(1) There is established at the University of South Florida the Florida Center for Urban Transportation Research, to be administered by the Board of Governors of the State University System. The responsibilities of the center include, but are not limited to, conducting and facilitating research on issues related to urban transportation problems in this state and serving as an information exchange and depository for the most current information pertaining to urban transportation and related issues.
(2) The center shall be a continuing resource for the Legislature, the Department of Transportation, local governments, the nation’s metropolitan regions, and the private sector in the area of urban transportation and related research and shall generate support in addition to its state-funded base of support provided by s. 206.606. The center shall promote intercampus transportation and related research activities among Florida’s universities in order to enhance the ability of these universities to attract federal and private sector funding for transportation and related research.
(3) An advisory board shall be created to periodically and objectively review and advise the center concerning its research program. Except for projects mandated by law, state-funded base projects shall not be undertaken without approval of the advisory board. The membership of the board shall consist of nine experts in transportation-related areas, including the secretaries of the Florida Departments of Transportation, Community Affairs, and Environmental Protection, or their designees, and a member of the Florida Transportation Commission. The nomination of the remaining members of the board shall be made to the President of the University of South Florida by the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida, and the appointment of these members must be reviewed and approved by the Florida Transportation Commission and confirmed by the Board of Governors.
(4) The center shall develop a budget pursuant to chapter 216. This budget shall be submitted to the Governor along with the budget of the Board of Governors.