CENTRE AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY REGULAR BOARD MEETING MINUTES

August 22, 2001

4:00 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH COUNCIL CHAMBERS

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
John Spychalski, Chairman
Richard Kipp, Treasurer
Joseph Davidson
Gary Powers

BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT:
Donald Sherman, Vice_Chairman

OTHERS PRESENT:
 Hugh Mose, General Manager
Joseph Gilbert, Director of Transportation
Diane Heichel, Executive Assistant

 

I. CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:04 p.m.

 

II. PUBLIC COMMENTS - CITIZEN INPUT

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

 

III. OLD BUSINESS

 

                    A. Approval of Minutes of July 23, 2001 Board Meeting

Mr. Powers moved that the Board approve the minutes of the July 23, 2001 Board meeting. Mr. Kipp seconded the motion. There being no further discussion, Chairman Spychalski called for a vote and the motion passed unanimously.

 

                    B. Receipt of the June and July 2001 Finance Reports

Chairman Spychalski noted that the Finance Reports are delayed pending completion of the annual audit. Mr. Davidson moved to receive the July Ridership report as presented. Mr. Powers seconded the motion. 

Mr. Mose noted that the ridership report shows a continuous growth in ridership, yet he has no explanation as to the reason why. In response to Mr. Davidson, Mr. Mose noted that the use of the bicycle racks has increased, but not significantly. Mr. Gilbert added that although the usage of the bicycle racks is not exceptionally high, and should increase now that the students are back, they have not been a problem for the drivers. Mr. Mose also noted that the bicycle racks are used on the LOOP and the LINK, which is surprising to him because of the shorter distances operated by these routes. 

Mr. Kipp pointed out the increase in the B Route ridership. Mr. Mose agreed that although there are extra trips this year, even the regular trips during the day have increased ridership. 

In response to Mr. Powers, Mr. Mose reviewed the ridership report and the comparison of the current year to the same time period last year. 

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

 

C. Operations/Administration Area Expansion

Mr. Mose, referring to the set of drawings and a spreadsheet included in the Board packets, noted that the sketches describe the progression of the staff’s thinking during the planning stages to develop the "final" preliminary design for the building expansion. 

Following a question by Mr. Kipp, there was discussion on how future growth would be dealt with, and if the buildings are suitable for expansion to a second floor. Mr. Mose noted that the current building was not designed to allow a second floor and as the new section will be a mirror image of the current design, he does not feel a second floor will be possible. There was further discussion on the use of CATA’s land and consideration for future expansion. 

In response to Mr. McCarl, Mr. Gilbert noted that what is called the "Lounge" is actually a drivers’ staging and break area. Mr. Mose added that the drivers had requested an exercise room since many of them have long breaks between runs, but some things had to be cut to stay within budget. However, the quiet room for rest time, also a request by drivers, was included in the final plans. Mr. Mose reviewed the rest of the thoughts behind the plans. 

In response to Mr. Davidson, Mr. Gilbert noted that plans have not yet been developed on how to deal with the interruptions during construction. Mr. Mose also reviewed the problems with the current heating and air conditioning systems and the plans to correct these problems in the new building. 

Mr. Kipp suggested considering having the wiring updated throughout the building. Mr. Mose added that the new building will be wired with an intrusion alarm system. Mr. Davidson suggested having windows in the new Board room to view the bus storage and circulation area. 

Mr. Davidson complimented the staff and architects for coming up with an excellent plan and workable design. Mr. Davidson also asked about the costs budgeted for temporary office space during construction. Mr. Mose agreed to look into the plans for workspace during construction, he also reviewed the planned construction schedule. 

In response to Mr. McCarl, Mr. Mose noted that it is still undecided whether state or federal money will be used, but the local share is already in place for this capital project. 

There was no Board action required.

 

IV. NEW BUSINESS 

A. Bus Procurement

Mr. Mose noted that earlier this summer the staff issued an Invitation for Bids for the purchase of six 40-foot, low-floor CNG-powered buses, with an option to purchase additional units in each of the succeeding three years. Requests for approved equals were submitted by Orion, Neoplan and New Flyer, but when the due date arrived on August 3, only one manufacturer, New Flyer, submitted a bid.

Mr. Mose added that Neoplan had informed the Authority that they did not bid because CATA would not accept their proposed front axle. Orion could not meet the 250 day delivery requirement.

Mr. Mose stated that New Flyer offered a base bid of $345,830 per unit, for a total of $2,074,980 for six buses, adding that staff has reviewed the bid from New Flyer and it appears to be responsive to the solicitation. New Flyer, from whom CATA has previously purchased buses, is considered a responsible bidder. Between CATA’s federal bus capital earmark and state Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant (AFIG) funds, there should be adequate financial resources to support the purchase.

Mr. Mose also explained that with only one bid in hand, federal procurement regulations require that staff conduct a price analysis, which consists of getting prices from other transit systems where competitive bids have recently been submitted. So far the two transit properties contacted have received low bids in excess of $350,000 per bus for similar coaches. On that basis, the staff has determined that the bid from New Flyer is fair and reasonable.

If the Board approves this procurement, staff will give New Flyer a formal notice to proceed. A pre-production meeting will be held next month, and the buses should be constructed in time for delivery in late spring 2002. 

Mr. Davidson moved that the Board authorize the General Manager to execute a contract with New Flyer of America, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $2,074,980 for the purchase of six 40-foot, low-floor, CNG- powered buses. Mr. Kipp seconded the motion. 

In response to Mr. Powers, Mr. Gilbert confirmed that the New Flyers would be compatible with the same parts and technology as the current buses. Mr. Gilbert also noted that there is an option to purchase six more buses over the next three years. 

In response to Mr. Davidson, Mr. Mose noted that the wiring in the new buses will be set up to handle the smart bus technology for possible future upgrades. He added that with this procurement all CATA’s full size transit coaches will be CNG powered, but it may be a good idea to retain the diesel Gilligs in a contingency reserve fleet in case of emergency needs. 

Chairman Spychalski also pointed out that the Orions and first order of New Flyers may be ready for overhaul soon, which could possibly cause a shortage of available buses. 

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: 

Intermodal Transportation Center In response to Mr. Kipp, Mr. Mose reported that the consultant’s work concluded that the current location on South Atherton is actually the best location available. However, there are suggestions for improvements and amenities of the existing site. 

IST Building Mr. Kipp noted that the proposed IST Building at Penn State may be in jeopardy because of PennDOT concerns.

 

VI. ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further discussion, Chairman Spychalski adjourned the meeting to Executive Session at 5:18 p.m. to discuss personnel and real estate matters.

The Executive Session was adjourned at 6:00 p.m.