March 11, 2004

(For Board: March 26, 2004)

REPORT OF THE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE

Honorable Board of Directors

Golden Gate Bridge, Highway

and Transportation District

Honorable Members:

A meeting of the Transportation Committee was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, California, on Thursday, March 11, 2004, at 10:00 a.m., Chair Brown presiding.

Committee Members Present (6): Chair Brown; Directors Cochran, Harrison, Kerns, Martini and Middlebrook

Committee Members Absent (3): Vice Chair Shahum; Director Pahre; President Smith (Ex Officio)

Other Directors Present (3): Directors Eddie, Reilly and Stroeh

Staff Present: General Manager Celia G. Kupersmith; District Engineer Denis J. Mulligan; Auditor-Controller Joseph M. Wire; Secretary of the District Janet S. Tarantino; Attorney Madeline Chun; Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary H. Witt; Deputy General Manager/Bus Division Susan C. Chiaroni; Deputy General Manager/Ferry Division James P. Swindler; Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Teri W. Mantony; Deputy District Engineer Ewa Z. Bauer; Planning Director Alan Zahradnik; Public Affairs Director Mary C. Currie; Maintenance Manager Gene Walker; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko; Assistant Clerk of the Board Karen B. Engbretson

Visitors Present: Arthur A. Goepp, Christopher J. Ewers and Frederick E. Robinson, Marsh Risk and Insurance Services

1. Report of the District Advisory Committees

a. Advisory Committee on Accessibility (ACA)

The agenda for the February 19, 2004, meeting and the minutes of the November 20, 2003, meeting of the Advisory Committee on Accessibility were furnished to the Transportation Committee. Copies are available in the Office of the District Secretary.

b. Bus Passengers Advisory Committee

The agenda for the February 18, 2004, meeting and the minutes of the December 3, 2003, and the January 21, 2004, meetings of the Bus Passengers Advisory Committee were furnished to the Transportation Committee. Copies are available in the Office of the District Secretary.

c. Ferry Passengers Advisory Committee

The agenda for the March 3, 2004, meeting and the minutes of the February 4, 2004, meeting of the Ferry Passengers Advisory Committee were furnished to the Transportation Committee. Copies are available in the Office of the District Secretary.

Action by the Board : None Required

2. Discussion on Service Changes and Expense Reduction Measures in the Ferry Division

In a memorandum to Committee, Deputy General Manager/Ferry James Swindler and General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided an informational report regarding the proposed changes in ferry service and associated expense reductions. The report stated that staff proposes a new ferry service schedule be implemented July 1, 2004, which would use only two high-speed vessels for weekday Larkspur ferry service, one Spaulding vessel for weekday Sausalito service, and two Spaulding vessels for both Larkspur and Sausalito weekend service. This modified service plan would provide 40 weekday crossings from Larkspur to San Francisco, only two less than currently provided with three vessels. The report also stated that utilizing the two high-speed vessels for Larkspur weekday service would save the District approximately $750,000 annually. In addition, using a Spaulding class vessel for Sausalito service would save the District approximately $125,000 annually. The savings associated with schedule changes, in conjunction with additional cost reduction strategies in the Ferry Division, would achieve and possibly surpass the $1.5 million savings target in the District’s financial plan. Attached to the staff report were the following:

Attachment 1:Proposed New Ferry Service Schedules; and,

Attachment 2:Comparison of Proposed New Ferry Service Schedules with Current Schedules.

A copy of the report, with attachments, is available in the Office of the District Secretary.

At the meeting, Ms. Kupersmith introduced the discussion, noting that proposed changes in service would meet the financial goals set for the Ferry Division in the Strategic Plan for Achieving Long-Term Financial Stability. She stated that the information provided to the Committee at this meeting would be provided to the public and the Ferry Passengers Advisory Committee at a series of workshops in March and April, with a final staff recommendation for Board action on the proposed ferry service changes expected in April 2004 for implementation July 1, 2004. She stated that the public workshops would take place at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal to be more convenient for ferry passengers to attend the workshops.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

Director Middlebrook commended staff on successfully negotiating changes in ferry personnel work rules that allowed the proposed service changes and expense reductions to be developed. In response, Mr. Swindler stated that ferry personnel used to be restricted to working only an eight-hour workday, which reduced flexibility in having a single shift of ferry workers available for the entire daily period of ferry operations. He further stated that staff was able to negotiate with the Union Coalition regarding a change in work rules that increased the work day to 11 hours per day.

Action by the Board – None Required

3. Status Report from Board Appointees on SMART II

The agendas for the January 21, 2004, and the February 18, 2004 meetings and the minutes of the December 17, 2003 and January 21, 2004 meetings of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART), were furnished to the Transportation Committee. Copies are available in the Office of the District Secretary.

At the meeting, Director Eddie, one of the Board appointees to SMART, summarized recent actions by SMART. He stated that following action by the District Board of Directors on February 27, 2004, regarding the dissolution of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Authority (NWPRA), the real estate transfer documents were executed which transferred all of the NWPRA’s railroad assets to SMART. He remarked that now SMART is officially in the railroad business. He briefly summarized some of the items discussed at the February 18, 2004, meeting of SMART, which had included a presentation by the developer of the Madera Bay Project located along the railroad right-of-way in Corte Madera. He stated that use of a portion of the right-of-way for this project had been approved in 1998, and that the project is finally moving forward.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

Director Middlebrook acknowledged that the February 27th action by the Board of Directors dissolving the NWPRA and transferring its assets to SMART was of historic significance. She inquired as to whether SMART would be pursuing a sales tax measure for the November 2004 ballot. In response, Director Kerns, one of the Sonoma County appointees to SMART, noted that he is a member of the SMART subcommittee on the sales tax measure. He stated that no final decision has yet been made by SMART regarding the timing of a sales tax measure, pending continuing discussions with the Marin County Congestion Management Agency (CMA) regarding Marin County’s proposed transportation sales tax measure slated for the November 2004 ballot. He further stated that the CMA is developing a poll to gauge voter’s support of Marin County’s transportation sales tax, and SMART is requesting that a question be added to the poll regarding the possible SMART rail transportation sales tax measure.

Director Harrison inquired regarding ownership of the Cal Park Hill Tunnel located near the Larkspur Ferry Terminal. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that the tunnel is owned jointly by the District, the County of Marin and the Marin County Transit District. Director Harrison inquired regarding the grant funding obtained by the County of Marin to reopen the tunnel for bicycle and pedestrian use and possible future light rail use. In response, Ms. Kupersmith explained that in March 2001, the Board approved the County of Marin taking the lead on pursuing grant funding for the reopening of the Cal Park Hill Tunnel, as long as no District funds were required for the project. However, she noted that the potential of such a project does not affect the District’s partial ownership of that segment of the railroad right-of-way. Ms. Kupersmith stated that funding for the Cal Park Hill Tunnel project was included in the recently passed Regional Measure 2 that increases tolls on state-owned Bay Area bridges by $1. Ms. Kupersmith further stated that eventually, that particular segment of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad right-of-way will be formally transferred to SMART, as the NWPRA-owned portion was transferred in February. However, the technical details of the property transfer are still being worked out, and it is anticipated that the actual property transfer process will be concluded in six months.

Action by the Board – None Required

4. Public Comment

There was no public comment.

5. Adjournment

All business having been concluded, the meeting was adjourned at 10:20 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Harold C. Brown, Jr., Chair

Transportation Committee

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