Section 8. An authority shall be subject to the following limitations, conditions, obligations and duties:?
(a) The authority shall have the duty to develop, finance and contract for the operation of mass transportation facilities and equipment in the public interest consistent with the purposes and provisions of this chapter, and to achieve maximum effectiveness in complementing other forms of transportation in order to promote the general economic and social well-being of the area and of the commonwealth.
(b) No real estate shall be sold unless notice thereof shall have been given to the advisory board not less than thirty days prior to the date of sale and unless the sale shall have been advertised once a week for three successive weeks prior to the date of sale in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or town in which the real property to be sold is located, such real property shall be sold to the highest bidder.
(c) Any concession in or lease of property for a term of more than one year shall be awarded to the highest bidder therefor unless the authority shall find, subject to the approval of the advisory board, that sound reasons in the public interest require otherwise.
(d) No change in fares shall be effective unless submitted to the advisory board and approved by it.
(e) No substantial change in mass transportation service in the region constituting the authority shall be made unless notice thereof shall have been given to the advisory board at least thirty days prior to the change, and approved by said board.
(f) The authority shall in consultation with the department prepare and annually revise its program for public mass transportation which shall include a long-range program for the construction, reconstruction or alteration of facilities for mass transportation of persons within the area constituting the authority together with a schedule for the implementation of such program and comprehensive financial estimates of costs and revenues.
Such program, whether prepared by the authority directly, jointly or under contract with the areawide planning agency, shall be performed in accordance with any agreements that may exist between the department, the authority, and the areawide planning agency officially established or designated to carry out areawide, comprehensive planning on a continuing and cooperative basis for the region in which the transportation authority is principally located. Such mass transportation program shall be consistent with the plans for urban transportation and comprehensive development for the regional area and, so far as practicable, shall meet the criteria established by any federal law authorizing federal assistance to preserve, maintain, assist, improve, extend or build local, metropolitan or regional mass transportation facilities or systems.
In addition to the contracts and agreements authorized in paragraph (f) of section six, the authority may enter into contracts or agreements with any such areawide planning agency or, if the authority determines that an agreement with such agency is not practicable, then with any other public or private party for the provision of planning services. Such services may include, but are not limited to the following: feasibility and need studies, transportation planning, family and business relocation planning, and such other planning services that the authority may require.
(g) The authority shall on or before October 1 of each year deliver to the chief financial and accounting officer of the department of transportation, the secretary of administration and finance, the state treasurer, the state comptroller, the regional advisory board, the house committee on ways and means, the senate committee on ways and means, the joint committee on transportation, the clerk of the senate and the clerk of the house of representatives a report of its operations for the preceding fiscal year, including a description of organization for the authority, its comprehensive program for mass transportation as most recently revised and its audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year. The financial statements shall be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and government auditing standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. The financial statements shall include the opinion of the independent auditor thereon.
(h) All current expenses of the authority shall be in accordance with an annual budget prepared by the administrator and submitted to the advisory board no later than April first of each year for the ensuing fiscal year. On or before June first the advisory board shall approve said budget as submitted or subject it to such itemized reductions therein as the advisory board shall deem appropriate.
(i) Any agreement entered into by an authority with a contiguous municipality outside of the area of such authority for service to such municipality through an agreement with a private company, shall provide for reimbursement by such municipality to an authority only for the additional expense of such service as determined by the authority. Such agreements may be for such terms, not exceeding five years, as the parties may determine, except as provided in paragraph (f) of section six. They shall not be subject to the provisions of section four of chapter forty or section thirty-one of chapter forty-four. Municipalities may appropriate from taxes or from any available funds to meet their obligations under any such contracts.
(j) Any private company lawfully providing mass transportation service in the area constituting the authority at the commencement of operations by the authority may continue so to operate the same route or routes and levels of service as theretofore, and may conduct such further operations, without a contract, as the authority subject to the approval of the department of telecommunications and energy may permit.
(k) As a condition of any assistance to a private carrier operating under lease, contract, or other arrangement with the Authority, the rights, benefits, and other employee protective conditions and remedies of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, as amended (P.L. 88?365) as determined by the Secretary of Labor, shall apply for the protection of the employees affected by such assistance. Pursuant to said Urban Mass Transportation Act, the terms and conditions of a fair and equitable employee protective arrangement pursuant to this paragraph shall be a proper subject of collective bargaining and arbitration with the labor organizations that represent such employees. Such protective arrangement shall include, without limitation, provisions for the continuing employment or reemployment of those employees who are, or may be, displaced or otherwise affected by such assistance, paid training and re-training programs, preservation of all employment and retirement rights and interest, and any other protections which are necessary or appropriate to minimize the injury to such persons, provided, however, that any such protection shall not be detrimental to the employment or retirement rights and interests of any other persons affected by such assistance. The contract, lease, or other arrangement for the granting of any such assistance to a private carrier shall specify the terms and conditions of, the protective arrangements.