October 13, 2011

 

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, CA, on Thursday, October 13, 2011, at 10:10 a.m., Acting and Vice Chair Cochran presiding.

Committee Members Present (7): Acting and Vice Chair Cochran; Directors Arnold, Grosboll, Pahre, Snyder and Sobel; President Reilly (Ex Officio)
Committee Members Absent (2): Chair Brown; Director Rabbitt
Other Directors Present (6): Directors Boro, Eddie, Elsbernd, Moylan, Renée and Stroeh

Committee of the Whole Members Present (13): Directors Arnold, Boro, Cochran, Elsbernd, Moylan, Pahre, Renée, Snyder, Sobel and Stroeh; Second Vice President Grosboll; First Vice President Eddie; President Reilly (Ex Officio)
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (6): Directors Brown, Campos, Chu, Mar, Rabbitt and Theriault

Staff Present: General Manager Denis Mulligan; Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire; District Engineer Ewa Bauer; Secretary of the District Janet Tarantino; Attorney Kimon Manolius; Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary Witt; Deputy General Manager/Ferry Transit Division James Swindler; Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Kellee Hopper; Public Affairs Director Mary Currie; Assistant Clerk of the Board Lona Franklin

Visitors Present: None


 

     
1. Report of District Advisory Committees
     
  a.
Advisory Committee on Accessibility

The Meeting Agenda for September 15, 2011, and the Minutes of July 21, 2011, 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 Meeting Agenda for September 21, 2011, and the Meeting Summary of Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 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

There were no meetings to report in the months of August or September, for the Ferry Passengers Advisory Committee.

Action by the Board – None Required

     
2.

Authorize Execution of a Services Agreement with Ontira Communications, Inc., Relative to Request for Proposals No. 2012-D-1, Customer Communication Services Platform Utilizing Interactive Voice Technology

In a memorandum to Committee, Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Kellee Hopper, Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire and General Manager Denis Mulligan reported on staff’s recommendation to authorize execution of a Services Agreement with Ontira Communications, Inc., in the amount of $84,600.00, to implement a customer communication services platform with interactive voice recognition, plus maintenance and operating costs of $4,983.00 per month, for a three-year base term, with two one-year options. Staff also recommended that the General Manager be authorized to exercise both options, in the amount of $67,236.00 per year, if in the District’s best interests.

The Board of Directors (Board), by Resolution No. 2009-090 at is Special Meeting of October 30, 2009, approved the FY 09/10 Financial Plan for Achieving Long-Term Financial Stability, which set forth specific initiatives that, once implemented, will help restore the District to stable financial footing. Initiative No. 2, Further Reliance on Automated Information for Transit Customers, was set forth in Phase I of the Plan. The Board, by Resolution No. 2011-037 at its meeting of April 22, 2011, approved reorganization of the Customer Service Center (CSC), including implementation of an automated telephone processing system.

The staff report stated that, on June 22, 2011, the District advertised Request for Proposals (RFP) No. 2012-D-1, Customer Communication Services Platform Utilizing Interactive Voice Technology and three proposals were received by the due date of July 19, 2011, from American Telesource, Inc.; LogicTree Corporation; and, Ontira Communication, Inc., a Division of TranSched Systems LLC (Ontira). A Selection Committee reviewed and evaluated the proposals, ranked the companies and determined that Ontira , was the highest-ranked company and was best qualified to provide the necessary services at a fair and reasonable price.

The staff report also stated that the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program Administrator has determined that Ontira has complied with the DBE requirements applicable to the Services Agreement and that no DBE participation is anticipated during the performance of these services. A copy of the staff report is available from the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

[Director Renée arrived at this time.]

At the meeting, Ms. Hopper briefly summarized the staff report, stating that this system will allow interactive voice recognition. It is a flexible system, with a phone tree for administrative lines and the ability to integrate with HASTUS. Bus Operators will be able to access assignments automatically. The system will provide information in English and Spanish, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Discussion ensued, including the following inquiries and comment:

  • Director Grosboll made the following inquiries:
    • He inquired as to other agencies that use Ontira. In response, Ms. Hopper stated that a list of agencies using Ontira will be provided prior to Board action on this recommendation. She added that Ontira’s system is intuitive and will build information as time goes by.
    • He inquired as to whether the Bus Operators Union endorses this system. Ms. Hopper responded affirmatively.
    • He inquired as to the status of the employees who were laid off due to reorganization of the Customer Service Center. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that all have either secured positions elsewhere or retired.
  • Director Pahre inquired as to whether the system is user friendly. Ms. Hopper responded affirmatively, adding that the administrative lines will be separate from 511. The system will ask the caller to identify the individual they wish to reach, or to request connection to 511. Sixty percent of calls will be handled electronically. The balance will require operator intervention. In addition, the system is designed to handle text messaging, allowing the public to text their questions and receive a text message answer.
  • Director Snyder made the following inquiries:
    • He inquired as to whether the system will integrate with existing systems to provide real-time information. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that it will provide scheduling information at this time, with the real-time system scheduled for the future.
    • He inquired as to whether the scheduling system proposed today will be able to be integrated with a real-time system in the future. Mr. Mulligan responded affirmatively.
  • Director Boro commented that some systems are cumbersome and require re-entry of all identifying information with each call. In response, Ms. Hopper stated that, unlike some automated call systems, where customer information must be entered each time the customer contacts the number, the proposed system is equipped with customized customer identification features. After three or four calls, the system recognizes the caller and responds accordingly.
  • Director Arnold inquired as to how the system identifies callers. In response, Ms. Hopper stated that the system will recognize accents, dialects and tonal nuances.

Staff recommended and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors STROEH/REILLY 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 Request for Proposals No. 2012-D-1, Customer Communication Services Platform Utilizing Interactive Voice Technology, as follows:

  a. Authorized execution of a Services Agreement with Ontira Communication, Inc., Toronto, ON, Canada, relative to Request for Proposals No. 2012-D-1, in the amount of $84,600.00 plus a monthly maintenance and operating cost of $4,983.00 ($59,796.00 annually), for a three-year base term, to provide a customer communication services platform utilizing interactive voice recognition, including modules for interactive voice recognition assistance at the District’s main telephone numbers, and automated Bus Operator assignment information; and,
  b. Authorized the General Manager to exercise two one-year options to the three-year base term, if in the District's best interests, in the not to exceed amount of $67,236.00 per year;
 

with the understanding that requisite funds are available in the FY 11/12 District Division Capital Budget and that future years will be budgeted accordingly.

Action by the Board at its Meeting of October 14, 2011 – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (13): Directors Arnold, Boro, Cochran, Elsbernd, Moylan, Pahre, Renée, Snyder, Sobel and Stroeh; Second Vice President Grosboll; First Vice President Eddie; President Reilly (Ex Officio)
NOES (0): None

     
3.

Monthly Report on Bridge Traffic, Transit Ridership Trends and Transit Service Performance

The monthly report on Bridge Traffic and Transit Ridership Trends and Transit Service Performance was furnished to the Transportation Committee. The report shows the annual trend lines for the 12-month period ending August 2011, and includes the following charts:

  a. Southbound Golden Gate Bridge Traffic Trend for the period from June 2004 to August 2011, showing the annual percentage change in traffic for the 12 months ending August 2011;
  b. Golden Gate Ferry Ridership Trend for the period from June 2004 through August 2011 showing the annual percentage change in ridership for the 12 months ending August 2011; and,
  c. GGT Bus Ridership Trend as a 12-month running total from June 2004 through August 2011 showing the annual percentage change in ridership for the 12 months ending August 2011.
     
 

The monthly report also included the Transit Service Performance Statistics Report for August 2011. The report shows Golden Gate Bus and Golden Gate Ferry operations in August relative to performance targets set forth in the District’s Short-Range Transit Plan. Bus showed productivity improvements in average weekday patronage, load factor and overload reductions in August 2011 when compared with July 2011. Over the period from July 2011 to August 2011, Ferry productivity increased as measured by average weekday passengers, load factor and schedule adherence. Copies of all of the above-listed items are available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

Action by the Board – None Required

     
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 (MCTD) was furnished to the Transportation Committee. The report included the following elements:

  a. Revised spreadsheets from the Planning Department outlining Golden Gate Transit bus service performance of both District regional routes and Marin Transit local routes, for August 2011; and,
  b. A spreadsheet from the Auditor-Controller outlining the history of payments made from July 1, 2011 to September 19, 2011, by MCTD 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.
Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) Executive Committee Agenda for September 12, 2011;
  b.
TAM Board of Directors Agenda for September 22, 2011;
 

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

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 10:25 a.m.

     

 

Respectfully submitted,

s/ Gerald Cochran, Acting and Vice Chair
Transportation Committee