Substitute House Bill No. 6840

Public Act No. 99-265

An Act Concerning Elderly Transportation Services.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) The Commissioner of Transportation shall establish state-wide objectives for providing special transportation services. For purposes of this section, "special transportation service" shall have the same meaning as provided in subsection (f) of section 13b-38n of the general statutes.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (a) Not later than January 1, 2000, and biannually thereafter, the Commissioner of Transportation shall prepare a progress report of the following, for the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation:

(1) A detailed analysis of the implementation status of the provisions of sections 13b-4c and 13b-38n of the general statutes;

(2) An evaluation procedure for determining the effectiveness of the pilot program established in accordance with section 13b-38n of the general statutes and any future pilot program concerning the regionalization and coordination of special transportation services;

(3) Any cost savings resulting from such pilot programs; and

(4) The ridership statistics of such pilot programs provided by the transit district or contracted broker.

(b) On and after January 1, 2000, the progress report prepared by the commissioner pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section shall include an evaluation of the effectiveness of such pilot programs, as determined by the procedure established in said subdivision (2).

Sec. 3. Section 13b-11a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) There shall be in the Department of Transportation a Connecticut Public Transportation Commission which shall be a successor to the Connecticut Public Transportation Authority and which shall consist of [eighteen] nineteen members, who are electors of the state. [Ten] Eleven of such members shall be appointed by the Governor, one of whom shall be a representative of business and industry and a regular user of railroad or truck freight service; one a regular commuter using railroad passenger service; one a regular bus user; one who is permanently mobility impaired and a frequent bus user; one a working member of a railroad labor union; one a working member of a bus labor union; one a representative of railroad company management; one a representative of trucking company management; [and] two representatives from separate local transit districts and one a person sixty years of age or older. The remaining eight members shall have a background or interest in public transportation and be appointed as follows: Two by the president pro tempore of the Senate; two by the minority leader of the Senate; two by the speaker of the House of Representatives; and two by the minority leader of the House of Representatives. The Commissioner of Transportation, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and the [cochairmen] cochairpersons of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation, or their respective designees, shall serve as nonvoting, ex-officio members of the commission. The term of each member of the commission shall be four years. The term of any member who was appointed by the Governor and who is serving on the commission on October 1, 1985, shall expire December 31, 1985. The term of any member who was appointed by any legislator and who is serving on the board on October 1, 1985, shall expire December 31, 1987. Vacancies on said commission shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the same manner as original appointments.

(b) The commission shall advise and assist the commissioner, the Governor and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation in the performance of their functions and duties relating to the planning, development and maintenance of adequate rail, bus and motor carrier facilities and rail, bus and other public transportation services including the adequacy of such services for elderly and disabled users in the state and any other matters affecting the quality of public transportation facilities and services in the state. At least once each year, the commission shall hold public hearings in each of the metropolitan areas, as determined by the commission, within the state for the purpose of evaluating the adequacy of such rail, bus, motor carrier and other public transportation facilities.

(c) The commission shall assist the commissioner in developing regulations to formalize arrangements between the department and local transit districts, between local transit districts and transit system operators and between local transit districts.

(d) Repealed by P.A. 77-33, S. 1.

(e) On or before January first, annually, the commission shall submit in writing to the commissioner and the Governor (1) a list of public transportation projects, which, if undertaken by the state, would further the policy set forth in section 13b-32, including projects specifically for elderly and disabled users; (2) recommendations for improvements to existing public transportation service and projects, incorporating transportation service and projects relative to the needs of elderly and disabled persons and including proposals for legislation and regulations; (3) recommendations for disincentives to free parking, including urban and suburban employment centers; (4) off-peak transit services; and (5) the establishment of urban center loop shuttles. The commissioner shall notify members of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation, on or before January first, annually, and all members of the General Assembly on or before February first, annually, of the availability of [his] the commissioner's comments and analysis of priorities. A written copy or electronic storage media of [his] such comments and analysis shall be distributed to members of such committee who request [his comments and analysis] them. The commissioner shall meet with the commission at least once during each calendar quarter.

(f) The commission may, upon its own motion, undertake any studies it deems necessary for the improvement of a balanced public transportation system within the state, including the improvement of such system for elderly and disabled users. The commission shall have other powers and shall perform such other duties as the commissioner, the Governor and the General Assembly may delegate to it.

(g) Subject to the provisions of chapter 67, and when authorized to do so by the commissioner, the Governor or the General Assembly, the commission may appoint such officers, agents and employees and may retain and employ other consultants or assistants on a contract or other basis for rendering legal, financial, technical or other assistance or advice as may be required to carry out duties or responsibilities. The staff of the department shall be available to assist the commission.

(h) The members of the commission shall receive no compensation for their services as members but shall be reimbursed for the expenses actually and necessarily incurred by them in the performance of their duties. No member of the commission who is otherwise a public officer or employee shall suffer a forfeiture of his office or employment, or any loss or diminution in the rights and privileges pertaining thereto, by reason of such membership.

(i) A quorum of the commission for the purpose of transacting business shall exist only when there is present, in person, a majority of its voting membership. The affirmative vote of a majority of the quorum shall be required for the adoption of a resolution or vote of the commission.

(j) The members of the commission shall elect one of the members as [chairman] chairperson with the responsibility to act as presiding officer at meetings of the commission. Regular meetings shall be held at least once in each calendar month and as often as deemed necessary by a majority of members. Any member absent from (1) three consecutive meetings of the commission, or (2) fifty per cent of such meetings during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned from the commission, effective on the date that the [chairman] chairperson notifies the official who appointed such member.

(k) The commission shall have access through the Department of Transportation to all records, reports, plans, schedules, operating rules and other documents [which are] prepared by rail and bus companies operating under contract with the state of Connecticut which pertain to the operations of such companies and to any documents that the commission may require from the department to carry out its responsibilities under this section and sections 13b-16, 13b-17 and 16-343, provided this subsection shall not apply to any plans, proposals, reports and other documents pertaining to current or pending negotiations with employee bargaining units.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (a) Not later than January 1, 2000, and not later than October 1, 2000, and annually after October 1, 2000, the Commissioner of Transportation, within available General Fund appropriations, shall make a state matching grant, in accordance with the provisions of this section, to any municipality upon application of such municipality. Such grants shall be expended by such municipalities for elderly and disabled demand responsive transportation programs that shall be available to persons age sixty or older.

(b) Not later than thirty days after the commissioner determines a grant amount, the commissioner shall notify municipalities of the availability of such amount.

(c) The maximum amount of any such grant a municipality shall be eligible to receive shall be determined by the commissioner in accordance with the following formula: Fifty per cent of such funds shall be apportioned on the basis of the share of the population of persons age sixty or older in the municipality relative to the state's total population of persons age sixty or older, as defined in the most recent federal decennial census or in estimates provided in the five-year interim by the Office of Policy and Management. Fifty per cent of such funds shall be apportioned on the basis of a municipality's square mileage relative to the state's total square mileage.

(d) Each municipality applying for such grant funds shall provide a fifty per cent match to such funds. If a municipality chooses not to apply for such funds, its portion shall revert to the General Fund.

(e) A municipality, receiving a grant provided pursuant to this section, shall annually submit to the Commissioner of Transportation, on forms provided by said commissioner, the following data on such transportation programs: (1) The number of unduplicated riders; (2) the number of one-way trips; (3) the number of miles traveled; (4) the number of trip denials; (5) the number of hours vehicles are in use annually; (6) all federal, state, municipal and other revenues received and expenditures incurred in the provision of dial-a-ride services; and (7) any other information determined to be necessary by the commissioner.

(f) A municipality receiving a grant pursuant to this section shall annually submit to the Commissioner of Transportation a certification that any state grant shall be in addition to current municipality levels of spending on such programs.

(g) Any funds appropriated for the purposes of this section shall not be expended for any other purpose.

Sec. 5. Sections 7-273n and 13b-38l of the general statutes are repealed.

Approved June 29, 1999