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The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 24: Municipal and County Government

Chapter 127: MASS TRANSIT AUTHORITIES

  • Subchapter 001: Regional Transit Authorities
  • § 5101. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Municipalities" means a town, a city, or an incorporated village.

    (2) "Legislative body" means the selectmen in the case of a town, the council or mayor and board of aldermen in the case of a city, and the trustees in the case of an incorporated village. (Added 1975, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 10, 1976.)

  • § 5102. Area of operation

    The area of operation for an authority created under the provisions of this chapter shall be the area of the member municipalities. (Added 1975, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 10, 1976.)

  • § 5103. Membership in the authority

    Two or more municipalities may form a mass transportation authority. Membership in the authority shall consist of those municipalities which elect to join the authority by majority vote of its voters present and voting on the question at an annual or special meeting duly warned for that purpose. The initial meeting of a municipality called to determine whether or not to join the authority shall be warned in the manner provided by law, except that for such meeting only, any warning need not be posted for a period in excess of 30 days, any other provision of law or municipal charter to the contrary notwithstanding. Membership may be terminated only in the manner provided in section 5109 of this title. (Added 1975, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 10, 1976.)

  • § 5104. Purposes and powers

    (a) The authority may purchase, own, operate, or provide for the operation of land transportation facilities, and may contract for transit services, conduct studies, and contract with other governmental agencies, private companies, and individuals.

    (b) The authority shall be a body politic and corporate with the powers incident to a municipal corporation under the laws of the State of Vermont consistent with the purposes of the authority, and may exercise all powers necessary, appurtenant, convenient, or incidental to the carrying out of its functions, including the following:

    (1) to sue and be sued;

    (2) to adopt, use, and alter at will a corporate seal;

    (3) to acquire, purchase, hold, lease as a lessee, and use any franchise, property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, necessary or desirable for carrying out the purposes of the authority, and to sell, lease as lessor, transfer, or dispose of any property or interest acquired by it;

    (4) to fix, alter, charge, and establish rates, fares, and other charges for the services and facilities within its area of operation, which rates, fees, and charges shall be equitable and just;

    (5) to acquire and operate, or provide for the operation of local transportation systems, public or private, within its area of operation;

    (6) to make contracts of every name and nature and to execute all instruments necessary or convenient for the carrying on of its business;

    (7) to enter into management contracts with any person or persons for the management of a public transportation system or controlled by the authority for such period or periods of time, and under such compensation and other terms and conditions as shall be deemed advisable by the authority;

    (8) to accept gifts or grants or loans of money or other property, and to enter into contracts, leases, or other transactions with any federal agency, the State, any agency of the State, or with any other public body of the State, including municipalities, school districts, and other authorities;

    (9) to borrow money and issue evidence of indebtedness as provided by chapter 53 of this title;

    (10) to develop transportation plans, and to coordinate its planning and programs with those of appropriate municipal, county, and State agencies and other political subdivisions of the State;

    (11) within its area of operation, to acquire by the exercise of the power of eminent domain any real property which it may have found necessary for its purposes, in the manner provided for the condemnation of land or rights therein as set forth in 19 V.S.A. §§ 500-514 and 519;

    (12) to adopt necessary rules;

    (13) to do all things necessary or convenient for the conduct of its business and the general welfare of the authority in order to carry out the powers granted to it by this chapter or any other law;

    (14) to enter into joint compacts with transportation authorities of other states provided that the compact has been approved by the general assembly of that state and the Congress of the United States. (Added 1975, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 10, 1976; amended 2011, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2015, No. 23, § 125.)

  • § 5105. Grand list; debt limit

    The grand list of the authority shall be deemed to be the total of the grand lists of member municipalities, and the debt limit of the authority shall not be diminished by any obligation incurred by a member municipality alone. Obligations incurred under chapter 53 of this title shall be the joint and several obligations of the authority and of each member municipality but shall not affect any limitation on indebtedness of a member municipality. The cost of debt service shall be included in the annual budget of the authority as provided in section 4108 of this title, and shall be allocated among the member municipalities as provided in that section. Where voter approval is required pursuant to chapter 53 of this title, the board of commissioners shall determine the number and location of polling places, and when a majority of all the voters present and voting on the question from all of the member municipalities at the meeting vote to authorize the issuance of bonds, the board of commissioners shall be authorized to issue the bonds as provided in chapter 53 of this title. The counting of ballots shall be conducted by the board of commissioners together with the town or city clerk from each member municipality or his or her designee. (Added 1975, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 10, 1976.)

  • § 5106. Exemption from regulation

    The public transportation systems and facilities operating under this authority are exempt from any of the regulatory provisions of Title 30, except that the public service board may impose any regulatory provisions of Title 30 that it may determine from time to time to be necessary. (Added 1975, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 10, 1976.)

  • § 5107. Government and organization

    (a) The powers, duties and responsibilities of the authority shall be exercised by a board of commissioners, consisting of two commissioners from each member municipality. The commissioners shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the legislative body of the member municipality for terms of three years. Any vacancies on the board of commissioners shall be filled by the legislative body of the respective member municipality, but in the event that the legislative body fails to appoint a commissioner within two months from the date of the occurrence of the vacancy, the vacancy shall be filled by the board of commissioners. Commissioners shall serve without pay.

    (b) Annually, the board of commissioners shall elect from among its members a chair, vice chair, treasurer and secretary, and such other officers that are necessary for the conduct of its business.

    (c) The board of commissioners may appoint a transit director, and such other personnel as is necessary for the conduct of the business of the authority. The board of commissioners shall have the power to prescribe their duties, fix their compensation, and delegate to them such responsibilities for the management and control of the operation of the authority, as its interest may require. (Added 1975, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 10, 1976.)

  • § 5108. Annual budget and assessments

    (a) On or before February 15 in each year the Board of Commissioners shall prepare a budget for the Authority for the next fiscal year, which shall include an estimate of the revenue of the Authority from fares and other sources, except membership assessments, and the expenses for the next fiscal year, including debt service. The Board of Commissioners shall call a meeting of the residents of its member municipalities for the purpose of presenting the proposed budget. The meeting shall be held at a place within the area of operation and shall be warned by a notice published in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of operation at least 15 days prior to the meeting, which notice shall contain a copy of the proposed budget. Members of the legislative body of each member municipality shall be notified of the meeting by certified mail.

    (b) Annually, following the meeting provided in subsection (a) of this section, the Board of Commissioners shall review the proposed budget of the Authority in light of any discussion, and shall then adopt the budget with or without changes.

    (c) The Treasurer of the Authority, following adoption of the budget, shall apportion the sums required to be contributed by each member municipality according to the average number of weekly miles of service for the 12 month period preceding the adoption of the budget, for each member community, as compared to the average number of weekly miles of service for all member communities for the same period. The formula for apportionment may be changed by the Board of Commissioners with the concurrence of each of the legislative bodies of the member municipalities. The Treasurer of the Authority shall immediately notify the treasurer of each member municipality and the chairman of the legislative body in each member municipality, of the amount of such assessment, and the member municipality shall add such assessment to its own budget and shall assess such tax as is necessary to raise the amount of the assessment. The amount of the assessment in each member municipality shall be paid to the Treasurer of the Authority on or before July 15 in each year.

    (d) In the event that the budget of the Authority in any year becomes insufficient to support the operations of the Authority, the Board of Commissioners may assess the member municipalities for additional sums, apportioned in the manner provided in this section. The additional assessment shall require the approval of each of the legislative bodies of the member municipalities. (Added 1975, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 10, 1976.)

  • § 5109. Termination of membership

    (a) A member municipality may withdraw from membership in the authority, if notification of withdrawal is given more than one year after the member municipality joined such authority. The withdrawal shall take effect at the end of the first full fiscal year following a notification of withdrawal. The notification shall be in the form of a resolution duly adopted by the legislative body of the withdrawing member and delivered to the board of commissioners at a regular meeting.

    (b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, upon giving notice as required by subsection (a), a member municipality may withdraw from the authority after the authority has voted to bond itself in accordance with the provisions of chapter 53 of this title, but shall continue to be liable for its share of all existing indebtedness incurred under chapter 53 of this title at the time notice of its withdrawal is given. (Added 1975, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 10, 1976.)

  • § 5110. Miscellaneous provisions

    (a) The authority shall prepare an annual report of its activities, including a financial statement, and submit the report to the legislative bodies of the member municipalities.

    (b) The fiscal year of the authority shall commence July 1 in each year. (Added 1975, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 10, 1976.)


  • Subchapter 002: Regional Transit Districts
  • § 5121. Definitions

    As used in this subchapter:

    (1) "Municipality" means a town, city or incorporated village.

    (2) "Legislative body" means the selectboard in the case of a town, the council or mayor and board of aldermen in the case of a city, and the trustees in the case of an incorporated village. (Added 1981, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 5122. Creation of regional transit districts

    A regional transit district may be created at any time by the act of the voters of each of two or more municipalities upon the written approval of the agency of transportation. Approval shall be based upon the results of studies carried out by the agency of transportation and by representatives of the municipalities to determine whether the municipalities involved constitute a reasonable transit district. Evidence shall be shown that funding will be adequate to provide a continuing transit program. (Added 1981, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1995, No. 60, § 27, eff. April 25, 1995.)

  • § 5123. Regional transit district membership

    A regional transit district shall contain at least one representative appointed from each member municipality. All representatives may be compensated and reimbursed by their respective municipalities for necessary and reasonable expenses. (Added 1981, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 5124. Annual budget and assessments

    (a) Representatives to a regional transit district representing each participating municipality shall be appointed and any vacancy filled by the legislative body of such municipality.

    (b) A regional transit district shall elect a chairman and a secretary, and, at its organization meeting, shall by a two-thirds vote of those representatives present and voting at the meeting, adopt such rules and create and fill such offices as it deems necessary or appropriate for the performance of its functions, including, without limitation, the number and qualification of members, terms of office, provisions for municipal representation and voting and provisions for termination of membership.

    (c) A regional transit district may also have other members, who may be elected or appointed in the manner the regional transit district prescribes by rule. (Added 1981, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 5125. Purposes and powers

    (a) The district may purchase, own, operate, or provide for the operation of land transportation facilities, and may contract for transit services, conduct studies, and contract with other governmental agencies, private companies, and individuals.

    (b) The district may exercise all powers necessary, appurtenant, convenient, or incidental to the carrying out of its functions, including the following:

    (1) to sue and be sued;

    (2) to acquire, purchase, hold, lease as a lessee, and use any franchise, property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, necessary or desirable for carrying out the purposes of the district, and to sell, lease as lessor, transfer, or dispose of any property or interest acquired by it;

    (3) to fix, alter, charge, and establish rates, fares, and other charges for the services and facilities within its area of operation, which rates, fees, and charges shall be equitable and just;

    (4) to acquire and operate, or provide for the operation of local transportation systems, public or private, within its area of operation or in a municipality not already a member of a district, with which it contracts to furnish transit service;

    (5) to make contracts of every name and nature and to execute all instruments necessary or convenient for the carrying on of its business;

    (6) to accept gifts or grants or loans of money or other property, and to enter into contracts, leases, or other transactions with any federal agency, the State, any agency of the State, or with any other public body of the State, including municipalities and school districts;

    (7) to adopt necessary rules;

    (8) to do all things necessary or convenient for the conduct of its business and the general welfare of the district in order to carry out the powers granted to it by this subchapter or any other law. (Added 1981, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2015, No. 23, § 126.)

  • § 5126. [Reserved for future use.].

  • § 5127. Exemption; regulation; taxes

    (a) The public transportation systems and facilities operated by a regional transit district are exempt from any of the regulatory provisions of Title 30 except that the transportation board may impose any regulatory provisions of Title 30 that it may determine from time to time to be necessary.

    (b) A regional transit district and its systems and facilities shall be exempt from the sales, purchase and use taxes and from motor vehicle registration fees except those registration fees applicable to municipalities. (Added 1981, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 5128. Annual budget and assessments

    (a) Each year the board of commissioners shall prepare a proposed budget for the district for the next fiscal year, which shall include an estimate of the revenue of the district from fares and other sources, except municipal contributions, and the expenses for the next fiscal year, including debt service. The proposed budget shall be sent to the legislative branch of any member municipality by certified mail. The board of commissioners may call a meeting or meetings of the residents of its member municipalities for the purpose of presenting the proposed budget. Any meeting called shall be warned by a notice published in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of operation at least seven days prior to the meeting containing the date, time and place at which the meeting is to be held and a statement of the purpose of the meeting.

    (b) Annually, following the distribution provided in subsection (a), the board of commissioners shall review the proposed budget of the district in light of any discussion, and shall then adopt the budget with or without changes and determine the contributions to be requested from member municipalities. (Added 1981, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1983, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.).)

  • § 5129. Liability of district

    (a) Members of the regional transit district board shall not be held personally liable for any actions taken in their capacity as members of the board.

    (b) No tort liability shall attach to individual municipal members of regional transit districts.

    (c) Tort liability of the regional transit district shall be limited to $1,000,000.00 for each accident. (Added 1981, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)