(1) There is hereby created the Florida Strategic Intermodal System. For purposes of funding projects under the system, the department shall allocate from the State Transportation Trust Fund in its program and resource plan a minimum of $60 million each year, beginning in the 2004-2005 fiscal year. This allocation of funds is in addition to any funding provided to this system by any other provision of law.
(2) The Legislature finds that increasing demands are continuing to be placed on the state’s transportation system by a fast-growing economy, continued population growth, and projected increases in freight movement, international trade, and tourism. The Legislature also finds that the state’s growing regional and intercity economic centers will increase the demand for interregional and intercity travel and that the evolving service-based and information-based industries will change the type of transportation system that business and industry demand, increasing the importance of speed and reliability. The Legislature further finds that our transportation system must be designed and operated in such a way that it preserves the abundance of natural and manmade amenities that have been so successful in attracting new residents, businesses, and tourists to this state. Therefore, the Legislature declares that the designation of a strategic intermodal system, composed of facilities and services of statewide and interregional significance, will efficiently serve the mobility needs of Florida’s citizens, businesses, and visitors and will help Florida become a worldwide economic leader, enhance economic prosperity and competitiveness, enrich quality of life, and reflect responsible environmental stewardship. To that end, it is the intent of the Legislature that the Strategic Intermodal System consist of transportation facilities that meet a strategic and essential state interest and that limited resources available for the implementation of statewide and interregional transportation priorities be focused on that system.
(3) Funds paid into the State Transportation Trust Fund pursuant to s. 201.15 for the purposes of the Florida Strategic Intermodal System are hereby annually appropriated for expenditure to support that program.