June 29, 2017 Norwalk Transit District's Commissioners' Special Meeting

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners’ Special Meeting Minutes

 

June 29, 2017, 2017 at 2:00 PM – Norwalk Transit District

 

Attending

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners:

Andrew Glickson

Alice McQuaid

 

Norwalk Transit District Staff: 

Kimberlee Morton, CEO

Britt Liotta, Chief Operating Officer

Lynette Brayboy, Manager of Human Resources

Steven Burka, CFAO

Lori Richards, Manager of Procurement and Grants Administration

 

The meeting was called to order at 2:05 PM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

Public Comment

Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

Approval of Minutes of Special Meeting May 25, 2017

The minutes of the May 25, 2017 Special Meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented. 

Union Negotiations

Ms. Morton reported that a tentative settlement was reached.  Ms. Morton detailed the major highlights of the tentative agreement.  The Union has scheduled a membership meeting for July 9, 2017 to review the tentative plan.  Ratification vote is scheduled for July 17, 2017.

Ms. Morton requested that the Commissioners’ provide formal approval of the tentative agreement as previously discussed.  Commissioners’ Glickson and McQuaid unanimously approved the tentative agreement. 

Drivers’ Room

An opportunity to rent space for a Drivers area became available in the vicinity of the hub location.  Ms. Morton presented the Lessor’s term sheet and advised this was the first step in the negotiation process and represents the high end of negotiations.  Based on the information currently proposed Ms. Morton anticipates the first year at approximately $40,000 annually.  This lease agreement will allow the District to discontinue the current arrangement with the City of Norwalk under which we rent two bathrooms at the Yankee Doodle Garage.  It also provides for full compliance with the Union contract provision that requires us to designate four parking spaces at the hub location for the sole use of drivers’. 

Ms. Morton has contacted legal counsel regarding the terms of the triple net lease agreement.  We have requested additional information regarding the District’s liability for HVAC and how the facility is heated and the cost of such bills if it is an electric heating system.  An assessment of the HVAC system will be performed by an independent contractor as well as an analysis of the existing competitive rental market rate for the area.  The proposed term sheet proposes $24 per square foot which we believe is high for the area.  Counsel will perform an inquiry of financial standing of the owner and confirm ownership as well. 

Ms. Morton requested Commissioner support of the long term lease agreement and to provide the CEO with the authority to negotiate and execute lease terms with the concurrence of legal counsel and a not to exceed the limits as presented in the term sheet.  The Commissioners provided unanimous support to proceed within the boundaries of the term sheet presented and with the concurrence of counsel. 

DOT Funding Update

Ms. Morton reported that there continues to be no additional FY 2018 budgetary information from CTDOT at this time.  As previously reported we did receive FY 2018 TOD’s at the baseline level of FY 2017 which continues to present cash flow issues for the District.  We have been aggressive in keeping CTDOT informed that this is troublesome for the District given our tight financial positon.  We continue to pressure for a revised baseline TOD that adequately reflects Stamford ADA and Coastal Link funding.  The present scenario requires the District to support the overrun expenses on our line of credit and seek reimbursement after year end. 

Coastal Link funding for FY 2011-2015 was received in the amount of $402,000 which brings closure to another open State funding matter.  Remaining open items include:

·         $11k for FY 2016 June final invoices for Norwalk and Stamford ADA (5% hold back)

·         $394k for FY 2016 Coastal Link

·         $14k for FY 2016 Stamford ADA

·         $22k FY 2017 Coastal Link

·         FY15 and FY16 silo consolidation for Norwalk and Westport ADA in the amount of $141k

·         FY15 and FY16 Westport and Norwalk fixed-route balance transfer in the amount of $136k

·         Total outstanding due is $720,000

 

FTA Grant Amendments

Ms. Morton reported that she closed one old grant which was for the construction of the Hub as mandated by the FTA due to lack of grant activity.  She additionally reported that three grant amendments were additionally filed and approved that redirected funding from closed activity line items to open line items that contained in adequate funding to support the project activity.  This will additionally facilitate grant closeout which is a priority for FTA. 

Circulator Update

Ms. Morton reported that Mr. Liotta created proposed schedules for a potential modified circulator which will operate in its beginning stages as a Commuter Express Shuttle to the SoNo Railroad Station.  There will be two routes operating during peak operating hours of 6:00 AM and 9:30 AM and 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. with two vehicles on each route.  One route will serve Waypoint, Maritime Parking Garage and housing complex, Iron Works, and SoNo Pearl.  The other will serve Head of Harbor and Avalon on Mr. Burka’s cost analysis indicates a cost of $482,000.  We are waiting on the Redevelopment Agency to schedule a meeting with the Developers.  At that time the information will be shared and fine-tuned.  Potential implementation date is after January 1st.

Interns

Ms. Morton advised that the District has taken on two interns through the City of Norwalk’s summer youth work program.  The overall cost of the interns is $1,400 for 25 hours each intern for six weeks.  Projects include inventory and bus operations data entry.

Finance Report

Mr. Burka reported the following activities during the previous period.

ü  May 2017 Financial Report and Update

 

Mr. Burka distributed the financial report.

  • Operating Shortfall: $-226K
    • Wheels $-57K due to Coastal Link deficit of -$340K, offset by the rest of Wheels
    • ADA $-169K due to Stamford ADA
    • Wheels and Stamford ADA are fully expected to be funded by the State (in the future)
  • Overall District Surplus: $150K
    • Stamford ADA prior years funding $211K received
    • City of Norwalk grant unapplied portion $165K
    • Applied to cumulative deficit
  • Interest year-to-date on LOC is $77K; interest rate rose to 4.5% (prime+.25%)
  • Fares of $150K were flat with April, and $10K lower than 11 month average

ü  Expected Year-End results Operating Shortfall: $-250K (est.)

·         Overall District Surplus: $200K (est.)

·         If Wheels and Stamford ADA funding were received, surplus would be over $400K, offsetting cumulative deficit.

·         Total Fares: $1.9M, down from FY16 $2.0M (5% decline)

ü  Cash Flow Analysis

·         Due to the State’s moratorium on payments until late August (same as last year), we are very tight on cash. We are stretching but will be short in August without some additional cash. Appealed to State and bank.  As a result of the problematic cash flow extreme precautionary measures have been taken.  We have temporarily halted the non-union, 401a employer contributions and notified vendors in writing of our temporary restricted cash flow. 

Final Approval of the FY 2018 Budget.

No changes to previous presented budget. Published in newspaper; no public comments received

·         Revenue decline to $1.7M

·         Planned 3% State increase, plus full funding of Coastal Link, Stamford ADA, and Norwalk ADA

·         City of Norwalk $518K grant unspent (except for interest), thereby offsetting prior deficits

·         New Norwalk Circulator service incorporated

Mr. Burka requested formal and final approval of the FY 2018 budget as previously presented and without change.  Commissioners’ Glickson and McQuaid formally approved the FY 2018 budget.

Approval of the FY 2018 Non-Union Wage Plan

Ms. Morton distributed the FY 2018 Wage Plan.  The merit increases reflected are consistent with the Union contract and would be made retroactive to July 1, 2017 if applicable and are contingent on a satisfactory performance review.  It is important to note that all employees received a 0% increase in FY 2017.  The exceptions noted are red circled employees whose wages are either well above the expected salary for the positions and are currently highly compensated and/or are on performance freezes.  Two salary adjustments are noted for the assumption of additional job responsibilities. 

Operations Update

ü  Transition of ADA Work

Transition of ADA work - Mr. Liotta reported that the changeover of vendors is effective for July 1st, going from 6 active vendors down to just two vendors.  The District has two executed contracts in place for the next five years with the vendors.  In addition, Mr. Liotta reported that all of the vendors' drivers completed a successful training session held by District managers to ensure policies and procedures are in place, and the drivers are comfortable with the inner workings of our business prior to starting the work.

ü   Ridership

Mr. Liotta reported that ridership for May was very encouraging with Wheels producing an increase of 5,000 riders for the month.  Passengers per mile and hour are trending in the right direction, showing improvement over the previous year for the past two months.  ADA service continues to stay constant in terms of trips provided.  Positive strides made with the software will allow us to become more efficient in the upcoming months

ü  Bus Wraps

Mr. Liotta reported that the two buses were wrapped and have been very positive for the Maritime Center.  Mr. Liotta spoke with Tina Tisson, the Director of Marketing for the Maritime Center, and mentioned that we would definitely be able to extend the wrap contract if they wanted to run it longer than the four months.  Mr. Liotta will check back after two months.

Ms. Morton added that she and Mr. Liotta participated in media day at the Maritime Center along with Mayor Rilling which led to radio and television coverage. 

ü  Greenwich Shuttle

Mr. Liotta reported that with the new vehicles scheduled to come in to the District with the ADA bus order, The District would be able to perform the Greenwich Shuttle work in-house as opposed to outsourcing.  The vehicles would be able to be used for shuttles, and then immediately go into Paratransit work to help reduce deadhead costs.   Mr. Liotta is scheduled to prepare a full analysis of the work over the next month.

ü  Roadeo Results

Mr. Liotta reported that the district drivers did a tremendous job this year at the Transit Bus Road-E-O - the results:

ü  Jean Mompremier - BOC - 5th out of 20 - rookie of the year - $100 check

ü  Pablo Marcalle - BOC

ü  Pasko Dedaj - 35 Foot

ü  Johnny Langley - 40 foot - 4th out of 21 - $100 check

ü  Howard Stultz - 40 foot – 9th out of 21

ü  40 foot team (Langley and Stultz) placed 2nd of 8 teams

Ms. Morton added it was a wonderful example of team work and camaraderie on behalf of Union and Management.  A special shout out to Patrick Cooney who assisted in training prior to the Roadeo and served as a supporter at the Roadeo for the entire team.  Also thanks to management (Christina Harrison, Rob Vallerie) that attended the event and showed their support.  It was appreciated by all!

ü  Norwalk & Westport Emergency Operations Plan

Mr. Liotta reported that the Norwalk and Westport Emergency Operations Plan, which is written jointly between the City of Norwalk, Town of Westport and the District, has been finalized and is ready for signatures.  The Emergency Plans are consistent to the previous years, with no changes made other than names and fleet sizes

Maintenance Update

Ms. Morton reported that Mr. Liotta is currently overseeing the maintenance, facility and IT operations during Mr. Alvord's absence.  He is handling all of the day-to-day functions relative to equipment, repair, and maintenance, and information systems as well as the personnel.  Decisions have not been made at this time about bringing in a temporary employee or at what level for the long or short term.

HR Update

Ms. Brayboy reported the following activity during the previous month.

Hired:

Ø  Procurement and Grants Manager

Ø  Operations Dispatcher

Ø  Part-time ADA Dispatcher/Scheduler for 25 hrs. per week

In the process of hiring a part-time money counter for 9 hours – the person will start on Monday, July 10th.

Recruiting:

Ø  Manager of Planning and Marketing

 

Resigned

Ø  Mgr. of Planning and Marketing

Ø  Part-time Money Counter

Ø  Four Part-time ADA Drivers

Ø  One  - Part-time Wheels Driver

Terminated

Ø  Part-time Wheels Driver

Ø  Full-time ADA Dispatcher

Open Enrollment was from May 29 through June 9th

Finalized Non-union Employee Handbook – will present at the next meeting

Procurement Update

ü  Revised Purchasing Procedures

Ms. Richards distributed a summary of the changes to the Purchasing and Procedures Manual.  She reviewed the changes in detail.  The Commissioners voted unanimously in support of the changes to the revised manual with an effective date of July 1, 2017.

ü  Vehicle Procurement / Buy America Inspection Services

A preproduction meeting is scheduled for July 13, 2017.  At this meeting we will execute the contract that was formally approved by the Commissioners on April 26, 2017.  We will also place the first purchase of 10 vehicles.  Total approved project budget for 35 vehicles is $4,243,215.

A single quote was received in response to Bus Inspection Services.  The quote is under review and analysis in accordance with federal guidance for single bids.  Total project cost $25,930. 

ü  Fuel Procurement

On June 14, 2017 the District officially locked in diesel fuel pricing for the period November 1, 2017 through October 31, 2018 under the CTTRANSIT issued bid.  Our FY 2018 budget reflected $2.40 per gallon and the locked in rate was $1.87.  The projected budget savings is $149,500.  Total project budget $527,368.

ü  Procurement Training Course

Ms. Richards attended and NTI hosted procurement training course June 12th through the 15th.  The course was the third in a series of four courses offered titled RFP’s and Competitive Contract Negotiations. 

ü  Metro Taxi – New Freedom Funds

CTDOT contacted NTD to assist with the purchase of accessible taxis to be used in the Freedom Ride Accessible Taxi Program that will soon be offered in the greater Norwalk area.  This program is a partnership between Metro Taxi and the Kennedy Center, designed to accommodate individuals in the greater Norwalk area who need flexibility and accessibility in transportation options beyond the existing ADA paratransit service area and hours. The program is already in operation in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport.  The program is funded through the FTA New Freedom grant program and is administered by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. The voucher program extends beyond the ADA paratransit service area and hours by providing a pre-paid taxi voucher card at a 50% reduced price to people defined as having a disability under the ADA regulations. The voucher may be used for taxi trips that go beyond the ADA service area, during times that ADA paratransit is not available and for same day service 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

ü  Upcoming Ticket Vending Machine

Specifications are under development and scheduled for release on July 10, 2017.  Grant amendments are confirmed and executed supporting the procurement.

Marketing / Planning Update

ü  Software training in LA

Mr. Liotta reported that he and Mr. Cooney would attend a scheduling software training hosted by our software provider TMS scheduling software training in Shreveport LA.  This will help prepare us for internal preparation for the upcoming run cuts that will need to be performed for the January bid.

CEO Update

University Pass or UPASS program has been mandated by CTDOT.  In March when this was first proposed I notified the Department of my concerns.  First and foremost was the financial impact on the agency since we do not currently offer a UPASS therefore impact is unknown as we do not collect student ridership information.  I advised our participation was contingent on a promise from the State that the program will fall under close scrutiny for abuse and the District will not be adversely impacted by the revenue distribution plan.  I never received a response to my correspondence.

At the most recent State quarterly meeting of Transit Districts the program was again presented but this time as a definitive with a start date of August and the directive that everyone must participate.  I again wrote on June 13th forwarding my previous correspondence with the request for a reply.  I reiterated the importance of knowing what the fare structure will be and the required assurances as previously discussed.  I explained any fare structure change would require the District to follow the formal public hearing process and would have to be formally adopted by the NTD Commissioners.  As of this meeting I have yet to have a response. 

Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board

No further business was brought before the Board.

 

Next Meeting July 27, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Ms. Morton proposed cancellation of the next meeting due to summer vacations.  In the event formal approval for any matter is required a Special Meeting will be scheduled.  The next regularly scheduled meeting is August 24, 2017 at 9:00 AM.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:34 PM. 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Kimberlee A. Morton

 

Kimberlee A Morton, CEO

Norwalk Transit District

 

 

May 25, 2017 Norwalk Transit District's Commissioner's Special Meeting

May 25, 2017 at 8:30 AM – Norwalk Transit District

 

Attending

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners:

Andrew Glickson

Alice McQuaid

 

Norwalk Transit District Staff: 

Kimberlee Morton, CEO

Britt Liotta, Chief Operating Officer

Lynette Brayboy, Manager of Human Resources

Steven Burka, CFAO

Hal Alvord, Director of Maintenance and Facilities

Lori Richards, Manager of Procurement and Grants Administration

 

DOT Staff:

Lisa Tillium, CTDOT

 

Wendell:Architecture Staff:

Susan Sherwood

Sean Beachy

Donald Gray

Christopher Abramo

 

The meeting was called to order at 8:40 AM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

Public Comment

Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

Approval of Minutes of April 26, 2017

The minutes of the April 26, 2017 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented. 

Approval of Minutes of Special Meeting May 15, 2017

The minutes of the May 15, 2017 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented. 

Wendell Architecutre:  Facilty Analysis

The team presented in detail the results of their analysis.

FY 2018 Budget Presentation and Scheduling of Public Hearing

Mr. Burka presented March 2018 draft budget.  A summary of the budget highlights is attached. 

The Commissioners unanimously approved moving the budget as presented to public comment and formal publication. 

Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board

No further business was brought before the Board.

 

Next Meeting June 29, 2017 and future meeting times

The next regularly scheduled meeting is June 29, 2017 and will be held at the offices of the Norwalk Transit District at 2:00 p.m. 

 

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 9:34 a.m. 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Kimberlee A. Morton

 

Kimberlee A Morton, CEO

Norwalk Transit District

 

 

May 15, 2017 Norwalk Transit's Commissioner's Special Meeting Minutes

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners’ Special Meeting Minutes

 

 

May 15, 2017 at 1:00 PM – Norwalk Transit District

 

 

 

 

Attending

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners:

Andrew Glickson (via teleconference)

Alice McQuaid (via teleconference)

Norwalk Transit District Staff: 

Kimberlee Morton, CEO

Britt Liotta, COO

Steven Burka, CFAO

 

The meeting was called to order at 1:12 PM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

Public Comment

Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

 

Recommendation and Award of Paratransit Service Provider Contracts in response to RFP #2017-02

Ms. Morton and Mr. Liotta presented the proposal process and concluding contract recommendations for the period July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2022.  The Commissioners’ unanimously authorized and approved contracts with People to Places and Cooperative Educational Services for the provision of paratransit transportation services in response to RFP #2017-02.  The action resulted in authorizing resolutions RFP #2017-02, People to Places, in the amount not to exceed $3,800,910.08 and RFP #2017-02 Cooperative Educational Services, in the amount not to exceed $4,039,742.08 which are attached hereto and made part of the record. 

 

 

 

 

Next Meeting May 25, 2017 at 8:30 AM

The next regularly scheduled meeting is May 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM.  Commissioner McQuaid requested consideration to move the meeting to 8:30 AM.  Commissioner Glickson was in agreement. Ms. Morton will be responsible for posting the meeting change. 

 

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 1:25 PM. 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Kimberlee A. Morton

 

Kimberlee A Morton, CEO

Norwalk Transit District

 

 

April 26, 2017 Norwalk Transit District Commissioners' Special Meeting

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners’ Special Meeting Minutes

April 26, 2017 at 2:00 PM – Norwalk Transit District

 

Attending

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners:

Andrew Glickson

Alice McQuaid

Norwalk Transit District Staff: 

Kimberlee Morton, CEO

Britt Liotta, Chief Operating Officer

Lynette Brayboy, Manager of Human Resources

Steven Burka, CFAO

Hal Alvord, Director of Maintenance and Facilities

 

The meeting was called to order at 2:06 PM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

 

Public Comment

Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

 

Approval of Minutes of February 23, 2017

The minutes of the February 23, 2017 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented.  Commissioner McQuaid abstained. 

 

Finance Report

March 2017 Finance Report

Mr. Burka presented March 2017 financial results. The year-to-date has a surplus $110K, which is better than our original budget and reflects receiving funds for prior years’ Stamford ADA deficits. The surplus is being directly applied to the District’s cumulative deficit. The operating deficit year-to-date for all the services is $259K, fueled by Coastal Link and Stamford ADA. Both services are expected to be fully funded by the State, but receipt of such funds is expected to be delayed until at least next year.

Our borrowing rate rose to 4.25%

Fare revenue was up $21K over February as there were more operating hours.  

Farebox recovery again crept up; now 16.6% through March, up from 15.9% through December

 

Bank Update and Signatories

Our revolving Line of Credit (LOC) is up for renewal at the end of the month and no issues are expected. Signature cards were updated to reflect the addition of our new Commissioner.

 

Pension Update – Written Consent to Action

We are awaiting IRS approval to merge our 401(k) into our 401(a) plan at Empower. A resolution was passed authorizing the merger contingent on final IRS approval.

 

Budget Update

The FY18 budget is due to the state on June 1 and will be presented to the Commissioners for approval at the next meeting.  At that time a public hearing will be conducted. We will propose an increase in our operating budgets.

 

Health Insurance Renewal

Our medical and dental insurance plans renew on July 1. Medical premiums will increase an average of 3.5% and the dental will increase 6.5%.

 

Transit Operations Report

March 2017 Ridership

Mr. Liotta noted that since the changes were made to the routes in February, there have been strong showings in the increased ridership per hour on the impacted runs. Specifically:

Wheels 1 – up 15%

Wheels 4 – up 3%

Wheels 7 – up 4%

Wheels 12 – up 227%

NCC Shuttle – up 387%

Greenwich Central Shuttle – up 189%

Greenwich West Shuttle – up 166%

Mr. Liotta noted that this report, while still very good, will not compare apples exactly to apples.  Due to the route cuts and eliminations, mileage and hours will not line up.  However, Mr. Liotta noted that the adjustment to the routes now have a much better trend with reduced passengers to reduced miles and hours, much more in line with the decreased ridership trend.  As well, it was noted that we lost one full day of ridership due to winter storm, which was a Tuesday, a high ridership day.  Mr. Liotta commented that one note of interest is that Westport has not adjusted any of their schedule times despite very low ridership.

 

Route Match Operational Changes

Mr. Liotta noted that since the reorganization of the Operations Group on March 1st, plans are moving forward with increasing the efficiency of the Paratransit work.  It has been noticed that the trips per hour has dropped from 1.60 to 1.42 in the past few months.  Mr. Liotta tasked his Paratransit Manager, Christina Harrison, with working with Route Match, our Paratransit routing Software Company, to work on efficiencies.  Ms. Harrison worked with Route Match for a week; in which scheduling was reinvented to ensure high usage of shared trips, as well as auto scheduling of vehicles each night.  The result has been a positive change in trips per hour, averaging over 2.0 per day since the change.  The downside of this is clients not understanding that we are a shared ride service, as they are all looking for individual rides to and from their destinations, so it has been an effort to reeducate them.

Procurement

Paratransit Vehicle RFP

Mr. Alvord provided a summary of the two proposals received and made a recommendation for award to Shepard Brothers, Inc.  Mr. Glickson made a motion to accept the recommendation in favor of Shepard Bothers, Inc. for up to 35 vehicles over a five year period for a total contract value of $4,243,215.00.  Motion seconded by Commissioner McQuaid.  The motion passed unanimously. 

 

Paratransit Service RFP

RFP was issued March 1, 2017.  The major change in the scope of work over previous years is the requirement for contractors to provide vehicles for the District’s exclusive use.  All vehicles will be part of a single pool and batch scheduled for maximum efficiency with all of our current work.  Nine proposals were received by the due date, April 14, 2017.  One proposal was determined unresponsive.  The first step in the evaluation process is complete.  Eight proposals were qualified as possible viable contenders in some form or another.  Request for Best and Final Offers (BAFO) were disseminated on April 26, 2017.  The request was specific to each proposer based on areas that need to be enhanced or clarified.  BAFOs are due by 5:00 pm on Monday, May 1st.  The additional information will be processed and final proposal evaluations will be made.  A special meeting of the Commissioners’ will convene for the formal award process. 

 

Scissor Lift and Other Efficiency Equipment

Mr. Alvord advised we are in receipt of a scissor lift which conforms to OSHA requirements for working at heights.  Additional efficiency equipment such as work benches, automated mobile oil dispensing units, bus air conditioning service units, automatic floor scrubber, 24 volt charging unit have been procured as part of a campaign to enhance the maintenance departments overall efficiency. 

 

Maintenance Training

Foreman Keon Evans completed management training

All maintenance staff trained on scissor lift operations and OSHA Hazard Communications

 

Status of Wheels Bus Procurement

Mr. Alvord reported he is preparing technical specifications for the procurement of 30’, 35’ and 40’ buses.  This purchase will include the replacement of our Orion buses, the heart of our fixed route fleet, since they are already well beyond the FTA useful life of 12 years.  We also need a 40’ vehicle to replace 329 on the Coastal Link and he is working with the State regarding a potential loaner vehicle from the retiring CTTRANSIT fleet.

 

Status of Automated Maintenance Management System

Mr. Alvord and staff are reviewing demonstrations of automated maintenance management systems in preparation for developing a RFP.  Almost all of our current maintenance management tools and procedures are manual.  Funds are available in phase 2 of the AVL grant.

 

Maintenance and Facilities Update

Facilities Assessment – Presentation at May Meeting

The facilities assessment is nearing completion.  Wendel will present findings and recommendations at the May Commissioners’ meeting. 

 

Temporary On-site Gasoline Storage and Dispensing

Mr. Alvord advised he was working to arrange temporary on-site dispensing of gasoline before new paratransit vehicles begin to arrive.  This is a priority since the new paratransit vehicles will have gasoline engines.

 

HR Update

Ø  In March NTD hired four Part-time ADA Driver Trainees who completed their six weeks training.  NTD also hired a person to perform dual roles as a Part-time Money Counter for two days a week for six hours and a Part-time Data Input Clerk for up to 16 hours per week. 

 

Ø  In April NTD hired five Part-time Driver Trainees (3 Fixed Route - 2 ADA) who started their six weeks training on April 24th. NTD hired an Operations Dispatcher, who started on April 23rd.

 

Ø  NTD promoted our Paratransit Specialist to Paratransit Manager on March 1st.

 

Ø  NTD is currently recruiting for a Procurement and Grant Manager.

 

Ø  A Part-time ADA Driver resigned, his last day was on April 20th.

 

Ø  Advised that open enrollment will be coming soon for the July 1st renewal. 

 

State Update

Ms. Morton reported we still no official word on funding for FY 2018.  Mr. Burka will begin preparation of the budget with a 3% budget increase assumption. 

 

Ms. Morton provided a copy of the most current letter to the State regarding pending financial matter.  She summarized as follows. 

 

Ø  Ms. Morton reported the State finally provided reimbursement of Stamford ADA over runs dating back to FY 2011.  FY 2016 Stamford ADA deficit remains pending in the amount of $14,038 and a revised TOD will be necessary.

Ø  Coastal Link remains outstanding in the amount of $402,390 for FY 2011-2014. 

Ø  Coastal Link FY 2016 TOD remains outstanding in the amount of $394,264 and FY 2017 expected to be approximately $25,000.  Recent service cuts implemented in late January 2017 has allowed us to fund the deficit portion of the Coastal Link in FY 2017.  Revised TODs will be necessary.

 

Ø  Silo Consolidation of Norwalk and Westport ADA in the amount of $141,424 for FY 15 and FY 16 remains pending.  The State has corrected this matter going forward beginning with the FY17 TOD.

Ø  FY 15 and FY 16 balance transfers for Westport and Norwalk Fixed Route services in the amount of $136,463 remains pending.  The State has corrected this matter going forward beginning with the FY17 TOD.

Ø  The State released final payment of FY 2016 funds ($240,386) with a 5% holdback pending final review and approval. 

 

Restructuring Plan Update

Ms. Morton presented the revised organizational structure reflecting the changes discussed at the last meeting for formal approval.  Those changes included the addition of the new Procurement and Grant Administration Manager.  Additional changes are as follows:

 

Ø  Upgrade of Director of Maintenance and Facilities to Chief Logistics Officer.  The salary will be adjusted to reflect the pay rate for the officer position. 

Ø  Removal of the Director of Information and Technology from Finance and Administration to the Chief Logistics Officer

Ø  Move the responsibility of procurement and grant administration from Finance and Administration to the CEO.  The ongoing reporting relationship will be reviewed during the next six months. 

Ø  Shared responsibility of the Manager of Safety and Security between the Logistics Officer and COO. 

CEO Update

Ms. Morton reported:

Ø  Labor negotiations are ongoing and the last round of meetings were cancelled by the Union.  We are in the process of coordinating schedules for future meeting dates.

Ø  Ms. Morton is currently working with legal counsel regarding the development of NTD By-Laws

Ø  Ms. Morton reported that she informed the State that the District was willing to participate in a Statewide Workers’ Compensation Program as long as there was clear agreement regarding paid loss finding from first dollar to the point that catastrophic coverage would be effective. 

Ø   

Executive Session

A motion to recess the Public Meeting and move into Executive Session to discuss a pending investigation was passed unanimously.  The time was 3:20 pm.  No formal action was taken.

A motion to move out of Executive Session and resume the Public Meeting was passed unanimously at 3:30 PM.

 

Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board

No further business was brought before the Board.

 

Next Meeting May 25, 2017 and future meeting times

The attached list of revised meeting dates and times for the remainder of the calendar year was approved unanimously by the Commissioners. 

The next regularly scheduled meeting is May 25, 2017 and will be held at the offices of the Norwalk Transit District at 9:00 a.m. 

 

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:36 pm. 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Kimberlee A. Morton

 

Kimberlee A Morton, CEO

  • Norwalk Transit District

February 23, 2017 Meeting

February 23, 2017 at 9:00 AM – Norwalk Transit District

 

Attending

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners:

Andrew Glickson

Sheldon Miller

Norwalk Transit District Staff: 

Kimberlee Morton, CEO

Britt Liotta, Chief Operating Officer

Lynette Brayboy, Manager of Human Resources

Steven Burka, CFAO

Hal Alvord, Director of Maintenance and Facilities

 

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 AM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

Public Comment

Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

Approval of Minutes of January 26, 2017

The minutes of the January 26, 2017 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented. 

Finance Report

January 2017 Finance Report

Mr. Burka presented January 2017 financial results. He noted the year-to-date deficit is $165K, down from December due to adjustments that moved expenses into the prior year, and the recording of funds due from the City of Stamford for services performed from the beginning of the fiscal year. Coastal Link’s and Stamford ADA services are running a deficit and the State is aware of the need to provide additional funds, but as yet has not issued additional funding. Cash flow remains tight as the deficits translate into additional borrowing; the interest rate on the line-of-credit has increased. Fare revenue was up $17K over December, $21K over November, as fare increases took effect. Farebox recovery crept up to 16.2% from 15.9% through December.

Mr. Burka reported on the successful transition of our deferred compensation plan to Empower Retirement. In the near future, we will be transitioning the union profit sharing retirement plan as well.

Audit Presentation

Auditor Partalas presented the final audit report.  No findings were noted.

Transit Operations Report

January 2017 Ridership

Monthly ridership – Mr. Liotta reported that January 2017 was slightly lower than January 2016, but off by 20,000 compared to the last few months.  Mr. Liotta commented that part of this was attributed to the changing of the passes, and doing away with the transfers.  In September 2016, the transfer policy was changed in order to tighten controls of ridership abuse.  Mr. Liotta felt this definitely contributed to the lower ridership.

Performance Metrics

Mr. Liotta commented that going forward; it would be beneficial to start utilizing the reporting structure that the state looks for, which tracks passengers per revenue hour and per revenue mile. Mr. Liotta commented that the State classifies the transportation into two groups – Local, which is the fixed routes, and express, which are the shuttle routes.  Mr. Liotta noted that looking at the report, the lowest producing routes, the #1, #2, #5/6, #12, and the 7 Link, all recently had service changes or eliminations, which will help to boost the metrics.  Mr. Liotta also noted that the Greenwich shuttle went through an extensive cut which will also help to improve the numbers.  The Westport shuttles, however, were not adjusted based upon decisions by the Westport Directors, and remain the lowest producing express routes.

Procurement

Paratransit Vehicle RFP

The RFP was issued in late January.  A pre-proposal meeting was held last week; attended by Shepard Brothers (Coach & Equipment Mfg) and Alliance Bus Group (Elkhart).  We have not heard anything from Matthews Buses (Goshen, Eldorado), although they have been sent everything.  There have been 3 addenda to date.  Proposals are due March 14, 2017.  This procurement will replace our entire paratransit fleet in a procurement phased over 4 years (to flatten and stabilize maintenance budgets).  Diesel engines are no longer available in these vehicles so we will have a short term challenge in fueling and a longer term challenge in building gasoline storage and fueling facility on the property (Wendel indicates it can be done within code).

Paratransit Service RFP

RFP will be issued March 1, 2017.  Proposals are due April 14, 2017.  The proposal requires contractors to provide vehicles for the District’s exclusive use.  All vehicles will be part of a single pool and batch scheduled for maximum efficiency.

 

Facility Analysis

We have received Wendel’s first cut at repairs and improvements needed in our facility, along with the costs ($5.5 million); based on my review of each item with Wendel, I believe their cost estimates are too low and I have asked them to revisit the matter.  They have also developed two options for expanding on our current property (given that there is almost no place else to go in Norwalk) and have provided their costs for Option 2 (the larger expansion option) - $9.1 million.  This figure does not include the cost of canopies over the space between the shop and garage and on the east end of the parking garage ($2.3 million) or the cost of a 3-level parking structure over the current employee parking lot ($6.4 million).  We recently received the preliminary energy analysis but have not yet had the chance to review.  Wendel will provide the Commissioners a presentation at their March meeting.

Full-Time Procurement and Grant Administration Position

Ms. Morton reported that the search for a project consultant to fill the role of Procurement and Grant Administration was unsuccessful.  Ms. Morton advised that she would like to proceed with the filling the position on a regular full-time basis.  It would remain the intent to pay for the position primarily through capital grants.  The Commissioners were in favor the recommendation and provided the approval to proceed.  A revised organization chart explaining changes to the structure and the reporting relationship will be provided at the next meeting for formal approval. 

Maintenance and Facilities Update

We have taken back two 30’ shuttle vehicles from TAG as a result of the recent service reduction.  They are now properly configured to be integrated into our shuttle schedule.  We have disposed of bus 329 – a former Coastal Link vehicle; it was returned to the state from whom it had been leased.  We continue to reorganize the shop to gain additional efficiencies.

 

HR Update

Our current money counter decided to reduce the number of days per week to three instead of five days a week.  We are in the process of hiring an additional part-timer to cover the now open days left vacant.  Having three part-timers instead of two provides us with a back-up to cover vacation and sick absences. 

 

Our part-time data input clerk resigned on February 2nd.  The role is currently filled with a temp working 16 hours per week as we proceed with the formal interview process.

 

We’re in the hiring process to bring on five part-time ADA Drivers.  A training class will start on Monday, March 6th for six weeks.

 

Marketing and Planning Update

Utilized AVAIL’s passenger information tools and the website to announce weather advisories and Presidents Day holiday service.

Full adoption of new website. Former website archived and removed from public web access. 

Promotion of new bus service to Wilton Center on weekdays and to Walmart on the Saturdays including web notices, flier distribution and press release in the Norwalk Hour.

Outlined and reviewed with executive staff planning and marketing priorities.  Major priority includes preparation of the Public Participation Process for next round of service and fare changes.

Successful completion of phase one “Backend efforts” of marketing plan for adopting AVAIL’s passenger information tools.  Engaging second phase “Agency Integration” to build competency amongst staff in utilizing these tools.

Participated in the Norwalk Community College new student orientation.

Multi-day passes now available for sale at two Stop and Shop locations in Norwalk.

State Update.

Ms. Morton reported that given the difficult budget year, the proposed Governors’ transportation budget is good.  How it actually filters down to the Districts’ is unknown.  We will submit a budget with a 3% increase for the FY 2018.

Restructuring Plan

Mr. Liotta shared his assessment of the ADA program including several problems including incorrect ticket collection and validation, trip coding, and underutilization of the scheduling software.  This area of operations is in need of specific direction and oversight on a day-to-day basis.  Additionally someone needs to take ownership of the scheduling software to ensure we are realizing maximum efficiency.   This position will also assist in making reservations at times of high volume.  This will be very important now that the District will assume the scheduling of all purchased transportation provided vehicles in the new Paratransit Service proposal recently released.  .  It is the recommendation of the executive team to eliminate the Paratransit Coordinator position and roll those duties into a new position titled Paratransit Manager to ensure that optimal efficiency is realized. 

CEO Update

Ms. Morton reported:

Ø  labor negotiations was ongoing;

Ø  5310 Grant Program

Ø  Ongoing legislative initiatives related to the FY 2018 operating budget

Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board

No further business was brought before the Board.

Next Meeting March 24, 2017 and future meeting times

Ms. Morton explained that there was recent inquiry regarding the time of the Commissioner meetings and if it was possible to conduct some of the meetings in the evening.  It was decided that on replacement of Commissioner Miller future meeting times would be discussed. 

The next regularly scheduled meeting is March 24, 2017 and will be held at the offices of the Norwalk Transit District at 9:00 a.m. 

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 10:40 am. 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Kimberlee A. Morton

 

Kimberlee A Morton, CEO

Norwalk Transit District

January 26, 2017 Meeting

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes

January 26, 2017 at 9:00 AM – Norwalk Transit District

 

Attending

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners:

Andrew Glickson

Sheldon Miller

Norwalk Transit District Staff: 

Kimberlee Morton, CEO

Britt Liotta, Chief Operating Officer

Lynette Brayboy, Manager of Human Resources

Steven Burka, CFAO

 

The meeting was called to order at 9:06 AM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

Public Comment

Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

Approval of Minutes of December 15, 2016

The minutes of the December 15, 2016 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented. 

December 2016 Ridership Report

Mr. Liotta reviewed in detail the Operations Report highlighting the continuing downward trend in fixed-route and shuttle services.  Overall ridership is still down versus last year month to month and year to date.  Extremely low ridership was noted about the 7 link bus, to which Ms. Morton commented it may be on the block for removal if more reductions are mandated. 

Transit Operations Report

Fare changes update – Mr. Liotta commented that the fare changes went out with little to no issues on the changes.  He further stated that during the transition, any passenger that was short fare during the first couple of days were allowed to ride and notified of the fare changes

Route changes update – Mr. Liotta stated that the run changes are all set for January 29th – some minor software issues have occurred, but all is set to go forward with the changes on January 29th.

Commissioner Glickson recommended that the District’s message should try to focus on the positives of any changes whenever possible. 

Additional Revenue for Coastal Link buses – Mr. Liotta noted that Trans Advertising contacted him about doing two bus wraps (sponsored by The University of Connecticut) for a nine month period for $17,000 in revenue.  Mr. Burka noted that quick math shows the revenue to be at only 1 ½ times what the previous wrap revenue brought in.  Mr. Liotta stated he would be contacting them for paperwork so it can be reviewed. 

Purchased Transportation Contract Renewals

Mr. Liotta noted that the rates that were frozen for the first half of the FY 2016 for the purchased vendors were all approved for the second half of the FY.  The increase total is estimated at $7,700 for the six months, and it was already budgeted for increase, so these will not be over budget

1.    CES and People to Places held at 16 rates for final 6 months

2.    Elder House, Norwalk Senior Center, Star and TAG took modest increases

3.    See attached for dollar amount change for final 6 months

Commissioners’ Miller and Glickson unanimously approved the presented contract changes. 

December 2016 Financial Report

Through December 2016, the district is running a deficit for the 2017 fiscal year of $203K.  Fare revenue and assistances totaled $7.3M while expenses totaled $7.5M. The budget for the same time period projected a shortfall of $302K. Key metrics indicate that fare collection is down 3.6% compared to budget while expenses have decreased primarily in vehicle parts and supplies due to good inventory management and the replacement of 12 old buses. Purchased transportation costs related to paratransit services are lower than budgeted because no rate increase was accepted for the first half of the year.

Pension Plan Update

The District is on schedule to transition our pension plan to Empower Retirement on Feb 3, 2016. We held a “Pension Plan Day” where representatives of Empower met with employees individually to discuss retirement issues and handed out useful investment information. Communication from management to our employees has been frequent and effective.

Audit Update

Our FY 2016 audit is complete with no major findings. The audit report and final financial results will be presented to the commissioners at the next meeting.

Benefit Changes

As of the start of January, the District has a new healthcare provider under the CT Partnership Plan that has saved the District and its employees substantial money. Mr. Burka presented his assessment of the other insurances of Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, and Life Insurance. Changes were made that better aligned employee classifications to reasonable individual insurance benefits. The net change to premiums will save the District a few hundred dollars. 

Marketing and Planning Update

 

Mr. Liotta gave the Planning and Marketing Update in the absence of Stephanie Scavelli – Mr Liotta noted that The National Transit Database FY 2016 Annual Report was resubmitted to FTA on January 16, 2017 with additional supplemental material on passenger mile sampling submitted on January 23, 2017. 

 

Mr. Liotta then commented that in late December the current website crashed, and was redeveloped with an inexpensive user friendly, completed in-house and is now hosted on a mobile-friendly platform.  Mr. Liotta commented that the the MyStop mobile app, website and trip planner are now live.  On-going review by supervisor team to ensure accurate information is disseminated to the public regarding real-time bus information.  Mr. Liotta cited some facts on website usage for the month of January:

a.    2,883 unique visitors

b.    4,714 unique visits (multiple pages may be viewed during each visit)

c.    39% of visitors view the site via desktop

d.    61% viewed the site via mobile device.    

 

Maintenance and Facilities Update

In the absence of Mr. Alvord the report was tabled. 

FTA FY 2017 Annual Certifiantion and Asurnaces and Designation to Bind the District

Ms. Morton explained that before FTA may award federal assistance for public transportation in the form of a federal grant certain pre-award Certifications and Assurances are required.  Ms. Morton provided the Commissioners with a copy of the FY 2017 annual certifications to be executed by our legal counsel.  This document delineates the responsibilities of the District.  She advised that the Board must further authorize a representative to select and sign its Certifications and Assurances and bind the NTD’s compliance.  Commissioner Miller made a motion to authorize CEO, Kimberlee A. Morton, as NTD’s authorized representative to select and sign all certifications and assurances that NTD must provide to support each application it submits to FTA for federal assistance during federal fiscal year (FY) 2016.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Glickson and passed unanimously.

State Update

Ms. Morton reported the following items. 

Ø  Receipt of contract documents (TOD’s) from CTDOT covering past due funds for deficits related to the operation of the Stamford ADA; 

Ø  Issuance of CTDOT Performance Guidelines;

Ø  Upcoming meeting with several state and local legislators regarding future funding; and

Ø  Statewide Bus Study.

CEO Update

Ms. Morton deferred to Ms. Brayboy for the Human Resources update. 

Ø  The open enrollment and transition to UHC Oxford went well.  A total of 81 employees enrolled in the new plan.

Ø  Visiting options for a contract Procurement Specialist to assist with Request for Proposals (RFP) for approximately four months.  This would be charged directly to the capital grant and would have no impact on our operating budget. 

Ø  Three drivers recently resigned.  Three drivers will transition from full-time to part-time.  Two drivers will transition from Wheels to ADA.

Ms. Morton reported:

Ø  labor negotiations was ongoing;

Ø  participation at the WestCOG Legislative Breakfast; and

Ø  Ms. Carroll returning on an as needed consultant basis to assist with large projects.

Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board

No further business was brought before the Board.

Next Meeting February 23, 2017

The next regularly scheduled meeting is January 26, 2017 and will be held at the offices of the Norwalk Transit District at 9:00 a.m. 

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 10:30 am.