AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
REGULAR BOARD MEETING MINUTES
July 26, 2004
STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH BUILDING
Conference Room 241, 243 S. Allen Street
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
John Spychalski, Chairman
Don Sherman, Vice-Chairman
Richard Kipp, Treasurer
Hugh Mose, General Manager
Joseph Gilbert, Director of Transportation
Judith Minor, Director of Administration
Eric Bernier, Service Development Manager
Terri Quici, Executive Assistant
Tim Geibel, CRPA, Transportation Planner
Walter Cherwony, Abrams, Cherwony & Associates
Cary Supalo, President, National Federation of the Blind
Craig Humphreys, State College Borough Liaison
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:03 PM and announced that there had been an Executive Session on 7/7/04 regarding personnel matters.
II PUBLIC COMMENT
III. OLD BUSINESS
of Minutes of May 24, 2004 Board Meeting
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the minutes. Don Sherman moved to approve the minutes of the May 24, 2004 Board Meeting. Gary Powers seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
B. May 2004
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to receive the May 2004 Finance Report. Richard Kipp moved to receive the May 2004 Finance Report. Gary Powers seconded.
There was discussion regarding low ridership and fuel prices that continue to exceed budget.
Chairman Spychalski called for a vote and the motion carried unanimously.
Plan Presentation by Abrams-Cherwony Associates
Hugh Mose stated that CATA has been working cooperatively with the Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO) to create a Long Range Transportation Plan to address transportation needs in the region. Abrams-Cherwony Associates, the consulting firm which has been retrieved to prepare the transit element of the CCMPO Plan, was also asked to update the existing CATA Strategic Plan. Tim Geibel, Transportation Planner, noted that the Plan has been reviewed by CATA staff, staff from Penn State and the Centre County Office of Transportation. Mr. Walt Cherwony was present to provide an update to the Board.
Mr. Cherwony stated that the Plan sets a stage for where this agency should be in the next few years. It is really one of three separate planning efforts: Centre County Comprehensive Plan (Transportation Element), Long Range Transportation Plan, and Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan is based on stakeholder interviews, demographics of the State College area, an attitude survey of 400 residents, growth trends for the last five years, transit service issues, and how CATA and the Centre County Office of Transportation might work together.
Mr. Cherwony reported that there are sixteen (16) major issues facing CATA. He further noted that each issue can be dealt with individually and implemented in pieces since there are no pre-requisites. Mr. Cherwony stated that funding is the number one priority, because without the funding other issues can not be implemented. Mr. Cherwony continued his presentation with brief descriptions of each of the major issues which are:
• Network Structure
• Service Levels
• Service Coverage
• Campus/CBD Bus Routings
• Regional Commuter Bus
• Demand Responsive
• Regional Mobility Manager
• ADA Paratransit
• Research Initiatives
• Transit Facilities
• Transit Infrastructure
• Intelligent Transportation Systems
• Fare Structure
• Public Transportation Organization
• Management Performance Review
Chairman Spychalski thanked Mr. Cherwony for his update to the Board. Mr. Mose commented that there really wasn’t anything in the sixteen issues that is new information. Chairman Spychalski stated that it is ongoing and that we need to keep attentive to the Plan and continue follow-up.
Don Sherman noted that our area is growing yet the formula for state funding is not changing. Mr. Cherwony stated that PPTA needs to be continually reminded that not every place in the state is the same. Mr. Geibel also stated that funding makes this plan “go” and as PENNDOT makes resources available, we need to take advantage (such as the Park and Ride lot and the Transit Signal Priority project).
Cary Supalo, President, National Federation of the Blind – Happy Valley Chapter, requested consideration for the “smart bus” technology with audible bus stop enunciators. Discussion continued regarding several of the issues.
Chairman Spychalski entertained a
motion to receive the presentation from Abrams-Cherwony, and allowing the Board
a reasonable time to provide additional comments. Joe Davidson moved to receive
the presentation. Don Sherman seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
V. NEW BUSINESS
A. Federal Capital
Judi Minor discussed the grant for construction of a transit facility at Schlow Library, under an approved federal earmark.
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adopt the resolution authorizing the filing and executing of a federal capital grant for construction of a transit facility at the Schlow Library. Don Sherman moved to adopt the resolution authorizing the filing. Joe Davidson seconded. The motion carried unanimously
B. Tire Contract
Mr. Mose indicated that this was an information only item. Ms. Minor explained that in April an Invitation For Bids (IFB) was issued for a new contract. There were only two (2) bidders: Firestone and Goodyear. Mr. Mose noted that there are only two firms in business who “lease” tires and Firestone, who submitted the low bid, has been awarded the contract for a three year period, with an option for an additional two years.
C. August Board
Mr. Mose reviewed notes from the May meeting in which it was agreed that at the July meeting the Board would consider the need for an August meeting. It is the staff’s recommendation to hold an August meeting to bring a recommendation regarding Banking Services to the Board for their review. Judi Minor added that a Fraud Policy also needs to be addressed before the conclusion of the final audit. Members of the Board indicated they were available for the regularly scheduled August 23rd Board meeting. Chairman Spychalski stated the Board would hold the meeting.
VI. OTHER BUSINESS
A. General Manager’s
Mr. Mose announced that there is a survey being conducted by AMTRAN regarding service between Altoona and the Centre Region. Mr. Mose announced that John Benninghoff has retired from CATA after 19 years of service. Mr. Mose will be participating in a Transportation Cooperative Research Program Research Panel in Washington D.C. next week.
Mr. Mose and Mr. Geibel reported that they have been selected to serve on the panel to determine a new terminal location for the Greyhound station on Atherton Street. Ms. Geibel indicated that Penn State will be funding the project while State College Borough will manage it. Mr. Sherman asked what the outcome was of the last survey a few years ago. Mr. Geibel stated that the finding was to leave the depot where it is; the next few best places were all located near the existing station. Mr. Geibel stated that the bottom line is that Penn State is developing the western area of the campus and the terminal must be relocated.
Mr. Mose stated that there will be no action on TEA-21 funding until after the election and that consequently FY 2004/2005 federal funding should be about the same as this year. Mr. Mose and Mr. Gilbert reported on the radio theft and arson of a CATA sedan. Mr. Gilbert reported it was a slow fire and the car has been released from impound. The case remains open with Ferguson Township Police investigating.
Ms. Minor reported that the auditors were pleased with their findings after three days at CATA. Mr. Bernier reported on the Mag-Stripe Card project and that today, for the first time, staff has successfully “swiped” a card.
Mr. Mose next provided an update on the Hydrogen Bus project. He stated that we’ll probably have one bus with a Daewoo diesel engine operating on the LOOP. Hugh has asked Penn State to keep CATA informed as the project progresses.
B. Service Development
Mr. Bernier reported that the www.catabus.com website has been reformatted, providing more institutional information and Board member profiles. The full budget is also online for the first time for anyone to download and print. The website also now has a search engine. Mr. Bernier also stated that the RideGuides, which will include Board member profiles, included and they are scheduled to be available by August 13th. Mr. Bernier reported that the Football Shuttle will be the same as last year, leaving from Hills Plaza.
With no further business to discuss, Chairman Spychalski adjourned the meeting at 5:25 PM.