REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS

PUBLIC HEARING

RECEIVE PUBLIC COMMENT ON PROPOSAL TO
ESTABLISH A TOLL CLASSIFICATION FOR CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION CERTIFICATED PROVIDERS OF REGULARLY SCHEDULED BUS TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FROM MARIN AND SONOMA COUNTIES TO THE SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

JUNE 9, 2011

 

The Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District) held a hearing in the Board Room, Administration Building, Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza, San Francisco, CA, on Thursday, June 9, 2011, at 9:30 a.m., for the purpose of receiving public comment on a proposal to establish a new toll classification for privately operated, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) certificated providers of regularly scheduled bus transportation services from established points in Sonoma and Marin Counties to the San Francisco International Airport (SFO), effective July 1, 2011.

Directors in Attendance (12): Directors Arnold, Boro, Cochran, Elsbernd, Moylan, Pahre, Renée, Snyder and Sobel; Second Vice President Grosboll; First Vice President Eddie; President Reilly

Directors Not in Attendance (7): Directors Brown, Campos, Chu, Mar, Rabbitt, Stroeh and Theriault

Staff Present: General Manager Denis Mulligan; Attorney David Miller; Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary Witt; Deputy General Manager/Bus Transit Division Teri Mantony; Public Affairs Director Mary Currie; Electronic Revenue Collection Manager David Dick; Senior Board Analyst Elizabeth Eells; Assistant Clerk of the Board Lona Franklin

Visitors Present: Randy Kokke, Marin Airporter; John Brooks, Marin County Resident

     
1.

Purpose of Public Hearing

The public hearing was conducted by President Reilly, who announced that the purpose of the public hearing is to receive public comment on a proposal to establish a new toll classification for privately operated, CPUC certificated providers of regularly scheduled bus transportation services from established points in Sonoma and Marin Counties to the SFO, effective July 1, 2011.

     
2.

Public Outreach

General Manager Denis Mulligan reported that in compliance with District policy, notices were mailed to organizations and individuals on the District’s mailing list and copies were posted in various locations on District properties. Also, in compliance with Resolution No. 2011-015, adopted on February 25, 2011, legal notices were published in the following publications: the Marin Independent Journal, the San Francisco Examiner and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat on Thursday, May 19, 2011 and on Thursday, May 26, 2011. Additional public outreach was undertaken, as follows:

  • A press release was posted to the web site on June 2, and was issued to targeted media in Marin and Sonoma counties on June 2, 2011;
  • A formal public hearing notice was posted on the District’s web site on Wednesday, May 18, 2011; and,
  • The public hearing notice and the associated staff report for the June 9, 2011 Public Hearing were posted on the District’s web site on June 3, 2011.

 

Attorney David Miller confirmed that the above-described public outreach meets the legal requirements for calling a Public Hearing.

     
3.

Correspondence Received Relative to the Proposal

Mr. Mulligan reported that, as of Tuesday, June 7, 2011, the District has received one public comment from the Marin Airporter in support of the proposal.

     
4.

Staff Presentation

President Reilly called upon Electronic Revenue Collection Manager David Dick to present staff’s recommendation to establish a new toll classification for privately operated, CPUC certificated providers of regularly scheduled bus transportation services from established points in Sonoma and Marin Counties to SFO. A copy of the staff report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

Mr. Dick summarized the staff report stating that the Board of Directors (Board) at its meeting of May 28, 2010, by Ordinance No. 2010-01, established a carpool toll rate of $3.00 and increased the per axle toll rate for multi-axle vehicles (i.e. three or more axles) to $5.00 FasTrak/$6.00 cash per axle. The Ordinance took effect July 1, 2010, and included a phased implementation of 50% on July 1, 2011, and 50% on July 1, 2012. Representatives of Marin Airporter and Sonoma County Airport Express expressed opposition to the proposed toll for multi-axle vehicles and stated that the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) has a Commute Bus Program, which offers free toll passage all day. The Board at its meeting of May 28, 2010, directed staff to investigate and report back on the impact of creating a new toll classification category for commute bus services.

Mr. Dick stated that a new toll classification can be established for privately operated, CPUC certificated providers of regularly scheduled bus transportation services from established points in Sonoma and Marin Counties to the San Francisco International Airport (commute bus services). This new toll classification would provide a reduced per axle toll rate equivalent to 50% of the otherwise applicable two-axle toll at all times of day for multi-axle vehicles, effective July 1, 2011. This new toll classification category for commute bus services was discussed by the Finance-Auditing Committee at its meeting of March 10, 2011; and, April 7, 2011. On May 13, 2011, the Board approved setting a Public Hearing to receive public comments on the proposed new toll classification.

Further, Mr. Dick reported that this proposal would decrease the District’s projected toll revenue by approximately $42,000.00 for FY 11/12 and $104,000.00 each fiscal year thereafter. Over a ten-year period, this proposal would decrease the District’s projected toll revenue by approximately $977,000.00.

     
5.

Public Comments

President Reilly then opened the public hearing to receive public comment, noting that all comments will be entered into the record. She announced the following public comment procedures, noting that: (1) there is a three-minute limit for each speaker; (2) the General Manager will keep track of the time of each speaker; and, (3) while speaking into the microphone, the speaker should state his or her name, and if representing an organization, state the full name of the organization.

     
  a.
Randy Kokke, Marin Airporter requested that the District establish a new toll classification for multi-axle commute buses. He stated that the Marin Airporter’s services reduce congestion on the Golden Gate Bridge and the number of cars travelling on San Francisco streets. He further stated his awareness that the proposal to establish the new toll classification for commute bus services mirrors BATA’s proposal to eliminate multi-axle toll disparities between State-owned Bridges and the District. He requested that the Board support the Finance-Auditing Committee’s proposal of April 7, 2011.
     
  b.
John Brooks, Marin County Resident expressed his support for the installation of a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge.
     
6.

Closing Remarks

Mr. Miller stated that the deadline for receiving written comments on this proposal is Thursday, June 9, 2011, by 4:30 p.m. Following the deadline for comments, staff will carefully consider the suggestions and comments that have been received, and will then develop a report that will include a summary of public comments and a staff report relative to the proposal. The report will be presented to the Finance-Auditing Committee at its meeting of Thursday, June 23, 2011. It is anticipated that the Committee will forward its recommendation to the Board for consideration at its meeting of Friday, June 24, 2011. All meetings will be held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza, San Francisco, CA, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The staff report will be available for the public to view on Monday, June 20, 2011, by 4:30 p.m.

Discussion ensued, including the following comments and inquiries:

 
Director Renée made the following comments:
  • She commented that the commute bus services’ companies providing service to the Airport should provide more information about their rates and how their services reduce pollution. She further commented that the District should oppose any rate increases, which the commute bus services’ companies might request of the CPUC in the future, if the Board approves this new commute bus services’ toll classification. Mr. Mulligan responded that staff would work with the commute bus services’ companies and the CPUC to get more information on the rate structures.
   
 

Director Grosboll made the following comments:

  • He commented that the District should obtain a history of rate increases of the commute bus services’ companies. Mr. Mulligan responded in the affirmative and stated that staff would obtain a history of the rates for commute bus services’ companies from the CPUC.
   
 

First Vice President Eddie made the following comments:

  • He commented that the proposal would apply to the commute bus services’ companies originating in Marin and Sonoma counties, and concluding at SFO. He inquired as to whether the proposed commute bus services’ toll classification would also apply to commute bus services originating in Napa and Mendocino counties, and concluding at SFO. Mr. Miller responded the new commute bus services’ toll classification would be uniformly applied. He stated that any company that meets the standard of providing regularly scheduled commute bus services to SFO, which is certificated by the CPUC, would qualify.
     
7.

Conclusion

All business having been concluded, the public hearing was closed at 10:00 a.m.

     

 

Respectfully submitted,

s/ Janet S. Tarantino
Secretary of the District

Attachments:

Exhibit 1: Staff Report entitled, “Public Hearing to Receive Public Comment On a Toll Classification for California Public Utilities Commission Certificated Providers of Regularly Scheduled Bus Transportation Services from Marin and Sonoma Counties to the San Francisco International Airport”