August 23, 2007
(For Board: September 14, 2007)

 

REPORT OF THE BUILDING AND OPERATING COMMITTEE/
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

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

Honorable Members:

A meeting of the Building and Operating Committee/Committee of the Whole was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, California, on Thursday, August 23, 2007, at 10:00 a.m., Chair Eddie presiding.

Committee Members Present (7): Chair Eddie; Vice Chair Reilly; Directors Boro, Hernández, Middlebrook and Stroeh; President Moylan (Ex Officio)
Committee Members Absent (1): Director Ammiano
Other Directors Present (4): Directors Cochran, Grosboll, Newhouse Segal and Pahre

Committee of the Whole Members Present (11): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Hernández, Middlebrook, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Reilly and Stroeh; First Vice President Boro; President Moylan
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (7): Directors Brown, Dufty, Kerns, McGlashan, McGoldrick and Sandoval; Second Vice President Ammiano

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

Staff Present: District Engineer and Acting General Manager 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 and Development Teri W. Mantony; Director of Planning Alan R. Zahradnik; Senior Planner Maurice Palumbo; Property Development & Management Specialist Norma Jellison; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko; Assistant Clerk of the Board Patsy Whala

Visitors Present: Robert Beck, Senior Program Manager, Transbay Joint Powers Authority; John Diamante, Threshold Environmental Center

 

   
1.

Status Report on the District’s San Francisco Dispatch and Bus Storage Facility

In a report to Committee, Director of Planning Alan Zahradnik and General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided an informational report on the status of the District’s San Francisco Dispatch and Bus Storage Facility. The report stated that, since the initiation of Golden Gate Transit (GGT) transbay commute bus service in 1972, and until 2003 the District has leased property near the Transbay Bus Terminal (TBT) at First and Mission Streets for midday storage of buses operated into downtown San Francisco in the morning peak period, and dispatched back to Marin and Sonoma counties in the evening peak period. Since 2003, the District has had to move farther from TBT and currently leases property at 8th and Harrison Streets at a cost of approximately $1 million per year. The lease expires in 2012.

The report also stated that, since 1999 and with a goal of securing a permanent site for its bus facility in downtown San Francisco, District staff has participated in regional efforts, led by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and later the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), to develop a new Transbay Terminal Center (TTC) on the site of the existing TBT. After five years of study, culminating in a Final Environmental Impact Report, TJPA received approval from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to move forward with TTC design and implementation. The approved TTC plan includes bus dispatch/storage facilities for GGT and Alameda/Contra Costa (AC) Transit on property that will be available after State of California, Department of Transportation’s (Caltrans) completion of the seismic retrofit of the west approach to the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge. Since 2005, staff has participated in the TJPA’s Technical Advisory Committee for the design of the new TTC and bus-related support facilities, including the District’s dispatch/bus storage facility.

The report further stated that, in September 2006, TJPA prepared a detailed conceptual design of the proposed GGT bus dispatch/storage facility, and that this design effort has revealed a number of issues affecting the District’s eventual use, prompting staff to bring these issues to the attention of TJPA and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) staffs. The issues include the following: 1) potential reduction of bus storage capacity, access and circulation due to the new freeway seismic support columns, and a proposed sound wall and public parking proposed in the EIR; 2) relocation of the proposed light rail portal blocking the 4th Street entrance to the bus facility; and, 3) operating and traffic impacts from the at-grade, rather than ramp over, 3rd Street bus exit. In addition, the San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic has expressed concerns about traffic circulation patterns around the District’s proposed facility identified in the approved TTC plan.

In conclusion, District staff is working closely with TJPA and MTA staffs to resolve these issues in a manner that can effectively accommodate the District’s bus dispatch/storage facility. A copy of the report is available from the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.


At the meeting, Alan Zahradnik summarized the staff report, and provided a brief historical summary of the various San Francisco bus lot locations. He described the challenges that have surfaced now that a detailed conceptual design process is underway for the future site of GGT’s bus storage facility to be located under the Interstate 80 freeway between 3rd and 4th Streets. He introduced Principal Planner Maurice Palumbo, who is working with Real Estate Specialist Norma Jellison and Engineering Department staff on securing property for a downtown San Francisco GGT bus facility.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Director Stroeh inquired regarding the District’s efforts to surmount the challenges associated with securing property for a downtown San Francisco GGT bus facility. In response, Mr. Zahradnik stated that staff is actively communicating with the various agencies involved with the TTC project to ensure that commitments previously made are honored regarding the District’s critical need for a bus facility in downtown San Francisco. Mr. Mulligan noted that some of the challenges are more firm than others, providing the example that the proposal by MTA to relocate the light rail portal has not yet received environmental clearance and that the District will clearly communicate the access needs for its proposed 4th Street facility during the environmental process.
  • Director Grosboll inquired as to whether the District would be obligated to purchase, rather than lease, the land for a new downtown San Francisco GGT bus facility. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that the land would be leased rather than purchased, and that the District is envisioning a 99-year lease with Caltrans at a nominal cost, which has yet to be negotiated. He further explained that the State of California is currently grappling with the issue of transit operators being able to park buses on state-owned right-of-way at nominal cost, and that the California Transportation Commission has not yet modified their air-space lease policy to allow such uses of state-owned right-of-way at the local level.
  • Director Cochran inquired as to the number of buses that GGT would need to park at the downtown San Francisco bus facility. In response, Mr. Zahradnik stated that since GGT will be seeking a permanent bus facility, staff is taking into consideration the highest possible future space needs to accommodate approximately 110 to 120 forty-foot buses.
  • Director Reilly inquired as to whether AC Transit is facing the same challenges in securing a downtown San Francisco bus facility. In response, Mr. Zahradnik stated that AC Transit operates its buses differently; therefore, do not have the same needs for space as GGT to park buses in downtown San Francisco.
  • Director Newhouse Segal made the following inquiries:
    • She inquired regarding the annual costs to park buses at the current downtown San Francisco bus facility at 8th and Harrison Streets. In response, Mr. Zahradnik explained that the current lease costs $1 million per year, and that GGT incurs additional operational expenses for fuel and driver costs due to the longer distance that GGT buses must travel between the facility at 8th and Harrison Streets and the passenger bus stops located near the TBT.
    • She inquired if staff has explored other possible sites to park GGT buses. In response, Mr. Zahradnik stated that Caltrans had also offered the District an alternative bus facility site on Vermont Street near Potrero Hill. Mr. Mulligan stated that the Vermont Street site would not serve the District’s needs for a variety of reasons, such as space constraints due to the elevated freeway footings at the site and the long distance from downtown San Francisco. Mr. Mulligan also noted that the City and County of San Francisco’s Transit First policy may have bearing on the availability of vacant land in downtown San Francisco for GGT bus parking.
  • President Moylan inquired as to the space available at the current 8th and Harrison facility compared with the proposed downtown San Francisco bus facility. In response, Mr. Zahradnik stated that the current facility is relatively spacious, with approximately four acres available to park buses. He further stated that the proposed facility on 4th Street would be smaller, although the total available space will be determined once the detailed conceptual design process is complete.
  • Director Boro suggested that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors be briefed on the situation regarding downtown San Francisco bus facility with respect to the City’s Transit First policy, and the importance of reducing the distance that GGT buses need to travel between its bus facility and downtown bus stops.
  • Chair Eddie suggested that GGT could share some of the space used by AC Transit to store its buses in downtown San Francisco.

Action by the Board – None Required

   
2.

Authorize Competitive Negotiation Process for the Procurement of Contract No. 2008-MD-1, Advanced Communication and Information System

In a report to Committee, Director of Planning Alan Zahradnik, Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary Witt, Deputy General Manager/Bus Division Susan Chiaroni and General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided staff’s recommendation that the Board of Directors find that a sealed low-bid process for the purchase of the replacement radio communications system and new Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) is not adequate for the District’s needs, and that the Board authorize a competitive negotiation process for the procurement of Contract No. 2008-MD-1, Advanced Communication and Information System, in accordance with the District’s Procurement Manual and state law.

As background, the Board of Directors, by Resolution No. 2006-082 at its meeting of October 27, 2006, authorized execution of a Professional Services Agreement with Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) to design and assist the District in procuring a comprehensive communications and information system to replace the District’s aging radio and dispatch communications equipment and add new capabilities for improving fleet and service management. BAH has developed functional and performance specifications for a replacement communications and new information systems necessary to support voice and data traffic and new ITS applications.

The report stated that, in accordance with the District’s Procurement Manual, Section V.O., “Competitive Negotiations for Technology Equipment and Rolling Stock,” the District may purchase electronic equipment and apparatus used in transit operations through competitive negotiations in lieu of formal competitive bidding pursuant to Public Code Sections 20216 and 20217. By utilizing the competitive negotiation, the District will have flexibility as relates to the selection process, including price, technical experience and past performance in order to secure services that are most advantageous to the District. The District has successfully used a competitive negotiation process for its advanced technology systems and the trend has been for transportation agencies to convert to this method. Other transit agencies that have successfully procured similar advanced technology systems using the competitive negotiation method include AC Transit, Livermore-Amador Valley Transit Authority, and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

There is no fiscal impact associated with this item at this time. This project is included in the FY 07/08 Bus Transit Division Capital Budget at a total cost of $10 million, including equipment, computer hardware and software, ITS applications, and vendor installation and support. This project is funded with 80% federal funds and 20% District funds. A copy of the report is available from the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Alan Zahradnik summarized the staff report, noting that the recommended competitive negotiation process is similar to that approved by the Board of Directors for the FasTrak® equipment replacement project. He also stated that the radio replacement project also meets the definition for a competitive negotiation process. He further stated that the design phase of the project is nearing completion, and that the procurement phase is ready to begin.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Director Hernández expressed her support for pursuing the competitive negotiation process, when appropriate, for other types of bids and proposals issued by the District. She also expressed her willingness to participate in discussions related to broadening the District’s use of the competitive negotiation process.
  • Attorney Miller described the regulations in the District’s Procurement Manual pertaining to the competitive negotiation process, which ensure that the integrity of the procurement process is maintained. He stated that these regulations deal with conflict of interest, disclosure of price, preparation of a price analysis, as well as a variety of other protections, so that in addition to the flexibility associated with this type of procurement, there are also safeguards to the integrity of the competitive negotiation process.

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

RECOMMENDATION

The Building and Operating Committee recommends that the Board of Directors authorize a competitive negotiation process for the procurement of Contract No. 2008-MD-1, Advanced Communication and Information System, in accordance with the District’s Procurement Manual and state law, for the purchase of the replacement radio communications system and new Intelligent Transportation Systems; with the understanding that requisite funds (80% Federal/20% District) are available in the FY 07/08 Bus Transit Division Capital Budget.

Action by the Board – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (11): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Hernández, Middlebrook, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Reilly and Stroeh; First Vice President Boro; President Moylan
NOES (0): None

   
3.

Status Report from District Appointees on Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) Board

The Committee was provided with a copy of the agenda for the July 18, 2007, meeting and the minutes of the February 21, 2007 and the June 20, 2007, meeting of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART). Copies of these items are available in the Office of the District Secretary, as well as on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Chair Eddie, one of the District’s representatives on the SMART Board of Directors (SMART Board), reported on the status of North Coast Railroad Authority’s (NCRA) plans to reopen freight service on a portion of the SMART railroad right-of-way, as well as the ongoing discussions as to whether NCRA would have its freight service comply with the parameters of SMART’s Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

Public Comment

John Diamante expressed his concerns regarding the future of passenger rail service, as well as freight service, in the North Bay.

Action by the Board – None Required

   
4.

Status Report on Engineering Projects

In a memorandum to Committee, Deputy District Engineer Ewa Z. Bauer, District Engineer Denis Mulligan and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on current engineering projects. A copy of the report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

Action by the Board – None Required

   
5.

Public Comment

Public comment was received relative to Agenda Item No. 3, Status Report from District Appointees on Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) Board, as noted above.

   
6.

Adjournment

All business having been concluded, the meeting was declared adjourned at 10:40 a.m.

   

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ James C. Eddie, Chair
Building and Operating Committee