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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

174.03 Duties of commissioner.

Subdivision 1. Statewide transportation plan; priorities; schedule of expenditures. In order to best meet the present and future transportation needs of the public, to insure a strong state economy, to make most efficient use of public and private funds, and to promote the more efficient use of energy and other resources for transportation purposes, the commissioner shall:

(a) Three months after notification that the department is ready to commence operations and prior to the drafting of the statewide transportation plan the commissioner shall hold public hearings as may be appropriate solely for the purpose of receiving suggestions for future transportation alternatives and priorities for the state. The metropolitan council, regional development commissions and port authorities shall appear at the hearings and submit information concerning transportation related planning undertaken and accomplished by these agencies. Other political subdivisions may appear and submit such information at the hearings. These hearings shall be completed no later than six months from the date of the commissioner's notification;

(b) Develop, adopt, revise and monitor a statewide transportation plan, taking into account the suggestions and information submitted at the public hearings held pursuant to clause (a). The plan shall incorporate all modes of transportation and provide for the interconnection and coordination of different modes of transportation. The commissioner shall evaluate alternative transportation programs and facilities proposed for inclusion in the plan in terms of economic costs and benefits, safety aspects, impact on present and planned land uses, environmental effects, energy efficiency, national transportation policies and priorities and availability of federal and other financial assistance;

(c) Based upon the statewide transportation plan, develop statewide transportation priorities and schedule authorized public capital improvements and other authorized public transportation expenditures pursuant to the priorities;

(d) Complete the plan and priorities required by this subdivision no later than July 1, 1978. Upon completion of the plan and priorities, the commissioner shall prepare and periodically revise, as necessary, the schedule of authorized public transportation expenditures. The plan, priorities and schedule are exempt from the provisions of the administrative procedure act.

Subd. 1a. Revision of state transportation plan. The commissioner shall revise the state transportation plan by January 1, 1996, and by January 1 of each odd-numbered year thereafter. Before final adoption of a revised plan, the commissioner shall hold a hearing to receive public comment on the plan. The revised state transportation plan must:

(1) incorporate the goals of the state transportation system in section 174.01; and

(2) establish objectives, policies, and strategies for achieving those goals.

Subd. 2. Implementation of plan. After the adoption and each revision of the statewide transportation plan, the commissioner and the transportation regulation board shall take no action inconsistent with the revised plan.

Subd. 3. Relationship with national and local plans. The statewide plan shall recognize established national transportation policies. The plan shall include matters of local or regional concern if this inclusion is needed to insure a comprehensive, statewide perspective on transportation policies and priorities. The commissioner shall recognize and attempt to accommodate the local or regional transportation plans. However, the statewide plan shall supersede a local or regional plan to the extent inconsistent on a matter which the commissioner demonstrates is of statewide concern. A political subdivision may challenge the commissioner's determination that a portion of a local or regional plan is superseded by the statewide plan. The subdivision shall institute the challenge by filing a petition with the commissioner within 30 days after being notified by the commissioner that the local or regional plan is superseded. The challenge shall be resolved by the commissioner as a contested case pursuant to chapter 14.

Subd. 4. Other duties. The commissioner shall:

(a) Construct and maintain transportation facilities as authorized by law;

(b) Cooperate with, and may provide technical and financial assistance to, the metropolitan council and regional development commissions in the regional transportation planning process, in accordance with mutually acceptable terms and conditions;

(c) Cooperate with and may provide planning and technical assistance upon the request of any political subdivision or other governmental agency in accordance with mutually accepted terms and conditions, except as otherwise restricted by law; and

(d) Develop, revise and monitor a statewide rail transportation plan as part of the statewide transportation planning process, including a study and evaluation of alternative methods for insuring adequate and economical transportation of agricultural commodities, supplies and other goods to and from rural areas of the state. The plan shall include an analysis of rail lines in the state for the purpose of determining: (1) eligibility of rail lines for assistance under federal and state rail assistance programs; (2) eligibility of rail lines for inclusion in the state rail bank; and (3) the actions required by the state to insure the continuation of rail service that meets essential state needs and objectives.

Subd. 5. Regional transportation planning. The metropolitan council, pursuant to section 473.146, and the regional development commissions shall develop regional long-range transportation policy plans in cooperation with the commissioner and local units of government. Upon promulgation of the statewide transportation plan, and periodically as necessary thereafter, each regional policy plan shall be reviewed and amended, if necessary, by the appropriate regional agency to insure that the regional policy plan is not in conflict with the statewide transportation plan.

Subd. 5a. Repealed, 1984 c 654 art 3 s 153

Subd. 6. Social, economic and environmental effects. The commissioner shall consider the social, economic and environmental effects resulting from existing and proposed transportation facilities and shall make continuing efforts to mitigate any adverse effects. The commissioner shall utilize a systematic, interdisciplinary approach which shall insure the integrated use of the natural, social and physical sciences and the environmental design arts in plans and decisions which may affect the environment.

Subd. 6a. Economic analysis of nonhighway alternatives. If the commissioner considers congestion pricing, tolls, mileage pricing, or public-private partnerships in order to meet the transportation needs of commuters in the department's metropolitan district between 2001 and 2020, the commissioner shall, in cooperation with the metropolitan council and the regional railroad authorities in the district, compare the economics of these financing methods with the economics of nonhighway alternatives for moving commuters. The commissioner shall analyze the economics as they relate to both individuals and to the transportation system.

Subd. 7. Energy conservation. The commissioner, in cooperation with the commissioner of public service, shall evaluate all modes of transportation in terms of their levels of energy consumption. The commissioner of public service shall provide the commissioner with projections of the future availability of energy resources for transportation. The commissioner shall use the results of this evaluation and the projections to evaluate alternative programs and facilities to be included in the statewide plan and to otherwise promote the more efficient use of energy resources for transportation purposes.

Subd. 8. Salaries and expenses. Salaries and expenses of the department relating to highway purposes shall be paid from moneys available in the trunk highway fund. The funds provided in sections 360.011 to 360.076 and 360.301 to 360.91 shall be expended by the commissioner of transportation in accordance with the purposes prescribed by those sections. Funds appropriated pursuant to the authority conferred by any constitutional article shall be expended in conformity with the purposes and uses authorized thereby.

HIST: 1976 c 166 s 3; Ex1979 c 1 s 16; 1980 c 534 s 14; 1980 c 558 s 1; 1980 c 614 s 96; 1981 c 356 s 180; 1982 c 424 s 130; 1982 c 617 s 17,18; 1983 c 289 s 115 subd 1; 1987 c 186 s 15; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 2; 1991 c 298 art 1 s 2,3; 1994 c 635 art 2 s 6; 1997 c 159 art 2 s 37