CENTRE AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

 

REGULAR BOARD MEETING

MINUTES

pdf version 

June 1, 2009

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

BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT:           Kathryn Bittner

 

STAFF PRESENT:                               Hugh Mose, General Manager
Judi Minor, Director of Administration
Eric Bernier, Service Planning Manager
Jackie Sheader, Marketing Manager

Julie Hartley, Human Resources Manager
Marsha Kyper, Assistant to the General Manager

 

OTHERS PRESENT:                            Theresa Lafer, State College Borough Liaison

Linda Marshall, Centre County Planning and Community Development Office

 

  1. CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:06 p.m.

 

  1. PUBLIC COMMENTS

There were no public comments.

 

  1. OLD BUSINESS

 

In consideration of Linda Marshall’s time, Chairman Spychalski moved item D, under New                      

       Business, to the beginning of Old Business.  Minutes are recorded in the appropriate section.

 

A.       Approval of April 27, 2009 Regular Board Meeting Minutes
 Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the April 27, 2009 Regular
 Board Meeting Minutes.  Richard Kipp moved to approve the minutes and Gary Powers    

             seconded.  With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously with one correction

      noted; under Other Business, section A, first sentence, that should be the.                                 

 

       B.   Receipt of the April 2009 Financial Report

Judi Minor noted that we have started to use federal operating assistance, and that most line items are running at budget.  Gary Powers inquired about the Transportation Expense- Safety and Training line item that shows only 31.71% used to date.  Judi responded that this item included professional training based on the prior year.  Hugh Mose responded that with Joe and Sherry out, not as much has been done regarding professional training.  Gary inquired about where driver training appeared in the budget. Judi responded that drivers are paid for training and it is included in the driver’s wages portion of the budget.  John commented that Fare Box Revenues look healthy and that Vehicle Maintenance is substantial.  Hugh responded that an older fleet requires more maintenance. 

 

Hugh Mose provided a brief summary on ridership numbers for the month of April, indicating that fixed route service on CENTRE LINE and LOOP and LINK showed smaller increases for April due to the date of Easter this year.  Hugh mentioned that the P (Airport/Medical Center/Scenery Park) and the UT (University Terrace) Routes were impacted by declining use of the Free Fare Zone.  Hugh noted that paratransit for April was up and down, that the CENTRE COMMUTE vanpool program experienced a slight loss, and we have taken delivery of the ten new vanpool vans, with two being on the road beginning today. The vans will be used to take the oldest vans out of service, and to start new vanpools.

 

Richard Kipp inquired about the issue with the seats in the new vans.  Hugh Mose responded that the original full seat-cushion left no head room.  As of today, six of the ten vans have had the seats corrected.  Richard inquired about the cost to CATA.  Hugh responded that it was something that the manufacturer should have caught, and that the manufacturer covered the cost of correcting the issue with the seats. Next time, we will have someone on site at the manufacturer to avoid such issues.

 

Gary Powers inquired about why the report showed that CENTRE COMMUTE miles and hours set a record but that vanpool and carpool participants dropped precipitously.

Hugh responded that without Terri Quici present, he could not answer but would find out and put it in his next memo to the Board.

 

Hugh Mose provided a brief summary of the Fare Media Report, indicating that individual One Pass sales dropped, Ride-For-Five participation is still high, and Token sales are up almost 40% compared to last year at the same time. 

 

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to accept the April 2009 Finance Report.  Gary Powers moved to accept the Finance Report and Richard Kipp seconded. With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

 

       C.  Policy Adoption

 

Joe Davidson inquired about what effect there would be if we did not have a Modified/ Alternative Work Policy.  Hugh Mose responded that one effect would be that each time we had someone on a longer Workmen’s Compensation claim, decisions would have to be made on an ad hoc basis.  He further commented that both the Insurance Pool and CATA Attorney Bob Martin would want us to have standards.  Joe concluded that the policy, therefore, helps us reduce our Workmen’s Compensation costs.

 

Joe Davidson inquired whether there would be a case when we would not want to have someone return to Alternative/Modified Duty.  Julie Hartley and Judi Minor both responded that this may occur.  Joe inquired whether we have the option to offer Modified Duty.  Julie and Judi responded that we do.  Judi referred to paragraph seven in the policy document, which states no employee has the right to be assigned modified/alternative duty.  Joe inquired whether that statement covered us. Judi responded that the people we would not want to come back on Modified Duty usually do not want it in the first place. 

 

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adopt the Polices that were reviewed at the April 27th meeting as presented.  Joe Davidson moved to approve the polices with one correction noted; page 1, paragraph two, of the Modified/Alternative Duty Policy, to add the words or illness after injury. Gary Powers seconded.   With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

 

      D.    Adoption of FY 2009/2010 FINAL Budget

 

Hugh Mose noted that Judi Minor and her team deserve the credit for producing the Budget document.  Chairman Spychalski offered his thanks on behalf of the Board.  Hugh reported that the COG General Forum adopted the CATA local shares with no comment what-so-ever, and that he took that as a vote of confidence that we are running a good public transportation operation. Theresa Lafer commented that it was an easy piece of business for State College Borough because it had been reviewed and discussed at previous meetings.  Theresa also commented that CATA does an amazing job, which is not easy in such a spread out area.   Richard Kipp inquired whether there was any discussion at the General Forum regarding the Miller Formula. Hugh responded that there was not, but that he was hoping that there will be an opportunity, next February, to reconsider the Miller Formula when dealing with the issue that Halfmoon Township not being a CATA member municipality.  Joe Davidson inquired as to whether there was any interest in using the COG Formula and Hugh responded that there was not.

 

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adopt the FY 2009-2010 Final Budget.  Richard Kipp moved to approve the FY 2009-2010 Final Budget and Gary Powers seconded. With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

           

 VI.     NEW BUSINESS

 

A.      Marketing Plan for FY 2009/2010
Jackie Sheader gave a brief overview of the FY 2009/10 Marketing Plan, and noted that it includes a new marketing survey, seven or more new streaming videos, and completion of the Schlow Streetscape.   Chairman Spychalski referred to page eight of the Marketing Plan in regard to the CATA Staff Clothing Allowance, and expressed his support of the project.  Jackie and Hugh both commented that it is official staff apparel.  Joe Davidson inquired whether Land’s End would have the official CATA logo, and Jackie responded that they would, with use of the new logo beginning with the fall semester.  Jackie went on to comment that non- represented employees would be able to go to the Land’s End website, see what is authorized, make a purchase and be reimbursed up to $100 per year.

 

Richard Kipp inquired about the Fannie Mae Smart Commute program.  Jackie Sheader responded that it was disbanded in this area due to lack of participation.

 

Hugh Mose asked Jackie Sheader to talk about Dump the Pump Day for 2009.  Jackie reported that CATA is participating with four other transit authorities, who as a consortium are purchasing television and radio advertising to promote the event.  On June 18, CATA will be offering free rides on all fixed routes and holding an Open House at the downtown office.  Joe Davidson inquired about additional promotions such as a coupon for another free ride.  Jackie responded that she would look into doing that, and also educating drivers to watch for the coupons.  Richard Kipp commented that occasionally CATA buses are a little dirty.   Hugh responded that a crew of Drivers is cleaning the buses this summer, but that buses do get pretty dirty during Full Service.

 

This agenda item was informational and no formal Board action was requested.

 

 

B.      Proposal for DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) Goals 2009/2010
Judi Minor gave a brief explanation of the proposed DBE goals for FY 2009/2010.  Judi stated that the goals need to be advertised by mid-June, that there is a sixty day comment period and that she has a list of agencies from which she seeks comment.  We only have only one significant DBE, which is Handy Delivery.   Gary Powers inquired as to whether they could be losing their contract with CATA.  Judi responded that it was possible, but added that she had attended a meeting of CENTRE RIDE users for the purpose of receiving their comments about the service, and that there was a strong outpouring of support for Handy Delivery.

 

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adopt the DBE Goal of 5% for FY2009/2010.  Joe Davidson moved and Richard Kipp seconded.  With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

 

C.     Summer Board Meeting Schedule

There was brief discussion regarding the summer Board meeting schedule.  Hugh commented that due to the number of agenda items the July meeting would be necessary but the August meeting might not be, and asked the Board to check their calendars. The decision on whether to cancel a summer meeting will be made at the June 22 Board Meeting. 

 

       D.  Affordable Housing Presentation

Jackie Sheader introduced Linda Marshall, of the Centre County Planning and Community Development Office, who gave a verbal overview of the LUPTAP (Land Use Planning and Technical Assistance Program) Grant which is being used to develop, in partnership with the Centre Regional Planning Agency, model regulations and policies to promote affordable housing development.  Linda commented that Hugh Mose has been involved in meetings regarding planning for affordable housing, Eric Bernier has provided input regarding transit inclusion and Jackie Sheader serves on the Affordable Housing Coalition.  Linda shared a handout titled Model Inclusionary Regulations and Policies and also showed a video developed by the Affordable Housing Coalition.  

 

Hugh Mose, Board members and other in attendance made comments in response to Linda’s presentation and the Affordable Housing issue in the region.  Linda concluded by stating that she would like to return to a future meeting to report on the progress of the project, and to determine if it is on target in regard to public transportation as it relates to the development of affordable housing.  Chairman Spychalski responded that she would be welcome to return with a progress report.

 

This agenda item was informational and no formal Board action was requested.

 

VI.       OTHER BUSINESS

 

A.      General Manager’s Report
Hugh Mose thanked Judi Minor and her staff for a job well done on the budget preparation.  He also offered congratulations to Julie Hartley on becoming a mother-in-law.   

 

Hugh reported that a team from GFI Genfare was on site at CATA to complete a security audit.  The audit showed that we need to do a better job of securing spare fareboxes, improve preventative maintenance including providing newer mechanics with training, and upgrade our software.  Gary Powers inquired whether GFI recommended new equipment. Hugh and Judi Minor responded, yes, GFI recommended upgraded software and equipment that would track the location of individual vaults.  Hugh stated that he did not think we needed to replace the existing fareboxes.  Joe Davidson inquired about the cost.  Judi responded, approximately $20,000, but that grant money might be available for use.  Hugh stated that a written report would be forthcoming.

 

Hugh called attention to the fact that the State Formula Capital Grant is $886,000 next year, compared to $1.1 million this year, due to falling sales tax revenues.  He further commented that in Sherry Snyder and Mark Kutzer’s absence, he wished to report that the bus detailing crew is doing a particularly good job, and should be finished by the end of summer.  Joe Davidson asked if laid off drivers were used for this task and Hugh responded, yes.  He went on to say that several laid off drivers will be called back to replace those drivers who will be training new hires.  Richard Kipp commented that sometimes there is junk on the bus seats, but overall the buses are well maintained, and that we should keep up the good work. 

 

Theresa Lafer inquired about the number of buses that do not run during Reduced Service.  Hugh responded that approximately one-third of the driver force is laid off.  Joe Davidson inquired about the refurbishment of the LYNX buses and Eric responded that the APTS installation should be complete in another week.  Hugh commented that Mark Kutzer wants to put one of the LYNX buses out for trial while they are still all white, so the Board should be aware.  Mark is also checking into exchanging two of our 35’ LYNX buses for two of IndiGo (Indiana, PA) 40’ buses. 

 

Chairman Spychalski inquired as to whether we were close to finishing the Request for Proposal for the refurbishment of the buses.  Hugh responded that we were approximately 30 days from completing and advertising the RFP. 

 

B.      Service Development Report
Eric Bernier commented that he is working on a project to provide a display at Schlow Library that will match the Pattee signage.   Joe Davidson inquired about whether we are confident in Campus Advertising’s ability to deliver on their contract.  Eric stated that “they are the best out there,” and that he had no issue with the quality or quantity of their work.  Jackie Sheader responded that the issues have been with payment of the quarterly, minimum guarantee.  Joe Davidson commented about an LED screen he had seen on the side of a bus that displays advertising for advertisers in the bus’ current location, and asked if it was worth looking into.  Jackie responded that she would research it to stay up-to-date on the technology, in order to answer questions when they are raised. Hugh commented that it was an innovative concept. 

 

Chairman Spychalski commented on funding for the Gatesburg Road extension.  Jackie Sheader noted that a bus pull off will be included.  Eric Bernier commented that CATA will be involved in the land development plan.  Hugh Mose commented that there may come a time when we will want to work with Penn State University on a “Red Link” to Cato Park.  Theresa Lafer inquired whether there was anything more to report on the student proposed Greek Loop.  Eric Bernier responded that there was nothing more to report.

 

VII.      ADJOURNMENT

Chairman Spychalski called for a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Gary Powers moved to adjourn the meeting and Joe Davidson seconded.  The meeting was adjourned at 5:55 PM.

VIII.     EXECUTIVE SESSION
An Executive Session was held to discuss personnel matters.