CENTRE AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

 

REGULAR BOARD MEETING

MINUTES

(PDF Version)

 

June 2, 2008

4:00 PM

STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH BUILDING

Room 241, 243 S. Allen Street, State College, PA

 

 

BOARD MEMEBERS PRESENT:          John Spychalski, Chairman
                                                               Joseph L. Davidson, Vice Chairman
                                                               Richard Kipp, Treasurer
                                                               Gary Powers
                                                               Kathryn Bittner

 

STAFF PRESENT:                                 Hugh Mose, General Manager
                                                              Joe Gilbert, Director of Transportation

                                                              Judi Minor, Director of Administration
                                                              Greg Kausch, Transportation Planner
                                                              Jackie Sheader, Marketing Manager
                                                              Dina Ruggiero, Grants Manager

 

OTHERS PRESENT:                              Doug Erickson, Patton Township Manager

I.     CALL TO ORDER

       Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:06 p.m. and announced that an Executive Session had been held on May 12, 2008 to discuss personnel matters.          Chairman Spychalski also welcomed Patton Township Manager, Doug Erickson to the meeting.

II.    PUBLIC COMMENTS

       There were no public comments.

III.    OLD BUSINESS

         A.  Approval of April 28, 2008 Regular Board Meeting Minutes

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the April 28, 2008 Regular Board Meeting Minutes. Richard Kipp moved to approve the minutes and     Gary Powers seconded. With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

          BReceipt of the April 2008 Financial Report

Judi Minor gave a summary of line items for April and explained several items that are running below budget.  Judi also explained that the fuel budget should be on track with projections, in part because of the tax credit that was received and in part because fuel was purchased below projected cost for most of the year.  Judi indicated that next year’s fuel line item may be over budget if gas prices continue to rise.

 

Hugh Mose provided a brief summary on ridership numbers for the month of April, indicating that Centre Line was up by about 13% and Loop was up about 6%.  Hugh mentioned that the numbers for May might be flat due to the number of calendar days this year compared to last year.  Overall ridership numbers are up by double digits from last year.  Hugh noted that OnePass sales are down for the month and Ride-for-Five pass sales are up.  Centre Ride numbers also continue to increase.  Centre Commute numbers continue to increase each month, however we are not even close to breaking even due to the maintenance costs associated with the upkeep of the older vans that were purchased from Penn State.

 

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the April 2008 Finance Report.  Richard Kipp moved to approve the Finance Report and Joe Davidson seconded. With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously. 

         CAdoption of  FY 2008/2009 FINAL Budget

During the review process, Hugh Mose reported that several of the municipalities did not request anyone from CATA to attend their meeting to discuss the budget and those that did had minimal comments.  The General Forum approved the local shares without any comments.  Hugh stated that he felt this was because most of the municipalities are paying less in the upcoming year than they paid this year due to the nature of the Miller Formula. The only significant comment came from College Township, which has continued interest in exterior bus advertising. 

 

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adopt the Final Budget for FY 2008/2009. Gary Powers moved to adopt the Final Budget for FY 2008/2009.  Richard Kipp seconded.  With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

DAcquisition of Used Buses from LYNX

Joe Gilbert recently traveled to Orlando, FL and reported that he inspected 6 of the 10 buses that might be acquired by CATA.  Mr. Gilbert noted the buses appeared to be kept in great condition.  He spoke with Mr. Joe Cheney on the acquisition of the used buses; however a potential hold-up is the Downtown Association which helped LYNX with the original purchase of the buses.  Joe Gilbert indicated that if the acquisition goes forward, that CATA will have to purchase all ten buses, including the two that have mechanical problems.  If the mechanical problems cannot be corrected, the buses would still be beneficial to CATA for parts.  Hugh Mose asked if it would prove beneficial for Chairman Spychalski to send a letter of interest to the LYNX Chair confirming our strong interest in the acquisition of these buses.  Joe Gilbert stated that he intended to communicate with Mr. Cheney and will pose this question with him.

 

After brief discussion, Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to authorize the General Manager and staff to proceed with negotiations for the possible acquisition of the used buses from LYNX. Judi noted that funding is not in place and there may be some financial issues that will need to be worked out.  It was noted that the details of the purchase will need to be approved by the Board prior to acquisition.   Joe Davidson moved and Gary Powers seconded the motion.  With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

 

IV.     NEW BUSINESS

In consideration of Doug Erickson’s time, Chairman Spychalski moved item G to the beginning of New Business.  Minutes are recorded in the appropriate section.

A. Marketing Plan for FY 2008/2009

Jackie Sheader briefly reviewed the Marketing Plan for FY 2008/2009.  Jackie stated that projects include: a Rebranding initiative, updating the streaming videos on the website and the Schlow Streetscape project.  Joe Davidson noted that CATA should consider the possibility of exterior bus advertising when considering “rebranding” the bus paint schemes.  This agenda item is informational and no formal Board action was requested.

BInterior Bus Advertising Contract Award

Jackie Sheader stated that the staff had recently solicited proposals from advertising firms for the sale of interior bus advertising.  She stated that CATA received two qualified proposals; one from Pace Outdoor and the other from OnCampus Advertising.  After evaluation of both firms, staff has determined that OnCampus Advertising is the more qualified respondent, specifically because of their transit background and experience.  Jackie also indicated that a reference check for OnCampus Advertising has been completed and the response was positive.

 

Jackie explained that OnCampus’s business model allows for ads to be sold to national advertisers as well as local commercial interests.  Our current advertising policy states that CATA has the right to refuse certain types of ads.  CATA also reserves the right to review questionable ads prior to their being placed in the buses.

 

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to authorize the General Manager to enter into an agreement with OnCampus Advertising for the exclusive right to sell and service interior bus advertising for the period of one year, with the option to renew each year through FY 2012/2013.  Gary Powers moved and Kathryn Bittner seconded. With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

 

CResolution Certifying Local Match

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion for the Board to adopt the Resolution Certifying the Local Match for the FY 2008/2009 State Operating Grant.  Richard Kipp moved and Gary Powers seconded.  With no discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

 

DProposal for DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) Goals 2008/2009

Judi Minor gave a brief explanation of the proposed DBE goals for FY 2008/2009.  Judi stated that the goals need to be advertised by mid-June and submitted to the FTA for review by August 1, 2008. Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adopt the DBE Goal of 5% for FY2008/2009. Kathryn Bittner moved and Joe Davidson seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

ECentre Ride – Contract Award

Joe Gilbert stated that Requests for Proposals for the operation of Centre Ride had been sent to five different companies, and two proposals; one from MV Transportation and the other from Handy Delivery, had been received by the due date of May 30.  Mr. Gilbert indicated that the staff had conducted a preliminary review, but was not prepared to make a recommendation. 

 

The current contract with Handy Delivery expires on June 30th.  Staff suggested that it may be necessary to extend the contract to allow sufficient time for a thorough review of the two proposals, including interviews with each of the companies.  After brief discussion on possible alternatives, Hugh Mose indicated that staff will be prepared to make a formal recommendation to the Board at the June 30th meeting.

 

D.  New Charter Regulations

Hugh Mose explained that the new federal charter regulations will impact CATA’s Special Services.  Concerning the Football Shuttle and the Holiday Lights Tour, CATA may be able to restructure the fares to allow these services to continue.  Staff has made a formal request to the FTA for clarification on the term “premium fare,” which will provide us with direction as to how we may continue these services.  Concerning the Arts Festival Shuttle, Eric Bernier has been working with the Central PA Festival of the Arts and Penn State to incorporate this service into the existing summertime Blue LOOP, which will also help to make the route more efficient.  It may be impossible to continue the Bellefonte Arts & Crafts Fair Shuttle, the Ag Progress Days Shuttle, and the First Night State College Shuttle. 

 

There was brief discussion on possible ways to accommodate the new regulations.  Richard Kipp asked if the service to First Night State College could be provided by the Blue LOOP, in a fashion similar to the Arts Festival.  It was noted that the regulations may change in the New Year when there will be a new Administration.  Since this agenda item was for discussion only, no formal Board action was taken.

 

E.  Service Planning for Geisinger/Graysdale

Hugh Mose explained routing and scheduling of the proposed Graysdale/Grays Woods service on behalf of Eric Bernier, who was absent from the meeting.

 

The proposed service will travel from the far end of Grays Woods, through the Graysdale neighborhood, to the new Geisinger facility, through Vista Woods to Valley Vista, onto Atherton and then into the Campus and Downtown.   There would be one bus operating in the morning and one in the afternoon, following the same general pattern as other commuter routes.  Hugh noted that within the next year CATA intends to review all of the service in the North Atherton corridor and consider a more efficient way to serve the entire area.

 

Mr. Doug Erickson, Patton Township Manager, stated that he had worked with Eric Bernier on the routing of this service and that he very happy with the proposed service.

 

Following brief discussion, Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve adding the new proposed routing and scheduling of the “G” Route, and to authorize staff to work out the final details.  Joe Davidson moved and Gary Powers second the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

 FSummer Board Meeting Schedule

There was brief discussion regarding the summer Board Meeting schedule.  It was noted that Kathryn Bittner will be unable to attend the July 28th meeting and Chairman Spychalski will be unable to attend the August 25th meeting. The decision on which meeting to cancel will be made at the June 30 Board Meeting.  There was also discussion regarding the correct date of the next regular Board meeting.  Ms. Ruggiero will check the date and send an email with the information.

 

V.       OTHER BUSINESS 

A.  General Manager’s Report

Hugh Mose thanked Judi Minor and her staff for a job well done on the budget preparation.  Hugh offered congratulations to Greg Kausch on his upcoming nuptials. 

 

Greg Kausch reported that there were no new developments on the APTS system as there are still issues that need to be worked out.  Joe Gilbert reported that the CNG fueling facility project has begun and that the permits have been approved.  Joe also noted that a new sink hole has been found and the staff is looking into the matter.  Judi Minor reported that the auditors will be on-site on June 18th and that staff is prepared for the audit.

 

B.  Service Development Report

Eric Bernier provided a written report in the Board packets.  There were no additional comments.

 

VI.        ADJOURNMENT

  Chairman Spychalski called for a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Joe Davidson moved to adjourn the meeting.  Gary Powers seconded.  The  meeting was adjourned at 5:57 PM.

VII.       EXECUTIVE SESSION

An Executive Session was held to discuss personnel matters.