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A-1 APPENDIX A CHITTENDEN COUNTY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY BOARD GOALS FOR FY 2003 PO Box 609 Phone (802) 864-0211 Burlington, VT 05402 Fax (802) 864-5564 MEMORANDUM TO: CCTA Commissioners CCTA Managers FROM: Christopher Cole General Manager RE: Board Goals for Fiscal Year 2003 This memorandum reviews the CCTA Board goals for Fiscal Year 2003 that were accomplished by CCTA staff, as developed at the CCTA Board retreat on August 28, 2002. Legislative Task Force At the Board retreat it was determined that a public transportation system that optimally serves the region must be organized on a regional basis, both in membership and in funding. The CCTA Board of Commissioners has generally agreed to the following initial description and composition of a regional transit authority: · The Vermont General Assembly should transform CCTA from a local public transportation authority into a regional transportation authority. This transformation should take place with significant local involvement throughout the process. · Representation on the regional transit authority should be limited to the municipalities that comprise Chittenden County. Board members should be appointed by municipal boards. Representation on the Board should reflect population in some measure and should consider population density. Ideally, Board membership would be no greater than 12 to 15 members. The concept of at-large seats was discussed. · The regional revenue area should be Chittenden County. There should be a relationship between use of the automobile and generating revenues to support public transit in the region. The property tax as a public transit revenue source would be eliminated and other sources would be utilized on a regional basis. · The area of operation should be a non-described service area that gives the regional transit authority the opportunity to operate beyond Chittenden County at the request of local governmental bodies. Public transportation services must be consistent with the state's public transportation goals and ideally reduce traffic congestion in the main transportation corridors and urban core area. · Initially, the newly transformed regional transit authority will provide the public transportation bus service that CCTA currently provides. Commuter rail service in the County will continue to be operated by the Vermont Transportation Authority and funded through the state. Human service transportation services
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A-2 would continue to be provided by SSTA. After CCTA has been transformed into a regional transportation authority, with regional funding, then an analysis and review of whether this RTA should also provide human service transportation and/or commuter rail service could be conducted. · There may need to be some repayment to the current CCTA member communities for their capital equipment and facility investments. While the CCTA didn't achieve this goal, important ground work was laid with the Legislature regarding the issue of regional transit authorities. I have been asked to work with the Joint Fiscal Office and the House Transportation Committee on this issue during the off-session, which may result in the introduction of a committee bill. CCTA has also been successful in expanding its operation to include Washington County and a portion of Orange County. Events of Regional Significance The MPO has established a committee to work on the issue of transit funding and the creation of a regional transit authority. CCTA has also expanded its operation into central Vermont which will provide an example of how a regional Transit Authority might operate. Planning Projects There were several planning projects the Board wanted initiated in Fiscal Year 2003. Overall, the CCTA Commissioners wanted CCTA to take an active role working cooperatively with the MPO in planning the region's public transportation system. The Board supported hiring a full time transit planner to achieve this goal as well as do the other planning work for the Authority. Park and Ride Commuter Bus Services The CCTA Commissioners have determined that transit services being operated from park and ride lots hold the best promise to reducing urban congestion from suburban communities. There was a consensus among CCTA Commissioners to accelerate implementation of the Park and Ride Projects listed in the 1999 report conducted by the MPO. CCTA should assist the MPO as necessary to ensure that a new Park and Ride facility is placed on the TIP for construction at a minimum of every two years. If possible, CCTA should secure federal funding, specifically to support the planning and construction of Park and Ride facilities in Chittenden County. Goal not achieved. While this is a worthy goal and one that CCTA will continue to work towards, attainment is going to be elusive in the short term. The MPO and the state are working towards this goal but not at a rate that will satisfy the CCTA Board. CCTA planning staff and the General Manager are developing a proposal to expedite the park and ride construction process. Bus Rapid Transit CCTA Commissioners agreed that all corridor improvement projects planned by the MPO should contain as many elements of Bus Rapid Transit as practicable, including dedicated transit lanes, signal priority, queue jumping and others. Goal achieved and ongoing. CCTA was successful in introducing the concept of transit signal priority to the region. The City of Burlington has agreed to provide CCTA vehicles with signal priority on certain routes, notably Main Street and Battery Street. The MPO is also working with CCTA to expand signal priority to the other CCTA member communities. Large Bus vs. Small Bus Comparison Responding to the requests of several CCTA member communities, the Authority has purchased four smaller buses, which are 25 feet in length and hold 20 passengers. This particular bus has a life expectancy of seven years as compared to the heavy duty transit bus which has a useful life of twelve years. The CCTA Board agreed
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A-3 that they would like to optimize the bus fleet to the peak usage of our passengers which would presumably lead to smaller buses on some routes. But they also agreed that a reduction in the size of buses shouldn't substantially increase operating costs. CCTA will initiate a study to compare the lifecycle costs of small buses vs. big buses, as well as the changes in operating and maintenance costs associated with each. It is likely that a consultant will be hired to assist CCTA staff in this analysis. Goal ongoing. CCTA has begun collecting data on operating and maintenance costs. Once a full year of costs are collected, staff will analyze the data and make comparisons between different types of vehicles in the fleet. The maintenance department should be ready to issue a report to the Board sometime in the spring of 2004. The Commissioners determined that there were two events of regional significance for which CCTA should provide enhanced public transportation service without charging the sponsors of the events. Those events are the July 3rd fireworks and the First Night Celebration. There were two conditions placed upon not charging the event sponsors: 1) that the regular fares would be charged to passengers for the enhanced public transportation service, except for those individuals who purchased a First Night button, and 2) that CCTA would receive media exposure prior to the event, indicating that CCTA was sponsoring the transportation for that event (in the case of First Night, the Commissioners wanted to be named as a significant sponsor of the event). CCTA sponsored both the First Night and the July 3rd shuttle operations this year and received enhanced marketing exposure at both of these events. In exchange for sponsoring the First Night shuttles, CCTA received recognition in all of the First Night marketing collateral as a second tier sponsor which is the same recognition that the City of Burlington received. Maryann was quite pleased with the level of marketing exposure that CCTA received from the First Night staff and we look forward to developing this reciprocal relationship with one of the regions premier public events. CCTA also received enhanced marketing exposure from the July 3rd celebration but not to the extent we received from First Night. However, since we charge a fare for July 3rd there is only a nominal cost to CCTA, which makes the marketing exposure we received a good value. Maximization of Non-Tax Revenues The Commissioners agreed that a fare policy should be developed by the Authority. CCTA staff will provide the resources necessary to assist the Commissioners as they develop such a policy. Goal not achieved. CCTA staff was directed to work on other priority projects throughout the year. The General Manager agreed that additional bus wraps shouldn't be deployed; however, it would be impossible to remove the current wraps from the buses because of the revenue they generate. The Marketing Department will ascertain whether wrap holes on the windows could be larger to increase rider visibility. The policy of selling public transit services to non-members to expand commuter services in the member communities will continue, as long as existing public transportation services aren't negatively impacted. Goal partially achieved. We began discussions with CATMA, FAHC, UVM, Saint Michael's College and the Sheraton to initiate a shuttle service on the Route 15 corridor and to extend the College Street Shuttle. CCTA is currently working on both of these projects and anticipates that they will be initiated sometime in FY 04. Alternative Fuel Vehicles The Board decided that reduction of fleet emissions was a worthy goal and should be pursued. The Board agreed, however, they also acknowledged that CCTA should wait until the hybrid technology was further developed and that the hybrids systems were being utilized by other transit properties. This is a project that staff can acquire knowledge about so that when the time is right an informed choice or choices can be made.
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A-4 CCTA staff continued their education into alternative fuel technologies. A hybrid bus was brought to the CCTA operating area for demonstrations for interested municipal officials and the public. CCTA also put this bus into revenue service for a day so our passengers could experience riding on this vehicle. The CCTA marketing department was also able to arrange an interview with Channel 3 to promote this technology in our area. As these vehicles begin to be mass produced, CCTA will attempt to secure funding to purchase these vehicles for our fleet. Allocation Formula There was general consensus that the current allocation formula is not conducive to making changes in the system that might increase ridership or improve efficiencies in the operation. However, there is no easy answer to this dilemma and the Board felt that staff energies would be better spent focusing on transforming CCTA into a regional transit authority. Goal not achieved. There is no easy solution but this issue still needs to be addressed even if CCTA becomes a larger RTA. CCTA staff did spend time working on this issue and a greater understanding of the complexities of the assessment formula was attained. This issue should continue to be worked on in FY 04. Bus Shelters in Colchester The informal policy of the board not to place bus shelters in Colchester will continue. Board members felt that until there are sufficient shelters in the member municipalities, then shelters in non-member areas will have to wait. Goal achieved. Fiscal Year FY 03 in Review CCTA, through the hard work of its capable staff, attained many positive achievements on a variety of projects throughout the year. Some of the highlights are listed below. The CATMA shuttles were initiated at the beginning of FY 03 and have proved to be a valuable addition to CCTA's service portfolio. CCTA expanded into the choice rider market and we will continue to pursue those opportunities as they are identified. The Unlimited Access program for UVM was established in FY 03 and the ability of our fareboxes to read the UVM ID card was also finalized. This program has a terrific potential to boost ridership in the coming fiscal year. CCTA began the process of expanding its operation by receiving Legislative approval to operate in Washington County and to operate in Franklin County on an interim basis. CCTA established a new operating entity, the Green Mountain Transit Agency, which began operations in central Vermont. The Authority then further established itself in that region by assuming management and operations of the Mad River Valley Transit District. While CCTA may not be a regional authority in name or through funding, we took several important steps in that direction. We are operating on a regional basis and we have provided a working model for the Legislature to examine in their analysis of how to reorganize public transportation in Vermont. I am confident that the steps we took this year expanding into Washington County will bear fruit for the CCTA in establishing a more equitable funding program for public transportation, as it relates to local funding. While we didn't achieve the result we were looking for with respect to the Downtown Transit Center, staff put in a lot of hours on this project to ensure that it was operationally sound. The final project was something that the entire staff supported and was much improved from what was presented to CCTA initially. In conjunction with this project, the transit planner spent a lot of time developing an ITS program to implement those technologies that made the transit center work. We will continue our work in this area for FY 04 as the technological advancements can be fully utilized without the presence of the transit center.
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A-5 The timepoint analysis data collection was completed and will begin to be analyzed and implemented in FY 04. This is a very important project because it focuses on a core competency that every transit system must adhere to, running the buses on time. CCTA established a new service and new service type, in the Shopper Hopper which uses a demand response service model. We will be following this service very closely throughout FY 04. CCTA staff spent a significant amount of time ensuring that the documents that are necessary for our FTA triennial review were available for FTA to inspect. While this work may not have the appeal of achieving a new service or another of the Board's goals, it is vital to the financial well being of the authority and was perhaps some of the most important work that CCTA staff accomplished this fiscal year. The Short Range Transit Plan for our region was completed in FY 03 and CCTA staff spent significant time ensuring that this was a useful document. CCTA staff, plagued by the computer system continually crashing, updated the servers that power the network. This too was another important project that was implemented expeditiously by your staff. The first CCTA van pool program was established in FY 03 with much success. CCTA marketing staff redesigned the bus stop signs and will begin deploying them at the beginning of FY 04. The marketing department also made great strides in acquiring data from our passengers and members of the community regarding public transportation. There are many other achievements for FY 03 but they are too numerous to keep mentioning. We made additional staffing changes at CCTA during FY 03 adding a planner and other members to the administrative team. I am blessed to have such hard working knowledgeable people to work for me and am confident that the group that is currently assembled can tackle any challenge that is put before them. We have a lot of work that we are planning to accomplish in FY 04 and I expect that we will have a very productive year.