, rentals, receipts, income, or charges at any time received by it. The bonds issued by the authority, their transfer, and the income therefrom, including any profits made on the sale thereof, shall at all times be free from taxation of any kind by the state or by any political subdivision, taxing agency, or instrumentality thereof. The exemption granted by this section does not apply to any tax imposed by chapter 220 on interest, income, or profits on debt obligations owned by corporations.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254.
343.973 Eligibility for investments and security.Any bonds or other obligations issued pursuant to this part shall be and constitute legal investments for banks, savings banks, trustees, executors, administrators, and all other fiduciaries and for all state, municipal, and other public funds and shall also be and constitute securities eligible for deposit as security for all state, municipal, or other public funds, notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254.
343.975 Complete and additional statutory authority.
(1) The powers conferred by this part are supplemental to the existing powers of the board and the department. This part does not repeal any of the provisions of any other law, general, special, or local, but supplements such other laws in the exercise of the powers provided in this part and provides a complete method for the exercise of the powers granted in this part. The projects planned and constructed by the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority shall comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws. The extension and improvement of the system, and the issuance of bonds hereunder to finance all or part of the cost thereof, may be accomplished upon compliance with the provisions of this part without regard to or necessity for compliance with the provisions, limitations, or restrictions contained in any other general, special, or local law, including, but not limited to, s. 215.821. An approval of any bonds issued under this part by the qualified electors or qualified electors who are freeholders in the state or in any other political subdivision of the state is not required for the issuance of such bonds pursuant to this part.
(2) This part does not repeal, rescind, or modify any other law relating to the State Board of Administration, the Department of Transportation, the Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority, or the Division of Bond Finance within the State Board of Administration; however, this part supersedes such other laws as are inconsistent with its provisions, including, but not limited to, s. 215.821.
(3) This part does not preclude the department from acquiring, holding, constructing, improving, maintaining, operating, or owning tolled or nontolled facilities funded and constructed from nonauthority sources that are part of the State Highway System within the geographical boundaries of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-254; s. 9, ch. 2017-98.
343.976 Effect on local government action.This act does not prohibit any local government that is a member of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority from participating in or creating any other transit authority, regional transportation authority, or expressway authority.
History.s. 2, ch. 2007-254; s. 10, ch. 2017-98.