July 12, 2007
(For Board: July 27, 2007)

 

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, July 12, 2007, at 10:00 a.m., Chair Brown presiding.

Committee Members Present (9): Chair Brown; Vice Chair Kerns; Directors Cochran, Grosboll, McGlashan, Middlebrook, Newhouse Segal and Pahre; President Moylan (Ex Officio)
Committee Members Absent (0): None
Other Directors Present (3): Directors Boro, Eddie and Stroeh

Committee of the Whole Members Present (12): Directors Brown, Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Kerns, McGlashan, Middlebrook, Newhouse Segal, Pahre and Stroeh; First Vice President Boro; President Moylan
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (7): Directors Dufty, Hernández, Martini, McGoldrick, Reilly and Sandoval; Second Vice President Ammiano

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; Division Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary H. Witt; Division Deputy General Manager/Bus Division Susan C. Chiaroni; Division Deputy General Manager/Ferry Division James P. Swindler; Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Teri W. Mantony; Public Affairs Director Mary C. Currie; Director of Planning Alan R. Zahradnik; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko; Assistant Clerk of the Board Patsy L. Whala

Visitors Present: None

 

     
1. Report of the District Advisory Committees
     
  a.

Advisory Committee on Accessibility (ACA)

The agenda for the June 21, 2007, meeting, and the minutes of the May 17, 2007, meeting, of the Advisory Committee on Accessibility were 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

The agenda for the June 20, 2007, meeting, and the minutes of the April 25, 2007, meeting, of the Advisory Committee on Accessibility 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 agenda for the June 13, 2007, meeting, and the minutes of the May 2, 2007, meeting, 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.

Staff Report on District Participation in the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Regional Transportation Plan 2035 Visioning Process

In a memorandum to Committee, Director of Planning Alan Zahradnik, Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Teri Mantony and General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided a status report regarding the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC’s) efforts to develop its Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) update for 2035. The report stated that the MTC will be developing a variety of transit expansion vision scenarios, envisioned without financial constraints, and then evaluating the performance of these scenarios relative to RTP’s Goals and Measures, such as reduction of congestion, air emissions and vehicle miles traveled. This evaluation would be conducted using the MTC Regional Travel Model to generate forecasts of travel and mode choice for 2035.

The report also stated that one of these scenarios for RTP evaluation is a Regional Express Bus Network, which will incorporate Golden Gate Transit (GGT) transbay commute bus services. At this time, District Planning Department staff is suggesting that MTC’s consultant consider a scenario that restores and enhances GGT transbay bus routes to levels operated in the early 1980s, when GGT experienced its highest ridership.

The report further stated that in addition to express bus services, MTC has engaged the region’s transit planners in the development of an expanded local and regional network of buses operating on major arterials and highways. District Planning Department staff is working with Marin, Sonoma and San Francisco planning staffs and MTC staff to define this “all-day” bus service. GGT regional transbay basic bus routes 10, 70 and 80, which fall into this category, currently offer hourly service, and it is suggested that 30-minute service be restored in the MTC planning scenario.

The report noted that the MTC is also developing a rail/ferry expansion scenario using existing plans with the proposed Sonoma Marin Area Rapid Transit (SMART) passenger rail service in the U.S. Highway 101 corridor and the San Francisco Bay Area Water Transit Authority (WTA) plans for regional ferry services. District staff has consulted with WTA staff and is recommending to the MTC that its RTP ferry scenario include the enhancement of the District’s Larkspur- and Sausalito-to-San Francisco ferry services , as well as facility and access improvements at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal. The report also noted that there is no fiscal impact associated with this informational report, since development of transit expansion scenarios for regional planning analysis and evaluation does not constitute a commitment to fund any additional transit services. A copy of the report is available from the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Celia Kupersmith summarized the staff report, noting that the MTC asked the District to envision how GGT bus and ferry services would look like in the future if there were no financial constraints placed on such expansion. She informed the Committee that in her response to MTC, she stated that the District would like to continue to be a part of the transportation solution in the U.S. Highway 101 corridor, with the recognition that GGT bus and ferry services alone will not solve the congestion problems in the U.S. Highway 101 Corridor.

Action by the Board – None Required

[Note: With the arrival of Directors Boro, Kerns and McGlashan, the Committee became a Committee of the Whole.]

     
3.

Approve Actions Relative to the Provision of Additional Golden Gate Transit Bus and Ferry Services to be Operated Over the 2007 Labor Day Weekend

In a memorandum to Committee, Director of Planning Alan Zahradnik, Deputy General Manager/Ferry Division James Swindler, Deputy General Manager/Bus Division Susan Chiaroni, Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Teri Mantony and General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided staff’s recommendation to approve actions relative to the provision of additional bus and ferry transit services to be operated over the 2007 Labor Day weekend. The report stated that staff has been contacted by the MTC regarding the scheduled closure of both directions of the Bay Bridge over the Labor Day weekend. The MTC is preparing a traffic mitigation program for the expected diversion of traffic from that busy corridor to other bridges, including the Richmond-San Rafael and the Golden Gate bridges. The report noted that the Bay Bridge was closed over Labor Day weekend in 2006 in one direction only, resulting in traffic congestion on the Golden Gate Bridge. The MTC has advised District staff that it will reimburse the District for any monies associated with extra services the District provides over the 2007 Labor Day weekend.

The report also stated that, coinciding with the Labor Day weekend closure of the Bay Bridge, is the annual Sausalito Arts Festival. Staff has been contacted by representatives of the Sausalito Arts Festival and the City of Sausalito regarding the need for additional ferry services to alleviate traffic congestion to and from the Sausalito Arts Festival. The report noted that the District has been advised by both the MTC and the Sausalito Arts Festival that they will reimburse the District for any extra transit services it provides over the Labor Day weekend.

The report described the proposal to operate additional Golden Gate Transit (GGT) bus and ferry services over the Labor Day weekend, as follows:

  1. Add extra buses on Route 42 operating between El Cerrito and Richmond BART stations and the Larkspur Ferry Terminal (LFT). Currently on weekends and holidays, Route 42 operates every hour between the BART stations and San Rafael Transit Center (SRTC) from about 7:00 a.m. to midnight. Staff proposes adding two buses and four day-off drivers to operate additional service that would serve the LFT instead of SRTC. The existing service would continue to stop at SRTC. Estimated cost of the added service is $20,500 for the three days. No changes to the existing bus fare structure are required.
  2. Operate an additional ferry between LFT and the San Francisco Ferry Terminal (SFFT). Currently on weekends and holidays, the Larkspur ferry operates nine crossings each day, about every two hours, between 9:40 a.m. and 7:50 p.m. Staff proposes adding one ferry and one day-off crew to provide hourly service between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Estimated cost of the added service is $18,000 for the three days. No changes to the existing ferry fare structure are required.
  3. Operate an additional ferry between LFT and SFFT via the Sausalito ferry landing. Currently on weekends and holidays, the Sausalito ferry operates 13 crossings about every 90 minutes between 10:40 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Staff proposes adding one ferry and one day-off crew to provide hourly service between 9:40 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. In addition, with this same extra vessel and crew, the service would be extended from Sausalito to LFT. In this manner, a new special event service would be created between Larkspur and Sausalito for the Sausalito Arts Festival. Estimated cost of the added service between Larkspur, Sausalito and San Francisco is $13,994 for the three days. No changes to the existing ferry fare structure are required for the Sausalito-to-San Francisco portion of the proposal.

The report further stated that in order to set a fare for this proposed special event ferry service between Larkspur and Sausalito, staff recommends conducting a public hearing in accordance with the Rules of the Board, to receive public comment on the proposed round-trip special event fare of $7.00. Staff recommends that the above-listed additional bus and ferry services be approved, and that a public hearing be set for Friday, July 27, 2007, in the Board Room, to receive public comment relative to a proposed round-trip fare of $7.00 for Golden Gate Ferry special event service between Larkspur and Sausalito over the Labor Day weekend for service to and from the Sausalito Arts Festival. The report noted that the estimated total cost of the extra services proposed by staff for Labor Day weekend is $52,494, and that this cost will be fully covered through a combination of passenger fare revenues and funds provided by the MTC and the Sausalito Arts Festival. A copy of the report is available from the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

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

RECOMMENDATION

The Transportation Committee recommends that the Board of Directors approve the following actions relative to the provision of additional bus and ferry transit services to be operated over the 2007 Labor Day Weekend:

  a.
Authorize additional Golden Gate Transit Bus Route 42 services and additional Larkspur- to-San Francisco and Sausalito-to-San Francisco ferry services over the Labor Day weekend as part of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) traffic mitigation program for scheduled closure of the Bay Bridge; and,
  b.
Authorize the setting of a public hearing on Friday, July 27, 2007, at 10:00 a.m., in the Board Room, Administration Building, Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza, San Francisco, CA, to receive public comment relative to a proposed round-trip fare of $7.00 for Golden Gate Ferry special event service between Larkspur and Sausalito over the Labor Day weekend for service to and from the Sausalito Arts Festival;
 

with the understanding that the cost of these additional services would be fully recovered by the combination of new fare revenue and subsidies available from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Sausalito Arts Festival.

Action by the Board – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (12): Directors Brown, Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Kerns, McGlashan, Middlebrook, Newhouse Segal, Pahre and Stroeh; First Vice President Boro; President Moylan
NOES (0): None

     
4.

Authorize Execution of an Agreement for Inter-County Paratransit Services Between the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District and the Marin County Transit District

In a memorandum to Committee, Paratransit Coordinator Cynthia B. Petersen, Director of Planning Alan R. Zahradnik, Deputy General Manager/Bus Division Susan C. Chiaroni and General Manager Celia G. Kupersmith provided staff’s recommendation to approve the FY 07/08 Agreement between the District and the Marin County Transit District (MCTD) for Inter-county Paratransit Service (FY 07/08 Paratransit Agreement). The report stated that the FY 07/08 Paratransit Agreement has been developed by the District and the MCTD staffs to continue the terms and conditions of previous Inter-county Paratransit Agreements and to reflect the principles of the Agreement for Marin Local Bus Service. The report also stated that on July 16, 2007, the MCTD approved its FY 07/08 contract with Marin Senior Coordinating Council/Whistlestop Wheels (Whistlestop) for paratransit services throughout Marin County. The FY 07/08 Paratransit Agreement between the District and the MCTD reflects the results of MCTD’s contract with Whistlestop and applies retroactively to July 1, 2007.


The report described how the paratransit costs are allocated in the FY 07/08 Paratransit Agreement between the MCTD and the District, based on the line-item budget from the paratransit contractor, Whistlestop, and based on the latest fuel cost estimates. These costs have been allocated to the MCTD and the District based on projected total hours, total miles, number of vehicles, full-time equivalent employees and passengers associated with MCTD local paratransit and District inter-county paratransit services.

The report noted that this year, the following three new pass-through operating costs have been added to the FY 07/08 Agreement: 1) Radio Service; 2) Vehicle Procurement Local Match; and, 3) Mobile Data Terminal Expense. The report further stated that the District will pay to the MCTD the amount of $1,020,559 for costs associated with the combined fixed and variable costs, as well as fuel expenses, which amount reflects a 16.8 percent increase over the District’s FY 06/07 budget for inter-county paratransit service expenses. The report further stated that the increased paratransit budget for FY 07/08 reflects a 5 percent increase in service hours over FY 06/07 services to accommodate the projected increase in demand for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandated paratransit service. The report noted that WSW has managed to achieve cost savings in the areas of facility maintenance, workers’ compensation and employee benefits, resulting in a 2.3 percent decrease in the overall WSW FY 07/08 budgeted expense. It is recommended that the Committee approve the FY 07/08 Paratransit Agreement, as described above. 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 briefly described the FY 07/08 Paratransit Agreement, noting that in contrast to the contractual relationship with the MCTD for the Agreement for Marin Local Bus Service, the District contracts with MCTD to provide paratransit service for the District.

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

RECOMMENDATION

The Transportation Committee recommends that the Board of Directors approve a 12-month Agreement with the Marin County Transit District for provision of inter-county paratransit service, effective retroactively from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008.

Action by the Board – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (12): Directors Brown, Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Kerns, McGlashan, Middlebrook, Newhouse Segal, Pahre and Stroeh; First Vice President Boro; President Moylan
NOES (0): None

     
5.

Authorize Award of RFP No. 2008-BT-1, Subscription Bus Service, to CUSA FL, LLC dba Franciscan Lines, a Coach America Company

In a memorandum to Committee, Deputy General Manager/Bus Division Susan Chiaroni and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported that since 1971, the District has offered subscription bus service (Club Bus Program) to autonomous groups of commuters (Clubs) who pre-commit to the service, set their own routes and schedules, collect their own fares and maintain essential statistics. The District contracts with charter bus operators for the benefit of the Clubs, which serve areas where there are insufficient numbers of commuters to support regular Golden Gate Transit (GGT) bus service. The report stated that the current Club Bus Program includes two Clubs: the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF) Club; and, the Valley of the Moon Sonoma Club. These Clubs pay the current contractor 70 percent of the cost to operate such service, while the District provides a subsidy of 30 percent. Currently, the District leases six of its accessible coaches to the Club Bus contractor. The current five-year subscription bus contract with Franciscan Lines expired on June 30, 2007. The District has extended the current contract for one month in accordance with the carry-over provision in the contract.

The report stated that on March 20, 2007, the District issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) No. 2008-BT-1, Subscription Bus Service, and on April 17, 2007, received two proposals. The Evaluation Committee comprised of District staff evaluated and ranked the consulting firms based on the criteria set forth in the RFP, including: 1) cost elements; 2) experience and qualifications; 3) operational plans; and, 4) maintenance plans. Based on the Evaluation Committee’s analysis of the proposals and interviews with the proposers, staff determined that CUSA FL, LLC dba Franciscan Lines (Franciscan Lines) received the highest consensus ranking. The report also stated that following negotiations with Franciscan Lines, the proposer’s final cost was reduced below both of the initial proposals.

The report further stated that staff and the Attorney for the District have reviewed Franciscan Lines’ proposal. They have determined that the contractor has submitted all the required documents and that the proposal is technically responsive to the specifications. Staff recommends award of RFP No. 2008-BT-1 to Franciscan Lines for a three-year term, with two successive one-year options exercisable by the General Manager or her designee. A copy of the report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Susan Chiaroni summarized the staff report, noting that the Club Bus Program predates GGT bus service and provides commute bus service to residents of areas that are not otherwise served by regular GGT bus service, such as the UCSF and the City of Sonoma.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Director Grosboll inquired as to why the District itself does not provide service on the Club Bus routes. In response, Ms. Chiaroni stated that it is more cost-effective for the District to provide Club Bus services under contract rather than with regular GGT bus service because the District only pays 30 percent of the operating costs and Club members pay the remaining 70 percent. She further stated that Club Bus routes operate at the same peak period commute time as GGT buses, so that the District would have to hire additional drivers and run additional buses if it were to provide the service on existing Club Bus routes. Ms. Kupersmith further explained that the Club Bus program is similar to a large vanpool program, and that there used to be a third route to Napa Valley that could resume in the future if enough Napa Valley commuters form a new Club. Ms. Kupersmith noted that in the past, there has been a great deal of discussion by the Board of Directors about eliminating the Club Bus program, particularly during the time of the 2003 GGT bus service reductions.
  • Director Middlebrook commented that GGT used to operate Route No. 90 to the City of Sonoma, but the bus route was eliminated due to low ridership. She noted that Sonoma County residents are grateful that the Club Bus exists to provide commute service to that community.
  • Director Newhouse Segal made the following comments and inquiries:

    • She inquired as to why the District is involved in the Club Bus Program. In response, Ms. Kupersmith provided background information regarding the Club Bus Program. She noted that at the time of the 2003 GGT bus service reductions, the Club Bus Program was thoroughly scrutinized and that the Board of Directors ultimately decided to continue the Club Bus Program because it provided service to member counties of the District that would not otherwise have any transit connectivity to the District.
    • She inquired regarding a termination clause in the contract with Franciscan Lines. In response, Ms. Kupersmith explained that the contract includes a termination clause in case the Board decides at a future time to eliminate the Club Bus Program, and that the District would only have to give the contractor 30 days’ notice to cancel the service, with no financial obligation on the District’s part. She noted that since the service is in place at this time, staff recommends that the District continue the Club Bus Program, because the current Club members have no other transit choices for their commute. She also stated that if the Board so chooses, staff can undertake a full examination of the Club Bus Program and provide a report at a future meeting of the Committee. She cautioned that if the Club Bus Program is eliminated, and if a potential Club Bus group were to be formed in a member county of the District, such as southern Mendocino County or Napa County, then the District would not have an existing Club Bus Program to offer them.
    • She inquired as to whether the Club Bus Program is included in the District’s Five- and Ten-Year Financial Projection. In response, Ms. Kupersmith answered in the affirmative.
  • Director Pahre commented that even though Napa County currently does not have a Club Bus route, she is supportive of the Club Bus Program because it provides service for people who would otherwise not have transit service. She also pointed out that the farebox recovery for the Club Bus routes is double the farebox recovery of any other bus GGT operates.
  • Chair Brown expressed his support of the Club Bus Program, noting that he is supportive of any transit service that takes cars off the road. He stated that he would like to see the Club Bus Program expanded in the future, and that more Marin County major employers need to be educated about the Club Bus Program as a commute alternative for their employees.

Staff recommended and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors STROEH/EDDIE 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. 2008-BT-1, Subscription Bus Service, to CUSA FL, LLC, dba Franciscan Lines, a Coach America Company, San Francisco, CA, at a net cost to the District in the estimated amount of $79,600 for the first year of the contract of a three-year term, with two successive one-year options exercisable by the General Manager or her designee at a cost set by the conditions set forth in the contract, commencing August 1, 2007, with the understanding that requisite funds (100% District) are available in the FY 07/08 Bus Transit Division Operating Budget, and that requisite funds will be included in the Bus Transit Division Operating Budget for the subsequent fiscal years.

Action by the Board – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (12): Directors Brown, Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Kerns, McGlashan, Middlebrook, Newhouse Segal, Pahre and Stroeh; First Vice President Boro; President Moylan
NOES (0): None

     
6.

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

The monthly report on activities related to the Marin Local Service contract with the Marin County Transit District (Marin Transit) was furnished to the Transportation Committee. The report included the following elements:

  1. A spreadsheet from the Planning Department outlining GGT bus service performance of both District regional routes and Marin Transit 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 months of April and May 2007; and,
  2. A spreadsheet from the Auditor-Controller outlining the history of payments made to date by Marin Transit to the District for intra-county bus transit services in Marin County, under the five-year Agreement with Marin Transit for Marin Local Bus Service, which became effective on May 1, 2006.

Due to the high volume of agendas and minutes from Marin County agencies related to this item, hard copies of those items were not provided to the Committee. Instead, electronic versions of the following items were posted on the District’s web site:

  1. Agenda of the June 18, 2007, meeting of Marin Transit;
  2. Minutes of May 21, 2007, meeting of Marin Transit;
  3. Agenda of the June 28, 2007, meeting of the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM);
  4. Minutes of the May 24, 2007, meeting of TAM;
  5. Minutes of the April 26, 2007, meeting of TAM;
  6. Agenda of the June 13, 2007, meeting of the TAM Executive Committee; and,
  7. Minutes of the May 9, 2007, meeting of the TAM Executive Committee.


Copies of all of the above-listed items are available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Ms. Kupersmith stated that following the end of FY 06/07 on June 30, 2007, District staff is currently in the process of undertaking the annual reconciliation of Marin Transit payments made to the District for intra-county bus transit services.

Action by the Board – None Required

     
7.

Public Comment

There was no public comment.

     
8.

Adjournment

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

     

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

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