An Act To Promote New Models of Mobility and Access to Transportation
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §12004-I, sub-§82-A is enacted to read:
|Transportation: Public Transit||Maine Public Transit Advisory Council||Not authorized||23 MRSA §4209-A|
Sec. 2. 23 MRSA §4204, as enacted by PL 1971, c. 593, §16, is amended to read:
§ 4204. Declaration of policy
It is declared to be the policy of the State of Maine that adequate, safe and efficient transportation facilities and services are essential to the economic growth of the State and the well-being of its people and that the planning and development of such facilities and services shall must be coordinated by a state department of transportation with overall responsibility for balanced transportation policy and planning.
In each fiscal year, a portion of the funding available for transportation must be dedicated to public transportation.
Sec. 3. 23 MRSA §4209, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2009, c. 130, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 4. 23 MRSA §4209, sub-§1-A, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 130, §2, is repealed.
Sec. 5. 23 MRSA §4209, sub-§1-B is enacted to read:
(1) Provision for basic mobility for people who are dependent on public transportation;
(2) Access to employment, including creation of on-demand services;
(3) Congestion mitigation to preserve air quality and the sustainability of the highway network;
(4) Advancement of economic development objectives, including services for workers and visitors that support the travel and tourism industry; and
(5) Provision of state operating support funds in agency operating budgets to the extent that funds are available.
Sec. 6. 23 MRSA §4209, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2009, c. 130, §3, is further amended to read:
In years in which no biennial plan is required, amendments to the effective operations may be submitted. Approval of each regional operations plan must be by the Department of Transportation department in collaboration with the committee council established under section 4209-A. Upon approval, all agencies, groups or organizations named to participate in the provision of service in accordance with a regional operations plan are eligible to receive funds administered by the Department of Transportation department and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Sec. 7. 23 MRSA §4209, sub-§§2-A and 2-B are enacted to read:
(1) Connect volunteer, shared ride including the Regional Ride Share Services Matching Fund Program under Title 10, chapter 216 and on-demand services; and
(2) Serve a wide constituency of seniors, people with disabilities, workers, students and people without reliable or affordable transportation; and
(1) Determining whether fixed route, flexible route or on-demand services are viable in the community or region;
(2) Marketing connections between fixed route, volunteer and on-demand services within and between regions;
(3) Maximizing connectivity with fixed route train and bus services from outlying areas;
(4) Connecting fixed routes in different regions of the State with each other;
(5) Expanding shared ride options through technology;
(6) Involving health care providers and other service providers in contributing to payment for services;
(7) Coordinating with existing private services; and
(8) Integrating MaineCare to the extent possible and other state and federally supported services with unsubsidized services to create a more efficient system of public transportation services for all residents regardless of income.
Sec. 8. 23 MRSA §4209, sub-§3, as amended by PL 1991, c. 859, §1, is further amended to read:
The department shall evaluate proposals for new public transit service submitted by providers in response to a notice of funding availability by requiring feasibility studies to be submitted by providers to address criteria set forth in the most recent biennial operations plan for transit as set out in subsection 2-A.
The department may enter into a request for proposals process for grants to nonprofit organizations for innovative regional projects that reflect the priorities in subsection 2-B, involve and integrate multiple service providers and modes of transportation and address service gaps identified as priorities in regional or state planning.
The department shall provide guidance, training, funding and technical assistance to transit systems in order to meet performance and service standards.
Sec. 9. 23 MRSA §4209, sub-§4, as amended by PL 2009, c. 130, §4, is further amended to read:
The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor shall ensure that any new service to be provided is adequately funded to cover the costs of the transportation component of the program.
Sec. 10. 23 MRSA §4209-A is enacted to read:
§ 4209-A. Maine Public Transit Advisory Council
Senators and members of the House of Representatives serve for the duration of the legislative terms that they are serving when appointed. All other members serve 3-year terms and may continue to serve beyond their terms until their successors are appointed. If a vacancy occurs before a term has expired, the vacancy must be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by the authority who made the original appointment. If a member is absent for 2 consecutive meetings and has not been excused by the chair from either meeting, the council may remove the member by majority vote.
The council shall determine whether having more than 21 members would assist it in its work. If a majority of the council votes to request the appointment of additional members, the council shall specify the number of additional members needed and shall convey a request for the appointment of those additional members to the Governor, who shall make the appointments.
Sec. 11. Grants to nonprofit organizations. The department shall fund at least 3 projects as described by the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 23, section 4209, subsection 2-B in different geographic regions as defined by Title 23, section 4209, subsection 1 in fiscal year 2014-15.
This bill amends the Department of Transportation's biennial operations plan for transit process in order to promote and facilitate new models of mobility and service. The bill adds a declaration of policy to the public transportation administration law. The bill also provides components that must be included in the department's biennial operations plan for transit and describes how the department's plan for transit must be implemented.
The bill eliminates the Interagency Transportation Coordinating Committee and replaces it with a larger, more comprehensive Maine Public Transit Advisory Council. The role of the council is to advise the Legislature and the department regarding strategic planning for public transportation services in the State.