CENTRE AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

 

REGULAR BOARD MEETING

MINUTES

(PDF Version)

 

June 30, 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

                                                             Greg Kausch, Transportation Planner
                                                             Jackie Sheader, Marketing Manager
                                                             Annette Filomoro-Beck, Accounting Manager

                                                             Becky Kellogg, Bookkeeping Technician

I.  CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:06 p.m.  Chairman Spychalski asked Annette Beck to introduce Becky Kellogg who is CATA’s Bookkeeping Assistant.    Ms. Kellogg came to CATA in August of 2007from an accounting firm. 

 

Chairman Spychalski announced that an Executive Session had been held on June 19, 2008 to discuss personnel issues.

II.  PUBLIC COMMENTS

There were no public comments.

 

(Note: Richard Kipp joined the meeting)

 

III.  OLD BUSINESS

AApproval of June 2, 2008 Regular Board Meeting Minutes

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the June 2, 2008 Regular
Board Meeting Minutes. Gary Powers moved to approve the minutes and Joe Davidson seconded. With no discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

 

B.  Approval of June 23, 2008 Special Board Meeting

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the June 23, 2008 Special Board Meeting Minutes.  Richard Kipp moved to approve the minutes and Gary Powers seconded. With no discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

 

 

C.  Receipt of the May 2008 Financial Report

Annette Beck gave a summary of line items for May and explained several items.  Joe Davidson inquired if CNG fuel has been purchased in advance for the upcoming months.  Hugh Mose indicated that most of the fuel purchased up until now had been purchased at a cost under budget.  Recently, however, due to the increasing cost, Judi has held off purchasing future months’ supply.  Hugh noted that experts speculate that the price will start to decrease eventually.  Joe Davidson also inquired how much CNG fuel is being purchased by the Uni-Mart convenience store and Annette indicated that there is very little sold, in fact, for the year less than $20.00 worth.

 

Hugh Mose provided an update on ridership indicating that, as expected, ridership numbers for the month of May are down, mainly because the school year ended earlier than last year.  Hugh stated that the LOOP and LINK ridership numbers are also down considerably and this may be due to the Curtin Road detour on Campus.  Hugh indicated that ridership numbers should increase for June.  Paratransit numbers have increased by approximately 10% over last year.  OnePass and Ride for Five pass sales also continue to rise by approximately 15%.  CENTRE COMMUTE ridership numbers also increased and are expected to reach 1000 Rideshare participants by August.  Hugh noted that the program is costing CATA money due to the high cost of maintenance on the older vans that were acquired from Penn State.  Hugh indicated that these vans will be replaced as soon as possible.

 

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to receive the May 2008 Finance Report.  Richard Kipp moved. With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

 

(Note: Kathryn Bittner joined the meeting)

 

D.  Summer Meeting Schedule

Staff recommended that the Board hold its regular scheduled meeting on July 28th, 2008 and cancel the meeting scheduled for August 25th, 2008 due to a lack of agenda items.  Hugh noted that a special Board meeting may be needed if the Union ratifies a new labor agreement after negotiations on July 16th.  Kathryn Bittner and Gary Powers both indicated that they have a conflict with the July meeting; however, Chairman Spychalski stated that only three Board members are required for a quorum.

 

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to hold the July meeting and cancel the August meeting.  Richard Kipp moved and Joe Davidson seconded.  After brief discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

IV.  NEW BUSINESS

A.  Rebranding Contract Award

Jackie Sheader indicated that CATA received several proposals for the Rebranding project.  After careful evaluation and consideration by a committee of several staff members, it is recommended that Ken Karlic Designs of Baltimore be selected as the vendor.  Jackie offered that the project will be started immediately after the Board’s approval and that the project will be complete by September 2008.   Richard Kipp asked for an explanation as to exactly what will be completed by September.   Jackie indicated that the end product would include new logos for both CATA and for the individual services we provide, print advertising materials and a new paint scheme design for the bus fleet.

 

Joe Davidson questioned the vendor’s experience in the transit industry and if the vendor has any experience with other public type entities.  Jackie explained that he does not have transit specific experience, but does have experience with museums, financial services, non-profit organizations, schools, etc.  Jackie stated that none of the vendors that responded had specific transit agency experience. 

 

Kathryn Bittner questioned why CATA chose not to go with a local vendor.  Eric Bernier and Jackie explained that after reviewing all the proposals received and interviewing these finalists, the proposal from Ken Karlic Designs proved to be “heads and shoulders” above the rest. Richard Kipp asked for explanation as to what made this vendor stand out and it was explained that this vendor presented a better approach and presented impressive design work in his portfolio.  The vendor will begin by identifying the needs of CATA by investigating our agency and its culture rather than just taking an artistic approach. The vendor will present CATA with several options to choose from prior to a selection being made. 

 

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to accept staff recommendation to secure Ken Karlic Design as its vendor for the project and authorize staff to enter into an agreement for marketing services.  Joe Davidson moved and Kathryn Bittner seconded.  With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously. 

V. OTHER BUSINESS

A.  General Manager’s Report
Hugh Mose asked Jackie Sheader to provide an update on OnCampus Advertising, who has been selected to take over the interior bus advertising.  Jackie indicated that there were a couple of “bumps in the road” with the new vendor, but everything has been worked out and they are set to take over the contract on July 1st.  Jackie stated that CATA’s representative is located in Boston, but they have someone local to install and remove the ads.

 

Joe Gilbert gave a status report on the CNG compressor project and stated that one of the compressors has been removed and a new one should be installed in the next week.  The dryer has been put on its foundation.  The electrical conduit is being run to the building and it is anticipated that the second compressor will be installed soon.  The project should be completed by the middle of August.  The only item then left on the project will be the emergency generator, which should be complete by September.  Joe Davidson asked if the new compressors will be quieter than the old ones and Joe indicated that they should be.

 

Chairman Spychalski asked if the sinkhole problem has been resolved and Joe indicated that the holes have been filled with 20 yards of concrete and clay and that as of right now, they are not a problem.

 

Joe Gilbert reported that the new paratransit vans that were to be delivered last week have been delayed in delivery due to a mix up with vans that were purchased by Centre County.   Joe also indicated that the vans look to be in real good shape, and we should receive them in about 2 weeks.  Hugh noted that we have been contacted by a Tactical Command Group (law enforcement officers) who is interested in acquiring one of the vans that will be taken out of service.  Hugh stated that if they determine that a minibus will meet their needs, they will write a letter to the Board asking for the van to be donated. 

 

Jackie Sheader gave an update to the Board regarding the new charter regulations and how the Holiday Lights Tour will be affected.   Jackie stated that CATA asked for an opinion from the FTA for clarification on what would be considered a “premium fare”.   The response that was received indicated the Holiday Lights tour would be considered “sightseeing” which is not considered charter service, but is not permitted under FTA regulations.  Hugh Mose further explained that CATA is seeking a “second opinion” on the Holiday Lights Tour service and is hopeful that another solution can be found.  Hugh noted that CATA will not be able to provide shuttle service for Ag Progress Days and that a new development with the Football Shuttle service has surfaced.  Hugh stated that Penn State is working the Fullington Auto Bus Company to develop football shuttle service from several local locations and one long distance trip, from Altoona.  Eric Bernier indicated he will be meeting with Penn State and Fullington to help answer questions this week.  Hugh stated that Fullington plans to run the service with school buses and drivers from the Hollidaysburg area. 

 

Hugh Mose stated that CATA is continuing to interview candidates for the Executive Assistant position.  Hugh indicated that the selection of candidates should be narrowed down to one or two people and he plans to make an offer within the next week.  Hugh thanked Jackie Sheader for helping to set up the meeting today. 

 

B.  Service Development Report
Eric Bernier provided a written report in the Board packets.  Eric offered that CATA was able to resolve the charter issue with Arts Fest service by extending the existing Blue LOOP service for the five days of the festival.  Eric indicated that this will also make the route more efficient.  He also stated that to help identify the buses, the “bus bras” will be put on.

 

Eric stated that last week the staff began installing the bus stop signs on the new “G” Route.   After the signs had been placed, he received several calls and emails from people living in the Marywood area that are unhappy about the bus route going through their neighborhood.  Eric met with the Patton Township Manager, Doug Erickson, and the residents of that neighborhood to find a route that would be more satisfactory.  After the meeting, Eric determined that the best solution will be to revise the route by turning the bus around in the traffic circle and keeping the bus stops out on Grays Woods Boulevard.  After further discussion regarding the route, there was a consensus from the Board to revise the route.

 

Greg Kausch provided the Board with an update on the APTS project.  Greg stated Hugh Mose had met with Dorsey Houtz from Avail Technologies to discuss the status of the project and where it is heading.  Mr. Houtz presented a plan to get the project back on schedule and to get the project completed.  Greg stated that he has not had a chance to review the plan, but based on the feedback from staff, the plan seems to be what is needed to move forward. 

 

Greg also provided an update to the Board regarding the assessment of public transit services in Centre County, stating that the project is moving forward.  The scope of work is being finalized by the consultant and Greg will be reviewing it.

 

VI.  ADJOURNMENT

Chairman Spychalski called for a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Gary Powers moved to adjourn the meeting.  Richard Kipp seconded.  The meeting was adjourned at 5:18 PM.

 

VII.  EXECUTIVE SESSION

An Executive Session was held to discuss personnel and labor relation matters.