The authority shall exercise, subject to this chapter, the following powers and duties necessary to the discharge of its powers and duties in corporate form:
(1) To have succession by its corporate name for the duration of time, which may be perpetual, subject to the provisions of Section 11-49B-19 specified in its certificate of incorporation.
(2) To sue and be sued in its own name in civil suits and actions and to defend suits against it.
(3) To adopt and make use of a corporate seal and to alter the seal at pleasure.
(4) To adopt and alter bylaws for the regulation and conduct of its affairs and business.
(5) To acquire, receive, and take, by purchase, gift, lease, devise, or otherwise, and to hold property of every description, real, personal, or mixed, whether located in one or more counties or municipalities and whether located within or outside the authorizing county.
(6) To make, enter into, and execute contracts, agreements, leases, and other instruments and to take other actions as may be necessary or convenient to accomplish any purpose for which the authority was organized or to exercise any power expressly granted under this chapter.
(7) To plan, establish, develop, acquire, purchase, lease, construct, reconstruct, enlarge, improve, maintain, equip, and operate transit systems, within the authorizing county and within any additional county joining the regional system, and without any requirement that the transit systems be interconnected or otherwise constitute an integrated operational unit, and to acquire real and personal property, franchises, and easements deemed necessary or desirable in connection with the system.
(8) To provide public transportation service within the authorizing county or in any part of the county upon any reasonable terms and for any reasonable rates and consideration as the board may prescribe.
(9) To provide charter service within the state upon any terms and for any consideration as the board may prescribe, and to use or operate any part of any transit system owned by the authority in service subject to the regulation and approval of the Alabama Public Service Commission.
(10) To sell and issue bonds of the authority in order to provide funds for any corporate function, use, or purpose with the bonds to be payable solely from the sources specified in Section 11-49B-9.
(11) To assume obligations secured by a lien on, or payable out of or secured by a pledge of the revenues from, any transit system or any part of the transit system that may be acquired by the authority, any obligation assumed to be payable by the authority solely from the sources from which bonds of the authority may be made payable pursuant to Section 11-49B-9.
(12) To pledge for payment of any bonds issued or obligations assumed by the authority any revenues from which those bonds or obligations are made payable as provided by this chapter.
(13) To execute and deliver, in accordance with this section, Sections 11-49B-9 and 11-49B-10, mortgages, and deeds of trust and trust indentures, or either.
(14) To exercise the power of eminent domain in the manner provided in and subject to Chapter 5 of Title 10. The authority is not authorized to acquire without the consent of the owner any transit system from which public transportation service is currently being furnished. The authority shall not by eminent domain acquire any real property or rights owned or held by public or private railroads or utilities.
(15) To expend funds for the purchase or lease of materials, equipment, supplies, or other personal property in compliance with Article 3 of Chapter 16 of Title 41.
(16) Without regard to Article 3 of Chapter 16 of Title 41, or any law establishing a civil service or merit system that might otherwise be applicable, to appoint, employ, contract with, and provide for the compensation of, officers, employees, and agents, including, but without limitation to, engineers, attorneys, management consultants, and fiscal advisers, as the business of the authority may require, and it may provide a system of disability pay, employee insurance, retirement compensation, and pensions.
(17) To make and enforce reasonable rules and regulations governing the use of any transit system owned or controlled by the authority.
(18) To provide for any insurance as the board may deem advisable.
(19) To invest any funds of the authority that the board may determine are not presently needed in the operation of its properties in bonds of the United States of America, bonds of the state, bonds of any county or municipality, and interest-bearing bank deposits, or any combination.
(20) To cooperate with the United States of America, or its agency or instrumentality, the state, any county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state and any public corporation organized under the laws of the state and to make contracts with them, or any of them, as the board deems advisable to accomplish the purposes for which the authority was established.
(21) To sell and convey its properties that may have become obsolete or worn out or that may no longer be needed or useful as a part of any transit system of the authority.
(22) To sell and convey, with or without valuable consideration, any of its transit systems or any portion of the system, to any one or more counties, municipalities, or public corporations organized under the laws of the state, which have the corporate power to operate the system, or any portion of the system conveyed and the property and income of which are not subject to taxation. The sale and conveyance shall be made only with the consent of the authorizing county, the principal municipality, and each participating municipality, with the consent to be evidenced by a resolution adopted by the governing body of each consenting county and municipality, and only if the conveyance would not constitute a breach of any then outstanding mortgage and deed of trust, trust indenture, or other agreement to which the authority is a party.
(23) To enter into agreements with all or any part of the employees of the authority or with any groups or associations representing the employees.
(24) To enter into a management agreement or agreements with any person for the management by or for the authority of any transit system upon any mutually agreeable terms and conditions.
(25) To require that all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors in the performance of construction work for the authority be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on similar construction in the locality where the work is performed as determined by the United States Secretary of Labor or any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States or of the state.
(26) If the authority acquires an existing transit system to enter into an arrangement necessary to protect the interest of employees of the acquired system including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing:
a. The preservation of rights, privileges, and benefits including continuation of pension rights and benefits under existing agreements.
b. The protection of individual employees against a worsening of their positions with respect to their employment.
c. Assurance of employment to the employees of acquired transit systems, except executives and administrative officers, and priority of reemployment of the employees terminated or laid off.
d. Paid training and retraining programs.
(27) To fix and revise from time to time reasonable rates, fees, and other charges for public transportation service furnished or to be furnished by any transit system owned or operated by the authority, and to collect all charges made by it.
(28) Promptly after the initial 10 members of the board of directors are appointed, the board of directors of the authority shall prepare, adopt, and implement a set of policies that shall govern, and set standards for, the conduct of all members of the board of directors of the authority and all employees of the authority. The policy shall provide penalties for the violation of the policy. The policy shall prohibit unethical conduct and shall require the directors and employees of the authority to comply with all the provisions of the policy which shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the provisions of the code of ethics for public officials and employees as provided for in Section 36-25-1 et seq. and rules and regulations promulgated thereunder by the State Ethics Commission. The matters to be covered by the policy shall include, but not be limited to the following:
a. The expenses for which directors and employees may be reimbursed and the method of keeping records for the expenses and the requirements for the reimbursement of the expenses.
b. Business dealings and contracts between the authority and directors or employees of the authority and business dealings between the authority and members of the family of directors or employees of the authority.
(29) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to permit an authority to make a gift or donation of the funds of the authority to a charity.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to permit an authority to acquire, receive, take, hold, establish, develop, construct, reconstruct, enlarge, improve, maintain, equip, or operate any property or transit system located outside the authorizing county, except in the provision of charter service within the state.