October 13, 2005

(For Board:  October 28, 2005)

 

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, October 13, 2005, at 10:00 a.m., Chair Brown presiding.

 

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

 

Committee Members Absent (1): Director Murray

 

Other Directors Present (2): Directors Eddie and Reilly

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; Public Affairs Director Mary C. Currie; Risk Management and Safety Director William Stafford; Planning Director Alan Zahradnik; Principal Planner Ron Downing; Budget and Program Analysis Manager Jennifer Mennucci; Assistant Clerk of the Board Karen B. Engbretson

Visitors Present: None

 

1. Report of the District Advisory Committees
  a.

Advisory Committee on Accessibility (ACA)

The agenda for the September 15, 2005, meeting and the minutes of the June 16, 2005, and July 21, 2005, meetings of the Advisory Committee on Accessibility (ACA) were furnished to the Transportation Committee.  Copies are available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.
     
  b.

Ferry Passengers Advisory Committee

The agenda for the October 5, 2005, meeting and the minutes of the September 7, 2005, meeting of FPAC were furnished to the Transportation Committee.  Copies are available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site

In addition, a letter from the Ferry Passengers Advisory Committee (FPAC) to the Board of Directors, dated Sept 21, 2005, was furnished to the Transportation Committee.  This letter included a recommendation from FPAC 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.
   
Action by the Board - None Required
     
2.

Authorize Award of Contract No. 2006-BT-6, Luggage Bay Bicycle Racks, to Sportworks

In a memorandum to Committee, Deputy General Manager/Bus Division Susan Chiaroni and General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided staff’s recommendation to approve a sole source purchase of luggage bay bicycle racks to be installed on 45-foot MCI coaches.  The report stated that the District currently owns and operates 52 45-foot MCI coaches, which have the highest seating capacity in the District’s bus fleet and which are often placed on routes that carry full passenger loads.  The report also stated that all coaches in the District’s bus fleet are currently equipped with bicycle racks, except for the 45-foot MCI coaches, which are precluded by California state law from having front-or rear-mounted bicycle racks due to maneuverability and safety issues.

The report stated that after the 2003 transit service reductions, some 45-foot MCI coaches were placed in service on certain trips in order to mitigate having fewer buses operate on a specific route.  As a result of using these MCI buses, without bicycle racks, customers traveling with bicycles have sometimes experienced a 30-minute wait during commute hours in order to board a bus equipped with a bicycle rack.  In an effort to find a solution to this problem, staff found a bicycle rack design for MCI buses that would provide safe and secure bicycle transport without adding to the existing length of the coaches.  Sportworks, a company located in Woodinville, Washington, has developed a bicycle rack that is specifically designed for the luggage bay section of an MCI coach and that can accommodate two bicycles.  The report stated that by installing these luggage bay bicycle racks on the District’s 45-foot MCI coaches, the District’s entire bus fleet would become fully bicycle accessible and customers would be encouraged to utilize all of the District’s transit service as part of a multi-modal commute option.  In addition, the District would be able to schedule coaches based on service needs without having to consider whether or not the assigned bus can accommodate bicycles for a specific route or community.

The specific bicycle racks required for the MCI buses are available only from the manufacturer and exclusive distributor, Sportworks, and meets the definition for a sole source procurement as outlined in the Procurement Manual.  The District’s Attorney concurred that this procurement meets the sole source criteria, and staff has determined after conducting a price analysis, that the price of $200,000, for the purchase of 54 bicycle racks, is fair and reasonable.  The report stated that staff recommends award of Contract No. 2006‑BT‑6, Luggage Bay Bicycle Racks, to Sportworks, in an amount not to exceed $200,000.  The District has received grant funds in the amount of $300,000 from the Federal Transit Administration (80% FTA) and from the Transportation Fund for Clean Air (20% TFCA) for this project, and these funds have been included in the FY 05/06 Bus Division Capital Budget.  The remaining grant funds budgeted for this project will be used for installation costs associated with the purchase of the bicycle racks.  A copy of the report, with attachment, is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Chair Brown inquired regarding the installation of additional stationary bicycle racks at Golden Gate Transit bus stops and transit hubs, noting that he had recently observed overcrowded bicycle racks at the San Rafael Transit Center.  He suggested that the County of Marin could perhaps contribute funding for additional bicycle racks.  In response, Susan Chiaroni stated that there is a current project to install such racks at the San Rafael Transit Center.  She further stated that the District will contact the County of Marin to inquire about the County’s availability of funds for the purchase of additional bike racks for other service areas throughout Marin County.

 

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

RECOMMENDATION

The Transportation Committee recommends that the Board of Directors authorize award of Contract No. 2006-BT-6, Luggage Bay Bicycle Racks, to Sportworks, Woodinville, WA, as a sole source, in an amount not to exceed $200,000, for the purchase of 54 MCI luggage bay bicycle racks; with the understanding that requisite funds (80% Federal Transit Administration/20% Transportation Fund for Clean Air grant funded) are available in the FY 05/06 Bus Division Capital Budget.

Action by the Board - None Required

Non-Consent Calendar

AYES (7):           Chair Brown; Vice Chair Shahum; Directors Cochran, Kerns, Moylan and Pahre; President Middlebrook (Ex Officio)

NOES (0):           None

ABSENT (1):      Director Murray

 

[Note:    The above recommendation was forwarded to the Board of Directors meeting of October 14, 2005, for action.]
     
3.

Grant Authority to the General Manager to Approve Requests for Special Event Ferry Service to and from Larkspur Ferry Terminal and SBC Park and Amend Master Ordinance 2005

 

In a memorandum to Committee, Deputy General Manager/Ferry Division James Swindler and General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided staff’s recommendation regarding a proposed amendment to Master Ordinance 2005 to grant authority to the General Manager to approve requests for special event ferry service to and from Larkspur Ferry Terminal and SBC Park.  The report stated that the District receives several requests throughout the year to operate ferry service to SBC Park for a variety of special events.  Currently, the Master Ordinance specifies that Board approval is required to grant these requests. 

In order to process requests more efficiently and to allow maximum time to market the service, it is recommended that the General Manager be granted authority to approve such requests.  The report outlined the specific guidelines that would be used before granting requests for special event ferry service, as follows:

1.           Sufficient public interest in the event has been expressed and a demonstrated advantage exists for patrons to use the ferry to attend the event. 

2.           The service will generate sufficient revenues to at least cover the operating costs including:  fuel, labor, docking fees, and any other miscellaneous costs, including administration, security and overtime.

3.           Advertising and marketing costs, if needed, will be covered in the cost of the fare. 

4.           The service will not impact regularly scheduled commute or SBC Park baseball service.

5.           The fare for these special events will be the same special event fare set for the SBC Park baseball games, as established by the Board on a periodic basis.

The report further stated that the total cost to operate one round-trip is generally $4,900, based on an eight-hour day with a crew of five.  Therefore, the District needs to sell approximately 350 round-trip tickets to break even on special event ferry service.  The report noted that an average of 340 tickets per concert were sold for two Dave Matthews concerts held at SBC Park in August 2005, and that an average of 450 round-trip tickets were sold for each of two Rolling Stones concerts in 2002.  The report further noted that when more than 350 tickets are sold for a single special event, it results in additional revenue for the District.  A copy of the staff report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Celia Kupersmith stated that over the past several years there has been an increasing interest in the District providing ferry service for special events at SBC Park.  She further stated that this proposed change to the Master Ordinance will streamline the process.  James Swindler proceeded to summarize the staff report for the Committee. 

Discussion ensued, including the following:

 

  • Director Shahum inquired as to whether the SBC Park management would provide promotional opportunities for the District to advertise special event ferry service to events at SBC Park.  In response, Mr. Swindler stated that the District does work with individual concert promoters and ticket vendors to seek such promotional opportunities.

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

RECOMMENDATION

The Transportation Committee recommends that the Board of Directors grant authority to the General Manager to approve requests for special event ferry service to and from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal and SBC Park, with the understanding that such requests will be granted only when: (1) it has been established that there is sufficient interest in the event by the public; (2) the revenue generated will, at a minimum, cover all costs to provide the service, including any marketing and advertising costs; (3) the service will not impact regularly scheduled commute or SBC Park service; and, (4) the fare for the event will be equal to that charged for SBC Park baseball events; and, amend Master Ordinance 2005 accordingly.

Action by the Board - None Required

Non-Consent Calendar

AYES (7):           Chair Brown; Vice Chair Shahum; Directors Cochran, Kerns, Moylan and Pahre; President Middlebrook (Ex Officio)

NOES (0):           None

ABSENT (1):      Director Murray

 

[Note:    The above recommendation was forwarded to the Board of Directors meeting of October 14, 2005, for action.]
     
4.

Status Report on Bus Route 66, Muir Woods Shuttle Service

 In a memorandum to Committee, Principal Planner Ron Downing, Director of Planning Alan Zahradnik and General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided a status report on Bus Route 66, a summertime demonstration shuttle service to the Muir Woods recreation area in southern Marin County.  The report stated that in March 2005, the District was asked by Marin County Department of Public Works to submit a proposal and cost estimate for the operation of a demonstration shuttle service by Golden Gate Transit (GGT) to Muir Woods during the weekends and holidays from May 28, 2005, to September 5, 2005. The Board of Directors, by Resolution No. 2005-034 at its meeting of April 22, 2005, approved execution of a service agreement with the County of Marin to undertake this demonstration shuttle service project.

The demonstration project will be funded by the federal government for up to three years, with the primary goal to reduce automobile traffic along State Route 1 (Shoreline Highway) and at the Muir Woods parking lots.  The total cost for this summer’s demonstration project was $103,514.  The District provided the marketing materials and outreach and the County of Marin provided bus leasing costs.  Two 30-foot coaches were used to operate Bus Route 66, which consisted of 15 bus trips between Marin City and Muir Woods, operating every 30 minutes between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., with service every 90 minutes between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. 

The report described the ridership patterns for the service, noting that those ridership patterns varied greatly throughout the demonstration period.  Ridership was modest at the beginning of the summer, with as few as 100 total passenger trips per day, and the passenger demand increased to 300-400 passenger trips per day by July, for a total of 10,000 passenger trips for the entire demonstration period.  The holiday weekends throughout the summer attracted the highest number of riders, and weather was a major factor in determining ridership.  The highest ridership was recorded over the July 23-24 weekend, with 646 trips on Saturday, July 23, 2005, and 507 on Sunday, July 24, 2005.  The report stated that backup buses were added to the schedule to handle the additional demand.  In mid-summer, The National Park Service introduced variable message signs along U.S. Highway 101 informing motorists that the Muir Woods parking lots were full, which also contributed to increased ridership.  The report noted that ridership surveys showed that 71% of trips on Bus Route 66 were diverted from automobiles and approximately 25% of the visitors to Muir Woods who took the shuttle were staying at hotels in downtown San Francisco.

The report discussed planning efforts for summer 2006 for this demonstration shuttle service project, noting that consideration is being given to several potential service improvements, including changes to the route and span of service, using a slightly larger bus, and development of a reservation system to better manage demand.  The report stated that there have been requests for Bus Route 66 service to be extended to the Sausalito Ferry Terminal, and to provide service to Muir Beach along the route to Muir Woods.  Staff will review these requests for next year’s service plan, as well as test a 35-foot bus with higher seating capacity.

The report noted that the first year demonstration of providing shuttle service to Muir Woods has been a success, resulting in reduced automobile travel and increased travel options for non-drivers.  It is anticipated that the 2006 service plan will be finalized over the next two to three months, in order to provide adequate time to secure additional buses that will be needed, and staff will present a new service and funding agreement for Board approval in February or March 2006.  A copy of the staff report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Ron Downing summarized the staff report and highlighted the success of the demonstration project.  He noted that passenger demand on Bus Route 66 was higher in the afternoons, when large numbers of people were leaving Muir Woods at the same time.  He also noted that 90% of surveyed passengers stated that they were very happy with the shuttle service.  He further stated that this successful demonstration project generated good will in the surrounding southern Marin County community and with the National Park Service.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Director Reilly inquired as to how the reservation system would work.  In response, Mr. Downing stated that an effective reservation system would require personnel resources stationed at the bus stops in Marin City, Manzanita and Muir Woods, and that additional resources would need to be identified for these staffing needs.
  • Director Shahum inquired as to which agency would make the decision to continue the demonstration shuttle service project.  In response, Mr. Downing stated that the County of Marin has been allocated federal grant funding, limited to three years, for this project.  He further stated that the County would need to determine how the Bus Route 66 shuttle service could be permanently funded and absorbed into its service plan in order to continue the service after three years.

Action by the Board - None Required

     
5.

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 August 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 2, 2005, meeting of the Marin County Transit District;
Copies of the above-listed items are available in the Office of the District Secretary.
     
6.

Public Comment

 

There was no public comment.
     
7.

Adjournment

All business having been concluded, the meeting was adjourned at 10:25 a.m.
     

Respectfully submitted,

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

Transportation Committee