May 27, 2010

 

REPORT OF THE SPECIAL MEETING OF THE
TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE/COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

 

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

Honorable Members:

A special meeting of the Transportation Committee/Committee of the Whole was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, California, on Thursday, May 27, 2010, at 10:00 a.m., Chair Brown presiding.

Committee Members Present (7): Chair Brown; Vice Chair Cochran; Directors Kerns, McGlashan, Pahre and Snyder; President Boro (Ex Officio)
Committee Members Absent (1): Directors Grosboll and Sobel
Other Directors Present (5): Directors Eddie, Moylan, Newhouse Segal, Reilly and Stroeh

Committee of the Whole Members Present (12): Directors Brown, Cochran, Kerns, McGlashan, Moylan, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Snyder and Stroeh; Second Vice President Eddie; First Vice President Reilly; President Boro (Ex Officio)
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (7): Directors Campos, Chu, Dufty, Elsbernd, Grosboll, Sanders and Sobel

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 Witt; Deputy General Manager/Bus Transit Division Teri Mantony; Deputy General Manager/Ferry Transit Division James Swindler; Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Z. Wayne Johnson; Acting Planning Director Ron Downing; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko; Assistant Clerk of the Board Lona Franklin

Visitors Present: None

   
1.

Approve Actions Relative to Changes to Golden Gate Transit Commute Bus Service

In a memorandum to Committee, Acting Planning Director Ron Downing, Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Z. Wayne Johnson, Deputy General Manager/Bus Transit Division Teri Mantony and General Manager Celia Kupersmith summarized the status of the proposal to effect changes to Golden Gate Transit (GGT) commute bus service.

The report stated that a public review process was authorized by the Board at its meeting of March 12, 2010, to receive public comment on this proposal, identified as Initiative #9 in the District’s Strategic Plan for Achieving Financial Stability (Strategic Plan), which was adopted to address the District’s $132 million five-year projected deficit. Prior to the public hearings, the proposal included modifications to Routes 24, 58, 72 and 76, and elimination of Routes 26, 44, 73 and 75. The staff report stated that, during the public review period, staff continued to collect, through field checks, data on the routes and trips proposed for cancellation. Following close of the public review period, staff evaluated the statistics again. Proposals for Routes 24, 58, 72 and 75 were not changed, whereas proposals for Route 26, 44, 73 and 76 were revised. This package includes maintaining one round trip to Sleepy Hollow on Route 27, two round trips to Lucas Valley on Route 44, one southbound trip on Route 76 between East Petaluma and the San Francisco Financial District, and three trips as Route 101X service that would replace three Route 73 trips. The staff report stated that changes to the original recommendation reflect staff’s best attempt to respond to public comment and retain required ridership levels and service coverage while meeting the financial goals of the Strategic Plan. The staff report also noted that staff examined the impact of the proposed service changes on Title VI disadvantaged communities.

It was determined that there will be no impact on disadvantaged communities if the proposed changes are implemented, because these are commute service routes oriented toward trips to and from San Francisco, rather than local trips and do not serve communities of concern. In addition, the staff report stated that possible impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act were evaluated. Analysis has shown that there are no significant environmental impacts as a result of the proposed changes because the total number of affected passengers is low and most passengers would continue to have a transit option. In addition, the staff report stated that many of the bus trips being proposed for cancellation have low ridership and that trips with low ridership do not achieve the same environmental benefit as a fully-utilized bus. Emissions are forecast to decrease 1.66 million grams per day (or 1.83 daily tons) as a result of the identified GGT commute bus trips being discontinued. The staff report concluded that, if implemented as described, the revised package of service reductions has an estimated one-year net savings impact of approximately $1.1 million, which meet the target identified under Initiative #9 of the Strategic Plan.

The revised proposal is summarized in the table below:

Revised Proposal to Eliminate Golden Gate Transit Commute Service
Low-Performing Segments, Trips or Routes

ROUTE
ACTION
SAVINGS
Route 24
(Lagunitas/Fairfax/San Francisco):
No Change. Eliminate service between Lagunitas and Fairfax/Manor (1 round trip in each peak). Alternative service is available on the West Marin Stage.
$41,200
Route 26
(Sleepy Hollow/San Francisco):
Proposal Revised: Eliminate 3 of 5 trips between Sleepy Hollow and San Anselmo Hub (not all trips as originally proposed); all remaining trips to become Route 27 instead of Route 26. Maintain existing level of service provided by Route 26 and 27 between San Anselmo Hub and San Francisco as Route 27 service.
$40,000
Route 44
(Lucas Valley/San Francisco):
Proposal Revised: Eliminate 2 southbound and 2 northbound trips (not all trips as originally proposed), while retaining 2 trips in each direction. Shorten route to begin and end at Mt. McKinley Road in Lucas Valley.
$202,000
Route 58
(Novato/Hamilton/San Francisco):
No Change. Eliminate segment to Sunset Pkwy. and Ignacio Blvd. (7 trips)
$25,500
Route 72
(Santa Rosa/San Francisco):
No Change. Eliminate direct San Francisco Civic Center service (2 trips). Alternative service is available on Route 72 Financial District service with a transfer to Route 93 shuttle service at the Toll Plaza.
$130,200
Route 73
(Santa Rosa/San Francisco):
Proposal Revised: Eliminate all Route 73 service (7 trips), but operate 2 southbound trips and 1 northbound trip as new Route 101X service (does not eliminate all trips as originally proposed). Service alternative for discontinued trips would be Route 72 or 74 Financial District service with a transfer to Route 93 shuttle service at the Toll Plaza.
$306,500
Route 75
(Santa Rosa/San Francisco):
No Change. Eliminate all service (6 trips) due to low ridership. Service alternatives would be Route 101 with a transfer to GGT Rts. 45, 49, 70 or 71 to reach final destination.
$233,000
Route 76
(East Petaluma/San Francisco):
Proposal Revised: No change to proposal to eliminate direct San Francisco Civic Center service (3 trips), but retain 1 Civic Center trip as a Financial District direct trip (does not eliminate all trips as originally proposed). Service alternatives for eliminated trips would be Route 76 Financial District trips with a transfer to Route 93 shuttle service at the Toll Plaza.
$121,500
Route 93
(GGB Toll Plaza/SF Civic Center):
No Change. Implement new Route 93 shuttle trips to replace direct San Francisco Civic Center trips on Routes 72, 73, and 76.
<$500
 
TOTAL NET SAVINGS
$1,100,000
       
 

The staff report also provided a “Summary of Public Comments and Staff Responses” and an “Analysis of Route Performance and Comments Received.” A copy of the report is available from the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Ms. Kupersmith stated that, with the changes, the District’s projected savings may be slightly lower, at $1.1 million, than the original projection of $1.4 million. She noted that the revised proposal meets the goal of the Strategic Plan.

At the meeting, Mr. Downing summarized the staff report, noting that the majority of riders will have readily available alternative service.

Discussion ensued, including the following comments and inquiries:

  • Director Brown made the following inquiries:
    • He inquired as to whether some individual riders will have to drive a car to a bus pad or bus stop as a result of discontinuance of service. Mr. Downing responded affirmatively.
    • He inquired as to whether some of the changes from the original proposal were substantial and whether additional changes may be desirable. In response, Mr. Downing stated that the primary change was the addition of service in Lucas Valley and additional trips in Sonoma County. Ms. Kupersmith added that the $300,000.00 difference between the savings under the original proposal and this revised proposal represents the cost of retaining service that was originally proposed to be eliminated. She stated that service will be monitored to determine whether minimum productivity standards are being met.
    • He inquired as to whether the students who have been riding the Route 24 will have an alternative. In response, Mr. Downing stated that the West Marin Stagecoach has seats available with a schedule only a few minutes later than the Route 24.

[Director McGlashan arrived at this time.]

  • President Boro made the following inquiries:
    • He inquired as to whether members of the public who signed the petition received by the District regarding Route 24 would be notified about the availability of the West Marin Stagecoach as an alternative. Ms. Kupersmith responded affirmatively.
    • He inquired as to whether a bus originating in Santa Rosa would stop at the Civic Center in San Rafael. In response, Mr. Downing indicated there were two options for a rider: 1) he can transfer in San Rafael; or, 2) he can transfer in Novato. He stated both trips were approximately the same duration.
    • He inquired as to whether transfers being required might be a disincentive to riding the bus. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that could happen. She noted, however, that maintaining a bus with only 13 or 14 riders per day is very expensive. She also noted that, prior to the original recommendation, marketing had been done to encourage additional ridership on routes proposed to be changed, but these efforts did not produce a significant increase.
  • Director Snyder made the following comments:
    • He commented that he was in agreement with President Boro and offered his congratulations to staff on the excellent work done. He added that one way to both maintain commute bus service and keep costs down might be to offer more shuttle service to Route 101 bus pads, while cutting back on neighborhood service. He suggested that some commuters could ride a bicycle to a bus pad, and that better bicycle parking would encourage bicyclists to do so. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that staff would take Director Snyder’s remarks as direction from the Board to research this matter further. She stated that the California Department of Transportation owns the bus pads and parking lots around them, but that conversations can be opened with them regarding enhanced bicycle storage. She stated that staff would include this item on a future Board agenda.
  • Director Newhouse Segal inquired as to whether people would be willing to pay for bicycle storage. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that previous findings suggest that they would not.
  • Director Kerns thanked Mr. Downing and all staff who have worked on this. He stated that this endeavor has not been easy. Trips have been retained on Route 73. He stated that ridership should increase on the trips that remain as people will switch to those from the ones they previously used. In response, Mr. Downing acknowledged Director Kerns’ appreciation.

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

RECOMMENDATION

The Transportation Committee recommends that the Board of Directors approve actions relative to changes to Golden Gate Transit Commute Bus Service, as follows:

  a. Effect the following changes to Golden Gate Transit Commute Bus Service:
    1) Eliminate all service on Route 26 and provide service via new Route 27 with reduced number of trips into Sleepy Hollow;
   

2)

Eliminate all service on Route 73 and replace some trips with new express trips on Route 101;
    3) Eliminate all service on Route 75;
    4) Reduce service on Routes 44, 72 and 76;
    5) Eliminate specific segments of Routes 24 and 58;
    6) Add trips to Route 93 to replace discontinued trips on Routes 72, 73 and 76; and,
  b.

File Notices of Exemption with the counties of Marin and Sonoma, and the City and County of San Francisco, under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Action by the Board at its Meeting of May 28, 2010 – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

       
 

AYES (12): Chair Brown; Vice Chair Cochran; Directors Eddie, Kerns, McGlashan, Moylan, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Reilly, Snyder and Stroeh; President Boro (Ex Officio)

NOES (0): None

   
2.

Public Comment

None.

   
3.

Adjournment

All business having been concluded, the meeting was adjourned at 10:15 a.m.

   

 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,
s/ Harold C. Brown, Chair

Transportation Committee