CENTRE AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

REGULAR BOARD MEETING MINUTES

April 22, 2002

4:00 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH COUNCIL CHAMBERS

 

 

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:

 John Spychalski, Chairman

Donald Sherman, Vice_Chairman

Richard Kipp, Treasurer

Joseph Davidson

Gary Powers

 

OTHERS PRESENT:

Hugh Mose, General Manager

Judith Minor, Director of Administration

L. Eric Bernier, Director of Service Development

Joseph Gilbert, Director of Transportation

Diane Heichel, Executive Assistant

Richard McCarl, Borough Liaison

 

 

I. CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:06 p.m.

Mr. Mose introduced Ms. Sherry Snyder and Mr. Justin Schmidt, CATAís newest Operations Supervisors. Both were former CATA Bus Drivers.

Mr. Mose also introduced Mr. Bob Beck, the newly elected President of AFSCME Local 1203-B and Mr. Kent Wilson, Treasurer of Local 1203-B.

 

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 March 25, 2002 Board Meeting

Mr. Sherman moved that the Board approve the minutes of the March 25, 2002, Board meeting. Mr. Powers seconded the motion. Chairman Spychalski noted that on page 4, category 4, item A, in the second paragraph, "intramodel" strategies, should be changed to "intermodel."

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

B. Receipt of the March 2002 Finance Reports

Mr. Kipp moved that the Board receive the March 2002 Finance Reports. Mr. Sherman seconded the motion.

Ms. Minor stated that there was nothing notable to report. The Authority is starting to use Federal Operating funds. March payroll and benefits may seem high, but this was the result of three pay periods in March.

Mr. Mose observed that other than driversí labor and benefits, all line items seem to be well in line with projections.

Mr. Powers noted that fuel expenses seem to be well under control. Ms. Minor reviewed the procedures to lock into a price for natural gas. Chairman Spychalski expressed his concern about the rising world petroleum prices.

In response to Mr. Kipp, Mr. Bernier noted that there were more schedules printed this year than budgeted for; however, all the schedules for this fiscal year have been printed so there should be no further expense for that line item.

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

C. FY 2002/03 Budget Update

Mr. Mose reported that following the March Board meeting, the staff finalized the Budget document and two weeks ago he and Chairman Spychalski presented the DRAFT Budget to the COG Finance Committee. After a brief question and answer session, the Committee voted to forward the Budget on to the COG General Forum.

Mr. Mose outlined the Budget review process and final approval by the COG Finance Committee, the General Forum, and each municipality.

Mr. Mose noted that he and Mr. Bernier were interviewed by a reporter from the Centre Daily Times and there will probably be an article about CATA in an upcoming edition.

No Board action was required.

D. Proposed Service Changes

Mr. Mose referred to the memo and the maps and timetables included in the Board Packets, which stated that a July implementation was somewhat dependant on the Unionís willingness to participate in an early rebid and the Universityís willingness to accept the service package proposed by the Authority. Mr. Mose then reported that he was informed just before the Board meeting that at a special meeting held on Sunday, April 21, the members of AFSCME Local 1203-B voted down any participation in an early rebid. He also added that he has not had the opportunity to meet with the University on the proposed service level. Both of these factors may prevent implementation of the service changes by July 1.

Mr. Mose reviewed the memo and the proposed service changes and the rationale behind the changes. There was discussion on the closing of K-Mart, the new housing development on Valley Vista Drive at Circleville Road, and the traffic congestion on North Atherton Street. In response to Mr. Davidson, Mr. Mose noted that there may be a possibility of using out-of-service buses heading back to the CATA facility to supplement service to the K Route along West College Avenue.

In response to Chairman Spychalski, Mr. Bernier noted that the new routing for the M Route will provide better service for the majority of the riders.

Mr. Mose stressed the ongoing problems associated with high ridership from the apartment complexes along Vairo Boulevard. Interlining the N, V and the R Routes has advantages during full and reduced service. Mr. Mose reviewed the tripper service and new routing.

Mr. Mose continued reviewing the changes on each route, the objectives of each change, and how the riders will best be served. There was extended discussion of the changes on the P Route and the proposed change to hourly service. Mr. Sherman expressed his feeling that the hourly timetable is not as important as the level of service on both inbound and outbound trips. In response to Mr. Sherman, Mr. Mose noted that the P Route is the only route with frequencies longer than an hour.

Mr. Mose also reviewed the proposed LOOP/LINK service and the free-fare zone concept which utilizes five Centre Line routes (H, M, P, U, and certain V trippers) rerouted to replicate the path of either the Town or Campus LOOP. He also added that with the new student housing on the West Campus, the LINK will be expanded to include evenings and weekends throughout the school year.

In response to Mr. Davidson, Mr. Mose noted that the University requested that the free-fare zone be extended on Fox Hollow Road to provide service to the agricultural laboratories on Orchard Road. There was also discussion on The Village and plans to provide service for its residents and employees.

In response to Mr. Mose, the Board concurred that staff should continue working on the proposed service changes with the goal of implementing the changes on July 1.

Mr. Davidson moved that the Board adopt the proposed service plan as outlined in the attached memo and direct staff to finalize the details so that the service changes and the previously-adopted fare increase can be implemented effective July 1. Mr. Powers seconded the motion. Mr. Mose noted that he could not promise that the changes will be implemented by July 1 pending agreements with the Bargaining Unit and Penn State. Mr. Davidson amended his motion to say "on or about July 1."

Chairman Spychalski commented on the A Route and that the changes should solve the schedule delays caused by the congestion on Shortlidge Road. Mr. Bernier agreed that keeping buses off Shortlidge Road will help CATA to maintain its schedule integrity.

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

E. Operations/Administration Area Expansion

Mr. Gilbert reported that the contractors have been on the property for about four weeks. The new parking lot is in, but will not be paved until sometime in May. Most of the Operations staff have moved their offices into the Board room. The old Operations offices have since been gutted. The project is presently on schedule with the completion of the exterior plumbing work. Mr. Gilbert reviewed some of the progress of the construction process. The Dispatch office continues to work under extremely poor conditions and the dayroom is crowded, but everyone is cooperating. In response to Chairman Spychalski, Mr. Gilbert noted that he is basically satisfied with the project thus far. The project is due for completion around the beginning of November.

Mr. Gilbert also reported that work has begun on the installation of the second CNG dispenser.

 

IV. NEW BUSINESS

A. Resolution Authorizing the filing of FY 2002/03 State Operating Assistance Grant

Ms. Minor noted that the State Operating Assistance Grant application is due by July 1 and the resolution included in the Board packets is part of that application process.

Mr. Sherman moved that the Board adopt the enclosed resolution authorizing the filing of the FY 2002/03 State Operating Assistance Grant application. Mr. Kipp seconded the motion.

In response to Mr. Davidson, Ms. Minor reviewed the grant as well as the State funding cuts in supplemental appropriations, noting that she does not believe that this grant will be cut further.

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

B. FY 2002/03 Shared Ride Grant Application

Ms. Minor outlined the program and explained that staff has prepared the annual application to participate in the stateís Shared Ride program which provides lottery funds to partially reimburse costs associated with Shared Ride paratransit service for senior citizens over the age of 65. This service is provided through the Centre Ride program under a subcontract with Handy Delivery, Inc.

Under this program, senior citizens pay 15% of the general public fare (currently $8.35) established under the grant, or $1.25 per trip. Lottery-based reimbursement provides the remaining 85% of the full fare, up to the state-established limit for each trip. The grant amount is based on estimated senior citizen ridership for FY 2002/03, but is subject to adjustment by PENNDOT both prior to approval and during the fiscal year, depending on legislative authorization levels, actual statewide lottery receipts, and ridership during the year.

Mr. Powers moved that the Board authorize the filing and execution of the FY 2002/03 Shared Ride Grant Application. Mr. Davidson seconded the motion. There being no further discussion, Chairman Spychalski called for a vote and the motion passed unanimously.

C. Centre Ride Contract for FY 2002/03

Mr. Mose, referring to the Agenda Items Memo, noted that in 1998 the Authority awarded a contract to Handy Delivery which included an option for CATA to extend the contract annually for three additional years (through FY 2001/02). CATA has exercised each of these three option years.

With all of the other activities going on at CATA this spring, rather than undertake a new solicitation, the staff has approached Handy Delivery concerning extending the existing agreement for an additional year. Handy Delivery is willing to continue the program for another year under the same terms and conditions. However, they have requested a rate increase of $0.05 per trip (to $8.15 and $12.80 per ambulatory and non-ambulatory trip respectively) to cover normal increases in operating expenses. At projected ridership levels this increase would result in an additional cost to CATA of approximately $1,800 for the upcoming year.

Mr. Mose added that given the very modest increase requested and our overall satisfaction with Handy Deliveryís performance, the staff would like to extend the current contract for one additional year. Although this will take the current contract one year beyond the three option years envisioned in the original procurement, a fifth year is still within the maximum length allowable under federal regulations.

Mr. Kipp moved that the Board authorize the General Manager to extend the current contract with Handy Delivery for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2002, with new rates of $8.15 per ambulatory passenger and $12.80 per non-ambulatory passenger. Mr. Davidson seconded the motion.

In response to Mr. Sherman, Mr. Mose noted that Handy Delivery was the sole proposer for this contract. In response to Mr. Davidson, Mr. Gilbert reviewed the option to extend the contract for three years, noting that federal regulations allows the Authority to extend the contract up to a total of five years.

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

 

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V. OTHER BUSINESS

A. General Manager's Report

Mr. Mose reported on the following items:

The semi-annual Shared Ride Customer meeting will be held tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in the CATA Board room.

CATA will be participating in the annual Adults in Action Expo to be held at the Nittany Mall on May 2 and 3. Anyone 55 years of age or older may ride any Centre Line bus for free those two days.

Wednesday night is the Mid-State Literacy Councilís annual Corporate Spelling Bee to be held at South Hills School of Business and Technologies. He, Judith Minor, and Amanda Jones will be participating.

CATA will hold its annual Employee Appreciation Breakfast on Wednesday, May 8. Mr. Mose invited the Board members to come out and help cook and eat.

The Daily Collegian recently ran a favorable editorial about the late night service during finals week.

B. Service Development Report

Mr. Bernier noted that there was nothing more to report beyond the Service Development report included in the Board packets.

Chairman Spychalski reported that the Board met in Executive Session on March 26 to discuss personnel matters.

VI. ADJOURNMENT

There being no further discussion, at 5:36 p.m. Chairman Spychalski adjourned to Executive Session to discuss personnel matters.

 

VII. EXECUTIVE SESSION

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