The department shall, within the resources provided pursuant to chapter 216: (1) Develop a statewide plan that provides for public transit and intercity bus service needs at least 5 years in advance. The plan shall be developed in a manner that will assure maximum use of existing facilities, and optimum integration and coordination of the various modes of transportation, including both governmentally owned and privately owned resources, in the most cost-effective manner possible. The plan shall also incorporate plans adopted by local and regional planning agencies which are consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with adopted strategic policy plans and approved local government comprehensive plans for the region and units of local government covered by the plan and shall, insofar as practical, conform to federal planning requirements. The plan shall be consistent with the goals of the Florida Transportation Plan developed pursuant to s. 339.155.
(2) Formulate a specific program of projects and project financing to respond to identified transit and intercity bus service needs as part of the work program.
(3) Develop, publish, and administer state measures concerning system management, performance, productivity, cost distribution, and safety of governmentally owned public transit systems and privately owned or operated systems financed wholly or in part by state funding. Such measures shall be developed jointly with representatives of affected publicly owned transit systems and in coordination with affected privately owned systems, with full consideration given to nationwide industry norms.
(4) Provide technical and financial assistance to units of local government and intercity bus carriers, based on an analysis of public transit and intercity bus service problems and needs, to assist in establishing and implementing effective transit systems and related support programs. In providing such assistance, the department may assist public agencies that provide public transit and intercity bus carriers that provide intercity bus services by making department-owned transit vehicles and appurtenances available for lease to such agencies for special needs of limited duration.
(5) Coordinate activities between the public entities and private entities on matters relating to public transit and intercity bus services.
(6) Assist in the development and implementation of marketing and passenger information programs for public transit and intercity bus services.
(7) Provide transit service through contracts with existing publicly or privately owned transit systems, where such service represents the transit element of a corridor project designed to relieve urban traffic congestion.
(8) Provide intercity bus service, as defined in s. 341.031, to support projects that serve to maintain and enhance statewide intercity bus service. The department shall use and dedicate federal funds apportioned to intercity bus service according to federal requirements to support a statewide intercity bus network. (9) Provide new transit service and equipment where a public need has been determined to exist pursuant to the transportation planning process and where all of the following conditions occur:
(a) No other governmental entity of appropriate jurisdiction exists.
(b) The service cannot be reasonably provided by a governmentally owned or privately owned public transit provider.
(c) The cost of providing the service does not exceed the sum of revenues resulting from user fares, special transit services such as charter operations, local fund participation, and specific legislative appropriation for this purpose.
The department may buy, sell, own, lease, and otherwise encumber facilities, transit vehicles, and appurtenances thereto, as necessary to provide such service; or the department may provide service by contracts with governmentally owned or privately owned service providers.
(10) Provide public transportation service where emergency service is required, provided that no other private or public transportation operation is available to provide needed service and that such service is clearly in the best interests of the people or communities being served. Such service shall be provided by contractual services, actual operation of state-owned transit equipment and facilities, or any other means deemed appropriate by the department and shall be limited to a period not to exceed 2 years.
(11) Administer federal and state commuter assistance programs and related federal-aid funds apportioned to the department, which promote the use of ridesharing arrangements and transportation demand management strategies, and the creation of transportation management associations. Public agencies, and private organizations established pursuant to chapter 617 and approved by the local government and the department as being consistent with local, regional, and state transportation plans, are eligible to receive funds under this program. The department shall establish adequate insurance requirements based on passenger capacity for each vehicle used in ridesharing.
(12) Assist local governmental entities and other transit operators in the planning and development of transit programs and procedures and in the identification of alternatives for achieving the most effective use of available transportation resources and increasing revenue sources as needed so that Florida’s transit systems can move toward becoming fiscally self-sufficient. The department may also advance, on a matching basis, state funds for capital improvements to transit properties in accordance with the following:
(a) Candidate programs may include, but are not limited to, the development of terminal facilities for lease by interfacing modes, the acquisition and development of adjacent land for lease or sale to public and private entities, and the acquisition and development of air rights.
(b) The criteria to be utilized in determining whether or not to advance such funds shall be adopted by rule and shall include the demonstrated need of the transit system, administrative capability, and a system financial plan as approved by the department.
(13) Assist local governmental entities in achieving a condition wherein transit systems are operated at a service level that is responsive to identified transit needs and in such a manner as to promote maximum transit usage and achieve the highest possible operating recovery ratio commensurate with the local government’s transit role and requirements.
(14) Assist local governmental entities and other transit operators in the planning, development, and coordination of transit services for Temporary Cash Assistance Program participants as defined in s. 414.0252.
(15) Create and maintain a common self-retention insurance fund to support fixed-guideway projects throughout the state when there is a contractual obligation to have the fund in existence in order to provide fixed-guideway services. The maximum limit of the fund is as required by any contractual obligation.