Section 143. A city or town may establish, or two or more cities or two or more towns, or two or more cities and towns, may unite for the purpose of establishing, transportation areas for the operation of freight or passenger service, or both, on street railways existing therein, and for the operation of bus, demand response and other services for the transportation of passengers and freight within and outside member towns. Upon the approval of such an agreement by the department and by the voters, as provided in section one hundred and forty-five, such a transportation area shall be a body corporate or politic, and may become vested with all the rights and powers and shall be subject to all the duties and obligations hereinafter conferred or imposed. All the laws and penalties relating to privately operated street railways within the commonwealth, and such rules and regulations as may from time to time be prescribed by the department shall apply to such an area. The area shall be given a distinctive name by the trustees, hereinafter provided for, which shall include the words ''Transportation Area''.