November 13, 2009

 

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, November 13, 2009, at 10:00 a.m., Chair Brown presiding.

Committee Members Present (9): Chair Brown; Vice Chair Cochran; Directors Eddie, McGlashan, Moylan, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Sanders and Stroeh.
Chair Brown appointed Directors Eddie, Moylan, Newhouse Segal, Sanders and Stroeh Pro-Tem Members for this meeting only.
Committee Members Absent (5): Directors Grosboll, Kerns, Snyder and Sobel; President Boro (Ex Officio)

Committee of the Whole Members Present: (10): Directors Brown, Campos, Cochran, McGlashan, Moylan, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Sanders and Stroeh; Second Vice President Eddie
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (9): Directors Chu, Dufty, Elsbernd, Grosboll, Kerns, Snyder and Sobel; First Vice President Reilly; President Boro

Staff Present: General Manager Celia G. Kupersmith; Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire; District Engineer Denis Mulligan; Secretary of the District Janet S. Tarantino; Attorney David J. Miller; Attorney Madeline Chun; Deputy General Manager/Ferry Transit Division James P. Swindler; Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Z. Wayne Johnson; Acting Executive Assistant to the General Manager Sonia Pedlar; Assistant Clerk of the Board Lona Franklin

Visitors Present: None

 

     
1. Report of the District Advisory Committees
     
  a.

Advisory Committee on Accessibility (ACA)

The agenda for the October 15, 2009, meeting, and the Minutes of the September 17, 2009, 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 (BPAC)

There was no meeting of the Bus Passengers Advisory Committee in October 2009.

   
  c.

Ferry Passengers Advisory Committee (FPAC)

The agenda for the October 19, 2009, meeting, and the Revised Notes of the September 14, 2009, 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.

Status Report on New Golden Gate Transit (GGT) Fareboxes

Ms. Kupersmith reported that this item has been postponed, and will be agendized on the January 7, 2009 meeting of this Committee.

     
3.

Approve Actions Relative to Changes to the Fare Coordination Agreement with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

In a memorandum to Committee, Director of Planning Alan Zahradnik, Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Z. Wayne Johnson and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’s recommendation to approve actions relative to changes to the Fare Coordination Agreement with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), as follows:

     
  1. Execute a Passenger Transfer Agreement with the SFMTA to provide for a reciprocal 50-cent TransLink® transfer credit for adult fares paid to San Francisco Muni (SF Muni) by passengers transferring from Golden Gate Ferry (GGF) and Golden Gate Bus (GGB), and for adult fares paid to Golden Gate by passengers transferring from SF Muni to GGF and GGB, effective February 1, 2010; and,
     
  2.

Amend Section III.D.2 of the District’s Master Ordinance to add the following:

“Passengers presenting a valid TransLink® transfer from SF Muni will be granted credit toward the payment of TransLink® fare on GGT bus and ferry services in the amount of 50 cents for adults, or 25 cents for youth, seniors and persons with disabilities.”

     
 

In addition, the staff report stated that SFMTA Executive Director Nathaniel Ford provided a letter dated August 26, 2009, copy attached, notifying the District of discontinuance of the SFMTA’s practice of providing free round-trip Muni tickets to Golden Gate Ferry riders, effective January 1, 2010. The staff report stated that the SFMTA proposes to replace the free tickets with a 50-cent transfer credit available to GGF and GGB bus riders using TransLink® and then pay their SF Muni fare. The staff report noted that MTA stated it was taking this action after reviewing all its existing inter-agency transfer agreements and to create a more equitable and consistent policy across all operators who link with the SF Muni.

The staff report stated that a new Passenger Transfer Agreement was developed by District and MTA staffs to replace existing agreements. The transfer credit would be restricted to full $2.00-fare-paying adults only. SF Muni riders using local passes would receive no transfer credit, and youth, seniors and persons with disabilities would receive no transfer credit on their already discounted fare. The staff report noted that District staff requested a larger discount, but were informed that the proposal for a Golden Gate transfer to SF Muni is the same as the current arrangement with the Bay Area Rapid Transit District.

The staff report stated that District staff proposes providing passengers transferring from SF Muni to GGT buses and ferries using TransLink® a 50-cent credit on adult cash fares and a 25-cent credit on youth, senior and disabled fares. The staff report stated that TransLink® expects the earliest implementation date to be February 1, 2010. The staff report estimated that 52,000 adult passenger fares would be reduced by 50 cents and 3,000 youth/senior/disabled passenger fares would be reduced by 25 cents, and revenue loss annually would approximate $27,000.00. While ferry ridership and fare revenue may decline due to the higher combined fares, the discounts would be provided for TransLink® customers only, who represent only 6% of ferry riders. Because the net result for GGT bus riders is reduced fares, ridership could increase, partially offsetting a loss in ferry ridership.

A copy of the staff report, along with its two attachments (Proposed Page 33 of the 2009 Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Master Ordinance and a copy of a letter from SFMTA dated August 26, 2009), is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

[Director Campos arrived at this time.]

At the meeting, Mr. Zahradnik reported that ferry riders have enjoyed the convenience and affordability of free transfers to and from SF Muni since the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. In exchange for the loss of free transfers for TransLink® customers, SF Muni now proposes the transfer credit. Staff recommends that the District reciprocate by providing a return trip transfer credit for TransLink® customers, and that Master Ordinance 2009 be amended accordingly.

Ms. Kupersmith stated that, since the staff report was published, the District was informed that the SFMTA would not be taking up action on this matter until January 2010, so the transfer credits will not be put into effect until March 1, 2010. She provided background information about the original source of the free transfers, stating that, at its inception, it was not intended to be a permanent arrangement and that it has continued longer than originally planned.

Staff recommended and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors STROEH/McGLASHAN to forward the following recommendation to the Board of Directors, including the change in the effective date from February 1, 2010 to March 1, 2010, for its consideration:

RECOMMENDATION

The Transportation Committee recommends that the Board of Directors approve actions relative to changes to the Fare Coordination Agreement with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA):

  1.

Execute a Passenger Transfer Agreement with the SFMTA to provide for a reciprocal 50-cent TransLink® transfer credit for adult fares paid to San Francisco Muni (SF Muni) by passengers transferring from Golden Gate Ferry and Golden Gate Bus, and for adult fares paid to Golden Gate by passengers transferring from SF Muni to Golden Gate ferries and Golden Gate Transit buses, effective March 1, 2010; and,

  2.

Amend Section III.D.2., INTER-OPERATOR TRANSFERS, of Master Ordinance 2009 by adding Subsection “e,” as follows: “Passengers presenting a valid TransLink® transfer from SF Muni will be granted credit toward the payment of TransLink® fare on Golden Gate Transit bus and ferry services in the amount of 50 cents for adults, or 25 cents for youth, seniors and persons with disabilities.”

Action by the Board at its meeting of November 20, 2009 – Ordinance
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

     
  AYES (10): Directors Brown, Campos, Cochran, McGlashan, Moylan, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Sanders and Stroeh; Second Vice President Eddie
NOES (0): None
     
4.

Monthly Report on Activities Related to Marin Local Service Contract with the 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:

  a.
Revised spreadsheets from the Planning Department outlining GGT bus service performance of both District regional routes and Marin Transit local routes, for the month of September, 2009; and,
  b.
A spreadsheet from the Auditor-Controller outlining the history of payments made from July, 2009 to November, 2009 by Marin Transit to the District for intra-county bus transit services in Marin County.
     
 
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:
  a. Marin Transit Agenda for October 19, 2009, Board Meeting;
  b. Marin Transit Minutes for September 21, 2009, Board Meeting;
  c. Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) Board Meeting Agenda for October 22, 2009;
  d. TAM Board Meeting Minutes for September 24, 2009;
  e. TAM Executive Committee Agenda for October 12, 2009, Meeting; and
  f. TAM Executive Committee Minutes of September 14, 2009, Meeting
 

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

Discussion ensued, including the following inquiry:

  • Director Cochran made the following comments and inquiries:
    • He inquired as to whether the Marin County Transit District (MCTD) was in arrears since the end of August. In response, Ms. Kupersmith acknowledged they were. Further, Mr. Wire elaborated, stating that two matters are pertinent. First, the FY 08/09 True Up will require that they remit amounts due by year end. Second, new staff is now responsible for this item, and as a result, there is a learning curve for the newly hired staff members. The District has been in communication with the MCTD staff, and has been told that monthly payments of $644,000.00 will resume.
    • He commented that many people in Marin County are dependent upon bus service. He stated his hope is that the needs of Marin County bus riders who depend upon the service as their only means of transportation would be very seriously considered by the MCTD when decisions about cuts are made.
  • Chair Brown commented that the MCTD is cutting 6 to 8 per cent of its service, but at the present time is not in a weak financial condition.

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 10:15 a.m.

   
   

 

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Harold C. Brown, Chair
Transportation Committee