September 9, 2005

(For Board:  September 9, 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 Friday, September 9, 2005, at 9:45 a.m., Chair Brown presiding.

 

Committee Members Present (7): Chair Brown; Vice Chair Shahum; Directors Cochran, Kerns, Murray and Pahre; President Middlebrook (Ex Officio)

Committee Members Absent (1): Director Moylan

Other Directors Present (6): Directors Ammiano, Dufty, Eddie, McGoldrick, Reilly and Stroeh

Committee of the Whole Members Present (13): Directors Ammiano, Brown, Cochran, Dufty, Eddie, Kerns, McGoldrick, Murray, Pahre, Reilly, Shahum and Stroeh; President Middlebrook

Committee of the Whole Members Absent (5): Directors Hernández, Martini and Sandoval; Second Vice President Boro; First Vice President Moylan

[On this date, there was one vacancy on the Board of Directors.]

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 David J. Miller; 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; Information Systems Director Robert Haar; Information Systems Project Manager Bruce Orcutt; Principal Planner Ron Downing; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko; Assistant Clerk of the Board Karen B. Engbretson

Visitors Present: None

1. Report of the District Advisory Committees
  a. Advisory Committee on Accessibility (ACA)

A Notice of Meeting Cancellation for the August 18, 2005, meeting was furnished to the Transportation Committee.  Copies are available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

     
  b.

Bus Passengers Advisory Committee

A letter from the Bus Passengers Advisory Committee (BPAC) to the Board of Directors, dated August 25, 2005, was furnished to the Transportation Committee.  This letter stated that a motion was unanimously passed by BPAC to recommend that the Board of Directors hold public hearings at times and locations appropriate to those affected by proposed changes, in order to increase passenger participation at public hearings.  In addition, the agendas for the August 17, 2005, meeting and the minutes of the June 22, 2005, meeting of BPAC were furnished to the Transportation Committee.  Copies are available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.
     
  c.

Ferry Passengers Advisory Committee

The agendas for the August 3, 2005, meeting and the minutes of the July 6, 2005, and the July 13, 2005, meetings of the Ferry Passengers Advisory Committee were furnished to the Transportation Committee.  Copies are available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.
   
Action by the Board – None Required
     
2. Authorize the Elimination of Golden Gate Transit Regional Commute Shuttle Bus Routes 32 and 34
     
   

In a memorandum to Committee, Principal Planner Ron Downing, Director of Planning Alan Zahradnik and General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided staff’s recommendation to eliminate Golden Gate Transit (GGT) regional commute shuttle bus Routes 32 and 34 in December 2005 due to low ridership.  The report stated that Routes 32 and 34 are well below productivity standards for commute service and represent an expensive commitment of peak period resources for a very small number of passengers.  The report stated that Route 32 averages about two passengers per bus trip and that Route 34 averages about five passengers per bus trip.  These passenger counts are provided daily by Bus Operators for every bus trip, and were field-verified by District staff in May and June 2005, and most recently in late August 2005, after the beginning of the school year. 

The District held a public hearing on August 11, 2005, regarding the proposal to eliminate these two bus routes.  In order to provide greater convenience for the affected passengers of these routes, the public hearing was held in the evening at the Whistlestop offices near the San Rafael Transit Center.  During the public comment period that began on July 19, 2005, the District received 40 communications, with 36 of these communications expressing opposition to the proposal.  The specific comments contained in these communications are summarized on an attachment to the staff report. 

The report stated that many of the public comments were from transit-dependent residents of the Santa Venetia and Glenwood neighborhoods, who depend on these two routes for local bus service.  Since Marin County Transit District (MCTD) is responsible for setting service levels of local bus routes, District staff discussed with MCTD staff the possibility of MCTD providing substitute local service for Routes 32 and 34.  The report stated that MCTD will not consider providing substitute Route 33 local bus service in Santa Venetia for local travel needs until its Short-Range Transit Plan is released in October 2005, and will be addressed in the context of other local transit needs in Marin County and the County’s Measure A sales tax funding process.  Although certain transit-dependent residents of the affected areas may suffer hardship due to lack of travel options, staff has determined that the recommended actions do not disproportionately impact minority communities.  The report also discussed the alternative travel options for San Francisco-bound commuters and other local bus riders. 

In recognition of the District’s financial situation, staff recommends that these two regional bus routes be eliminated.  The elimination of Routes 32 and 34 has been identified in the FY 05/06 Operating and Capital Budget as a cost-saving measure, estimated to provide $183,960 in cost savings for six months of the fiscal year, from December 12, 2005 through June 30, 2006.  Staff finds that the recommended actions are exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) based on them having no possibility of significant effect on the environment due to the small numbers of bus riders impacted.  A copy of the report, with attachment, is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Alan Zahradnik summarized the staff report, noting that Routes 32 and 34 are the two lowest-performing regional bus routes in the GGT system.  He stated that the majority of public comments provided relative to the August 11th public hearing were from local transit users of Routes 32 and 34, although these routes are classified as regional bus routes.  Many of these comments urged that the bus routes be retained, in order to provide mobility for transit-dependent local Marin riders.  He further stated that although MCTD would not be able to provide substitute local service within the District’s timeframe to eliminate the bus routes in December 2005, staff does not recommend retaining the bus routes, since to do so would require additional subsidy using limited District resources. 

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Director Cochran noted that he had attended August 11th public hearing and inquired as to whether MCTD has made plans to provide additional local service to the Santa Venetia, Peacock Gap and Glenwood areas of San Rafael.  He further inquired as to whether the District could postpone action on the elimination of these two bus routes until after MCTD agrees to provide local service to these areas.  In response, Chair Brown stated that he has been in discussions with MCTD staff about transportation options to substitute for the bus service being proposed for elimination, and he stated that a solution could be reached within the next three months.  Chair Brown further stated that he would provide a report to the Committee regarding the progress of MCTD’s efforts at the October 2005 meeting of the Transportation Committee.
  • President Middlebrook stated that she commends efforts by the County of Marin to seek substitute transportation options for the service in the affected areas of San Rafael.  She stated that given the District’s financial situation, it would not be prudent to delay the elimination of these two under-performing bus routes.
  • Director Ammiano commented that the City and County of San Francisco at one time was considering using small vans or “jitney” type buses on low usage routes, and suggested that such vehicles could be used to provide substitute transportation options in areas where underperforming bus routes are eliminated.  Ms. Kupersmith noted one of the main components of MCTD’s Short-Range Transit Plan, currently under development, is the concept of establishing transit service in low ridership areas to meet local needs.  She further noted that Marin County’s unique geography contributes to low ridership in certain areas because of the hilly terrain and dispersed communities.
  • Director Reilly noted that one of the speakers at the August 11th public hearing requested assurance that the passenger counts were accurate, and she inquired as to how such counts were undertaken.  In response, Mr. Zahradnik stated that as standard practice, the District’s Bus Operators perform daily counts of every boarding passenger.  Then when staff is considering termination of service, additional passenger counts are performed.  Mr. Zahradnik noted that for Routes 32 and 34, Traffic Checkers were sent out over a three-month period, as recently as late August 2005, and confirmed the low passenger counts provided by the Bus Operators.

Staff recommended and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors PAHRE/MIDDLEBROOK to forward the following recommendation to the Board of Directors for its consideration:

RECOMMENDATION

The Transportation Committee recommends that the Board of Directors authorize the elimination of Golden Gate Transit regional commute shuttle bus Routes 32 and 34, due to low ridership, effective December 11, 2005, with the understanding that this action will not have a significant effect on the environment.

Action by the Board – Resolution

NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (13):      Directors Ammiano, Brown, Cochran, Dufty, Eddie, Kerns, McGoldrick, Murray, Pahre, Reilly, Shahum and Stroeh; President Middlebrook

NOES (0):        None

[Note:    The above recommendation was forwarded to the Board of Directors meeting of September 9, 2005, for action.]

     
3. Authorize Execution of Amendments to the Professional Services Agreement and to the Software License Agreement with GIRO, Inc., Relative to Contract No. 97-BT-8, Purchase, Delivery, Installation and Support of Software Program for Golden Gate Transit Fixed Route Bus Scheduling System, for Long-Term Upgrade and Maintenance Support for HASTUS Software Modules
     
   

In a memorandum to Committee, Deputy General Manager/Bus Division Susan C. Chiaroni, Deputy General Manager/Administration Teri W. Mantony, Auditor-Controller Joseph M. Wire and General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided staff’s recommendation regarding proposed amendments to the professional services agreement and to the software license agreement with Giro, Inc., relative to the HASTUS scheduling software.  HASTUS is a comprehensive set of tools for service design, operations and tracking that is used by the District’s Bus Division to efficiently schedule bus runs and Bus Operators’ work shifts for Golden Gate Transit (GGT) operations.  An informational report was provided to the Committee at its August 5, 2005, meeting regarding the background of HASTUS, which was acquired from Giro, Inc., by the District in 1997 through Contract No. 97-BT-8, Purchase, Delivery, Installation and Support of Software Program for Golden Gate Transit Fixed Route Bus Scheduling System.  A copy of the August 5th staff report was attached for reference.

The report stated that given the District’s ongoing commitment to technology and improvement of planning operating efficiencies, it is believed that a multi-year investment in the HASTUS product is now appropriate.  The District has maintained a continuous annual maintenance contract with GIRO, Inc., since project implementation.  It is proposed that the District continue with maintenance contract, as well as contracting with Giro, Inc., for three biennial software upgrades over a six-year period.  The report included a table showing the upgrade and maintenance costs for each fiscal year of the six-year period.  The report outlined the strategic rationale for committing to the continuous maintenance and version upgrade of the HASTUS system, and discussed the sole source considerations regarding these contract amendments.  The report noted that staff has prepared a cost analysis based upon a comparison of this upgrade cost to the cost of a new procurement and recommends execution of amendments to the professional services agreement and to the software license agreement with Giro, Inc.  A copy of the staff report, including an attached copy of the August 5, 2005 staff report, is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Susan Chiaroni stated that at the August 5, 2005 meeting of the Committee, staff noted that the proposed recommendation would be brought before the Committee.  She noted that the proposed long-term contractual relationship with Giro, Inc., is consistent with similar contractual arrangements with the third party software vendors for the Financial Management Information System.  She described the significant financial benefits to this approach, including reduced licensing fees and the reduced costs associated with standard upgrades versus software customization.  She noted that the attorneys for the District have advised that the execution of this contract amendment meets sole source standards. 

Staff recommended and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors STROEH/COCHRAN to forward the following recommendation to the Board of Directors for its consideration:

RECOMMENDATION

The Transportation Committee recommends that the Board of Directors authorize execution of amendments to the Professional Services Agreement and to the Software License Agreement with GIRO, Inc., relative to Contract No. 97-BT-8, Purchase, Delivery, Installation and Support of Software Program for Golden Gate Transit Fixed Route Bus Scheduling System, for long-term upgrade and maintenance support for HASTUS software modules used in bus scheduling, dispatching and timekeeping operations, at a cost schedule as outlined below, for a six-year period beginning with FY 05/06; with the understanding that requisite funds (80% Federal Transit Administration grant funds) are available in the FY 05/06 Bus Division Operating Budget, and that requisite funds (100% District funds) will be available for successive years of the contract in the operating budgets for FY 06/07 through FY 10/11:

HASTUS Upgrade & Maintenance Cost Schedule

Item

FY 05/06

FY 06/07

FY 07/08

FY 08/09

FY 09/10

FY 10/11

License cost

$101,125

Implementation cost

$164,340

$117,000

$124,100

Maintenance cost

 

$   55,600

$  57,300

$  59,050 

$  60,850

$  62,700

Annual Total s

$265,465

$  55,600

$174,300

$  59,050

$184,950

$  62,700

Cumulative Total

$265,465

$321,065

$495,365

$554,415

$739,365

$802,065

Action by the Board – Resolution

NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (13):      Directors Ammiano, Brown, Cochran, Dufty, Eddie, Kerns, McGoldrick, Murray, Pahre, Reilly, Shahum and Stroeh; President Middlebrook

NOES (0):        None

[Note:    The above recommendation was forwarded to the Board of Directors meeting of September 9, 2005, for action.]

     
4. 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) was furnished to the Transportation Committee.  The report included several elements, including the following:

  • 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, for the month of July 2005;
  • A spreadsheet from the Auditor-Controller outlining the history of payments made to date by MCTD to the District for intra-county bus transit services in Marin County, as well as for the Ride and Roll Program;
  • Agenda of the August 10, 2005, meeting of the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) Executive Committee; and,
  • Minutes of the July 13, 2005, meeting of the TAM Executive Committee.

Copies of the above-listed items are available in the Office of the District Secretary.

Action by the Board – None Required

     
5. Public Comment
     
    There was no public comment.
     
6. Adjournment
     
    All business having been concluded, the meeting was adjourned at 9:55 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Harold C. Brown, Jr., Chair

Transportation Committee