Posted July 9, 2013

JULY 11 TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER APPROVAL OF IMPLEMENTATION OF ADDED MORNING LARKPUR FERRY TRIP AND SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE IN ROSS VALLEY

On July 11, 2013, the Transportation Committee of the Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District will be asked to approve and recommend that the Board of Directors approve implementation of the following:

Add a 7:30 am Golden Gate Larkspur weekday departure to San Francisco as a 9-Month Demonstration Project, September 3, 2013 through June 2014;

  1. Ridership is up as much as 8% in recent months with ridership at 5,300 to 5,800 passengers per day now;
  2. Since June 2013, due to berth repairs, we are running a 7:30 am trip with 150 passengers per day;
  3. June 2013 Larkspur Passenger Survey showed that 60% of 1300 responders would ride a 7:30 am departure to San Francisco.

Add a weekday, ferry feeder shuttle bus operating during commute hours connecting the Ross Valley/Sir Francis Drake corridor to the Larkspur Ferry Terminal as a 9-Month Demonstration Project, September 3, 2013 through June 2014;

  1. June 2013 Larkspur Passenger Survey showed that 51% of 1,300 responders said they would ride a shuttle to the Larkspur Ferry Terminal from the Ross Valley with service beginning in begin in Fairfax and serving all communities along Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
  2. The new shuttle buses would meet morning departures from Larkspur to San Francisco at 6:35, 7, 7:30, 7:50 and 8:20 am. The new shuttle buses would meet afternoon/evening arrivals at 4:05, 4:5, 5:30, 6:05 6:25, and 6:55 p.m.
  3. Previously, ferry shuttles n the Sir Francis Drake Blvd corridor were the most productive and ceased operation in 2002 due to low ridership and budgetary constraints.
  4. Dedicated buses and drivers would be used for these trips to avoid issues with late buses due to traffic and delays from to buses being interlined with trips to San Francisco that emerged when feeder buses were operated prior to 2003.
  5. Fares would be integrated with the ferry fares so that passengers continuing to/from San Francisco would have a free bus trip.
  6. The shuttle service would also be evaluated in six-month to determine whether it is attracting sufficient ridership. The productivity benchmark will be an average of 10 riders per trip.
  7. 9-month operating cost for this service is $175,000 and will be operated with Part-Time Bus Operators under current contract with Amalgamated Transit Union, Local No. 1575.
  8. Because this shuttle route has the potential to divert existing riders who are currently parking at the Larkspur Terminal or in the vicinity to transit rather than generate new riders, it is assumed at this time that there will not be any new revenues to the system as a result of this project.

Start public outreach for $1 and $2 daily parking fee AND a monthly prepaid pass for parking at Larkspur Ferry Terminal on weekdays with the understanding that the fee is scheduled to be implemented in January 2014.

  1. The effective date and the fee structure will be presented to the Board at an upcoming meeting in conjunction with the approval of the parking fee collection system, the results of the public outreach and the Title VI analysis.
  2. 31% of survey respondents said they will pay $2 per day for parking at Larkspur, and 2/3 of respondents said it was too high. Many respondents were concerned that collecting a parking fee would cause confusion and delays while adversely impact traffic in the Larkspur parking lot.
  3. A parking fee collection system that avoids confusion and delays in the parking lot needs to be identified. With the ferry shuttle bus service starting several months prior to the parking fee, staff will have the opportunity to observe how charging a parking fee affects shuttle ridership.
  4. A $1 per day fee would generate approximately $417,000 annually.

Add additional surface parking for ferry passengers through negotiations with two properties located across the street from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal with Ross Valley Sanitary District and Marin Country Mart to provide additional passenger parking. There is no timeline set for this task at this time.

Start preliminary engineering and environmental studies for a parking structure in the vicinity of the Larkspur Ferry Terminal.

  1. 78% of the 1300 respondents to the passenger survey are in favor of beginning the preliminary design and environmental process for a new parking structure.
  2. Recognizing our passengers’ desires, coupled with limitations in the availability of new surface parking spaces, staff recommends that efforts move forward with the preliminary analysis; public outreach, contracting with consultants to prepare environmental studies and preliminary designs of a multistory parking facility at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal or on adjacent property owned by the District. The design of such a structure should consider current and future needs, available sites, SMART’s connectivity to the site and the opportunity to expand in the future to accommodate further demand. A study of the requirements to raise the 42-crossing limit for the Larkspur route would be included.

Approve a budget adjustment from Reserves to the FY 13/14 Golden Ferry Division Operating Budget be made in the amount of $364,500 for the added 7:30 am trip and ferry shuttle bus trips, subject to the concurrence of the Finance-Auditing Committee at its meeting of July 11, 2013.

Results of Larkspur Passenger Survey on June 3 and 4, 2013

Over 1,300 surveys were collected, for an 81% response rate. Findings include the following:

  • 60%: will ride a 7:30 am ferry as opposed to their regular time
  • 51%: will take a free shuttle to the Larkspur Terminal
  • 31%: will pay $2 per day for parking
  • 78%: favor starting the planning and environmental process for a parking structure