The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
§ 1. Creation of Authority
There is hereby created a transit authority to be known as the “Green Mountain Transit Authority.” (Added 1973, No. 122, § 1, eff. Feb. 2, 1973; amended 2017, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 24, eff. May 21, 2018.)
§ 2. Area of operation
The area of operation shall be Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, and Washington Counties and the Towns of Orange, Washington, and Williamstown. The area of operation shall include Addison and Caledonia Counties and the Towns of Orange County other than Orange, Washington, and Williamstown, but only for the provision of commuter services. The area of operation shall include Lamoille County, but only for the provision of published scheduled services. (Added 1973, No. 122, § 2, eff. Feb. 2, 1973; amended 2009, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. July 1, 2011.)
§ 3. Membership in the Authority
Membership in the Authority shall consist of those municipalities that 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 the purpose prior to July 1, 2010. Beginning on July 1, 2010, a municipality may hold an annual meeting or a special meeting for the purpose of determining through election by a majority vote of its voters present and voting on the question only if the municipality is specifically authorized to join the Authority either under section 12 of this chapter or by resolution duly passed by the Green Mountain Transit Authority Board of Commissioners. 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 20 days, any other provision of law or municipal charter to the contrary notwithstanding. Membership may be terminated only in the manner provided in section 8 of this chapter. (Added 1973, No. 122, § 3, eff. Feb. 2, 1973; amended 2009, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. July 1, 2011; 2017, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 24, eff. May 21, 2018.)
§ 4. Purposes and powers
(a) The Authority is hereby created for the following purposes and is granted the following authority: to purchase, own, operate, or provide for the operation of land transportation facilities; and to contract for transit services; to conduct studies; and to 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 shall further have the purposes and powers set forth herein.
(c) The Authority is granted the authority to exercise all powers necessary, appurtenant, convenient, or incidental to the carrying out of the aforesaid purposes, including the following rights and powers:
(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 or property—whether 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 therein 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 for the management of a public transportation system controlled by the Authority for such period 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 24 V.S.A. chapter 53. For the purpose of that chapter, 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 such chapter 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 7 of this chapter and shall be allocated among the member municipalities as set forth in section 7. Where voter approval is required pursuant to 24 V.S.A. chapter 53, 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 such meeting vote to authorize the issuance of bonds, the Board of Commissioners shall be authorized to issue the bonds as provided in chapter 53. 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.
(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 Chittenden County and its member municipalities, to acquire by the exercise of the power of eminent domain any real property that 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. §§ 501-514, and acts amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto.
(12) To adopt necessary rules consistent with the provisions hereof.
(13) To do all acts and 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. (Added 1973, No. 122, § 4, eff. Feb. 2, 1973; amended 2003, No. 56, § 48, eff. June 4, 2003; amended 2009, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. July 1, 2011; 2015, No. 23, § 128.)
§ 5. Exemption from regulation
The public transportation systems and facilities operating under this Authority are generally exempt from any of the regulatory provisions of Title 30 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated. However, the Public Utility Commission may impose those regulatory provisions of Title 30 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that it may determine from time to time to be necessary. (Added 1973, No. 122, § 5, eff. Feb. 2, 1973.)
§ 6. Government and organization
(a) The officers of the Authority and their election or designation shall be as follows:
(1) Board of Commissioners. The purposes, powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Authority shall be exercised by the Board of Commissioners, consisting of one commissioner from each municipality that is a member of this Authority and two commissioners from the City of Burlington. The commissioners shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the legislative body of the member municipality. 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.
(2) Terms of office. Each commissioner shall serve for a term of three years ending June 30 or until his or her successor is duly appointed and has qualified.
(b) Officers. The Board of Commissioners annually 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) Meetings of the Board of Commissioners. The frequency and method of calling regular and special meetings of the Board of Commissioners, procedures for the transaction of business, and other necessary matters shall be in accordance with bylaws adopted and amended from time to time by a majority of the commissioners.
(d) Administrative personnel. 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, and 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 operations of the Authority, as its interest may require. (Added 1973, No. 122, § 6, eff. Feb. 2, 1973; amended 2009, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. July 1, 2011.)
§ 7. 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, and at such time the Board of Commissioners shall call a meeting of the residents of its members for the purpose of presenting the proposed budget and inviting discussion thereon. The meeting shall be held at a place within the County and shall be warned by a notice published in a newspaper of general circulation in the County at least 15 days prior to the meeting. The notice shall contain a copy of the proposed budget, and 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 thereon at the meeting 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 formula for apportionment. The formula for apportionment may be changed by the Board of Commissioners with the concurrence of the legislative bodies of at least three-quarters of the member municipalities.
(d) The Treasurer of the Authority shall immediately notify the treasurer of each member municipality and the chair 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.
(e) 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, but such additional assessment shall require the approval of all the legislative bodies in the member municipalities. (Added 1973, No. 122, § 7, eff. Feb. 2, 1973; amended 2009, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. July 1, 2011.)
§ 8. 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 such notification of withdrawal, such notification to 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 thereof.
(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 hereof but shall continue to be liable for its share of all existing indebtedness incurred under 24 V.S.A. chapter 53 at the time notice of its withdrawal is given. (Added 1973, No. 122, § 8, eff. Feb. 2, 1973.)
§ 9. 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.
(c) It is declared to be the legislative intent that if any section, subsection, sentence, clause, or provision of this act is held invalid, no other section, subsection, sentence, clause, or provision of this act shall be deemed invalid or ineffective. (Added 1973, No. 122, § 9, eff. Feb. 2, 1973.)
§ 10. Implementation
(a) The initial members of this Authority shall be those municipalities that elect to join in accordance with the provisions of section 3 of this chapter on or before March 7, 1973. The Authority may commence operations when two municipalities have joined as members. On or before March 15, 1973, the Authority shall prepare a budget for the period ending June 30, 1973 and for the fiscal period July 1, 1973 through June 30, 1974, and shall proceed with the adoption of same and assessment as provided in section 7 of this charter. Until such time as the initial members have appointed commissioners as provided herein, the Executive Director of the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission shall have the authority to initiate the organization of the Authority and to submit preliminary applications for financial assistance; provided, however, that he or she shall have no authority to incur financial obligations on behalf of the Authority.
(b) The membership of municipalities other than the initial members shall require the approval of the Board of Commissioners.
(c) Immediately upon joining the Authority, the municipality shall appoint two commissioners as provided herein. The initial terms of the commissioners of the initial members shall be arranged by the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission so that the terms of approximately one-third of the commissioners shall expire in each year. The initial terms of commissioners from municipalities joining after March 7, 1973, shall be set by the Board of Commissioners. (Added 1973, No. 122, § 10, eff. Feb. 2, 1973.)
§ 11. Assessments of new members outside Chittenden County
Municipalities outside Chittenden County that vote to join the Green Mountain Transit Authority on or after July 1, 2010 shall negotiate with the Board of Commissioners of the Green Mountain Transit Authority on the amount of the levy to be assessed upon the municipality and terms of payment of that assessment, and the municipality may not join prior to agreement with the Authority on terms of the levy and payment. Upon the addition of one municipality to the membership of the Green Mountain Transit Authority from outside Chittenden County, the Authority shall immediately begin work on the formula for assessment that will be approved in accordance with this chapter. (Added 2009, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. July 1, 2011; amended 2017, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 24, eff. May 21, 2018.)
§ 12. Municipalities authorized to vote for membership in the Green Mountain Transit Authority
The following municipalities are authorized to hold an election for the purpose of determining membership in the Green Mountain Transit Authority: Barre City, Berlin, Colchester, Hinesburg, Montpelier, Morristown, Richmond, St. Albans City, Stowe, and Waterbury. (Added 2009, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. July 1, 2011; amended 2017, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 24, eff. May 21, 2018.)
§ 13. Other representation
If Washington, Lamoille, Franklin, or Grand Isle County does not have a municipal member from its county on the Board of Commissioners of the Green Mountain Transit Authority, the regional planning commission serving the county may appoint a Board member to the Green Mountain Transit Authority from a member of its regional planning commission or regional planning commission staff to represent its interests on the Green Mountain Transit Authority Board. (Added 2009, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. July 1, 2011; amended 2017, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 24, eff. May 21, 2018.)