Section 343.74, Florida Statutes 2007
343.74 Powers and duties.--
(1)(a) The authority created by s. 343.73 has the right to own, operate, maintain, and manage a commuter rail system and commuter ferry system in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and Polk Counties.
(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 commuter rail system, commuter rail facilities, or commuter ferry system; to establish and determine such policies as may be necessary for the best interest of the operation and promotion of a commuter rail system and commuter ferry system; and to adopt such rules as may be necessary to govern the operation of a commuter rail system, commuter rail facilities, and commuter ferry system.
(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, 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 commuter rail system or facilities, or any commuter ferry system owned or operated by the authority.
(g) To develop and provide feeder transit services to rail and commuter ferry 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 commuter rail system, commuter rail facility, or commuter ferry system including feeder transit services and concessions. In awarding any contracts, 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 commuter rail systems, commuter ferry systems, 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, municipalities, and seaport and airport authorities.
(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 that the authority is contractually and legally obligated to provide, the requirements of s. 287.022(1) notwithstanding.
(3) The authority shall develop and adopt a plan for the development of the Tampa Bay Commuter Rail or Commuter Ferry Service. Such plan shall address the authority's plan for the development of public and private revenue sources, funding of operating and capital costs, the service to be provided and the extent to which counties within the authority are to be served. The plan shall be reviewed and updated annually. Such plan shall be consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with the approved local government comprehensive plan of the units of local government served by the authority.
(4) The authority shall institute procedures to ensure that jobs created as a result of state funding pursuant to this section shall be subject to equal opportunity hiring practices as provided for in s. 110.112.
(5) The authority shall comply with all statutory requirements of general application which relate to the filing of any report or documentation required by law, including the requirements of ss. 189.4085, 189.415, 189.417, and 189.418.
History.--s. 86, ch. 90-136; s. 80, ch. 92-152; s. 74, ch. 94-237; s. 111, ch. 99-385; s. 20, ch. 2004-366.