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General Laws

  Section 3. The department shall have all powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate its purposes including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the power to:

  (1) adopt and amend by-laws, regulations and procedures for the governance of its affairs and the conduct of its business for the administration and enforcement of this chapter; provided, however, that regulations adopted by the department shall be adopted pursuant to chapter 30A;

  (2) adopt an official seal and a functional name;

  (3) exercise any powers necessary for the commonwealth to be in compliance with 23 U.S.C. section 302;

  (4) maintain offices at places within the commonwealth as it may determine and to conduct meetings of the department in accordance with the by-laws of the department and the second paragraph of section 59 of chapter 156B;

  (5) direct, operate, administer and implement the programs of roadway, general aviation, rail and transit, and vehicular registration and regulation and, in cooperation with the office of planning and programming for the design, construction, repair, maintenance, capital improvements, development, and planning of the transportation facilities throughout the department, as appropriate;

  (6) direct, coordinate and supervise the administration of the department to promote economy and efficiency and to leverage federal funding and private sector investment;

  (7) develop and administer a long-term statewide transportation plan for the commonwealth, in conjunction with the executive office of administration and finance, that includes planning for intermodal and integrated transportation;

  (8) develop and administer procedures to be used for transportation project selection;

  (9) establish criteria, including criteria to reduce greenhouse gases, for project selection for use in the procedures developed pursuant to clause (7);

  (10) enter into agreements and transactions with federal, state and municipal agencies and other public institutions and private individuals, partnerships, firms, corporations, associations and other entities on behalf of the department;

  (11) institute and administer the Massachusetts Transportation Trust Fund for the purposes of making appropriations, allocations, grants or loans to leverage development and investments in transportation investment;

  (12) sue and be sued in its own name, plead and be impleaded;

  (13) own, construct, maintain, repair, reconstruct, improve, rehabilitate, use, police, administer, control and operate the state highway system, the metropolitan highway system and the turnpike, or any part thereof; provided, however, that chapter 91 shall not apply to the department, except for any parts or areas thereof subject to said chapter 91 on March 1, 1997;

  (14) acquire sites abutting the state highway system, the metropolitan highway system or the turnpike, and to construct or contract for the construction of buildings and appurtenances for gasoline stations, restaurants, parking facilities, tourist information centers and other services and to lease such facilities in such manner and under such terms as it may determine;

  (15) issue notes or bonds for any of its corporate purposes related to the turnpike payable solely from turnpike revenues or portions thereof pledged for their payment and to refund its notes or bonds pertaining to the turnpike or any part thereof or payable from such revenues, as provided in this chapter;

  (16) issue notes or bonds for any of its corporate purposes related to the metropolitan highway system payable solely from the metropolitan highway system revenues or portions thereof pledged for their payment and to refund its notes or bonds pertaining to the metropolitan highway system or any part thereof or payable from such revenues, as provided in this chapter;

  (17) issue bonds, notes and other evidences of indebtedness as provided in this chapter;

[ Clause (18) effective until July 24, 2013. For text effective July 24, 2013, see below.]

  (18) fix and revise from time to time and charge and collect tolls for transit over the metropolitan highway system and the turnpike; provided, however, that it shall furnish upon request to a user of the metropolitan highway system and turnpike a toll receipt showing the amount of toll paid, the classification of the vehicle, the date of payment and place of exit from said metropolitan highway system and turnpike; provided, further, that the department shall convene at least 2 public hearings, each to be held in a community within the turnpike corridor, at least 30 days prior to the effective date of any proposed change in toll structure on the turnpike and shall allow for a 1 week comment period, after each such hearing, during which written testimony and comments shall be accepted;

[ Clause (18) as amended by 2013, 46, Sec. 3 effective July 24, 2013. For text effective until July 24, 2013, see above.]

  (18) fix and revise from time to time and charge and collect tolls for transit over the metropolitan highway system and the turnpike; provided, however, that it shall furnish upon request to a user of the metropolitan highway system and turnpike a toll receipt showing the amount of toll paid, the classification of the vehicle, the date of payment and place of exit from said metropolitan highway system and turnpike; provided, further, that prior to revising the toll structure, the department shall publish a report on its website that sets forth the fiscal alternatives that were examined in lieu of revising the toll structure and detail the reasons why such alternatives were not viable fiscal options; provided further, that the department shall convene at least 2 public hearings, each to be held in a community within the turnpike corridor or within the metropolitan highway system, as appropriate, at least 30 days before the effective date of any proposed change in toll structure on the turnpike or metropolitan highway system, as appropriate, and shall allow for a 2-week comment period after each such hearing; during which written testimony and comments shall be accepted;

  (19) appoint officers and employees and to engage accountants, architects, attorneys, engineers, planners, real estate experts and other consultants as may be necessary in its judgment to carry out the purposes of this chapter and fix their compensation; provided, however, that the department shall engage consultants to perform only those services for the department which regular employees of the department are unable to perform owing to lack of special expertise or other inability to perform such services on the schedule or in the manner required by the department;

  (20) acquire, lease, hold and dispose of real and personal property or any interest therein in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties pursuant to this chapter; provided, however, that the department shall issue semi-annual reports to the secretary of administration and finance, the house and senate committees on ways and means, the joint committee on transportation and the house and senate committees on bonding, capital expenditures and state assets, detailing the financial transactions and revenues associated with the sale, concession or lease of real property held in the name of or under the control of the department, whether by purchase or otherwise, and any transactions relating to real property currently pending; and provided further, that the semi-annual report shall include the current market value of the real properties related to the transactions;

  (21) place and maintain or grant permission by easement or otherwise to any public utility, corporation or person to place and maintain on or under or within the state highway system, the metropolitan highway system or the turnpike, or any part thereof, ducts, pipes, pipelines, mains, conduits, cables, wires, towers, poles or other structures to be so located as not to interfere with the safe and convenient operation and maintenance of the state highway system, the metropolitan highway system or the turnpike, and to contract with any such public utility, corporation or person for such permission on such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the department; provided, however, that in case of any such relocation or removal of facilities, the public utility, corporation or person owning or operating the same, its successors or assigns may maintain and operate such facilities, with the necessary appurtenances, in the new location for as long a period and upon the same terms and conditions as it had the right to maintain and operate such facilities in their former location; and provided further, that otherwise, the department shall have the power to grant such easements over any real property held by the department as will not, in the judgment of the department, unduly interfere with the operation of any of its mass transportation facilities;

  (22) designate the locations and establish, limit and control such points of ingress to and egress from the state highway system, the metropolitan highway system or the turnpike, as may be necessary, convenient or desirable, in the judgment of the department, to insure the proper operation and maintenance of the state highway system, the metropolitan highway system or the turnpike, and to prohibit entrance to the state highway system, the metropolitan highway system or the turnpike from any point or points not so designated;

  (23)(i) construct grade separations at locations where the state highway system, the metropolitan highway system or the turnpike, intersect with or abut public highways or rail lines and to change and adjust the lines and grades of such highways or rail lines so as to accommodate the same to the design of such grade separation; and (ii) change the location of any portion of any public highway or rail line which intersects or abuts the state highway system, the metropolitan highway system or the turnpike, in order to improve the safety or efficiency of the state highway system, the metropolitan highway system or the turnpike; provided, however, that if the department shall find it necessary to change the location of a public highway, it shall reconstruct the same in as good a condition as the original highway and at such location as the department deems most favorable; provided, however, that all costs incident to construction, realignment or reconstruction conducted pursuant to this clause shall be borne by the department;

  (24) enter upon any lands, waters and premises in the commonwealth, after 30 days notice by registered or certified mail and without the necessity of any judicial orders or other legal proceedings, for the purpose of making surveys, soundings, drillings and examinations as the department may deem necessary, convenient or desirable for carrying out the purposes of this chapter and such entry shall not be deemed a trespass nor shall an entry for such purposes be deemed an entry under any condemnation proceedings which may be then pending; provided, however, that the department shall provide reimbursement for any actual damage resulting to such lands, waters and premises as a result of such activities; and provided, further, that the commonwealth hereby consents to the use of all lands owned by it, including lands lying underwater, which are deemed by the department to be necessary, convenient or desirable for the construction, operation or maintenance of the state highway system, the metropolitan highway system or the turnpike;

  (25) make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary, convenient or desirable in the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this chapter; provided, however, that sections 26 to 29, inclusive, and sections 44A to 44J, inclusive, of chapter 149 and sections 39F to 39M, inclusive, of chapter 30 shall apply to contracts of the department to the same extent and in the same manner as they are applicable to the commonwealth; provided, however, that notwithstanding this clause, the department may, with the approval of the secretary of administration and finance, without competitive bids and notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, award a contract, otherwise subject to this section, limited to the performance of emergency repairs necessary to preserve the safety of persons or property;

  (26) invest any funds held in reserves or sinking funds, or the Massachusetts Transportation Trust Fund, or any funds not required for immediate disbursement, in such investments as may be provided in any financing document relating to the use of such funds or, if not so provided, as the board may determine;

  (27) review and recommend changes in laws, rules, programs and policies of the commonwealth and its agencies and subdivisions to further transportation financing, infrastructure and development within the commonwealth;

  (28) appear in its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments or other agencies of municipal, state or federal government;

  (29) obtain insurance;

  (30) apply for and accept subventions, grants, loans, advances and contributions from any source of money, property, labor or other things of value to be held, used and applied for its corporate purposes;

  (31) adopt a fiscal year to conform with the fiscal year of the commonwealth;

  (32) receive and apply its revenues to the purposes of the department without appropriation or allotment by the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof;

  (33) enter into agreements with other parties including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, government agencies, municipalities, authorities, private transportation companies, railroads, and other concerns, providing: (i) for construction, operation and use of any mass transportation facility and equipment held or later acquired by the department; provided, however, that any agreement entered into by the department for the construction or acquisition of mass transportation facilities or equipment of more than $1,000,000, which is financed in whole or in part from the proceeds of bonds, the debt service payments on which are assisted by the commonwealth or made from the dedicated revenue source, shall not become effective until approved by the secretary of administration and finance; (ii) for joint or cooperative operation of any mass transportation facility and equipment with another party; (iii) for operation and use of any mass transportation facility and equipment for the account of the department, for the account of another party or for their joint account; or (iv) for the acquisition of any mass transportation facility and equipment of another party if the whole or any part of the operations of such other party takes place within the area constituting the department; provided, further, that any such other party may enter into any such agreements, subject to such provisions of law as may be applicable; and provided, further, that any agreement with a private company under this chapter which is to be financed from the proceeds of bonds or bond anticipation notes and which provides for the rendering of transportation service by such company and for financial assistance to such company by subsidy, lease or otherwise shall include such service quality standards for such service as the department may deem appropriate and shall not bind the department for a period of longer than 1 year from its effective date, but this shall not prohibit agreements for longer than 1 year if the department's obligations thereunder are subject to annual renewal or annual cancellation by the board's authority; and provided, further, that such agreements may provide for cash payments for services rendered, but not more than will permit any private company a reasonable return;

  (34) establish transit facilities and related infrastructure, including terminals, stations, access roads, and parking, pedestrian access facilities and bicycle parking and access facilities as may be deemed necessary and desirable; and provided, further, that the department may charge reasonable fees for the use of such facilities as it deems desirable;

  (35) lend money to and to acquire or hold obligations issued by public bodies or other users at such prices and in such manner as the department shall deem advisable and sell such bonds acquired or held by it at prices without relation to cost and in such manner as the department shall deem advisable and to secure its own issues of bonds with such obligations held by it;

  (36) act as the central entity and coordinating organization for transportation initiatives on behalf of the commonwealth and to work in collaboration with governmental entities, bodies, centers, institutes and facilities to advance the commonwealth's interests and investments in transportation;

  (37) enter into agreements with public and private entities that deal primarily with transportation and infrastructure development, in order to distribute and provide leveraging of monies or services for the purposes of furthering transportation development in the commonwealth and promoting overall economic growth within the commonwealth by fostering collaboration and investments in transportation initiatives in the commonwealth;

  (38) provide and pay for such advisory services and technical assistance as may be necessary or desired to carry out the purposes of this chapter;

  (39) establish and collect such fees and charges as the department without further appropriation shall determine to be reasonable and consistent with this chapter; and to receive and apply revenues from fees and charges to the purposes of the department or allotment by the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof;

  (40) disburse, appropriate, grant, loan or allocate funds for the purposes of investing in transportation initiatives as directed in this chapter;

  (41) provide assistance to local entities, local authorities, public bodies and private corporations for the purposes of maximizing opportunities for transportation and development initiatives in the commonwealth;

  (42) prepare, publish and distribute, with or without charge, as the department may determine, such studies, reports and bulletins and other material as the department deems appropriate;

  (43) exercise any other powers of a corporation organized under chapter 156B;

  (44) take any actions necessary or convenient to the exercise of any power or the discharge of any duty provided for by this chapter;

  (45) enter into agreements or other transactions with any person including, without limitation, any public entity or other governmental instrumentality or agency in connection with the powers and duties provided the department under this chapter;

  (46) delegate any of the foregoing powers to an administrator or to a director having charge of an administrative unit within the department;

  (47) ensure regional equity related to transportation planning, construction, repair, maintenance, capital improvement, development and funding; and

  (48) designate a representative to act in its interest in labor relations matters with its employees.

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