For the purposes of ss. 427.011-427.017: (1) “Transportation disadvantaged” means those persons who because of physical or mental disability, income status, or age are unable to transport themselves or to purchase transportation and are, therefore, dependent upon others to obtain access to health care, employment, education, shopping, social activities, or other life-sustaining activities, or children who are handicapped or high-risk or at-risk as defined in s. 411.202.
(2) “Metropolitan planning organization” means the organization responsible for carrying out transportation planning and programming in accordance with the provisions of 23 U.S.C. s. 134, as provided in 23 U.S.C. s. 104(f)(3).
(3) “Agency” means an official, officer, commission, authority, council, committee, department, division, bureau, board, section, or any other unit or entity of the state or of a city, town, municipality, county, or other local governing body or a private nonprofit transportation service-providing agency.
(4) “Transportation improvement program” means a staged multiyear program of transportation improvements, including an annual element, which is developed by a metropolitan planning organization or designated official planning agency.
(5) “Community transportation coordinator” means a transportation entity recommended by a metropolitan planning organization, or by the appropriate designated official planning agency as provided for in ss. 427.011-427.017 in an area outside the purview of a metropolitan planning organization, to ensure that coordinated transportation services are provided to the transportation disadvantaged population in a designated service area.
(6) “Transportation operator” means one or more public, private for-profit, or private nonprofit entities engaged by the community transportation coordinator to provide service to transportation disadvantaged persons pursuant to a coordinated system service plan.
(7) “Coordinating board” means an advisory entity in each designated service area composed of representatives appointed by the metropolitan planning organization or designated official planning agency, to provide assistance to the community transportation coordinator relative to the coordination of transportation services.
(8) “Purchasing agency” means a department or agency whose head is an ex officio, nonvoting adviser to the commission, or an agency that purchases transportation services for the transportation disadvantaged.
(9) “Paratransit” means those elements of public transit which provide service between specific origins and destinations selected by the individual user with such service being provided at a time that is agreed upon by the user and provider of the service. Paratransit service is provided by taxis, limousines, “dial-a-ride,” buses, and other demand-responsive operations that are characterized by their nonscheduled, nonfixed route nature.
(10) “Transportation disadvantaged funds” means any local government, state, or available federal funds that are for the transportation of the transportation disadvantaged. Such funds may include, but are not limited to, funds for planning, Medicaid transportation, administration, operation, procurement, and maintenance of vehicles or equipment and capital investments. Transportation disadvantaged funds do not include funds for the transportation of children to public schools.
(11) “Coordination” means the arrangement for the provision of transportation services to the transportation disadvantaged in a manner that is cost-effective, efficient, and reduces fragmentation and duplication of services.
(12) “Nonsponsored transportation disadvantaged services” means transportation disadvantaged services that are not sponsored or subsidized by any funding source other than the Transportation Disadvantaged Trust Fund.