AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
REGULAR BOARD MEETING MINUTES
November 27, 2006
STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH BUILDING
Room 241, 243 S. Allen Street
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
John Spychalski, Chairman
Richard Kipp, Treasurer
Joseph L. Davidson
Hugh Mose, General Manager
Judith Minor, Director of Administration
Joe Gilbert, Director of Transportation
Sherry Snyder, Asst. Director of Transportation
Eric Bernier, Service Development Manager
Amanda Jones, Asst. Director, Administration
Jacqueline Sheader, Marketing Manager
Terri Quici, Executive Assistant
Craig Humphrey, State College Borough Liaison
Greg Kausch, CRPA Sr. Transportation Planner
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:04 PM.
II. PUBLIC COMMENT
Craig Humphrey stated that the Centre Region Council of Governments (COG) would be discussing the new bus station that evening, including the identification of funding within the next 18 months. Mr. Humphrey asked whether that meant that a decision on where the new bus station will be built would also be made in the same timeframe. Mr. Mose responded that since neither of thw two “finalist” sites identified in the recent study wee as attractive as the current location, mementum seemed to be building for including the Intercity Bus Terminal along with a new parking structure on the West Campus, a decision that might be made within the next 18 months. Since such a project could be eligible for federal transit funding, one of the other recommendations going to the COG is that CATA remain one of the key project partners. Mr. Mose further explained that CATA would have a relationship similar to the one we had with Schlow Library in that CATA will receive the earmark and work together with Penn State and Centre Region COG to develop the new bus terminal.
III. OLD BUSINESS
A. Approval of Minutes of October 23, 2006 Regular Board Meeting
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the minutes. Richard Kipp moved to approve the minutes of the October 23, 2006 Regular Board Meeting as presented. Kathryn Bittner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
B. Receipt of October 2006 Finance Reports
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to accept the October Finance Report. Kathryn Bittner moved to accept the October 2006 Finance Report. Joe Davidson seconded.
Judi Minor reported on several large expenditure items (Misc Maintenance Supplies and Contract Maintenance) and noted that nothing was out of the ordinary with revenue. Ms. Minor stated that an entry under Misc Non-Transportation Revenue includes reimbursement for work on the Hydrogen Bus. Ms. Minor also stated that expenses for tires, security guards for football shuttle service, and credit card fees are also notable for this report.
Hugh Mose reported that paratransit ridership is about even compared with last year, that OnePass sales have continued to increase (YTD figures are up 30%); and that Ride For Five utilization has leveled off. Mr. Mose noted that overall ridership is up about 5%.
With no further discussion, Chairman Spychalski called for a vote. The motion carried unanimously.
C. Policy Review and Adoption
Amanda Jones stated that in Sections I – VI of the Personnel Manual wording under the Disclaimer and Nepotism, headings has been modified as requested at last month’s Board meeting.
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adopt Sections I through VI of the Personnel Manual. Gary Powers moved to adopt Sections I – VI. Richard Kipp seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Jones stated that copies of Section VII through XIII of the Personnal Manual are also enclosed in their packets for review. Ms. Jones noted that grammar edits and proposed content changes are indicated by strikeouts and editorial notes.
Discussion ensued regarding Jury Leave provisions. Mr. Kipp wondered if reimbursement for personal expenses (meals and/or mileage) was included in the amount that employees had to return to CATA in exchange for receiving full salary. Ms. Jones responded that she would investigate other practices and report back to the Board.
IV. NEW BUSINESS
A. Bus Refurbishment
Joe Gilbert stated that three proposals for Bus Refurbishment Services had been received, and a fourth was received late and not accepted. Mr. Gilbert stated that the team scored Midwest Bus Corporation from Owosso, Michigan in the top position. Mr. Gilbert stated that Midwest has tentatively agreed to refurbish a “pilot bus” which will give staff an opportunity to evaluate their work and customer service. Mr. Gilbert indicated that the bus could be taken as early as next week and be completed by March. Mr. Gilbert said that additional buses would be sent in early May if everything meets approval. There was additional discussion as to what components will be refurbished and how.
Joe Davidson asked what the total cost of the refurbishment project was expected to be, to which Joe Gilbert and Judi Minor responded with the figure of $982,754. Mr. Davidson expressed concern about authorizing the staff to execute a contract without some indication of the total amount, and asked if that shouldn’t be included in the action the Board was being requested to take. The staff responded that including a “not to exceed” amount would be appropriate.
Joe Davidson moved that the Board authorize the General Manager to sign a contract to refurbish up to five New Flyer Buses with an option to refurbish an additional five within two years, not to exeed the total money available for the project of $982,754. Kathryn Bittner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
B. Centre County Transportation
Hugh Mose reported that he had several conversations with both the County Commissioners and County staff regarding issues emerging in the Centre County Transportation Office with the retirement of the Director. Mr. Mose stated that the three areas that CATA may be able to assist the County during the transition are (1) participating in the review of employment applications for the Director position, (2) helping them connect with an experienced paratransit consultant; and (3) investing a limited amount of staff time to help the County identify where economies might be achieved. Gary Powers asked Mr. Mose to explain what services are provided by the Centre County Transportation Office. Mr. Mose also provided examples of other transit authorities (such as in Cambria County and Beaver County) that offer the same services. Richard Kipp asked if a written agreement that would outline just how much CATA is willing to be involved in the transition would be necessary. Joe Davidson and Kathryn Bittner agreed that if there were no burden on CATA staff, it would meet their approval without an agreement.
C. Resolution for Transfer of New Flyer Vehicles
Judi Minor explained that the two New Flyer buses that were transferred to CATA from York had not yet reached the end of their 12-year useful lives, and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requires that the remaining federal interest be formally transferred to CATA. Ms. Minor stated that the Authority must adopt a resolution certifying that it will assume responsibility for maintaining the equipment in mass transportation use and that it will compensate the FTA for the federal share of the remaining value of the buses, if any, when the vehicles are removed from public transit use.
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adopt the resolution and authorize staff to transmit it to the FTA and the York County Transit Authority. Gary Powers moved to adopt the resolution. Richard Kipp seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
D. Governor’s Transportation Funding and Reform Commission – Final Report
Hugh Mose stated that on Nov. 13th the Transportation Funding and Reform Commission released its Final Report, which is a comprehensive evaluation of transportation funding. Mr. Mose said that there is “a lot to like” and that the report is a starting place. Mr. Mose said that the next step in the process begins with a meeting in Harrisburg on December 5, at which time transit leaders will discuss prospective sources of funding and how the funding might be allocated. Joe Davidson asked Mr. Mose how the Board could best support him. Mr. Mose stated that Board members need to first make our representatives in Harrisburg aware of the issues and then encourage them to find the best solutions. Mr. Mose offered a complete copy of the 125-page report to any Board members who are interested.
E. December Regular Board Meeting
Hugh Mose stated that due to a lack of agenda items, staff does not believe that there are any issues so pressing that the December 18th meeting needs to be held. Mr. Mose said that it might be advisable to hold off on a final decision, though, with the unfolding situation regarding transportation funding. Joe Davidson moved to authorize the Chairman to cancel the meeting should circumstances dictate. Kathryn Bittner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
A. General Manager’s Report
Hugh Mose reminded the Board that the CATA Holiday Party is December 3rd. Mr. Mose stated that the Holiday Lights Tour event will be held 12/16 – 12/22 and that Jackie Sheader is looking for volunteers to assist. Mr. Mose reported that the Hydrogen Bus is back on the Test Track and getting closer to being in service. Mr. Mose and Greg Kausch reported that the Old Fort Park and Ride lot has a revised design that includes 53 spaces. Mr. Mose also reported that the Curtin Road Transit center is being redesigned and scaled down to accommodate three buses on each side of the road. Mr. Mose said that construction is to begin in May 2007. Mr. Mose announced that CATA has reached an agreement with Parkway Plaza and that staff began producing apartment passes today. Lastly, Mr. Mose reported that a meeting with representatives from Fullington Bus Company regarding rush hour service between State College and Altoona would be held tomorrow. Joe Davidson asked what the anticipated fare would be and Mr. Mose said that it may be $13 one-way, but that Fullington has plans for multiple-ride and monthly tickets, which although fairly expensive would be sold at a discount.
B. Service Development Report
Eric Bernier reported that CATA has had a long history with Parkway Plaza and he felt it was pretty significant that the last privately-owned apartment complex bus is being replaced by a purchase-of-service contract with CATA. Eric reported that about 200 Parkway Plaza passes were produced today.
Gary Powers thanked Mr. Bernier for the Service Development Report because he feels informed and up to date with the information that is provided.
With no further business to discuss, Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adjourn the meeting. Gary Powers moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:52 PM. Kathryn Bittner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
VII. EXECUTIVE SESSION
The Board recessed to Executive Session to discuss personnel matters.