AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
REGULAR BOARD MEETING & PUBLIC HEARING
May 21, 2007
STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH BUILDING
Room 241, 243 S. Allen Street, State College, PA
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
John Spychalski, Chairman
Joseph L. Davidson, Vice Chairman
Richard Kipp, Treasurer
Hugh Mose, General Manager
Judith Minor, Director of Administration
Amanda Jones, Asst. Director of Administration
Eric Bernier, Service Development Manager
Joe Gilbert, Director of Transportation Services
Jackie Sheader, Marketing Manager
Terri Quici, Executive Assistant
Carl Hess, State College Borough Planning Director
Dan Jones, Battaglia-Jones Landscape Architects
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:04 PM.
II. PUBLIC HEARING
TO RECEIVE COMMENTS FOR SERVICE STANDARDS FOR FY 2007/2008
Chairman Spychalski opened the hearing and called for comment from the public. When no one came forward to speak, Chairman Spychalski closed the public hearing.
III. PUBLIC COMMENTS
IV. OLD BUSINESS
A. Approval of April 23, 1007 Board Meeting Minutes
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the minutes. Richard Kipp moved to approve the minutes of the April 23, 2007 Board meeting. Gary Powers seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
B. Receipt of the April 2007 Financial Report
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to receive the financial report. Richard Kipp moved to receive the April 2007 Financial Report. Gary Powers seconded.
Judi Minor stated that a prior error has been corrected under Pass Sales; there are additional expenses under Maintenance for transmission and injector valve purchases; and the alternative fuel tax rebate was received and posted under Revenue Vehicles Maintenance. Hugh Mose asked Ms. Minor if we will end the year ahead of the budget. Ms. Minor said yes except for Farebox Revenue.
Mr. Mose reported on the Fare Media and Ridership reports, indicating that the same upward trends are occurring again this month with OnePass purchases up 33% and Centre Line ridership by 21%.
Richard Kipp stated that March ridership on the B Route was up due to snowy weather and riders going to Tussey Mountain; but April ridership was also up and he wondered if it was also related to those going to Tussey Mountain. Hugh Mose stated that even though there was snow in April, the skiing season was over; and ridership growth was more related to additional people riding public transit in general.
With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.
C. Policy Adoption
D. Schlow Library/Downtown CATA Office Streetscape Project Update
Dan Jones, landscape architect, presented for consideration by the Board a single plan that represented a consolidation of the three previous streetscape plan concepts. Mr. Jones noted that this is a master plan and still has flexibility. Mr. Jones said that in this plan the benches are moved around the area; single streetlights are replaced with multiple globes; a sign is placed next to the door to identify the CATA Office plus additional signage is added on the canopy to further clarify location and identity; a plasma TV is located in one window for bus schedule information; an artistic/antique clock is placed on the corner, planting strips and more trees are added, and “CATA” is imprinted in sidewalk.
Joe Davidson asked about liability and maintenance of the trees. Eric Bernier stated that both Library Board and State College Borough representatives were at the meetings, and that the Borough and Library are responsible for maintenance of the sidewalks. Judi Minor asked if there were any ADA compliance issues having the planting strips in the middle of the sidewalk. Mr. Jones said that there is plenty of sidewalk still available which meets the 8’ minimum clearance requirement.
Chairman Spychalski asked for the Board’s consensus on the plan. Each member agreed on the scope of the plan. Chairman Spychalski asked Mr. Jones not to proceed too far, though, with planning before the Board has a chance to discuss details. Eric Bernier stated that the Design Review Board will be the next group to review the overall design. Joe Davidson asked if the price of this plan is more or less than the other two concepts that were presented at the last Board meeting. Mr. Jones indicated it would be a little less than the other concepts. There was no further discussion.
E. Adoption of FY 2007/2008 Service Plan
Eric Bernier provided a memo in the Board packets listing the proposed route and schedule changes and providing some background on each. Mr. Bernier noted that Penn State has not yet agreed with our request to change the service calendar to just two levels, and there will be no route changes on the S Route at this time. Joe Davidson asked Mr. Bernier to describe the P Route changes in which there will now be service to the airport.
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the 2007/2008 Service Plan with the detail with Penn State to be worked out by staff at a later time. Joe Davidson moved to approve the 2007/2008 Service Plan; Gary Powers seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
V. NEW BUSINESS
A. Service Standards for FY 2007/2008
Eric Bernier explained that each year grant recipients set their own objectives and performance levels to be achieved in meeting PENNDOT’s service standards. Mr. Bernier indicated that the shaded areas in the last column represent the changes for FY 2007/2008. Mr. Bernier also stated that is it required to hold a public hearing to receive comments and that notice was advertised in our local newspaper.
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adopt the FY 2007/2008 Service Standards as proposed. Joe Davidson moved to adopt the Service Standards; Gary Powers seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
B. Resolution Approving Request for Dedicated and Supplemental Public Transportation Assistance Funds
Judi Minor stated that each year staff submits the grant application for capital projects. Ms. Minor noted one new capital project is added this year. Joe Davidson moved to adopt the resolution for FY 2007/2008 Act 26 and Act 3 dedicated funds; Gary Powers seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
C. State Transit Funding – Position Statement
Hugh Mose stated that there is a need to formulate a set of principles that future state funding must encompass to meet CATA’s needs. Mr. Mose indicated that these will be “talking points” that our community leaders and staff could use when communicating with our legislators. Mr. Mose reviewed seven of the twelve talking points most significant to CATA, which reflect funding that should be sufficient, inflation-sensitive, protective of current programs, forward-looking, allocated simply, transit-supportive and responsive to community interest.
Chairman Spychalski stated that the Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO) agenda includes a transit funding lobbying item and this position statement could be used when discussing the issue tomorrow night. Richard Kipp stated that he felt that #7, referencing that funding be provided in all rural areas of the Commonwealth, could hurt us when stated so strongly since it is so expensive to provide public transit in rural areas. Discussion continued regarding funding in rural areas. Board and staff agreed to change #7 to read “Provide a mechanism for transit funding in rural areas throughout the Commonwealth.”
Joe Davidson moved to adopt the Position Statement as amended. Gary Powers seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
D. Borough of State College – West End Plan
Carl Hess, Borough Planning Director, presented a slide presentation on the proposed redevelopment of the west end of State College Borough that would include parking, housing, transit and businesses. Mr. Hess stated that the intercity bus terminal plans are included in this area along with an improved public transit connection. Mr. Hess also noted a possibility of relocating the Post House Tavern to use as a possible bus shelter. Mr. Hess stated that the Redevelopment Authority would like to partner with CATA, as a means of accessing additional funding opportunities.
Mr. Hess stated that the West End Plan is on the State College Borough Council agenda for tonight’s meeting to adopt as a master plan. Joe Davidson asked what the net effect is for the residential areas. Mr. Hess stated that there would be no net loss of density as planned but it depends on certain redevelopment opportunities.
With no further discussion, Hugh Mose and Chairman Spychalski thanked Mr. Hess for his presentation to the Board.
VI. OTHER BUSINESS
A. General Manager’s Report
Hugh Mose asked Joe Gilbert to report on the Regional Bus Roadeo. Mr. Gilbert stated that CATA scored enough points with our six drivers to win the overall championship trophy this year. He said that four transit systems participated and that CATA has three drivers moving onto the State Roadeo in July. Chairman Spychalski congratulated Mr. Gilbert on our success.
Mr. Gilbert also reported that the Hydrogen bus has been out shadowing the LOOP route and tomorrow it goes into regular service. However, there are still problems with the hydrogen fueling station, so the bus is running on CNG.
Mr. Mose reported that Greg Kausch continues to work on the Coordinated Plan and has hosted three public meetings. The meetings were well attended and a number of transportation needs have been identified, particularly human service program needs.
Mr. Mose stated that he and Chairman Spychalski will be attending the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors meeting later tonight to review the CATA 2007/2008 Budget. Mr. Mose will also attend the COG Finance Committee meeting tomorrow morning, where if all goes well, the Draft Budget will be forwarded to the COG General Forum on May 29th for final approval of the local share request.
Joe Davidson asked if there was any good or bad feedback from the municipalities. Mr. Mose stated that he had attended two meetings so far and the comments were positive with no particular concerns. Eric Bernier stated that he attended College Township’s meeting in which one member felt that CATA is missing a revenue opportunity by not selling exterior bus advertising. Mr. Bernier said that he would refer his concern to the Board for discussion and that this topic is usually brought up every couple of years. Mr. Bernier also stated that the Township is appreciative of the bus service.
Chairman Spychalski reported that the Ferguson Township newsletter had included an ad promoting CATA’s RideShare program. Chairman Spychalski wanted to officially compliment the Supervisors, Manager and staff for including the information.
B. Service Development Report
Eric Bernier stated that there was nothing more to add to the memo the Board received in their packets. Gary Powers asked for an update on the Curtin Road Transit Center project. Mr. Bernier stated that the road had closed today and construction began this morning. He also referred Board members to a link on CATA’s home web page that provides information on this project. Mr. Bernier said that he would be attending the project meetings and will provide updates.
Joe Davidson asked for an update on the bus rehabilitation project. Joe Gilbert said that three buses had been sent to Midwest Bus Rebuilders, and that he would be going out to Michigan the first week in June.
Gary Powers moved to adjourn the meeting; Richard Kipp seconded. The meeting was adjourned at
An Executive Session was held following the Regular Board meeting to discuss personnel matters.