Online Sunshine Logo
Official Internet Site of the Florida Legislature
July 19, 2024
Text: 'NEW Advanced Legislative Search'
Interpreter Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Go to MyFlorida House
Go to MyFlorida House
Select Year:  
The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXVI
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Chapter 343
REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION
View Entire Chapter
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 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.