TRANSPORTATION CODE


TITLE 6. ROADWAYS


SUBTITLE K. MASS TRANSPORTATION


CHAPTER 461. STATEWIDE COORDINATION OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION


Sec. 461.001. LEGISLATIVE INTENT AND CONSTRUCTION. (a) Public transportation services are provided in this state by many different entities, both public and private. The multiplicity of public transportation providers and services, coupled with a lack of coordination between state oversight agencies, has generated inefficiencies, overlaps in service, and confusion for consumers. It is the intent of this chapter:

(1) to eliminate waste in the provision of public transportation services;

(2) to generate efficiencies that will permit increased levels of service; and

(3) to further the state's efforts to reduce air pollution.

(b) This chapter shall be liberally construed to achieve its purposes.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 13.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 461.002. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Public transportation provider" means any entity that provides public transportation services if it is a governmental entity or if it receives financial assistance from a governmental entity, whether state, local, or federal. The term does not include private carriers that do not receive financial assistance from a governmental entity. It also does not include a person who provides intercity rail or bus service, commercial air transportation, water transportation, or nonstop service to or from a point located outside this state. If a person provides both public transportation services and services that are not public transportation services, that person is included within the term only with regard to the provision of public transportation services and to the extent of those public transportation services.

(2) "Public transportation services" means any conveyance of passengers and their hand-carried baggage by a governmental entity or by a private entity if the private entity receives financial assistance for that conveyance from any governmental entity. It does not include intercity rail or bus service, commercial air transportation, water transportation, or nonstop service to or from a point located outside this state.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 13.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 461.004. DUTIES OF TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. (a) The department shall identify:

(1) overlaps and gaps in the provision of public transportation services, including services that could be more effectively provided by existing, privately funded transportation resources;

(2) underused equipment owned by public transportation providers; and

(3) inefficiencies in the provision of public transportation services by any public transportation provider.

(b) The department may contract with any public or private transportation provider for the department to arrange for the provision of public transportation services.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 13.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 461.005. ELIMINATION OF OVERLAPPING SERVICE. (a) To eliminate waste and maximize efficiency, the department shall encourage public transportation providers to agree on the allocation of specific services and service areas among the providers. The department may incorporate these discussions in planning processes such as the development of the statewide transportation improvement program or a local transportation improvement plan.

(b) If public transportation providers do not reach an agreement on a service plan under Subsection (a), the department may develop an interim service plan for that area.

(c) The department may require that all or a percentage of the vehicles used to provide public transportation services comply with specified emissions standards. The standards may vary among geographic areas based on the need of each area to reduce levels of air pollution. This subsection does not apply to an authority created under Chapter 451, 452, 453, or 460.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 13.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 461.006. DUTIES OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION PROVIDERS. Each public transportation provider shall cooperate with the department in eliminating waste and ensuring efficiency and maximum coverage in the provision of public transportation services.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 13.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 461.007. INCENTIVES FOR EFFICIENCY. (a) Notwithstanding any other law, including a law establishing a formula for the allocation of public transportation grants, the commission may increase or reduce the amount of a grant made to a public transportation provider based on whether the public transportation provider is complying fully with this chapter.

(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the commission may consider whether a public transportation provider in a geographic area of this state is complying fully with this chapter in executing the commission's other responsibilities relating to that area.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 13.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 461.009. ELIGIBILITY OF VISITORS TO USE CERTAIN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. (a) In this section:

(1) "Provider" means a public transportation provider that provides public transportation services designed for people with disabilities who are unable to use the provider's bus or rail services.

(2) "Services" means public transportation services provided by a public transportation provider and designed for people with disabilities who are unable to use the provider's bus or rail services.

(b) A provider shall determine if an individual who resides outside of the provider's service area and who seeks to use the provider's services while visiting the provider's service area is eligible to use the services not later than two business days after the date the individual gives the provider the appropriate notice and submits any required documentation.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 819 (H.B. 2651), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.