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General Laws

Section 3. In addition to all powers otherwise granted to the authority by law, the authority shall have the following powers, in each case to be exercised by the board unless otherwise specifically provided:

(a) To adopt and use a corporate seal and designate the custodian thereof.

(b) To establish within the area constituting the authority a principal office and such other offices as may be deemed necessary.

(c) To hold, operate and manage the mass transportation facilities and equipment acquired by the authority.

(d) To appoint and employ officers, including a general manager, agents, and employees to serve at the pleasure of the directors, except as may otherwise be provided in collective bargaining agreements, and to fix their compensation and conditions of employment; provided, however, the authority may bind itself by contract to employ not more than five senior officers but no such contract shall be for a period of more than five years. The authority shall annually, on or before January first, submit to the secretary of administration and finance and the house and senate committees on ways and means a schedule of salaries of all its employees and any proposed increases therein. Said secretary may make recommendations to the authority on said salary structure and shall advise the authority of the prevailing rates that the commonwealth pays for similar services.

(e) To make, and from time to time revise and repeal, by-laws, rules, regulations and resolutions.

(f) To 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 authority; provided, that any agreement entered into by the authority 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 transportation; and provided further, that said secretary shall notify the secretary of administration and finance of any such approval; (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 authority, 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 where the whole or any part of the operations of such other party takes place within the area constituting the authority. Any such other party is hereby given power and authority to enter into any such agreements, subject to such provisions of law as may be applicable. 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 authority may deem appropriate and shall not bind the authority for a period of longer than one year from its effective date, but this shall not prohibit agreements for longer than one year if the authority’s obligations thereunder are subject to annual renewal or annual cancellation by the board’s authority. Such agreements may provide for cash payments for services rendered, but not more than will permit any private company a reasonable return.

(g) To 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. The authority may charge reasonable fees for the use of such facilities as it may deem desirable, or it may allow the use of such facilities free of charge.

(h) To accept gifts, grants and loans from agencies of local, state and federal governments, or from private agencies or persons, and to accede to such conditions and obligations as may be imposed as a prerequisite to any such gift, grant or loan.

(i) To provide mass transportation service, whether directly, jointly or under contract, on an exclusive basis, in the area constituting the authority and without being subject to the jurisdiction and control of the department of telecommunications and energy in any manner except as to safety of equipment and operations and, with respect only to operations of the authority with equipment owned and operated by the authority, without, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, being subject to the jurisdiction and control of any city or town or other licensing authority; provided, that schedules and routes shall not be considered matters of safety subject to the jurisdiction and control of said department. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the board shall determine the character and extent of the services and facilities to be furnished, and in these respects their authority shall be exclusive and shall not be subject to the approval, control or direction of any state, municipal or other department, board or commission except the advisory board as provided in this chapter. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall be construed as exempting any privately owned or controlled carrier, whether operating independently, jointly or under contract with the authority, from obtaining any license required under section 1 of chapter 59A.

(j) To operate mass transportation facilities and equipment, directly or under contract in areas outside the area constituting the authority; but only pursuant to (i) an agreement with or purchase of a private mass transportation company, part of whose operations were, at the time the authority was established, within the area constituting the authority or (ii) an agreement with a transportation area or a municipality for service between the area of the authority and that of such transportation area or municipality, where no private company is otherwise providing such service.

(k) To provide for construction, extension, modification or improvement of the mass transportation facilities in the territory of the authority; provided, that any such construction, extension, modification or improvement shall be consistent with the program and plans for mass transportation, as developed by the authority under subsection (g) of section 5, unless specifically authorized by legislation.

(l) Consistent with the program and plans for public mass transportation as provided in paragraph (g) of section 5, to conduct research, surveys, experimentation, evaluation, design and development, in cooperation with the department, and other governmental agencies and private organizations when appropriate, with regard to mass transportation facilities, equipment and services.

(m) To grant such easements over any real property held by the authority as will not in the judgment of the authority unduly interfere with the operation of any of its mass transportation facilities.

(n) To sell, lease or otherwise contract for advertising in or on the facilities of the authority.

(o) To take real property by eminent domain in accordance with the provisions of chapter 79 or chapter 80A; provided, that land devoted to any public use other than mass transportation may be taken by the authority only (i) if any substantial interference with such public use is temporary or any permanent interference therewith is not substantial, or both, or (ii) in the case of takings not authorized by clause (i), upon providing equivalent land for such public use. Interference with the public use of a street or public utility line shall not be considered to be substantial unless the interference with the traffic or utility system of which it is a part is substantial.

(p) To issue bonds, notes and other evidences of indebtedness as hereinafter provided.

(q) Consistent with the constitution and laws of the commonwealth, the authority shall have such other powers, including the power to buy, sell, lease, pledge and otherwise deal with real and personal property, as may be necessary for or incident to carrying out the foregoing powers and the accomplishment of the purposes of this chapter.

(r) The authority may enter into contracts or agreements with the department or with any agency, authority or political subdivision of the commonwealth for the provision, at cost, of specified services either by the authority or by the department or such agency, authority, or political subdivision of the commonwealth. Such services may include, but are not limited to the following: feasibility and needs studies, transportation and construction planning, family and business relocation, and the conduct or supervision of design, construction, maintenance, management or land acquisition. Any such contract shall specify the manner of, and procedure for, payment or reimbursement for services provided or to be provided. All such agencies, authorities or political subdivisions are authorized to enter into such contracts with the authority.

(s) To issue to every full-time police officer employed by the authority an identification card bearing the officer’s photograph and identifying information. The secretary of public safety and security may adopt regulations relative to the form, content and issuance of such identification cards and to the carrying thereof by such police officers.

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