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Public transit in Florida


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Public transit in Florida report of the Florida Transportation Commission
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vii, 28 p. : ; 28 cm.
Florida Transportation Commission
Florida Transportation Commission
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Tallahassee, Fla.
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Transportation and state -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Local transit -- Florida   ( lcsh )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (p. 22-24).
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Online version available.
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Cover title.
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"February 23, 1989."
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Title from cover.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 022127346
oclc - 19864675
lccn - ^^^89622693^
usfldc doi - C01-00408
usfldc handle - c1.408
lcc - HE4487.F6 F59 1989
ddc - 388.4
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David Kerr John Browning, Jr. Arthur HIU Art Kennedy Wayne Mixson Phil Reece Robert Wilhelm FLORIDA TRANSPORT AT ION Governo r Bob Nartinez The Honorable Bob Martinez Governor o f Florida The Capitol Tallahassee Florida 32399 The H onorable Bob Crawford President, Senate of Florida The C a pitol Tallahassee, Florida 82899 1100 The Honorabl e Tom Gustafson February 24, 1989 Speaker of the House of Representatives The Capitol Tal l ahassee, Florida 32399-1300 Dear Governor Martinez, Mr. P resident and Mr. Speaker: Secretary of Transportation Kaye N Henderson The enclosed report, Public Transit in Florida, was adopted unanimously yesterday by the F lorida Transportation Commission in response to HB 1 6 89, This statute directed the Commissio n to make a thorough assessment of public transit n eeds, institutional relationships, financing strategies and the effect of urban density on the feasibility of public transit. I n developing this report the Commission beginning in June 1988 held nine public meetings throughout the state and received testimony from 25 individuals public officials, public transit provid ers and the private sector. The Comm i ssion i s indebted to the Legislature for funding research through the University of South F l orida. This report would not have bee n possible without the expert assistance of the Center for Urban Transportation Research and the professional staff of the F l orida Departmen t of Transportation. This study revealed that publ i c transit involves many comple x issues which require continuing dialogue Consequently this Commission is prepared to provide continuing assistance to you in your quest for the appropriate rol es for the state and local governments in providing public transit services REj8pectfully, David C G. Kerr Chairman Enclosures (Above recipients only) : Public Tronsit Systems Study, Parts I & II. Tampa: Cente r for Urban Transportatio n Research, 1989. 904-488-8995 605 S uwanne e S treet n.Jia.h:IS$ee. fL32399-0450. MS 57


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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Recognizing the importance of public transit to Florida's future, the 1988 Florida Legislature adopted a provision in House Bill 1639 which required that a public transit study be conducted and presented to the Governor and the Legislature by March 1, 1989. The Florida Transportation Commission was charged with conducting the study "in order to assure that inves tments in public transit will be efficiently used and protected." The study was to assess and make recommendations in the following areas: Needs of the systems, including both capital and operating requirements; Institutional relationships between the state, local governments and private sector, in providing public transit service and the appropriate roles and responsibilities of these entities in planning, financing and operating such systems; The effect of urban density on the financial and technical feasibility of public transit service; Alternative financing mechanisms to assist local governments in meeting local public transit needs; and Methods of determining allocation of state funds among the various public transit systems. The Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida provided assistance to the Commission in conducting portions of this study. For purposes of this report, public transit is defined as those local or regional surface transportation services available to the public which transport more than one person. Rail rapid transit, bus, vanpooling, and carpooling are included within this definition. Specifically excluded are public transportation services such as intercity bus and high-speed passenger rail. Public transit has both social service and transportation attributes. It provides an essential public service by meeting the transportation needs of many elderly, poor, and physically handicapped citizens. It helps minimize air and noise pollution and may contribute to urban character and urban form. Public transit is a local transportation service, but under certain conditions it can contribute to reducing congest ion on the state highway system. v


Florida's Strategic Transportation Plan documented $40 billion of state transportation needs over the next decade. Total public transit needs (state and local) were estimated at $9.6 billion over this same period, including $5.9 billion in major capital projects, $310 million in capital replacement needs and $3.4 billion in operating costs. Increased federal, state, local and private funding will be required to meet these needs. On average, the total need of $9.6 billion equates to appro ximately $960 million annually. Thus, if the state were to participate, for example, in ten percent of the total need, state funding of $96 million per year would be required. By comparison, during the time period 1981 to 1989, Florida's annual financial contribution to transi t ranged from $11 million to $39 million, excluding Tri-Rail ($111 million) and the CSX rail corridor acquisition ($264 million). Annual federal support ranged from $48 million to over $200 million during the same period! Except for short term service development/demonstration projects, the state was prohibited by statute from participating in the annual operating costs of Florida's public transit systems. However, this statutory prohibition against state participation was removed by the 1988 Florida Legislature effective July 1, 1989. By exemption a nominal appropriation of $5 million was provided for state operating assistance in FYSS-89. Operating costs for the seventeen existing urban transit systems in Florida were $254.2 million in 1987. Labor and fringe benefits represented 68% ($172.9 million) o f the operating costs and non-labor expenses, such as utilities, fue l, materials and supplies, represented 32% ($81.3 million). The Commission reached a number of significant conclusions and developed many specific recommendations as a result of conducting this study. The most substantive of these are summarized on the following page. The balance of this report provides background and supporting information considered by the Commission in reaching its conclusions, recommends specific actions to be taken, and provides additional detail to facilitate implementation of the report. 1 To

Significant Conclusions Public transit systems are not totally self supporting. States and local governments have assumed a greater role in providing operating subsidies. Public transit has both social service and transportation attributes. There is no single, coordinated local planning process for public transit. Elected officials are sometimes too involved in making operational decisions for public transit systems. Local governments have and should retain the primary financial responsibility for public transit. Local governments should be given sufficient taxing authority to adequately finance public transit services. A continuing state role in public transit is appropriate and necessary. Reliable, dedicated funding sources (state and local) for public transit should be established and include both general revenue funds and user fees. The state should adopt an investment policy for major transportation projects. State participation in public transit financing should be conditioned on local commitment, satisfactory performance by local transit systems and a formal state policy ensuring cost effective investments. Public transit investments complement rather than directly substitute for state highway system investments. Public transit service and urban growth patterns are interdependent. Fixed guideway systems present unique problems and opportunities and require carefully coordinated local policies for land use, transportation and parking. Services for the transportation disadvantaged require full coordination. . Vll


I. INTRODUCTION A year ago, the Florida Transportation Commission endorsed the Strategic Transportation Plan, an ambitious outline of actions required to respond to the explosive growth of Florida's population and tourism. As a result of this growth, traffic congestion continues to worsen in Florida's cities and is now extending to new areas of commercia l development in the suburbs. Florida presently has twenty two urbanized areas and may have thirty by the year 2000. Yet none of these areas have developed densities necessary to economically support rail transit. Furthennore, in the past ten years, five jobs have been created in the suburbs for every one created downtown. Consequently, the dominant commuting pattern today is from suburb to suburb, not suburb to center city. This travel pattern is both difficult and expensive to serve with public transit. Floridians continue to show a strong preference for the private automobile However, severely congested highways and long, frustrating commutes will cause increasing numbers of people to choose pub l ic transit if it is avai l able, reliable, relatively inexpensive and convenient. But the dispersion of jobs, homes and shopping in the suburbs presents a formidable challenge. Therefore, projections and expectations of public transit must be realist ic. Even in long established, well developed cities in the U. S., public transi t carries fewer than 5 percent of the total daily passenger trips and rarely exceeds 20 percent of peak hour work trips. Consequently, while public transit can make an important contribution to urban mobility in Florida, it cannot be expected to solve all urban congestion problems. Nevertheless, if Florida is to maintain its enviable quality of life and achieve the objectives spelled out in the state's comprehensive plan, public transit must become a more significant and effective component of the state's growth management strategy. Public transit serves local trips and is appropriately viewed as a local government service. However, the state clearly has an i nterest in the continuat ion and expansion of transit service, if ways can be found to increase its effectiveness. The recommendations contained in this report are intended to accomplish just that. It also is the purpose of this report to identify the appropriate state role in public transit and to define the circumstances and conditions that justifY state financial participation in transit service. 1


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IT. BACKGROUND A. HISTORY OF TRANSIT Public transit in Florida's urban areas, as in most U. S. urban centers, is an important but relatively small element of the urban transportation system In the early part of this century, transit was privately owned and operated. Local governments awarded exclusive operating franchises to streetcar and bus companies This action ultimately created a single transit service provider in each urban area. As automobile ownership increased and the street and highway network improved, transit usage began to decline. Initially, this occurred prior to World War II. However, the factors associated with the war, such as resource rationing of fuel, stee l, manpower, etc., temporarily curtailed declining ridership. After the war, transit gradually sank into bankruptcy because of declining ridership and the failure of local governments to approve fare increases, eliminate non productive service and subs idize unpro fit able systems. The private transit firms deferred capital maintenance and replacement in an effort to reduce financial losses. Government financial involvement in public transit grew primarily out of concern that the deteriorating conditio n of transit capital equipment would lead to the abandonment of existing transit services. The Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 established a capital assistance program which encouraged local transit buy outs and new capital investments. Two-thirds of these costs were provided by the federal government through the 1964 Act. Between 1970 and 1974, county and city governments in Florida began to purchase the assets of private transit companies and establish public transit authorities. In addition, the federal program indirectly encouraged local authorities to increase levels of transit service through the provis ion of federal funds for capital equipment with a minimum local matching requirement In 1975, the federal participation rate for capital projects increased from two-thirds to eighty percent, and the federal program was broadened to include ope r ating assistance. In 1983, the federal government capped federal operating assistance at the 1982 funding l evel which in tum required local authorities to either improve productivity, increase local funding, raise passenger fares, decrease levels of service or pursue some combination of all these actions. This created an operating environment parallel to the private situation prior to 1964. Federal programs also imposed costly mandates on the recipients of the funds. The State of Florida began contributing financial assistance to transit capital projects in 1970. H owever, the state was prohib ite d from providing operating assistance until 1988 when the Florida Legislature appropriated a nominal amount of $5 million to provide state operating assista nce for fi scal year 1988-89 only. 3


B. CURRENT STATUS OF URBAN PUBLIC TRANSIT IN FLORIDA There are seventeen urban public transit systems in Florida which receive Urban Mass Transportation Administration urban capital and operating assistance. These systems provide fixed route, fixed schedule, and/or demand responsive bus service. The transit system in Miami (Metro-Dade), in addition to providing bus service, provides heavy rail (Metrorail) and automated guideway (Metromover) services. Collectively, these systems have a combined fleet of 1,945 vehicles which provided 65 million miles of service and carried 137 million passengers in 1987. The cost of this service was approximately $250 million, financed partially through $62 million in farebox revenue, resulting in a 25% farebox recovery ratio statewide. Public operating assistance totalled $185 million: 80% ($148 million) from local sources, 18% ($33 million) from federal sources, and 2% ($4 million) from state sources. The Miami Metrorail System began full operation on May 19, 1985. Current weekday ridership on the 20.5 mile system is 34,244 passengers. An estimated 200,000 passenger trips per day were originally projected prior to construction. Without including the cost of providing Metrobus support service, the combined cost of operating Metrorail and Metromover in 1987 was $45 million. The only other fixed guideway system in Florida is the Jacksonville Automated Skyway Express, a proposed 2.5 mile "people mover" system, of which 0.7 mile is under construction. Other new systems or extensions are under study in Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Pinellas County, Gainesville and Fort Lauderdale. C. THE ROLE OF THE STATE IN PUBLIC TRANSIT The State of Florida has been a financial participant in the development of public transit services for over a decade. There are numerous statutory provisions relating to the state's financial role in transit (Florida Statutes, Chapter 341.01). Generally, local capital projects may be funded to 50% of the non-federal share, not to exceed 12.5% of the total project cost. Projects with statewide significance or involving more than one county are eligible for 100% state funding. During 1981 1989, the State of Florida's annual financial contribution to public transit ranged from approximately $11 million to $39 million, excluding Tri-Rail ($111 million) and CSX acquisition ($264 million). Federal support for the same period ranged from a low of approximately $48 million to over $200 million per year. By far the largest transit project to date in Florida is the Miami Metrorail system. State funds of $110 million were provided for the development of the first phase of Metrorail, matched by $241 million in local funds and $806 million in federal aid. Ninety percent, or $99 million, of the state funds for Metrorail came from general revenue sources with the remaining ten percent, or $11 million, coming from the State Transportation Trust Fund. 2 Source: 1987 UMTA S.C:tion 15 Data 4


In addition to the state's participation in traditional public transit programs, a number of innovative programs have been carried out by the Florida Department of Transportation: Service Development State assistance is provided to expand or implement innovative transportation service. State participation is limited to three years. Participation rates are set at 50% for local projects and 100% for projects having statewide significance. Costs eligible for state funding include both capital and operating expenses. Currently public tral)sit route restructuring and service expansion projects are underway in Orlando, Gainesville, and Broward County. This program is currently funded (FY88/89) at $1,018,415. Ridesharing State assistance is provided on a 50% matching basis to twelve local governments to provide for carpool, vanpool, and transit rider matching services. Two regional programs are operated on a contractual basis with the private sector and a state university. Funding for this program comes from the State Transportation Trust Fund and Oil Overcharge funds appropriated to the Governor's Energy Office. This program is currently funded (FY88/89) at $496,500. Park and Ride State assistance is provided for park and ride lots Overall, the program has been successful with over 6000 spaces in 53 lots in operation, with a weekday utilization rate of 68%. Tbis program is currently funded (FY88/89) at $400,000. Corridor Program State assistance is provided to develop transit alternatives in heavily congested corridors in urban areas throughout the state. Tbis program is currently funded (FY88/89) at $3,400,000. One of the most successful projects undertaken was the Kendall Drive Corridor project in Miami wbich linked Metrorail with park and ride facilities via bus service. High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes HOV lanes presently operate on parts of Florida's Interstate Highway System in the Orlando and Miami areas. Current construction on I-95 in southeast Florida will provide the nation's longest continuous HOV lanes, stretching from Miami to West Palm Beach. 5


Silver Palm Intercity rail passenger service was operated daily between Miami and Tampa from November 1982 to November 1984 This demonstrati o n project was jointly funded by Amtrak and the State of Florida for two years. The statutory requirement of 60% recovery of operating cost from operating revenue, which included all source s, was never achieved, but the project achieved a 58% recovery ratio just prior to its termination. Tri-Rail The first regional commuter rail system developed in the United States in recent history commenced operations in January 1989 between Miami and West Palm Beach. The 67 mile system was developed at a cost of over $110 million, primarily state funds. The near term justification for the project was to provide a maintenance of traffic alternative during the reconstruction and widening of Interstate 95 in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. The long term cont inuation of this program will depend upon the success/failure of the maintenance of traffic project. CSX Corridor Purchase In May of 1988, the State of Florida purchased the 80-mile CSX rail corridor in Southeast Florida for $264 million. The corridor is adjacent to 1-95 and will continue to be used for the movement of rail freight as well as Amtrak intercity rail passenger service and Tri-Ra il commuter service. The acquisition also may f acilitate the development of high speed rail service between Miami, Orlando, and Tampa Bay. Specifically excluded from the report are intercity bus and high-speed rail passenger services.3 3 Tha Florida High Spood Rail Act and the Magnetic Levitation Dcmoll.8tration Project Act are two innovativa and progressive approaehcs to aceomplieh private eoctor initiatives Local and regional public transit systems should be planned in conjunction with high speed rail and other tl'$neportation systems 6


D. SPECIAL NEEDS OF THE TRANSPORTATION DISADVANTAGED Special emphasis is placed on meeting the mobility needs of the transportation disadvantaged in the State of Florida. T ransportation disadvantaged is defined in Florida Statutes, Chapter 427 as "those individuals who because of physical or mental disability, i ncome status, or age are unable to transport themselves or to purchase transportation and are, therefore, dependent upon others to obtain access to health care, employment, education, shopping, social activities, or other life-sustaining activities." Florida has a population of almost 12 million with 18% considered elderly (approximately 2 million over age 65) compared to 12% nationally. Based on the definition of transportation disadvantaged, as contained in statute, it is estimated that over 33% (approximately 4 million) of Florida's residents are transportation disadvantaged. A number of federal programs have been developed over the years to address the needs of the transportation disadvantaged. These programs were n either developed nor administered in any kind of coordinated manner to collectively utilize available federal resources. The Urban Mass Transportation Administration's Section 16(b)(2) program was designed to meet specific transportation needs of older people and the handicapped by providing funds to acquire vehicles and other equipment. The Social Security Act Title XX program, Title II of tbe Older Americans Act and the Community Services Act of 1974 made funds available to assist in providing transportation service for eligible segments of the transportation disadvantaged population. Inadequate coordination of the limited resources available for transportation disadvantaged services led to the creation of the Coordinating Council on the Transportat i on Disadvantaged by the Florida Legislature in 1979. The purpose of the Coord inating Council, as contained in statute, is to foster the coordination of transportation services pro vided to the transportation disadvantaged. The Coordinating Council legislation sundowns on October 1, 1989 and will be addressed by the 1989 Florid a Legislature. The Council has been instrumental in developing Memoranda of Agreement to coordinate the delivery of service to the transportation disadvantaged in 63 of Florida's 67 counties. 4 Source: 1984 Florida Statewide Five-Year Transit and Paratr.ansit De\-elopment Plan for the Tranaportat.jon Disadvantaged. 7


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III. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Public Transit Systems Are Not Totally Self-Supporting Public transit systems n ea rly always require substantial public subsidy because they attract limited ridership and their capital and operating costs greatly exceed the fares their riders are able or willing to pay. However, certain transit operators and services are relatively more s uccessful than others. Florida public trsnsit systems, on the average, perform somewhat below the national average, recovering about 25% of operating costs from operating revenues Operating ratios of Florida systems range from a low o f 12% to a high of 42%. Public transit systems in Florida will continue to require tax revenue sources to fund most, if not all, capital costs and a substantial portion of operating costs. However, the effect of tax revenue subsidies should be to encourage ridership, not to encourage inefficient or under-utilized services. Today, local government in Florida bears the primary responsibility for providing and financing public transit. Since public transit is a local transportation service, this primary local responsibility is appropriate and should continue. Recommendations: 1 Provide local jurisdictions with sufficient local option "transit" tax authority. 2. Permit adoption of local tax authority by an extraordinary majority of the governing body. 3. Exempt transit taxes from the local jurisdiction's millage cap. 9


States and Local Governments Have Assumed A Greater Role In Providing Operating Subsidies Nationally, public transit operating costs are financed through a combination of fares or other operating revenue, and federal, state and local subsidies. The combination of these sources has shifted dramatically in the last two decades and represents one of the most complex and contro ver sial issues facing public transit systems today. The share of operating costs covered by fares declined nationally from 1945 to 1980. The farebox contribution then stabilized through 1983 and increased to 44 percent in 1985. For the seventeen urban transit systems in Florida, farebox revenue financed 37.9 percent of the costs in 19 81, and 24.4 percent in 1987. Federal operating assistance was initiated in 1975 at a funding level of $300 million and grew to $1.1 billion by 1981. Federal legislation enacted in 1 983 imp osed annual limitati ons on the amount of federal aid which could be used for operating assistance. The result of these limitations has been a decline in the federa l share of operating costs from 18 percent in 1980 to 8 percent in 1985. The 1989 cap on federal operati ng assistance is $805 million. In the seventeen urban transit systems in Florida, the federal share has decreased from 23.6 percent ($31.9 million) in 1981 to 13 percent ($33.0 million) in 1987. There has been considerable debate as to whether the presence of federal operating assistance has contributed to higher labor costs and/or inefficient operations. Federal operating assistance is now capped nationally at levels significantly below funding levels provided in 1981. Consequently, state and local government subs id ies are financing a greater proportion of operating costs. States have dramatically increased their support of transit ope rations over the last several years In 1987 thirty states provided approximately $2 5 billion in state operating assistance to public transit. In fact, on a national basis, total state financial support for transit has exceeded that of the federal government since 1986. Many states, however, still provide no transit operating assistance. Operating assistance in Florida was prohibited by statute until 1988, e xcept for service development and demonstration projects. In the urban transit systems in Florida, the state has provided funding for such projects wh ich amounted to 0.3 percent of total system cost in 1981 compared to 1.6 percent in 1987. By contrast, local governments in Florida have increased their support of transit operating costs from $47.7 million (35 percent of costs) in 1981 to $148.6 million (58.5 percent ) in 1987. Thus, operating subsidies by local governments have increased by 212 percent since 1981. Importantly, local decisions regarding service le ve ls, fare policies, labor contracts and management practices have the greatest influence on the cost of providing transit service, correctly placing the primary burden for operating subsidies at the local level. Recommendations: 1. State participation in operating costs should be limited to non-labor operating expenses such as fuel, utilities, materials and supplies. 10


Public Transit Has Both Social Service And Transportation Attributes Public transit serves more than transportation objectives. It ensures some level of personal mobility for the young, the elderly, the poor, and the handicapped. It helps limit air and noise pollution. Finally, public transit, particularly fixed guideway systems, may contribute to urban ch aracter and may influ ence urban form. In most cities, a s ignificant part of the cost of developing public transit facilities and providing public transit services is associated with some or all of these social objectives. Consequently, it i s appropriate and justifiable to use general revenue to fund public transit. Local governments use a variety of tax sources to fund public transit. The State of Florida funded a high percentage of its share of Metrorail's ca p ital cost with general revenue funds. Many other states rely solely or partially on general funds to support public transit. Today, the State is funding public transit entirely out of highway user taxes. Where transit provides a meaningful transportation service, thereby delaying or reducing the required ex penditur e of highway user fees for cons truction or expa nsion of highway fa c iliti es, the expenditure of highway user fees is appropria te. Most state highway user taxes in Florida presently are appropriated into the State Transportation Trust Fund (STTF), which also is the source of funds for highway improvements. Given the magnitude of highway needs in the state, public transi t does not receive a significant share of STTF. Alternative funding mechanisms for public transit are, therefore, nee ded. Recommendations: 1. Establish a separate Public Transit Trust Fund into which both general revenue funds and h ighway user fees could be appropriated. 2. Use the Public Transit Trust Fund as the source of funds for both state block grants and discretionary grants for major capital investments. 11


There Is No Single, Coordinated Local Planning Process For Public Transit Under Florida statutes, the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) have primary responsibility for l ocal transportation planning (Section 339.175, Florida Statutes). However, many MPO plans are not addressing public transit in a detailed comprehensive manner and therefore are not providing sufficient guidance to local decision makers. The existing transit planning is accomplished to meet the federal requirements to maintain federal funding and generally fails to address basic transit policy. The MPO plans mainly address capital needs. Florida's growth management legislation provides that local comprehensive plans for cities of over 50,000 population shall include a "mass transit" element (Section 163.3177, Florida Statutes). However, the local government plans deve l oped so far are not adequately addressing public transit issues and will do little to guide or direct investment and operational decisions. The result is that, in many of Florida's urban areas, no local government agency is ensuring that public transit is closely coordinated with overall transportation or growth management policies. In many cases, planning is being done by the transit provider, a process which results in continuation and expansion of existing services with little policy direction. With this lac k of coordinated local planning for public transit, decisions about major transportation investments are made with insufficient information to guide policy makers. Recommendations: 1 Establish a single, coordinated local transit planning process at the MPO level. 2. Separate transit planning responsibilities from transit operations. 3. Channel state transit funds through the MPO. 4. Encourage involvement of the private sector in the transit planning process. 12


Elected Officials Are Sometimes Too Involved In Making Operational Decisions For Public Transit Systems It is not generally possible to successfully operate a local public transit system if operational decisions are being made by elected officials. The political process functions best where i t focuses on establishing a clear and concise transit policy, which provides clear direction for operational decisions. It functions less effectively where it is all owed to address day-to-day operational decisions about routes, schedules, routine maintenance, etc., which, potentially, can be a problem in managing public transit systems. Elected officials have an important responsibility to assure that the Local Government Comprehensive Plans contain the appropriate local transit system goals and objectives. Elected officials must establish transit policy which is consist ent with the Local Government Comprehensive Plans. If adequate transit policy i s developed and implemented it Will provide the necessary guidance for the day -to-day operationa l decisions. Recommendations: 1. Separate, to the extent possible, the political process from operational decision making. 13


State And Local Responsibilities For Public Transit Are Not Clearly Defined Although Florida statutes do not clearly delineate responsibilities for public transit between the state and local governments, the statutes do assign primary responsibility for public transit at the local level. In addition, the statutes also provide for state support to local governments. Florida's State Comprehensive Plan (Chapter 187, Florida Statutes) spells out important state goals which can guide development of a more clearly-defined state role in local public transit. Goals which appear to have a direct bearing on public transit include those addressing growth management, energy efficiency, air quality, transportation services for the elderly, public safety, and coordination of transportation facilities and services. It is clear from these goals that the legislature intends for the state to have a continuing role in public transit. The active involvement of federal, state and local governments is necessary for transit to be a viable element of the transportation network. A block grant approach for the distribution of state funds would allow local governments the tle:g:ibility to tailor transit services to their community needs while reinforcing local government's primary responsibility for public transit. Recommendations: 1. Codify all state public transit legislation into one section of the Florida statutes 2. As a base level of support, the state should provide funding through transit block grants to local governments for planning, non-major capital and non labor operating expenses. Eligible capital projects would include pork and ride, vehicles, equipment, ridesharing, and facilities. 3. Limit the rate of state participation to fifty percent of the non federal share of eligible project costs. 4. Permit decisions governing use of transit block grants to be made at the discretion of the locol jurisdiction. 5. Allccate block grants to each area on the basis of a simple formula which includes such factors as number of passengers carried and population. 6. Condition block grants on the following: a. Each area publishing an annual performance review consistent with state guidelines. b. Competitive bi dding of a portion of transit service. 7. Condition state participation in major transit capital projects (e.g., fixed guideway projects) on compliance with a major capital investment policy. 14


The State Should Adopt An Investment Policy For Maior Transportation Projects The Strategic Transportation Plan documents needs of $40 b illi o n Only $15 billion in funding is forecast from existing sources over the next 10 years. As a result, the state must carefully target its transportation expenditures to ensure that investments of state transportation funds are made in the most cost-effective manner possible As state f'unding resources beeome increasingly scarce, a policy to guide the state's p articipation in major transportation investments would ensure that those funds are put to best use. There could be many reasons why a local government may make investments in the transportation system that go beyond basic transportation requirements As more local governments look to major public transit facilities as a part of the solution to their transportation needs, the state will need a consistent, fair, and workable investment policy to govern its participation in all transportation projects. ; Recommendations: 1. Establish a state (FDOT) major capital investment policy 2. Perform an independent (state) assessment of projected ridership and cost of a proposed fixed guideway system and esUJ:blish minimum standards for cost recovery and cost effectiveness. 3. State participation in major capital projects should be at tM discretion of FDOT and conditioned on local compliance with the policy, but technology selection should be a local decision. Examples of major capital projects are Metro&il, MetroMouer, and tM Jacksonville Automated Skyway Express. 15


Public Transit Investments Complement Rather Than Directly Substitute For State Highway System Investments Traffic congestion on Florida's streets and highways will cont inue to increase i n future years. Public transit will play an important but limited role in relieving this problem. Most Floridians will continue to prefer the automobile, even when faced with severe highway congestion. Certsinly, as traffic worsens, an increasing number of people will consider public transit alternatives. However, data from throughout the United States indicate that transit trips comprise only 3% of total trips and 6% of work trips. Transit's share of work trips in the twenty cities with the highest percentage of trips by transit averages 19%.' It also is important to recognize that Florida's economy depends heavily on commercial vehicles for commodity movements on streets and highways, a transportation service not accommodated by public transit. Transportstio n accounts for 25% of the costs of most goods and services Severely congested roads and streets increase the costs of commercial freight movement resulting in a direct impact on cost of Jiving. In the future, Florida may have 30 major urban areas with millions of business, commuting, and recreational trips between them each day. Many of the tourists coming to Florida each year will continue to drive automobiles to and within the state. While air transport and high speed rail will help serve trips over 100 miles in length, the state's highways will continue to play a major role in providing the capacity needed for intercity commerce and mobility. The efficiency with which this intercity highway capacity is provided will be importsnt to Florida's quality of life and economic vitality. Yet the congestion caused by local trips, especially by commuters, seriously affects the level of service of the state's intercity highways For these reasons, public transit complement but are not a direct su bstitute for highway capacity improvements. Public transit can help ensure continued personal mobility in crowded urban areas; it can help preserve economic vitality and viability of urban centers; and it can promote infill development and redevelopment. These are important and worthy objectives for Florida which must be pursued in tandem with an aggressive program to increase the capacity of Florida's major intercity highways. Recommendations: 1. In addition to Public Transit Trust Funds, permit FDOT to use other state transportation (highway) funds {or transit projects if it can be clearly demonstrated that the transit projects are suitable alternatives for, and can meet the objectives of, highway capacity improvements. IS Keeping America MovingTHE BO'M'OM LINE, American Aaeociarion of State Highway and Transportation Officlala &ptomber, 1988. 16


Public Transit Service And Urban Growth Patterns Are Interdependent Public transit can support compact urban development patterns so that costly and inefficient urban sprawl is avoided or reduced. At the same time, urban form and urban growth patterns will determine the effe c tivene ss of public transit. In Florida and throughout the natio n, the pre dominant trend in urban development is continued suburbanization, not only for new residential housing but also for a majority of new jobs. This suburban pattern of growth has changed commuting in Florida. Most Floridians travel from suburban home to suburban work p lace. Jobs are no longer concentrated in city centers, but are located throughout the suburbs in office parks and other activity ce nters The result is an increasing reliance on the automobile and a decreasing percentage of work trips that can be efficiently served by public transit. Because of concern abou t the effects of sprawl on Florida's quality of life and cost of public services, Governor Ma rtinez established a Task Force on Urban Growth Patterns in May, 1 988. The Task Force will recommend polici es and programs that promote mor e compact urban development and will include public transit in the scope of its inquiry. The public transit portion of the Interim Report of the Governor's Task Force on Urban Growth Patterns is contained in Appendix D. Recommendations: 1 Implement the recommendations contained in the Inte rim Report of the Governor's Task Force on Urban Growth Patterns shown in Appendix D. 17


Fixed Guideway Systems Present Unique Problems and Opportunities Fixed guideways present unique problems and opportunities. For example, commuter rail facilities can provide high-speed, high-volume capacity in heavily-traveled corridors, but they require high volumes of work trips and a concentration of jobs Automated people-movers can extend the range and benefits of commuter rail systems and extend the range of pedestrian movements in crowded city centers and other major activity centers but they also require high concentrations of pedestrians to succeed. Most fixed guideway systems require capital investments on a substantial scale, usually in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and often over a billion dollars. For that reason, l ocal leaders generally seek significant support from the state, the federal government, or both. However, the process of building popular support for a project sometimes results in planning a fixed guideway system that is not properly sized, optimally located, or utilizes inappropriate technology.' Too often, the studies leading to the decision by federal, state, and local governments to invest in a fixed guideway system use overly optimistic projections of ridership and underestimated costs. Frequently, the decision to proceed with development of a fixed guideway system does not take adequate account of the continuing financial burden that operation of the system will place on the taxpayers. The results can be financially disastrous for the cities and counties involved and can erode support for public transit. Recommendations: 1. Condition state participation in major fixed guideway systems on dedication of a local tax for the system. 2. Condition state participation in major guideway systems on coordination of local land use decisions with the development of the system. 3. Condition state participation in major fixed guideway systems on compliance with a state (FDOT) major capital investment policy. Capital coots for rems range from $2 5 billion (Atlanta) to $31 million (San Diego East). Bucd on information contained in the 1987 Operating Report, American Public Transit Association the average recovery ratio of fixed guideway sy:stcDl.S, including light, heavy, & commuter rail, ie 52% which

Services For The Transportation Disadvantaged Require Full Coordination Transportation disadvantaged is defined in Florida Statutes, Chapter 427 as "those individuals who because of physical or mental disability, income status, or age are unable to transport themselves or to purchase transportation and are, therefore, dependent upon others to obtain access to health care, employment, education, shopping, social activities, or other life-sustaining activities." Inadequate coordination of resources available for transportation disadvantaged services led to the creation of the Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Council by the Florida Legislature in 1979. The purpose of the Coordinating Council is to foster the coordination of transportation services provided to the transportation disadvantaged. The Coordinating Council legislation sundowns on October 1, 1989. Providing mobility for the estimated four (4) million transportation disadvantaged is an important objective of public transit. Chapter 427, Florida Statutes, has established a coordinated process for the delivery of transportation services for the transportation disadvantaged. As a result, coordinated transportation disadvantaged services are available in most of Florida's rural counties but effective coordination has yet to occur in some urban areas. This is partially due to the lack of planning for transportation disadvantaged service as a component of the total transportation needs, conflicts over the means of providing the transportation disadvantaged service, and a lack of enforcement measures. Recommendations: 1. Restructure and authorize the activities of the Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Council as a more independent commission with its own budget and staff. 2. Condition eligibility for state financial participation in public transit on submission of an annual plan to meet the needs of the transportation disadvantaged and other transit-dependent persons. a. The plan should contain both accomplishments for the previous year and a proposal for the coming year. b. Establish criteria for state acceptance or rejection of the plan. 19


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APPENDIX A Definitions Fixed guideway transportation system means a public transit system for the transporting of people by a conveyance, or a series of interconnected conveyance s which conveyance or series of conveyances is specifically designed for travel on a stationary rail or other guideway, whether located on, above, or under the ground. (Section 341.031(1), F.S.). Fixed guideways include commuter raU facilities, light rail trolleys or rapid transit facilities, and automated people-movers. Non-labor operating expenses means those operating costs not directly or indir ectly associated with labor costs. Inclu des costs for fuel/lubricants, tires, materia ls and supplies, utilities, and casualty and liabili ty, but excludes salaries, wages, and fringe benefits. Paratransit means those elements of public transit which provide service between s pecific origins and destinations selected by the individual user with such service being provided at a time that is agreed upon by the user and the provider of the service. Paratransit service is provided by taxis, limousines, "dial-a-ride," buses, and other demand-responsive operations that are characterized by their nonscheduled, nonflXed route nature (Section 341.031(2), F.S.) Public transit means the transporting of people by conveyances, or systems of conveyances, traveling on land or water, local or regional in nature, and available for use by the public. Public transit systems may be either government owned or privately owned. Public transit specifically includes those forms of transportation commonly known as "paratransit." (Section 341.031(3), F.S.) Public transit capital project means a project undertaken by a public agency to provide public t r an sit. to ita constituency, and is limited to acquisition, design, construction, reconstruction, or improvement of a government owned or operated transit system. (Section 3U.031(4), F.S ) Ridesharing means an arrangement between persons with a common destination, or destinations, within the same proximity, to share the use of a motor vehic le on a recurring basis for round-trip transportation to and from their place of employment or other common destination. For purposes of ridesharing, employment shall be deemed to commence when an employee arrives at the employer's place of employment to report for work and shall be deemed to terminate when the employee leaves the employer's place of e mployment, excluding areas not under the control of the employer. However, an employee shall be deemed to be within the course of employment when the employee is engaged in the performance of duties assigned or directed by the e mp loyer, or acting in the furtherance of tbe business of the employer, irregpective of location. Ridesbaring includes vanpools and carpools. (Section 341 031(6), F $ ) Transportation disadvantaged means those individuals who because of physical or m e ntal disability, income status, or age are unable to transport themselves or to purchase tran sp ortation and are, therefore, depe n dent upon others to obtain access to health care, employment, educa tion, shopping, social activi ties, o r other life-sustaining activities. (Section 427.011(1), F.S.) 21


APPENDIX B Transit Bibliography "Allocation of State Financial Ass istance." Public Transit Systems Study, Part II. Tampa: Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida, 1989. "Capital and Operating Requirements." Public Transit Systems Study, Part I. Tampa: Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida, 1989. Cervero, Robert IntergouernTTUntal Resp011$ibilitie$ for Financing Public Transit Services. Washington, D.C.: Urban Mass Transportation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1983. COMSIS Corporation Public Private Partnership in Transportation: A Casebook for Local Elected Officials. Washington, D.C.: Office of Technology and Planning Assi s tance, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1986. Deakin, Efuabeth. Issues And Opportunities For Transit: An Exploration Of Changes In The External Environment And Land Use And Development Trends. New York : Transit 2000 Task Force on Public Transit For The 21st Century, 1988. Experknces in Transportation Systems Management. Washington, D.C.: Transportation Research &ard, 1981. 1984 Florida Statewide Five-Year Transit and Paratronsit Development Plan for the Transportation Disadvantaged. Tallahassee : Flor ida Department of Transportation 1985. Florida Public Transit Profile, 1986. Tallahassee: Florida Department of Transportation, 1988. Fragile Foundations: A Report on America's Public Works Washington, D.C. : National Council on Public Works I mp r ovement, 1988 Greene, David L., Barry McNutt and Daniel Sperling. Transportation Energy To The Year 2020. Paper presented at the TRB Conference ""A Look At The Future: Year 2020," Washington, D .C., June 22 24, 1988. ln.nouatiue Fi1Ulltcing for Transportation: Practical SolutiCNI$ and Experiences. Washington, D.C.: Office of Technol o gy and P lanning Assistance, U. S Depart ment of Transportation 1986. "Issue Paper 1 Private Sector Service Provision." Florida Statewide Transit Needs Plon Phase 1. Tallahassee: Florida Department of Transportation, 1986. "Issue Paper 3 Twenty Percen t M odal Split Fifty Percent Farebox Recovery." Florida Statewide Transit Needs Plan Phase 1. Tallahassee: Florida Departme n t of Transportation, 1986. "Issue Paper 4 State Operating Subsidy." Florida Statewide Transit Needs Plan Phase 1. Tallahassee: Florida Department of Transportation, 1986. '"Issue Paper 5 Transit Service in Suburban and Low Density Areas." Florida Statewide Transit Needs Plon Phase 1. Tallahassee: Florida Dep artment of Transportation, 1986. "Issue Paper 7 Transit Fare Policies." Florida Statewide Transit Needs Plan Phase 1. Tallahassee: Florida Department of Transportation, 1988. " Issue Paper 8 A Set of Recommended Goals, Policies and Objectives for the Florida Departmen t of Transportation Fl or ida Statewide Transit Needs Pion Phase 1. Tallahassee: Florida Department of Transportation, 1986. The Joint Center for Urban Mobility Research, Rice Center. A Guide to Innovation Financing Mechanisms for Mass Transportation: An Update. Houston: Urban Mass Transportation Administration, U S. Department of Transportation 1985. 22


APPENDIX B Tra nsit Bibliograp h y Keeping America Moving Til Bottom LineWashington, D.C.: America n Assoc i ation of State Highway and Transportati on Official s Inc., 1988 Kenworthy, Jeffrey R. and Peter W.G. Newman : teaming From The Best And Worst : Transportation And Land Use Lessons From Thirty-Two I nternational Cities With Implications For Gasoline Use And Emissions. Perth, Western Aust. ralia: School of Environmental and Life Sc i ences, Murdoch Univer s ity, 1988. Lav e, Charles A. Urban Transit -The Private Challenge to Public Transportation. San Francisco: Pacific Institute for Public Policy &search, 1985. Lewis, David and Daniel Hara. Economic GT'QUJth And Vitality: The Role Of Public Infrastructure In Til 2 1st Century Paper presented at the TRB Conference "A Look At The Future: Year 2020," Washington D.C., June 22-24, 1988. Lowry Ira S Pl a nning For Urban Sprawl. Paper presented at the TRB Confere n ce "A Look At The Future: Year 2020," Washington, D.C. June 22-24, 1988 McDowell Bruce D. Transportation Institutions In The Year 2020. Paper presented at the TRB A Look At The Future: Yea r 2020," Washington D C June 2224, 1988. New Directions (or the Nation's Public Works. Wash i ngton, D.C.: U.S Congres s ional B udget Office, 1988 1987 Opera ting Report Washington D C.: American Public Trans i t As soci ation, 1987. An Overview of State Transit F unding. Washington D.C.: American Public Transit Association, 1982. A Peer Review Analysis of Hillsborough Area Regional Transit. Tampa: Center for Urban T ransportation Researc h Unive r sity of South Florida, 1 988. Proceedings of the Conference on Evaluating Alternative Local Transportation Financing Techniflues. Denver, No v embe r 28-30 1 984. Washington, D C : Transportation Research Board, 1 985 Public Tech n ology, Inc (As Secretariat to the Urban Consort i um for Techno l ogy I nitiati ves). Joint Developme n t A Handbook for Local Government Offu:ials (Final Report). Washi ngton, D.C.: Urban Mass Transportation Admin i stration, U. S Department of Trans por t atio n 1 983. Research for Public Transit New Directions. Washington, D C.: Trans portatio n R e search Board, 1987. Rice Center. Alternative Financing for Urban Transportation, The State of t he P r actice. Houston: Federal Highway Ad mini stration and Urban Mass Transportation Admi ni stration, U. S. Department of Transportation, 1 986. 1 987 Section 15 Annual Report. I n dividual Florida Transit Reports, 1988 Schimp lerCorrad.ino As s ociates Statewide Ridesharing Program Assessment. T allahasse e : F lorida Department of Trans portation 1988 Spence r Gregory. Demographic Factors And Future Demand For Public Transit New Y o r k: Transit 2000 -Task F orce On Public Transit For The 21s t Century, 1988. State Transportation Modal Alternat i ves For Growth Management STAR Number 85. Boca Raton Florida: Florida Atla n tic University Flo rida Internationa l University Joint Center for Environmental and Urb a n Prob lems and the Florida State University Department of Urban and Regional Planning, 1986. 23


APPENDIX B Transit Bibliography The Status of the Nation's Local Mass Transportation: Perfonnancll and Conditions. Washington, D.C.: Urban Mass Transportation Administration, U. S. Department of Transportation, 1988. Steinman, Nonnan San Jose, Cal.: Barton-Aschman Associates, Inc 1989. Strathman, James G. and Kenneth J. Duker. Regional Economic Impact of Local Transit Finaru:ing Alternatives: Input-Output Results for Portl4nd. Portland: Center for Urban Studies, Portland State Univel'$ity, 1987. A Study on Future Directions of Public Transportation in the United States. Washington, D.C.: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, 1985. Thompson, Theodore A, et al. Ba"ius to Private Sector Participation in Public Transportatwn. Washington, D C.: Urban Mass Transportation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1986. The Urban Institute. The Nation's Public Works: Report on Mass Transit. Washington, D.C.: National Council on Public Work s Improvements, 1987. Walther, Erskine S. State and Local Government Responses to IncrtaSd Financial Responsibility for Public Transit Systems. Washington, D.C.: Urban Mass Transportation A dm inistration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1983. 24


APPENDIX C Ajamil, Luis. Alper, Neal. Avino. Jacquin. Ballard, Spencer Brosch, Dr. Gary, Brown, Bob. Callahan, Frank. Carter, Dennis. Charlier, Jim. Clark. Steve. Codina, Armando. Dellapa, Garv. Epling. Bob. Fix, QolleQn. Goodknight, John. Green, Hank. McCue, Patrick J. Marchner, Russ. Martinez, Raul Oesterle, Clara. Parkins, Rob Silver, Ron. Taylor, John. Speakers Addressing the Florida Transportation Commission on Public Transit (Alphabetical Order) V -P, Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jenllgan. Vice-Chairman, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee. President Kendall Federation of Homeowners. Manager, Metro-Dade. Finance Director, Metro-Dade Transit Agency. Center for Urban Transportation Research, U niversity of South Florida. Consul and Trade Commission, Canada. Chairman, Public Transportation Blue Ribbon Task Foree Former President, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. Former Chairman Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committe e. Former Member, South Florida Regional Planning Counc il. Assistant Manager of Transportation, Metro-Dade. Director, Office of Policy, Florida Department of Transportation. Mayor, Metro-Dade. Chairman, Miami Urbanized Area MPO. Developer Incoming President, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Assistant Manager for Budget and Finance, Metro-Dade. Bank President. President, Homestead Chamber of Commerce. Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. Vice-Chairperson, Coordinating Council on the Transportation Disadvantaged. Citizen Advocate Representative on the Councrl Chairperson, Special Support Services, Miami Dade Junior College Assistant Secretary, Florida Department of Transportation The Green Companies. State Planner Florida Department of Transportation. Exe<:utive Director, Dade County League of Cities Mayor, Hialeah. Former President, Dade County League of Cities. Commissioner, Metro Dade. Chairperson, Metro-Dade Transportation Subcommittee. Member, Miami Urbanized Area MPO City Manager, Miam i Beach. State Representative District 100 (Broward Dade Counties). Leader. Member, House Transportation Committee. District Secretary, Florida Department of Transportation. 25


APPENDIX C Tule, Arthur E. Volinski. Joel. Walters, Reginald. Watson, Wes. Wirgau, Matt. Speakers Addressing the Florida Transportation Commission on Public Transit (Alphabetical Order) Attorney Member Governor's Urban Growth Task Force. Member, Florida Higb Speed Rail Commission. Fonner Administrator, Urban Mass Transportation Administration United Ststes Department of Transportation. President, Florida Transit Assodation. Director, Broward County Mass Transit. Director of Planning, Metro-Dade Executive Officer, Florida Transit Association. Urban Mass Transportation Administration, United Ststes Department of Transportation. 26


APPENDIX D Public Transit Portion of the Governor's Task Force on Urban Growth Patterns, Interiln Report Public transit, especi ally corridor transit, can he lp influence urban development patterns, but only when the public transit investment is used as a part of a comprehensive, consistent and coordinated series of policies and project decisions designed to support the desired urban development pattern. Conversely, regional development patterns and site-specific urban design can have a direct and substantial effect on public transit's ability to cost-effectively serve the travel needs of sizable numbers of travelers. To achieve successful public transit, a metropolitan area's public and private leaders have to agree on simple, understandable, compatible and direct objectives for a desired urban form that integrates transportation and parking policy. Local :<:oning, urban d esign, transportation investments and sewer and water investments must be based on these objectives. Elected officials and transportation planners must recognize also that metropolitan areas are not homogeneous, that regional travel is composed of many smaller travel markets and that travel decisions are made by thousands of individuals The success of public transit will be enhanced only when it begins to offer a competitive edge over auto travel. When urban areas have been developed with attention to urban form objectives, ranging from the regional scale down to the smallest urban design detail, including zoning and building codes, public transit can be provided at higher service levels which wil l be efficient, cost-effective and successful in attracting more passenger trips. Regional development patterns, mobility demands, site design, central business district size, and residential densities determine public transit effectiveness. How ever, existing statutes and rules are not structured to ensure proper public transit procedures and planning methodologie s will be implemented. As a result, Florida's laws need to be evaluated and amended to ensure public transit consistency and success. Recommendation #8: Chapter 163, F.S. and Rule 9J should be amended so that the traffic circulation element and the mcu;s transit element are combined in a Transportation System Element. The transportation system elements of local government comprehensive plans for urban a .recu; should be compatible with the transportation plans of the metropolitan planning organizations and should address all relevant transportation facilities and issues, including public transit. The transportatio n system elements of local government comprehensive plans should include: A needs plan {or short and long-term public transit capital facility needs and cu;sured funding sources required to meet those needs. 27


APPENDIX D -Public Transit Portion of the Governor's Task Force on Urban Growth Patterns, Interim Report A transit operations plan that includes, at a minimum, level of service, operating characteristics, an estimate of annual operating costs and a dedicated source of local funds for the operational costs of the system, based in part on estimates of fare revenues and available state and federal assistance. Strategies and procedures to involve the private sector in local government public transit planning and policy making A transportation system management plan that addresses a more efficient use of transportation infrastructure, including strategies such as ridesharing, bicycle and pedestrian ways flex time, and other employment policies. The transportation system management plan should integrate policy and planning decisions for publicly-owned vehicular parking and should bring parking decision making under direct control of the transportation plan. In addition, local government comprehensive plans that place a significant reliance on public transit should incorporate a future land use element and implementing regulations that focus high intensity commercial development in a small number of high density areas, including central business districts. Those high density areas should be associated with public transit access points, especially fixed guideway stations, and the comprehensive plan and implementing regulation should limit such development elsewhere. 28

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