June 7, 2012

 

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, June 7, 2012, at 10:14 a.m., Chair Grosboll presiding.

Committee Members Present (7): Chair Grosboll; Vice Chair Sobel; Directors Fredericks, Pahre, Sears and Snyder; President Reilly (Ex Officio)
Committee Members Absent (2): Directors Arnold and Rabbitt
Other Directors Present (5): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Moylan, Renée and Stroeh

Committee of the Whole Members Present (12): Directors Cochran, Fredericks, Moylan, Pahre, Renée, Sears, Snyder, Sobel and Stroeh; Second Vice President Grosboll; First Vice President Eddie; President Reilly (Ex Officio)
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (7): Directors Arnold, Campos, Chu, Elsbernd, Mar, Rabbitt and Theriault

Staff Present: General Manager Denis Mulligan; Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire; District Engineer Ewa Bauer; Acting Secretary of the District Elizabeth Eells; Attorney for the District Madeline Chun; Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Kellee Hopper; Director of Planning Ron Downing; Director of Risk Management and Safety William Stafford; Director of Human Resources Harvey Pye; 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 the May 17, 2012, including the following attachments, was furnished to the Transportation Committee: Summary from Meeting of March 15, 2012. Copies are available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

Discussion ensued, including the following inquiry:

  • Chair Grosboll inquired as to whether Golden Gate Transit (GGT) uses flag stops. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that GGT has many flag stops. He indicated that the District insures that all bus stops are safe for people boarding or alighting. Mr. Downing added that GGT fixed route buses must be flagged from fixed route bus stops. Only certain shuttles can be flagged from locations that are not bus stops.


     
  b.

Bus Passengers Advisory Committee
The Meeting Summary for March 28, 2012, was furnished to the Transportation Committee. Copies are available from the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

     
  c.

Ferry Passengers Advisory Committee
The Notes of the Meeting of Monday, February 13, 2012, were furnished to the Transportation Committee. Copies are available from the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

Action by the Board – None Required

     
2.

Authorize Execution of the FY 12/13 Intercounty Paratransit Services Agreement with the Marin County Transit District

In a memorandum to Committee, Access and Compliance Planner Harvey Katz, Director of Planning Ron Downing, Deputy General Manager/Bus Transit Division Teri Mantony and General Manager Denis Mulligan reported on staff’s recommendation to approve execution of a 12-month agreement with Marin County Transit District (MCTD) for provision of the District’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) intercounty paratransit services.

The staff report stated that, for the past 19 years, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District) has entered into an annual agreement with the MCTD for the provision of complementary paratransit services for regional fixed-route service through MCTD’s local paratransit service contractor, Whistlestop Wheels (WSW), to comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Effective July 1, 2010, WSW, began operating under the terms of its new Paratransit Service Agreement with the MCTD, which was approved by the MCTD Board of Directors on April 19, 2010. The agreement between the MCTD and WSW will begin on July 1, 2012, the third year of the three-year term, with two one-year renewal options available, for a maximum length of five years. Historically, the District has entered into a paratransit services agreement with the MCTD annually, to allow the District flexibility in providing paratransit services.

The staff report further stated that, pursuant to the FY 12/13 Intercounty Paratransit Agreement (FY 12/13 Agreement) between the District and the MCTD, the District will pay the MCTD $1,075,900.00 for 10,500 revenue hours of intercounty paratransit services, at an hourly rate of $88.64. The total amount of $1,075,900.00 includes the District’s share of applicable operating costs funded by the MCTD, based on an estimated 307,710 annual miles, as follows:

  a. Fuel expenses – developed using the latest fuel cost estimates ($3.98 per gallon) from Marin County Department of Public Works;
  b. Radio service – as invoiced by Marin Emergency Radio Authority; and,
  c. Mobile data communication system to serve new mobile data terminals installed in paratransit vehicles.
     
  The staff report also stated that operating costs are estimates, and final costs to the District will be based upon actual revenue hours operated and other applicable calculations, with any differences between estimated costs and actual costs to be reconciled at the end of the fiscal year, as provided in the FY 12/13 Agreement.

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, Mr. Downing summarized the staff report, stating that the District is able to offer paratransit service as a result of its cooperative relationship with the MCTD and the Intercounty Paratransit Services Agreement between the parties. He stated that paratransit is not a highly used service, serving approximately 7,000 riders per year. He indicated that changes from the prior year reflected in the FY 12/13 Agreement are relatively modest, with the hourly rate remaining moderate at an increase of only 1.3%.

He indicated that the largest variable is the cost of fuel, which has increased approximately 16.1%. Expenses related to maintenance and upgrades of the Marin Emergency Radio System, which was upgraded a few years ago, account for approximately 10% of the FY 12/13 increase. This system uses mobile data terminals to govern how paratransit vehicles are dispatched to pick up riders.

He stated that the total amount of the FY 12/13 Agreement is slightly higher than that for FY 11/12, and that the amounts stated in the recommendation are estimates. He indicated that the account will be reconciled at the end of the year. He concluded by stating that the MCTD Board approved the FY 12/13 Agreement on Monday, June 4, 2012.
Discussion ensued, including the following comment and inquiries:

     
 
  • Director Stroeh commented that the District has entered into an Intercounty Paratransit Services Agreement with MCTD for several years, and this is an advantage to the District. He concluded by stating that for the District to provide paratransit service independently would be extremely expensive.
  • Director Cochran made the following inquiries:
    • He inquired as to whether the actual expenses at the end of FY 11/12 are expected to be approximately the same as the District’s estimate for FY 11/12. In response, Mr. Downing stated that the estimate for FY 10/11 was approximately $1.5 million and the actual cost approximately $1.32 million. He added that, to date, it appears the District will pay slightly less than its original estimate for FY 11/12. He stated that, for the nine-month period from July 1, 2011 through the end of March 2012, the actual cost is slightly lower than estimated. He concluded by stating that the final cost for the whole year is expected to be very close to the estimated amount.
    • He inquired as to which agency determines a given rider’s eligibility for paratransit services. Mr. Downing stated that, to obtain eligibility for paratransit services, prospective riders must be certified, which is done by WSW. The certification allows discounts on public transportation throughout the Bay Area’s coordinated service area.
  • Director Renée inquired as to whether there are, in terms of changes to ADA laws; certain conditions that the District may wish to seek that would allow greater efficiencies and attract more riders. In response, Mr. Downing stated that this is a major concern for the MCTD because ADA ridership within Marin is growing. By contrast, intercounty ADA trips are not showing the same degree of increase. He indicated that last year, the one person who had used the intercounty paratransit service between Novato and Rohnert Park for daily dialysis treatments, ceased using the service. That change has caused ridership to decline. He indicated that the program shows little growth potential at the present time.
  • Chair Grosboll inquired as to the reason the District contracts with the MCTD and not directly with WSW. In response, Mr. Downing stated that the arrangement with the MCTD has been in effect for nearly twenty years. MCTD’s relationship with WSW has been in effect for a similar period of time. This year is the third year of the current contract between those parties. He indicated that the District’s long-term relationship with the MCTD and, thereby, with WSW is mutually beneficial. The District has been very satisfied with WSW as a service provider. Mr. Mulligan added that consolidation of paratransit service makes sense because the customer only needs to make a single telephone call. It would be more difficult for customers if they had to determine which provider to call based on their destinations. Therefore, for the same reason it is logical to have local bus service consolidated, it is logical to have paratransit service consolidated. This arrangement simplifies the ridership experience for the customer.

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

RECOMMENDATION

The Transportation Committee/Committee of the Whole recommends that the Board of Directors authorize execution of the FY 12/13 Intercounty Paratransit Services Agreement with the Marin County Transit District, in an amount not to exceed $1,075,900.00, for a period of twelve months from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013, to provide complementary intercounty paratransit services, in compliance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act; with the understanding that requisite funds are available in the FY 12/13 Bus Transit Division Operating Budget.

Action by the Board at its Meeting of June 8, 2012 – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (12): Directors Cochran, Fredericks, Moylan, Pahre, Renée, Sears, 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, Transit Ridership Trends and Transit Service Performance was furnished to the Transportation Committee. The report showed the annual trend lines for the 12-month period ending April 2012, and includes the following charts:

     
  a. Southbound Golden Gate Bridge Traffic Trend for the period from June 2004 to April 2012, showing the annual percentage change in traffic for the 12 months ending April 2012;
     
  b.

Golden Gate Ferry Ridership Trend for the period from June 2004 through April 2012 showing the annual percentage change in ridership for the 12 months ending April 2012; and,

     
  c. Golden Gate Transit Bus Ridership Trend as a 12-month running total from June 2004 through April 2012 showing the annual percentage change in ridership for the 12 months ending April 2012.
     
 

The monthly report also included the Transit Service Performance Statistics Report for April 2012, showing that, when compared with April 2011, bus productivity as measured by load factor and passengers per bus service hour increased from 52.8% to 53.6% and 20 to 22 respectively. Cancellations showed a reduction from 0.08 percent to 0.07 percent. Ferry productivity when compared with April 2011, increased from 119 to 130 passengers per ferry trip, from 150 to 165 passengers per ferry service hour, and from a 22.0 percent to 22.3 percent load factor.

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. A spreadsheet from the Planning Department outlining Golden Gate Transit (GGT) bus service performance of both District regional routes and MCTD local routes, for April 2012; and,
  b. A spreadsheet from the Auditor-Controller outlining the history of payments made from July 1, 2010 to May 11, 2012, 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. Marin Transit Board Meeting Agenda for May 21, 2012;
  b. Marin Transit Board Meeting Minutes of April 30, 2012;
  c. Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) Board Meeting Agenda for May 31, 2012;
  d. TAM Executive Committee Meeting Agenda for May 14, 2012;
  e. TAM Board Meeting Minutes of April 26, 2012; and,
  f. TAM Executive Committee Meeting Minutes of April 9, 2012.
     
  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 10:26 a.m.

     

 

Respectfully submitted,

s/ Dick Grosboll, Chair
Transportation Committee