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CS/CS/SB 1672 — Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority

by Community Affairs Committee; Transportation Committee; and Senators Latvala, Galvano, Rouson, and Young

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 renames the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority as the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (Transit Authority) and makes a conforming name change to create the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Chairs Coordinating Committee within the Transit Authority. The bill also revises the short title and definitions; revises membership, appointment, term, and quorum requirements; requires the governing board to conduct an evaluation of specified committees; deletes requirements relating to establishment of certain other committees; and revises the new Transit Authority’s express purposes to reflect the bill’s changes.

Additionally, the bill requires the Transit Authority to develop and adopt a regional transit development plan integrating the transit development plans of participant counties, to include a prioritization of regionally significant transit projects and facilities. The Transit Authority must provide to the Senate President and the House Speaker a plan to produce the regional transit development plan on or before the beginning of the 2018 Regular Session. The plan must adhere to guidance and regulations of the Florida Department of Transportation.

The bill also:

  • Requires an action by the Transit Authority regarding state funding of commuter rail, heavy rail transit, or light rail transit to be approved by a majority vote of each MPO serving the county or counties where such rail investment will be made and the approval by an act of the Legislature;
  • Prohibits the Transit Authority from engaging in any advocacy regarding a referendum, ordinance, legislation, or proposal under consideration by any governmental entity or the Legislature which relates to such funding; and
  • Requires the Transit Authority to conduct a feasibility study before proceeding with the project and before any contract is issued, which must be submitted to the Governor, the Senate President, the House Speaker, and the board of county commissioners of the relevant Transit Authority counties.

Lastly, the bill deletes obsolete provisions; and conforms provisions to changes made by the act.

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

Vote: Senate 38-0; House 117-0