(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.
(4) 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.
(5) The authority, by a resolution of its governing board, may expand its service area and enter into a partnership with any county that is contiguous to the service area of the authority. 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.
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.