2017 ORS 391.306¹
Columbia River Light Rail Transit Compact

The provisions of the Columbia River Light Rail Transit Compact are as follows:

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Columbia River Light Rail

Transit Authority Established

The States of Oregon and Washington establish by way of this interstate compact an independent, separate regional authority, which is an instrumentality of both of the signatory parties hereto, known as Columbia River Light Rail Transit Authority (hereinafter referred to as the “Authority”). The Authority shall be a body corporate and politic, and shall have only those powers and duties granted by this compact and such additional powers as may hereafter be conferred upon the Authority by the acts of both signatories.

Definitions

As used in this compact, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

(1) “C-TRAN” means the Clark County Public Transportation Benefit Authority based in Clark County, Washington, or any successor agency or authority.

(2) “Major feeder system” means all bus or other transit services provided by C-TRAN or Tri-Met that are or are planned to be connected with the South North light rail transit line, to accommodate the transfer of passengers to or from the light rail line and to transport light rail passengers between the light rail station and their trip origin or trip destination.

(3) “Signatory” or “signatory state” means the State of Oregon or the State of Washington.

(4) “South North light rail transit line” means the light rail line directly connecting portions of Clackamas County, Oregon, Portland, Oregon and Clark County, Washington as may be extended from time to time, including any segment thereof, and also including, without limitation, all light rail vehicles, rights-of-way, trackage, electrification, stations, park-and-ride facilities, maintenance facilities, tunnels, bridges and equipment, fixtures, buildings and structures incidental to or required in connection with the performance of light rail service between portions of Clackamas County, Oregon, Portland, Oregon and Clark County, Washington. The South North light rail transit line shall include a system that comprises any future light rail lines and transit facilities that cross the jurisdictional lines of the signatory states.

(5) “Transit facilities” means all real and personal property necessary or useful in rendering transit service by means of rail, bus, water and any other mode of travel including, without limitation, tracks, rights of way, bridges, tunnels, subways, rolling stock for rail, motor vehicles, stations, terminals, areas for parking and all equipment, fixtures, buildings and structures and services incidental to or required in connection with the performance of transit service.

(6) “Transit service” means the transportation of persons and their packages and baggage by C-TRAN, Tri-Met or the Authority by means of transit facilities.

(7) “Tri-Met” means the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District based in Portland, Oregon, or any successor agency or authority.

Purpose and Functions

The purpose of the Authority is:

(1) To generally cause the South North light rail transit line to be designed, engineered, financed, constructed and developed consistently with the applicable regional transportation and land use plans and the locally preferred alternative selected pursuant to regulations of the Federal Transit Administration or the regulations of any successor federal agency or authority;

(2) To facilitate the operation and maintenance of the South North light rail transit line;

(3) To coordinate C-TRAN and Tri-Met activities to implement and operate the major feeder system that serves the South North light rail transit line;

(4) To coordinate C-TRAN and Tri-Met activities to implement and operate buses or other transit facilities that serve bi-state trips; and

(5) To serve only such other regional transit purposes and to perform such other regional transit functions as the signatories may authorize.

Powers

The Authority has the power to:

(1) Sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded in all actions, suits or proceedings, brought by or against it.

(2) Adopt suitable rules and regulations not inconsistent with this compact, the Constitution and laws of the United States or the constitutions and laws of the signatories. The Authority may adopt rules and regulations that:

(a) Govern its activities;

(b) Add specificity to its powers and duties;

(c) Interpret legislation that is applicable to the Authority; and

(d) Resolve inconsistencies resulting from the application of the laws and regulations of both signatories.

(3) Acquire, maintain, control, and convey easements, licenses, and other limited property rights for the purpose of constructing the South North light rail transit line. However, the Authority shall not have the power to own real property.

(4) Receive and accept federal, state, regional or local payments, appropriations, grants, gifts, loans, advances, credit enhancements, credit guarantees and other funds, properties and services as may be transferred or made available to the Authority by either signatory, any political subdivision or agency thereof, by the United States, or by any agency thereof, or by any other public or private corporation or individual. Any funds received by the Authority from any source may be commingled and expended to carry out the purposes and functions of the Authority without regard to any law of the signatories that requires expenditure of appropriated funds within the fiscal period for which the appropriation is made.

(5) Disburse funds for its lawful activities and to make grants or loans to C-TRAN or Tri-Met.

(6) Enter into agreements with:

(a) C-TRAN or Tri-Met to provide planning, engineering, design, administration, construction management or other services needed for the development of the South North light rail transit line;

(b) C-TRAN, Tri-Met or, except with regard to matters specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection, private entities for the construction of the South North light rail transit line;

(c) C-TRAN, Tri-Met or, except with regard to matters specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection, private entities for the construction of bridges over or tunnels under navigable streams and bodies of water to be owned individually or jointly by the States of Oregon and Washington;

(d) C-TRAN or Tri-Met for the management, operation, and maintenance of the South North light rail transit line;

(e) C-TRAN or Tri-Met providing for acquisition by C-TRAN, Tri-Met or other public entities of the property rights needed for the South North light rail transit line and related activities;

(f) C-TRAN, Tri-Met or private entities to purchase, lease or otherwise acquire the materials, equipment and vehicles needed for the construction and implementation of the South North light rail transit line; and

(g) C-TRAN or Tri-Met to implement the decisions of the Authority.

(7) Delegate any of its powers and duties to any political subdivision or governmental agency.

(8) Resolve any disputes between C-TRAN and Tri-Met over the operation of the South North light rail transit line or the major feeder system. However, the Authority shall not have the power to require from C-TRAN and Tri-Met capital improvements to the South North light rail transit line or the major feeder system.

(9) To the extent allowed by law, encourage, assist and facilitate public and private development along the South North light rail transit line.

(10) Perform all other necessary and incidental functions.

(11) Exercise such additional powers as shall be conferred on it by Act of the federal Congress or jointly by the signatories.

Board Membership

The Authority shall be governed by a board of six directors consisting of three members of the C-TRAN governing body and three members of the Tri-Met governing body. Directors representing C-TRAN and Tri-Met shall be appointed by their respective governing bodies.

Terms of Office

Board members shall serve terms of four years, unless terminated earlier by the governing body of the appointing transit agency.

Compensation of Directors

The directors shall serve without compensation. The directors may be reimbursed for the necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties pursuant to adopted policies of the transit agency that appointed them.

Organization and Procedure

The board of directors of the Authority shall by rule provide for its own organization and procedure. It shall biennially elect a chairperson from among its directors who shall serve a term of two years subject to earlier removal by a vote of four directors. Meetings of the board shall be held as frequently as the board deems that the proper performance of its duties requires, and the board shall keep minutes of its meetings. The board shall adopt rules and regulations governing its meetings, minutes and transactions.

Staff

The Authority shall not have the power to hire administrative staff. Administrative staff support shall be provided by C-TRAN and Tri-Met by intergovernmental agreement.

Quorum and Actions by the Board

Four directors shall constitute a quorum. No action by the board shall be effective unless there is an affirmative vote of a majority of those present.

Conflicts of Interest

(1) No director shall:

(a) Be financially interested, either directly or indirectly, in any contract, sale, purchase, lease or transfer of real or personal property to which the board of directors of the Authority is party;

(b) In connection with services performed within the scope of official duties, solicit or accept money or any other thing of value in addition to the expenses paid to the director by the Authority; or

(c) Offer money or any other thing of value for or in consideration of obtaining an appointment, promotion or privilege in employment with the Authority.

(2) Any director who willfully violates any provision of this section shall, in the discretion of the board, forfeit the office of the director. Any contract or agreement made in contravention of this section may be declared void by the board. Nothing in this section shall be considered to abrogate or limit the applicability of any federal or state law that may be violated by any action proscribed by this section.

Financial Plans and Reports

The board of directors of the authority shall make and publish, as necessary, financial plans and detailed annual budgets for the construction, operation and maintenance of the South North light rail transit line, including a Sources of Funds plan. The board may also prepare, publish and distribute such other public reports and informational materials as it may deem necessary or desirable.

Operation and Maintenance Costs

(1) The Authority shall annually determine the amount of the South North light rail transit line’s operating and maintenance costs and the Authority’s administrative costs that shall be contributed to the Authority by C-TRAN and Tri-Met. The amount to be collected from C-TRAN and Tri-Met shall be based upon all relevant factors, including but not limited to, ridership origination and destination and relative usage of the South North light rail transit line.

(2) After establishing the amount to be allocated to C-TRAN and Tri-Met, the Authority shall levy an annual assessment on C-TRAN and Tri-Met for the purpose of financing the management, administration, operation, maintenance, repair, expansion, and related activities for facilities, equipment, systems or improvements included in the South North light rail transit line.

Capital Contributions

(1) The Authority shall enter into a financing plan agreement with C-TRAN, Tri-Met and any private entities providing construction financing for the South North light rail transit line or any segment thereof, which agreement shall establish a financing plan for the construction phases of the South North light rail transit line, including each segment thereof. The financing plan agreement shall specify the obligations of each party to pay a portion of the construction costs of the South North light rail transit line, including the estimated total construction costs, the percentage share of each party of the total construction costs, the estimated schedule for the payment of each party’s percentage share and the planned source of funds from which each party intends to fund its share of the total construction costs. The financing plan agreement, among other matters, may:

(a) Separately specify each party’s obligation for each segment of the South North light rail transit line;

(b) Limit the liability of C-TRAN and Tri-Met to particular funding sources identified in the financing plan agreement;

(c) Make provisions for any interim financing, credit enhancements or guarantees to be provided by C-TRAN, Tri-Met or any other parties in order to supply the funds needed to construct the South North light rail transit line in accordance with the construction schedule established in the financing plan agreement; or

(d) Provide that all or a portion of one party’s obligations shall be satisfied by making payments to another party to the agreement in order to pay or reimburse the construction or financing costs incurred by the payee.

(2) The financing plan agreement shall provide that C-TRAN and Tri-Met shall each retain full power and authority to pledge their respective sources of funds as security for any bonds, notes or other obligations issued thereby, and for any credit enhancements obtained in connection with any such bonds, notes or other obligations, in order to provide interim or permanent financing for the construction costs of the South North light rail transit line. The financing plan agreement shall not in any way or to any extent create a pledge of or a lien or encumbrance on any funds of C-TRAN or Tri-Met.

(3) C-TRAN and Tri-Met singly or together shall enter into one or more Full Funding Grant Agreements with the Federal Transit Administration, or its successor, to establish the federal funding commitment for the South North light rail transit line, or any segments thereof, and the terms and conditions for obtaining the federal funds. The Authority shall cause the South North light rail transit line, and each segment thereof, to be designed, engineered and constructed in a manner consistent with the applicable Full Funding Grant Agreement, applicable state laws and the terms and conditions of the financing plan agreement.

(4) The financing plan agreement may be amended from time to time by the Authority, C-TRAN and Tri-Met to the extent such parties determine any amendment is necessary or beneficial. Any such amendment shall require the consent of any private entity that is a party to the financing plan agreement only if and to the extent such consent is required under the terms of the financing plan agreement.

Indemnification

(1) C-TRAN shall hold Tri-Met and the Authority harmless and indemnify Tri-Met and the Authority for any and all liability, settlements, losses, costs, damages and expenses in connection with any action, suit or claim resulting from C-TRAN’s negligent errors, omissions or acts in carrying out the purposes of this compact.

(2) Tri-Met shall hold C-TRAN and the Authority harmless and indemnify C-TRAN and the Authority for any and all liability, settlements, losses, costs, damages and expenses in connection with any action, suit or claim resulting from Tri-Met’s negligent errors, omissions or acts in carrying out the purposes of this compact.

(3) The Authority shall hold C-TRAN and Tri-Met harmless and indemnify C-TRAN and Tri-Met for any and all liability, settlements, losses, costs, damages and expenses in connection with any action, suit or claim resulting from the Authority’s negligent errors, omissions or acts in carrying out the purposes of this compact.

Fares

Fares will be established and collected by C-TRAN and Tri-Met for trips originating within their respective districts. Payment of those fares will be honored by the Authority as payment for passage on the South North light rail transit line.

Insurance

The board of directors of the Authority may self-insure or purchase insurance and pay the premiums therefor against loss or damage, against liability for injury to persons or property and against loss of revenue from any cause whatsoever. Such insurance coverage shall be in such form and amount as the board may determine, subject to the requirements of any agreement or other obligations of the Authority.

Tax Exemption

(1) It is hereby declared that the creation of the Authority and the carrying out of the purposes of the Authority is in all respects for the benefit of all people of the signatory states. It is further declared that the Authority and the board of directors are performing a public purpose and an essential government function, including, without limitation, proprietary, governmental and other functions, in the exercise of the powers conferred by this compact. Therefore, the Authority and the board of directors shall not be required to pay taxes or assessments upon any of the property under its jurisdiction, control, possession or supervision or upon its activities in the operation and maintenance of the South North light rail transit line or upon any revenues therefrom.

(2) When C-TRAN or Tri-Met, acting under an agreement with the Authority pursuant to Article IV of this compact, possesses or controls property or conducts activities in the operation and maintenance of the South North light rail transit line:

(a) C-TRAN and Tri-Met shall remain subject to the tax laws of their respective states with respect to such property located, or activities conducted, within their respective states;

(b) C-TRAN shall be subject to the tax laws of the State of Oregon with respect to such property located, or activities conducted, in Oregon only to the extent Tri-Met would be subject to those laws if Tri-Met rather than C-TRAN possessed or controlled the property or conducted the activity; and

(c) Tri-Met shall be subject to the tax laws of the State of Washington with respect to such property located, or activities conducted, in Washington only to the extent C-TRAN would be subject to those laws if C-TRAN rather than Tri-Met possessed or controlled the property or conducted the activity.

Applicable Laws

The Authority shall be both subject to and exempt from certain laws of the States of Oregon and Washington as concurred in by the legislature of each state, respectively. Where the laws of the States of Oregon and Washington are not made inapplicable to the Authority by legislative action, the laws of the respective states will continue to apply to activities occurring within each state’s geographical boundaries. However, the following laws shall apply generally to the Authority regardless of the state in which the activities governed by the laws occur. The following laws shall govern exclusively the matters they address, and the provisions of corresponding or analogous laws of either signatory shall have no effect:

(1) Federal Administrative Procedures Act (5 U.S.C. 500 et seq.), as amended from time to time, or any successor legislation;

(2) Federal Miller Act (40 U.S.C. 270a et seq.), as amended from time to time, or any successor legislation;

(3) Federal prevailing wage law (40 U.S.C. 276a et seq.), as amended from time to time, or any successor legislation;

(4) Federal rules on disadvantaged business enterprises (49 C.F.R. Part 23), as amended from time to time, or any successor legislation;

(5) Federal competitive bidding laws (41 U.S.C. 251 et seq.), as amended from time to time, or any successor legislation; and

(6) ORS 30.260 (Definitions for ORS 30.260 to 30.300) to 30.300 (ORS 30.260 to 30.300 exclusive) (1993 Edition).

Jurisdiction of Courts

(1) The United States District Courts shall have original jurisdiction, concurrent with the courts of Oregon and Washington, of all actions brought by or against the Authority and shall enforce subpoenas issued under this Compact. Any such action initiated in a state court shall be removable to the appropriate United States District Court in the manner provided by the Act of June 25, 1948, as amended (28 U.S.C. 1446).

(2) All laws or parts of laws of the United States and of the signatory states that are inconsistent with the provisions of this compact are hereby amended for the purpose of this compact to the extent necessary to eliminate such inconsistencies and to carry out the provisions of this compact.

Severability

If any provision of this compact, or its application to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, all other provisions of this compact, and the application of all of its provisions to all other persons and circumstances, shall remain valid and to this end, the provisions of this compact are severable.

Effective Date

This compact shall take effect, and the board of the Authority may exercise its authority pursuant to the compact when it has been ratified by the federal Congress and adopted by both signatories, and the six directors of the board have been appointed. The effective date of this compact shall be the date of the establishment of the board of directors of the Authority.

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[1996 c.13 §2]

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 391—Mass Transportation, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors391.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.