CHAPTER 242
TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT

Table of Contents

Sec. 13b-34. Powers of commissioner.
Sec. 13b-38bb. State matching grant program for elderly and disabled demand responsive transportation. Allocations. Requirements. Data collection.

PART III
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

      Sec. 13b-34. Powers of commissioner. (a) The commissioner shall have power, in order to aid or promote the operation, whether temporary or permanent, of any transportation service operating to, from or in the state, to contract in the name of the state with any person, including but not limited to any common carrier, any transit district formed under chapter 103a or any special act, or any political subdivision or entity, or with the United States or any other state, or any agency, instrumentality, subdivision, department or officer thereof, for purposes of initiating, continuing, developing, providing or improving any such transportation service. Such contracts may include provision for arbitration of disputed issues. The commissioner, in order to aid or promote the operation of any transportation service operating outside the state, may contract in the name of the state with any person, including, but not limited to, any common carrier, or with the United States or any other state, or any agency, instrumentality, subdivision, department or officer thereof, for purposes of providing any transportation service in the event such assistance is required in the case of an emergency or a special event. The state, acting by and through the commissioner, may, by itself or in concert with others, provide all or a portion of any such service, share in the costs of or provide funds for such service, or furnish equipment or facilities for use in such service upon such terms and conditions as the commissioner may deem necessary or advisable, and any such contracts may include, without limitation thereto, arrangements under which the state shall so provide service, share costs, provide funds or furnish equipment or facilities. To these ends, the commissioner may in the name of the state acquire or obtain the use of facilities and equipment employed in providing any such service by gift, purchase, lease or other arrangements and may own and operate any such facilities and equipment and establish, charge and collect such fares and other charges or arrange for such collection for the use or services thereof as he may deem necessary, convenient or desirable. The commissioner may also acquire title in fee simple to, or any lesser estate, interest or right in, any rights-of-way, properties or facilities, including properties used on or before October 1, 1969, for rail or other forms of transportation services. The commissioner may hold such properties for future use by the state and may enter into agreements for interim use of such properties for other purposes. Any person contracting with the state pursuant to this section for the provision of any transportation service shall not be considered an arm or agent of the state. Any damages caused by the operation of such transportation service by such person may be recovered in a civil action brought against such person in the superior court and such person may not assert the defense of sovereign immunity in such action.

      (b) The commissioner shall, in the name of the state, have power to apply for and to receive and accept grants of property, money and services and other assistance offered or made available by any person, any transit district or political subdivision or entity, or any other agency, governmental or private, including the United States or any of its agencies and instrumentalities, which he may use to meet capital or operating expenses and for any other purpose in furtherance of his powers and duties under sections 13b-34 to 13b-36, inclusive, and 13b-38, and to negotiate for and contract regarding the same upon such terms and conditions as he may deem necessary or advisable.

      (c) When necessary or desirable in the performance of his powers and duties under this section and sections 13b-35 to 13b-38, inclusive, the commissioner shall, in the name of the state, have power (1) to hire, lease, acquire and dispose of property to the extent necessary to carry out his powers and duties hereunder and (2) to contract to perform services for any person, any transit district or other political subdivision or entity, or with any other agency, governmental or private, and to accept compensation or reimbursement therefor.

      (d) The commissioner may be assisted in the performance of his powers and duties under this section by the Connecticut Transportation Authority, and may delegate specific powers and duties to it.

      (e) The commissioner shall have the power to aid and assist transit districts pursuant to section 13b-38.

      (f) Repealed by P.A. 84-254, S. 61, 62.

      (g) Repealed by P.A. 81-421, S. 8, 9.

      (h) The commissioner, in the name of the state, shall have the power to enter into leases with respect to transportation equipment and facilities for the purpose of obtaining payments based on the tax benefits associated with the ownership or leasing of such equipment and facilities. In connection with any such lease, the commissioner, in the name of the state, shall have the power to sell, repurchase and sublease any such equipment or facilities, to place deposits or investments with financial institutions to defease rental or repurchase obligations and to enter into related agreements with parties selected by and on terms deemed reasonable by the commissioner. All net payments received by the state pursuant to any such lease or related agreement shall be credited to the Special Transportation Fund, the Infrastructure Improvement Fund, the Department of Transportation operating accounts, or to the Department of Transportation as required pursuant to United States Department of Transportation approval of the lease. Any such lease or related agreement may include provisions for the state, as lessee, to indemnify and hold harmless the lessors or other parties to any such lease or related agreement. Any such lease or related agreement may provide for the state to purchase insurance or surety bonds or to obtain letters of credit from financial institutions when deemed in the best interests of the state by the commissioner. Any such lessor or other party to any such related agreement may bring a civil action to recover damages arising directly from and subject to any such lease or related agreement. No such action shall be brought except within one year from the date the right of action accrues. Any such civil action shall be brought in the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford. The jurisdiction conferred upon the Superior Court by this section includes any set-off, claim or demand whatever on the part of the state against any plaintiff commencing an action under this section. Such action shall be tried to the court without a jury. All legal defenses except governmental immunity shall be reserved to the state. Any such lease or related agreement shall be subject to the approval of the Attorney General.

      (i) If the commissioner deems it to be in the best interest of the state, the commissioner may include in any contract with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, provisions for the state to indemnify and hold harmless said corporation, and for such purpose to provide for the state to purchase insurance with a deductible clause, surety bonds or to obtain letters of credit from financial institutions. Said corporation may bring a civil action based on the contract to recover damages arising directly from and subject to any such contract. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 52-576, no such action shall be brought except within one year from the date the right of action accrues. Any such civil action shall be brought in the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford. The jurisdiction conferred on the Superior Court by this section includes any set-off, claim or demand on the part of the state against the said corporation commencing such action. Such action shall be tried to the court without a jury. All legal defenses except governmental immunity shall be reserved to the state.

      (1969, P.A. 768, S. 28; 1972, P.A. 261, S. 10, 11; P.A. 74-342, S. 35, 43; P.A. 75-425, S. 50, 57; P.A. 81-421, S. 8, 9; P.A. 84-254, S. 61, 62; P.A. 87-444, S. 1, 2; P.A. 88-147; 88-230, S. 1, 12; 88-364, S. 22, 123; P.A. 89-372, S. 1, 4; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4-6; P.A. 96-115, S. 1, 2; 96-222, S. 36, 41; P.A. 05-220, S. 1.)

      History: 1972 act added new Subsec. (g) granting authority to assist transit districts and added in Subsec. (b) reference to Sec. 13b-38; P.A. 74-342 added application of Subsec. (a) to "any transit district formed under chapter 103a or any special act" and in that subsection deleted "rail or motor carrier" where appearing and eliminated references to state bond commission where appearing, further deleted following "October 1, 1969" "motor carrier services" and substituted "other forms of transportation services", added in Subsec. (b) transit district to other entities set forth and also added power to "contract regarding" as well as to "negotiate for", added in Subsec. (c) (transferred from Subsec. (d)) the power to contract to perform services for the same listing of entities contained in Subsec. (b) and to accept compensation and reimbursement therefor, deleted former Subsecs. (d) and (e) and added new subsection prohibiting entering agreements for payments by the state beyond existing appropriations without prior approval by the finance advisory committee; P.A. 75-425 added new subsection concerning acquisitions and dispositions of real estate, making them subject to the newly established state properties review board, see Sec. 4-26b; P.A. 81-421 repealed Subsec. (g), which had provided that acquisition and dispositions pursuant to this section were subject to Sec. 4-26b; P.A. 84-254 repealed Subsec. (f) which had prohibited entering into an agreement involving payments beyond available existing appropriations without prior approval of finance advisory committee; P.A. 87-444 added a new Subsec. (h) which authorizes the commissioner of transportation to enter into qualified leased property leases; P.A. 88-147 required that all moneys received by the state pursuant to any qualified leased property shall be credited to infrastructure improvement fund rather than to special transportation fund; P.A. 88-230 replaced "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" with "judicial district of Hartford", effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 88-364 made minor change in wording of Subsec. (h); P.A. 89-372 added new Subsec. (i) re commissioner's power to include indemnification provision in contract for services with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. (Revisor's note: P.A. 88-230 also authorized substitution of the phrase "judicial district of Hartford" for "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" in 1989 public and special acts, effective September 1, 1991); P.A. 90-98 changed effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-115 amended Subsec. (a) to authorize commissioner to provide any out-of-state transportation service required in the case of emergency or a special event, effective May 24, 1996; P.A. 96-222 amended Subsec. (h) to eliminate authority of commissioner to enter into leases re "qualified leased property", to authorize commissioner to enter into leases re transportation equipment and facilities for purpose of obtaining payments based on tax benefits associated with ownership or leasing of such equipment and facilities, to specify commissioner's powers in connection with any such lease and to require net payments received by state pursuant to lease or related agreement to be credited to Special Transportation Fund, department operating accounts or to Department of Transportation, effective June 4, 1996; P.A. 05-220 amended Subsec. (a) to add provision that any person contracting with the state for the provision of any transportation service shall not be considered an arm or agent of the state, that any damages caused by the operation of such transportation service by such person may be recovered in a civil action against such person and that such person may not assert the defense of sovereign immunity, effective July 1, 2005, and applicable to any civil action pending on or filed on or after that date.

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      Sec. 13b-38bb. State matching grant program for elderly and disabled demand responsive transportation. Allocations. Requirements. Data collection. (a) The Commissioner of Transportation shall establish a state matching grant program, in accordance with the provisions of this section, which shall be available 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 an allocation amount, the commissioner shall notify municipalities of the availability of such amount.

      (c) Municipalities shall apply to the state through a designated regional planning organization or transit district for funding allocations. The regional planning organization or transit district and municipalities interested in applying for the funds shall collaborate on service design to determine how to use the funding most effectively in that municipality and its surrounding region. The commissioner shall have the authority to approve or disapprove the method for delivery of service.

      (d) The maximum amount allocated to a municipality 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.

      (e) 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 Special Transportation Fund.

      (f) 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.

      (g) 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.

      (h) Any funds shall only be expended for grants and administrative costs and shall not be expended for any other purpose.

      (P.A. 99-265, S. 4; P.A. 00-148, S. 22; P.A. 02-123, S. 5; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-4, S. 39.)

      History: P.A. 00-148 made technical changes, amended Subsec. (a) by making the state matching grant a program, amended Subsec. (b) by replacing "a grant" with "an allocation", added new Subsec. (c) re application process for allotted funds and redesignated Subsecs. (c) to (g), inclusive, as Subsecs. (d) to (h), inclusive; P.A. 02-123 amended Subsec. (c) to eliminate references to "within the transportation service region, as established in section 13b-38m," and "allocated to municipalities within that transportation service region" and to change "municipality and region" to "municipality and its surrounding region", effective June 7, 2002; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-4 amended Subsec. (a) to delete references to deadlines for establishing program and to establishing program within available General Fund appropriations, amended Subsec. (e) by changing General Fund to Special Transportation Fund, and amended Subsec. (h) to remove reference to appropriated funds and specify that funds shall only be expended for grants and administrative costs, effective July 1, 2005.

      See Sec. 13b-57s re funding for grants-in-aid and administrative expenses for program.

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