CENTRE AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

 BOARD WORK SESSION

MINUTES

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March 20, 2012

4:00 p.m.

CATA MEETING ROOM

2081 W. WHITEHALL ROAD

State College, PA  16801

 

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:     John Spychalski, Chairman

                                                            Joe Davidson, Vice-Chairman

                                                            Richard Kipp, Treasurer

                                                            Tom Kurtz

                                                            Tammy Gentzel

 

STAFF PRESENT:                             Hugh Mose, General Manager

                                                            Judith Minor, Director of Administration

                                                            Kimberly Fragola, Assistant Director of Administration

                                                            Sherry Snyder, Director of Operations

                                                            Eric Bernier, Service Development Manager

                                                            Jackie Sheader, Marketing Manager

                                                            Julie Hartley, Human Resource Manager

                                                            Marsha Kyper, Assistant to the General Manager

 

I.          CALL TO ORDER

            Chairman Spychalski convened the Work Session at 4:00 p.m.

 

II.        PUBLIC COMMENT

            There was no public comment.

 

III.       EXECUTIVE SESSION

            At 4:01 p.m. the Board went into Executive Session to discuss labor negotiations and       related personnel matters.  The Open Session resumed at 5:20 p.m.

 

IV.       INTRODUCTION

            Hugh Mose stated that the most important issues for the Board to address during the Work          Session would be the Preliminary Draft Budget for FY 2012/2013 and the service plan     summary. 

 

V.        FIVE YEAR PROJECTIONS

            Hugh Mose referenced the spreadsheet which shows the staff’s current projections of       CATA’s revenues and expenditures for the next five years and commented that until funding improves CATA will have to constrain growth in operating expenses while    increasing operating revenues in order to avoid significant service cuts in future years.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

VI.       REVENUES AND LOCAL SUPPORT

 

            A.        Fares, Token Prices and Pass Rates

                        Hugh Mose reported that following last year’s price increase for both rolls of                                 tokens and OnePasses, the sale of tokens has leveled off, but the purchase of                                 OnePasses has continued to grow.  After determining that the average OnePass                                   holder is riding at a per-ride rate very close to the cash fare, the staff believes that                            OnePasses are priced correctly.  Consequently, other than the Shared Ride fare                                  increase that the Board approved at the February Board meeting, the staff does not                  recommend any further fare increases this year.

 

            B.        Penn State

                        Hugh Mose reported that during a recent meeting, the new Senior Vice President                          at Penn State, David Gray, confirmed that there will be no increase in support from               the University.  As a result, the Preliminary Draft Budget assumes that CATA will                      reduce LOOP/LINK service hours, and it also proposes to eliminate the sole                              remaining element of the Free Fare Zone, the HP (Toftrees/Scenery Park) Route.                                   The Board concurred with the elimination of the campus Free Fare Zone on the HP               Route and a modest hourly rate increase for the University.

 

            C.        Apartment Contracts

                        Hugh Mose reported that Eric Bernier has been able to negotiate per-ride

                        arrangements with all of the owners and managers of the apartment complexes                               with which CATA has contracts for service and that over the coming year all                                 complexes will reach a rate of at least $0.90 per ride.  The Board concurred with                                  the current per ride contract arrangement and rate. 

 

            D.        Local Shares

                        Hugh Mose reported that at the request of the Board the staff presented the                                   proposed 5% increase in local shares to the COG Finance Committee, which                                  supported the increase.  Hugh further reported that the representative from                                          Halfmoon Township suggested that 3.0% might be preferable, and that he will be                                    attending the Thursday, March 22 meeting of the Halfmoon Township officials to                                 respond to their questions and concerns. Hugh also reported that there seems to be                some interest on the part of Ferguson Township to reconsider its strong allegiance                    to the Miller Formula.

 

            E.        Exterior Bus Advertising

                        Jackie Sheader reported that in response to the Board’s request the staff had                                  solicited comments from our local funding partners regarding the extension for                              another year of the current trial exterior bus advertising program, and that feedback                        from the COG Finance Committee, Penn State, and Ferguson and Harris                                          Townships indicated support for the continuation of limited exterior advertising.                                      The Board gave its approval of the staff request to continue the current trial                             program for another year, and to hire a part-time salesperson at an hourly rate                               plus commission. 

 

            F.        State and Federal Funding

                        Hugh Mose reported that he expects passage of another Continuing Resolution                              until the House and Senate come to agreement on a Transportation Funding bill. 

 

 

            G.        Service Planning

                        Eric Bernier referenced his memo which listed the changes proposed for                                         Community Service and stated that revisions to Campus Service are still being                               negotiated with Penn State.  Eric further stated that the staff will seek final                             approval of the FY 2012-2013 Service Plan at the April Board meeting.

 

                        After discussion regarding the elimination of the last evening trips on the A (Park                          Forest) and K (Cato Park) Routes, it was agreed that Eric Bernier would provide                           further information at the March Board Meeting.

 

            H.        Line Item Budget

                        Judi Minor referenced the Preliminary Draft Budget and accompanying narrative                           memo. In response to requests from the Board, Judi will check into the possibility                          of leasing tires for the vanpool vans and revise the insurance line items to specify                               the type of insurance being referenced.

 

                        Kimberly Fragola provided a brief description of the Pennsylvania Infrastructure                           Bank Loan, which could be used as an alternative to a line-of-credit until the State                        Capital Grant allocation is received toward payment for the new buses.

 

                        Following review of the entire Preliminary Budget and input from the Board, Judi                         Minor stated that adjustments to the Purchase of Service for Penn State would be                                     made, and the $15,000 for the Universal Access Study would be moved from this                                     year’s expenditures to next year due to the change in the start date for that project;                        a five-page Draft Budget will be provided for approval at the March Board                              meeting.

 

VII.     OTHER ISSUES

 

            A.        Centre County Office of Transportation

                        Hugh Mose reported that the County Commission is once again interested in                                  exploring how the Centre County Office of Transportation and CATA’s paratransit                       programs can be brought together.  Hugh expressed that CATA’s new paratransit                              contractor, Ride Right, has the capability of assuming responsibility for                                            dispatching all county paratransit services, which would result in one call center                                   assigning all trips to whichever carrier would best serve each passenger. The Board                    concurred with exploring a new operating model for paratransit service and human                  service transportation in Centre County; Tom Kurtz stated that any             changes should                         result in no additional direct or indirect cost to CATA.

                                               

            B.        Vanpool Van Disposition

                        Hugh Mose reported that vans in the vanpool program are reaching the end of their                       “useful life” as defined by PennDOT; CATA will now begin to replace up to six                            vans each year, which because of their generally good condition, could continue to                be used by other local government and non-profit organizations in the community.

                       

                        Terri Quici referenced her memo which outlined suggested policies and procedures

                        for the disposition of CATACOMMUTE vanpool passenger vans.  Tom Kurtz                              requested that paragraph regarding the determination of van condition be reworded                      to address inconsistencies. Board consensus was to remove from the policy the                                    provision that CATA retains the right to place “This vehicle provided by CATA”                          on the van.  Chairman Spychalski asked that the revised policy be brought back to                  the Board for adoption at the April meeting.

 

            C.        Donation of a Bus

                        Hugh Mose stated that the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and                                       Technology (CPI)  has requested that as CATA surpluses CNG buses, it consider                          donating one to CPI for use in their new Transportation Training Center;  market                              value of the 1996 Orions is currently between $5,000 and $8,000.  Joe Davidson                                stated that CPI may be interested in more than one bus.  Judi Minor commented                                    that consideration should be given to lost revenue if more than one bus is donated                                     to CPI.  The Board expressed willingness to consider the donation of a surplus                          CNG bus to CPI, and suggested that CPI be asked to submit their request in                                     writing.

 

            D.        Bus Dedications

                        Hugh Mose reported that following the death of CATA Driver, Bob Moses, a                                fellow employee approached him and asked if CATA could put a plaque in                                    memory of Bob in the driver’s compartment of one of the new buses and that he                                  had agreed to do so. Hugh went on to comment that he recognized there may be                                   other former employees who might be similarly honored and that there is also the                            potential for placing the individual’s name in a more prominent location, or even                            naming the bus.  Hugh asked if the Board wished to consider the honoring of                             additional members of the CATA family via recognition on buses.  The Board                               consensus was that it would entertain staff recommendations for such a program                           on a narrow scale.

 

VIII.    Personnel

 

            A.        Staffing

                        Hugh Mose reported that CATA is currently about three Drivers short of optimal                           staffing, so even with an anticipated 2% reduction in service, there will not be a                             need to furlough anyone and there may even be a need to hire several Drivers.                                Hugh concluded by stating that while CATA still needs more staffing in                                                 Operations, and better facility and vehicle cleaning, CATA’s financial situation                                     precludes consideration of any additional positions at this time, with the exception                   of the part-time exterior bus advertising sales position.

 

IX.       ADJOURNMENT

            Chairman Spychalski adjourned the meeting at 8:04 p.m.

 

 

            ___________________________________                         

            Hugh A. Mose, Secretary

 

 

            ___________________________________

            Date