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CS/CS/CS/HB 695 — South Florida Regional Transportation Authority

by Government Accountability Committee; Transportation and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee; Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee; and Rep. Santiago (CS/CS/SB 842 by Appropriations Committee; Transportation Committee; and Senator Galvano)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Transportation Committee (TR)

The bill authorizes the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) to enter into contractual indemnification agreements, subject to certain parameters, with All Aboard Florida (AAF) and Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) on a rail corridor owned by AAF or FECR and in which all three entities operate rail service. The bill authorizes the SFRTA to purchase railroad liability insurance of $295 million per occurrence, with a $5 million self-insurance retention account, and limits the SFRTA’s obligation to indemnify to the insurance coverage amount.

The bill authorizes the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT or department) to assume the obligations to indemnify and insure under such contractual agreements any freight rail service, intercity passenger service, and commuter rail service on a department-owned rail corridor or on a rail corridor where the FDOT has the right to operate.

The bill also deems funds provided by the FDOT to the SFRTA to be state financial assistance subject to specified requirements. The bill requires the FDOT to provide funds to the SFRTA in accordance with a written agreement containing certain provisions and authorizes the FDOT to advance 25 percent of total funding at the start of each fiscal year, with monthly payments over the fiscal year from the State Transportation Trust Fund to the SFRTA for maintenance and dispatch on the South Florida Rail Corridor on a reimbursement basis.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2017.

Vote: Senate 32-0; House 111-6