CENTRE AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

REGULAR BOARD MEETING MINUTES

July 23, 2001

4:00 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH COUNCIL CHAMBERS

 

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
John Spychalski, Chairman
Donald Sherman, Vice Chairman
Joseph Davidson
Gary Powers

BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT:
Richard Kipp, Treasurer

OTHERS PRESENT:
Hugh Mose, General Manager
Joseph Gilbert, Director of Transportation
L. Eric Bernier, Director of Service Development
Diane Heichel, Executive Assistant
Annette Givler, Bookkeeper
Richard McCarl, Borough Liaison
Bill Tobin, Transit Planner

I. CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:08 p.m.

 

II. PUBLIC COMMENT

Chairman Spychalski called for comments or input from the general public. No public comments were presented.

 

III. OLD BUSINESS

A. Approval of Minutes of June 4, 2001 Board Meeting

Mr. Sherman moved that the Board approve the minutes of the June 4, 2001 Board meeting as presented. Mr. Powers seconded the motion. There being no further discussion, Chairman Spychalski called for a vote and the motion passed unanimously.

B. Receipt of the May 2001 Finance Reports

Mr. Powers moved that the Board receive the May 2001 Finance Reports. Mr. Sherman seconded the motion.

Mr. Mose introduced Ms. Givler, CATA’s Bookkeeper, representing the Administration Department in Ms. Minor’s absence. In response to Mr. Sherman, Ms. Givler explained that the high figure in the insurance line item is a result of the insurance reimbursement from the bus accident with the PSU bus. Mr. Mose noted that he will check with Ms. Minor for further information and will put a note in the next Board mailing.

Ms. Givler added that fuel and parts expenses are over budget, but this was expected due to the high cost of fuels. In response to Mr. McCarl, Ms. Givler and Mr. Mose agreed that the budget will run about 10% over as a result of the service added during the year and the higher fuel costs. On the other hand, revenue will also be over the anticipated budget.

Mr. Mose reported on the increased ridership levels, with no explanation of why, other than perhaps more PSU students may be attending the summer session. There was also discussion on the difficulty of comparing ridership with last year, as the routes and service have been so drastically changed. Mr. Powers suggested that perhaps people are adjusting to the higher gasoline prices.

In response to Mr. Powers, Ms. Givler noted that Maintenance Utilities covers electricity, natural gas for heat and other utilities for the entire facility, not just the Maintenance building. Mr. Gilbert also added that the size of the building has increased with the expanded bus storage area and will again for the next budget.

There being no further discussion, Chairman Spychalski called for a vote and the motion passed unanimously.

C. Fall 2001 Service Changes

Mr. Mose reviewed the final details for the fall service changes, noting that there were two changes from the last report given to the Board. Mr. Mose went on to explain that it has been determined that there were some regular F Route riders at Good Hope Farms (GHF) who need to get downtown for work in the early morning. In rerouting the F Route, there would be no service available at those hours at GHF. In order to provide service and also add service through the Brackenridge neighborhood, the S Route will be modified to provide commuter service in the morning and afternoon. Mr. Mose also reviewed the changes on the F Route through Stonebridge and Westerly Parkway to cover part of the old CS Route.

No Board action was required.

Referring to the new 2001 Fall Ride Guide distributed at the Board meeting, Mr. Mose noted that this is the largest publication produced yet. Mr. Bernier briefly reviewed the product and some of the reasons behind the new route changes. Mr. Bernier noted that the Ride Guide will be put into circulation as soon as the remainder of the order is delivered, adding that it will also be included in the CDT sometime in early August. Mr. Bernier reviewed the agreement between CATA and the CDT for printing the Ride Guide.

 

IV. NEW BUSINESS

A. Resolution Authorizing Filing of State Assistance Grant for Traffic Signal Priority System

Mr. Mose stated that over the past six months Transit Planner Bill Tobin has been working with the PennDOT Department of Local and Area Transportation on a transit signal priority demonstration project. The initial step of the project is a consultant study which will help educate local transportation stakeholders to the signal priority concept, and evaluate the viability of installing the hardware and software necessary for a pilot program in the North Atherton Street corridor.

PennDOT has agreed to fund the study in the amount of $60,000. The value of the traffic signal preemption system currently being installed on behalf of the Alpha Fire Company will be considered the required local match. However, inasmuch as CATA will be the project administrator and recipient of the funds, PennDOT requires that the Board adopt a resolution authorizing the filing of an application for state funding.

If the study proves that the system will be of benefit to the community, PennDOT will fund the purchase of the equipment for a demonstration study. Other than staff time, there will be no financial cost to the Authority.

Mr. Powers moved that the Board adopt the attached resolution authorizing the filing of a state assistance grant application for funds to retain a consultant to evaluate a transit-supportive traffic signal priority pilot project. Mr. Davidson seconded the motion.

In response to Mr. Sherman, Mr. Tobin noted that this program will involve all the stakeholders, which includes the Alpha Fire Company. There would be two separate contracts with PennDOT - for the consultant and for the installation (if warranted). Mr. Mose added that the technology may be a little different than that originally considered by the fire company. In response to Mr. Davidson, Mr. Tobin noted that the Alphas have not yet entered into a contract for a signal preemption system, but this will be on the agenda at tonight’s General Forum. There was further discussion on the type of system being considered.

There being no further discussion, Chairman Spychalski called for a vote and the motion passed unanimously.

B. Letter of Intent: Alexander Constructors

Mr. Mose noted that at the June 4 Board meeting the Board authorized the General Manager, with the concurrence of the Board Chair, to send a letter of intent to Alexander Constructors, confirming CATA’s intent to enter into a contract under which Alexander will provide construction management services during the expansion of the Operations and Administration areas of the Cato Park facility.

Mr. Mose, referring to the letter included in the Board packets, stated that staff, assisted by Bob Martin, CATA’s legal counsel, prepared the letter; however, instead of securing the Board Chair’s approval, the letter was written to become effective only upon the concurrence of the CATA Board.

Mr. Davidson moved that the Board formally concur with the letter of intent addressed to Mr. Kurt Twiford of Alexander Constructors and dated July 6, 2001. Mr. Powers seconded the motion. There being no further discussion Chairman Spychalski called for a vote and the motion passed unanimously.

C. Summer Meeting Schedule

Mr. Mose noted that anticipating only one piece of business (the contract for the purchase of new buses) for the August Board meeting, as well as a schedule conflict for Chairman Spychalski, it is staff’s recommendation to cancel the regular August meeting scheduled for Monday, August 27, and hold a special Board meeting on Wednesday, August 22, at 4:00 p.m. in the State College Borough Council Chambers. Mr. Sherman noted that he would not be available on August 22, but the Board should proceed without him. Mr. Davidson asked if it might not be in the Authority’s best interest, rather than hold a special meeting, to simply change the regular meeting to August 22.

Mr. Davidson moved to reschedule the August Board meeting from August 27 to Wednesday, August 22. Mr. Powers seconded the motion. There being no further discussion Chairman Spychalski called for a vote and the motion passed unanimously.

 

V. OTHER BUSINESS

A. General Manager's Report

Mr. Mose reported on the following items

The APTA Outstanding Transit System Achievement Award CATA has been selected as this year’s award winner for transit systems with 4M to 30M riders annually. Mr. Mose noted that this will be officially announced at the APTA Annual Meeting on October 2, in Philadelphia. Mr. Mose encouraged the Board to attend, adding that he hopes to invite representatives of other entities who have been contributed to the successes of CATA.

The 2002 APTA Expo Mr. Mose mentioned that APTA holds a Transit Expo every three years. The next Expo will be held in 2002 in Las Vegas; it was suggested that members of the Board consider attending that event as well.

Federal Earmark Bob Moran, Representative Peterson’s office, is looking into the possibility of broadening the limitations of the proposed federal earmark to include bus facilities as well as CNG buses.

Penn State Transportation Study Mr. Mose noted his conversation about the Penn State Transportation Study, with the University’s interest in a pedestrian campus moving the bus service to the periphery. Mr. Mose and Chairman Spychalski agreed that this would be very detrimental to CATA, as more and more bus riders would then choose to use their private vehicles. There was further discussion on the different elements and how they will affect CATA.

Bellefonte Borough Mr. Mose noted that the Bellefonte Borough Council has asked CATA to provide specific ridership counts for Bellefonte Borough. At this point, Mr. Mose reported that he has asked Ralph Stewart, Bellefonte Borough Manager, to write a letter addressing the Council’s concerns. Chairman Spychalski suggested that there may be a need to address the Council directly. Mr. Mose reviewed the recent discussions with the Council and their adoption of the CATA budget only for the first quarter, pending their review of the ridership levels. Mr. Davidson suggested putting some kind of policy into affect that a local share may not be adopted per quarter, but must be adopted for the entire year or not at all. In response to Mr. Powers, Mr. Mose and Chairman Spychalski reviewed the worst case scenarios. Mr. Bernier pointed out that the service in Bellefonte Borough is better now than it has ever been in past years, adding that the Centre Ride Service for the Challenged and Senior Citizens is a considerable value. Mr. Bernier will be working on preparing suitable information to present to the Bellefonte Council.

B. Service Development Report

Mr. Bernier reported on the following items:

Service Development Report Mr. Bernier reviewed the Service Development Report distributed at the meeting. He also pointed out that the CATAlog recently distributed in the CDT was developed in a new format to better meet the Marketing budget.

Mobility Showcase Mr. Bernier noted that he thinks the attendance at the Mobility Showcase was much higher than ever expected by the FTA group. They were very pleased with the turnout.

Football Shuttle In response to Mr. McCarl, Mr. Bernier reported that the Football Shuttle is ready to go for the first game. The shuttle will again leave from the Hills Plaza parking lot.

 

VI. ADJOURNMENT

There being no further discussion, Chairman Spychalski adjourned the meeting at 5:29 p.m.