SECTION 1. Subsection (d) of section 2ZZZ of Chapter 29 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out clause (2) and inserting in place thereof the following clause:-
(2) Not less than $94,000,000 in each fiscal year to regional transit authorities organized under chapter 161B or predecessor laws; provided, however, that notwithstanding any special or general law to the contrary: (i) the transfer required by this clause shall be increased by the inflation index as defined in section 35T of chapter 10 for the preceding 12 months as certified by the comptroller annually on March 1; and (ii) no transfer required under this clause shall excess 103 percent of the transfer amount for the prior fiscal year.
SECTION 2. Section 8 §(c)(iii) of Chapter 187 of the Acts of 2016 is hereby amended by adding, after the word “Laws,” the following:-
“; provided that 50 percent of the funds received shall be appropriated for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority; and further, that 50 percent of the funds received shall be appropriated for the regional transit authorities organized under chapter 161B or predecessor statutes, provided, however, this shall be in addition to the operational transfer of section 2ZZZ of Chapter 29 of the General laws.”
SECTION 3. Section 27 of chapter 161B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking the section in its entirety and replacing it with the following section:
Section 27. There shall be a regional transit authority council for the purposes of coordination and sharing information and best practices in matters of security and public safety planning and preparedness, service delivery, cost savings, and administrative efficiencies.The council shall draft an annual report identifying funding, service and technical assistance needs as well as identifying service gaps, including gaps and barriers to 7-day a week service statewide, and opportunities, including for cross-RTA-MBTA services. The report shall be submitted to the secretary and to the Joint Committee on Transportation and the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means.
Members of the council shall include the administrator of each authority established under section 14, two frequent riders of a regional transit authority appointed annually by the Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies on a revolving basis, and a member of a Regional Planning Agency outside of the core MBTA service area. The secretary shall be chairman of the council and the general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority shall be a non-voting member of the council. The council shall meet no less than once each calendar quarter or upon the request, with reasonable notice, of the secretary.
SECTION 4. Notwithstanding any special or general law to the contrary, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation shall take such steps as may be necessary to provide for the development, promotion, preservation and improvement of an adequate regional transit authority capital plan, which takes into account federal funds being used by RTAs for preventative maintenance rather than capital. Where state capital funds are used as a match for federal capital funds, the department shall provide an equal or greater percentage match to regional transit authorities as provided to the MBTA.
SECTION 5. Notwithstanding any special or general law to the contrary, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation shall provide each regional transit authority established under chapter 161B of the General Laws with assistance in creating an Electric Bus Rollout Plan that includes all of the following components: (a) a goal of full transition to zero-emission buses with careful planning that avoids early retirement of conventional internal combustion engine buses; (b) Identification of the types of zero-emission bus technologies a transit agency is planning to deploy, such as battery electric or fuel cell electric bus; (c) a schedule for construction of facilities and infrastructure modifications or upgrades, including charging, fueling, and maintenance facilities, to deploy and maintain zero-emission buses. This schedule must identify the general location of each facility, type of infrastructure, service capacity of an infrastructure, and a timeline for construction; (d) a schedule for zero-emission and conventional internal combustion engine buse purchases and lease options. This schedule for bus replacements must identify the bus types, fuel types, and number of buses; (e) a schedule for conversion of conventional internal combustion engine buses to zero-emission buses, if any. This schedule for bus conversion must identify the number of buses, bus types, the propulsion system being removed and converted to; (f) a plan on how the transit agency plans to deploy zero-emission buses in environmental justice communities; (g) a training plan and schedule for zero-emission bus operators and maintenance and repair staff; and (h)Identification of potential funding sources.
SECTION 6. Section 6A of chapter 6C of the general laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out clause (8) and adding the following clause, “(8) The department shall not consider the farebox recovery ratio in funding decision or formula for transit authorities.”
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