Meetings

February 10, 2005
(For Board: February 25, 2005)

REPORT OF THE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE/
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Honorable Board of Directors
Golden Gate Bridge, Highway
and Transportation District

Honorable Members:

A meeting of the Transportation Committee/Committee of the Whole was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, California, on Thursday, February 10, 2005, at 9:45 a.m., Chair Brown presiding.

Committee Members Present (7): Chair Brown; Vice Chair Shahum; Directors Cochran, Harrison, Murray and Smith; President Middlebrook (Ex Officio)
Committee Members Absent (2): Directors Kerns and Pahre
Other Directors Present (3): Directors Boro, Eddie and Reilly

Committee of the Whole Members Present (10): Directors Brown, Cochran, Eddie, Murray, Reilly, Shahum and Smith; Second Vice President Boro; First Vice President Harrison; President Middlebrook
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (9): Directors Ammiano, Dufty, Herná ndez, Kerns, Martini, McGoldrick, Pahre, Sandoval 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 Teri W. Mantony; Planning Director Alan Zahradnik; Public Affairs Director Mary C. Currie; Information Systems Director Robert Haar; Procurement and Retail Operations Lori A. Murray; Budget and Program Analysis Manager Jennifer Mennucci; Assistant Clerk of the Board Karen B. Engbretson

Visitors Present: Donald Wilhelm, Bus Passengers Advisory Committee

1.

Report of the District Advisory Committees

a. Advisory Committee on Accessibility (ACA)

The agenda for the January 20, 2005, meeting and the minutes of the December 16, 2004, meeting of the Advisory Committee on Accessibility (ACA) were furnished to the Transportation Committee. Also provided to the Committee was a letter to the Board of Directors, dated January 28, 2005, from Craig T. Yates, Vice Chair of the ACA, which outlined non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by certain Golden Gate Transit (GGT) Bus Operators. The letter cited the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rule Section 37.167, which require bus operators to announce bus stops and to provide a means for a passenger with a visual impairment or other disability to identify the proper vehicle that the passenger seeks to ride. The letter also listed potential steps suggested by the ACA to ensure full compliance of ADA rules by GGT Bus Operators and requesting a higher level of discipline for Bus Operators that fail to comply with operating procedures and the law. Copies of the agenda, minutes and letter noted above are available in the Office of the Secretary of the District.

At the meeting, General Manager Celia Kupersmith described the January 28, 2005 letter from ACA. She noted that in the letter, the ACA commended staff’ s efforts to provide appropriate training to GGT Bus Operators through GGT’s ADA and Accessible Bus Division Operations Manual and to issue operating bulletins reminding Bus Operators of their responsibility to comply with ADA. Ms. Kupersmith outlined the measures that staff has taken to address the concerns noted in the letter, including the following:

  1. Reissued a bulletin twice to Bus Operators on ADA Required Bus Stop Announcements, including an updated list of all bus stops that are required by ADA to be announced and noting that failure to comply would result in fines and discipline;
  2. Directed GGT Dispatchers to announce hourly to Bus Operators on the road the requirement that they must announce all major stops, transfer points, requested stops and all bus pads along the U.S. Highway 101 corridor;
  3. Included a listing of all bus stops requiring ADA announcements with Bus Operators’ paychecks and drivers’ work assignments; and,
  4. Directed supervisors to monitor compliance with announcing bus stops.

Ms. Kupersmith stated that no action is required of the Transportation Committee at this time, and that staff will prepare a formal written response to the ACA’s January 28, 2005 letter.

b. Bus Passengers Advisory Committee

The agenda for the January 12, 2005, meeting of the Bus Passengers Advisory Committee was furnished to the Transportation Committee. Copies are available in the Office of the District Secretary.
c. Ferry Passengers Advisory Committee

The agenda for the February 9, 2005, meeting and the minutes of the January 5, 2005, 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.

Monthly Report on Activities Related to Marin Local Service Contract with Marin County Transit District

The monthly report on activities related to the 18-month Marin Local Service contract with the Marin County Transit District (MCTD) were furnished to the Transportation Committee. The report included several elements, including the following:

  1. A spreadsheet from the Auditor-Controller outlining the history of payments made by MCTD to the District for intra-county bus transit services in Marin County, as well as for the Ride and Roll Program;
  2. A spreadsheet from the Planning Department outlining GGT bus service performance of both District regional routes and MCTD local routes, providing statistics regarding riders per hour, revenue per hour, cost per hour, fare recovery and deficit per passenger for the two types of bus service;
  3. Agenda and minutes for the December 14, 2004, meeting of the Marin County Board of Supervisors, Marin County Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, Marin County Open Space District Board of Directors, Marin County Redevelopment Agency Board of Commissioners and the MCTD Board of Directors;
  4. Minutes of the November 23, 2004, meeting of the MCTD Board of Directors;
  5. Agenda of the January 27, 2005, meeting of the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) and Minutes of their December 16, 2004, meeting; and,
  6. Agendas for the January 27, 2005, and the January 12, 2005, meetings of the TAM Executive Committee.

Ms. Kupersmith pointed out that as of the date of this meeting, all payments by MCTD for Marin local intra-county bus transit services are current and up to date. She noted that the MCTD is behind on payments to the District for the Ride and Roll Program from October 2004 to present, but that MCTD has resolved some accounting issues and should be submitting payment to the District soon. She noted that she will be meeting with Farhad Mansourian, who in his capacity as the Marin County Public Works Director oversees MCTD, each Thursday morning to discuss issues related to the contract for Marin local intra-county bus transit services. Copies of the payment history and bus service performance spreadsheets, as well as the sets of minutes noted above, are available in the Office of the District Secretary.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

In response to several clarification questions from Directors Harrison, Cochran and Murray regarding the GGT bus service performance report, Planning Director Alan Zahradnik explained how the data was calculated, noting that ridership statistics are gathered separately from both Marin local bus service and regional bus service, with total GGT bus system performance statistics shown at the bottom of the table.

Director Murray noted that the deficit per passenger for MCTD local bus service is half of that for GGT regional bus service. She stated that there is a clear benefit to the District of having a combined transit service made up of both local and regional service, since the deficit per passenger decreases when bus system performance is calculated for both types of service combined.

Director Brown inquired as to how Club Bus service factors into the bus service performance statistics. In response, Mr. Zahradnik explained how the Club Bus program works, noting that the costs per hour for the service is $70 per hour, and that the Board has set a farebox recovery rate of 70% for Club Bus service, which is paid by the Club Bus members.

Director Eddie commented that the combined figure for riders per hour is low compared to the actual cost of operating buses. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that staff pays close attention to ridership; when it drops too low for a particular bus trip, staff considers eliminating that trip to provide limited resources elsewhere in the system.

Action by the Board – None Required

   
3.

Public Comment

Donald Wilhelm commented on staff’s response to the question of what the deficit would be for the regional GGT system if it were a stand-alone system, with GGT no longer providing Marin local bus service, (as listed on page 28 of the staff report entitled, Work Session Relative to the Development of a Strategic Plan for Achieving Long-Term Financial Stability, provided to the Board of Directors at its meeting of February 11, 2005, copy of which is available in the Office of the District Secretary). Mr. Wilhelm requested that the Committee direct District staff to conduct an analysis of the possible design of a stand-alone regional GGT bus system. He expressed his concerns that if GGT no longer provides Marin local bus service, this change could result in less revenue to the District and a higher deficit to the District for providing regional bus service, possibly then resulting in a major increase in regional bus service fares.

   
4.

Adjournment

All business having been concluded, the meeting was adjourned at 10:05 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/Harold C. Brown, Jr., Chair
Transportation Committee

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