Norwalk Transit District Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes
January 26, 2017 at 9:00 AM – Norwalk Transit District
Norwalk Transit District Commissioners:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The meeting adjourned at 10:30 am.