SB1361: DRPT; analysis of proposed project provided to General Assembly.

SENATE BILL NO. 1361

Offered January 18, 2013
A BILL to amend and reenact § 33.1-391.5 of the Code of Virginia, relating to Responsibilities of Department.
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Patron-- Black
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Referred to Committee on Transportation
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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 33.1-391.5 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

 § 33.1-391.5. Responsibilities of Department.

The Department shall have the following responsibilities:

1. Determine present and future needs for, and economic feasibility of providing, public transportation, transportation demand management, and ridesharing facilities and services and the retention, improvement, and addition of passenger and freight rail transportation in the Commonwealth;

2. Formulate and implement plans and programs for the establishment, improvement, development and coordination of public transportation, transportation demand management, and ridesharing facilities and services, and the retention and improvement of passenger and freight rail transportation services and corridors in the Commonwealth, and coordinate transportation demand management and innovative technological transportation initiatives with the Department of Transportation;

3. Coordinate with the Department of Transportation in the conduct of research, policy analysis, and planning for the rail and public transportation modes as may be appropriate to ensure the provision of effective, safe, and efficient public transportation and passenger and freight rail services in the Commonwealth;

4. Develop uniform financial and operating data on and criteria for evaluating all public transportation activities in the Commonwealth, develop specific methodologies for the collection of such data by public transit operators, regularly and systematically verify such data by means of financial audits and periodic field reviews of operating data collection methodologies, and develop such other information as may be required to evaluate the performance and improve the economy or efficiency of public transit or passenger and freight rail operations, transportation demand management programs, and ridesharing in the Commonwealth;

5. Compile and maintain an up-to-date inventory of all abandoned railroad corridors in the Commonwealth abandoned after January 1, 1970;

6. Provide training and other technical support services to transportation operators and ridesharing coordinators as may be appropriate to improve public transportation, ridesharing, and passenger and freight rail services;

7. Maintain liaison with state, local, district and federal agencies or other entities, private and public, having responsibilities for passenger and freight rail, transportation demand management, ridesharing, and public transportation programs;

8. Receive, administer and allocate all planning, operating, capital, and any other grant programs from the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and other agencies of the United States government for public transportation, passenger and freight rail transportation, transportation demand management, and ridesharing purposes with approval of the Board and to comply with all conditions attendant thereto;

9. Administer all state grants for public transportation, rail transportation, ridesharing, and transportation demand management purposes with approval of the Board;

10. Promote the use of public transportation, transportation demand management, ridesharing, and passenger and freight rail services to improve the mobility of Virginia's citizens and the transportation of goods;

11. Represent the Commonwealth on local, regional, and national agencies, industry associations, committees, task forces, and other entities, public and private, having responsibility for passenger and freight rail, transportation demand management, ridesharing, and public transportation;

12. Represent the Commonwealth's interests in passenger and freight rail, transportation demand management, ridesharing, and public transportation and coordinate with the Department of Transportation in the planning, location, design, construction, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, purchase, and rehabilitation of facilities and services that affect or are used by passenger and freight rail, transportation demand management, ridesharing, or public transportation;

13. Coordinate with the State Corporation Commission on all matters dealing with rail safety inspections and rail regulations which fall within its purview;

14. Prepare and review state legislation and Commonwealth recommendations on federal legislation and regulations as directed by the Secretary of Transportation;

15. Promote public transportation, ridesharing, and passenger and freight rail safety; and

16. Ensure the safety of rail fixed guideway transit systems within the Commonwealth and carry out state safety and security oversight responsibilities for rail fixed guideway transit systems as required by the Federal Transit Administration and federal law. For any rail fixed guideway transit system operated within the Commonwealth pursuant to an interstate compact, the Department shall perform its oversight responsibilities in accordance with the interstate compact governing the operation of such system and any applicable federal law.

17. Prior to state grants, financing or other funding of any expanded or proposed rail or other transit project, provide to the General Assembly an overall economic and financial analysis of the proposed project. This analysis shall include an evaluation of feasible alternatives and projected transit service demand over a Twenty year term. The analysis shall demonstrate the reasonableness of all assumtions made and provive an analysis of the impact of variables such as inflation and other economic conditions. The analyses shall be based on current market conditions and projected operating revenues, costs and replacement costs for the rail or other proposed transit project based on data prepared during the preceding three years.