Norwalk Transit District Commissioners' Special Meeting
Friday, March 30, 2018 at 9:00 AM
At the offices of the Norwalk Transit District 275 Wilson Avenue, Norwalk
For downloadable version of minutes CLICK HERE
Norwalk Transit District Commissioners’ Special Meeting Minutes
March 30, 2018 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
Richard Meyer, Director of Maintenance and Facilities
Lori Richards, Procurement and Grants Manager
The meeting was called to order at 9:10 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 FEBRUARY 22, 2018
The minutes of the February 22, 2018 Meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented.
February 2018 Financial Report
The attached financial report was presented. Budget projections indicate a year end general fund balance of just under $100,000 which will be put towards the deficit.
No cash flow issues at the current time are dwindling. Ms. Morton advised that she informed the Union that the 401(a) payment should not be anticipated until we receive our first quarterly estimate from CTDOT for FY 2019.
New bank signatories were presented and executed by the Commissioners’ and CEO removing the former Finance Director. New signatories will be presented for execution when the new Director of Finance begins.
FTA FY 2017 Annual Certification and Assurances 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 2018 annual certifications to be executed by the District’s 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 Glickson 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 McQuaid and passed unanimously.
Mr. Liotta gave the ridership report for February 2018 (see attached). He reported the following: Wheels ridership had a strong increase versus last year, which was the first month of route cuts last year. Overall, Wheels ridership is running at 4.5% lower than last year to date. All fixed route services were up 5.4% versus last year February, and are down to only 4% lower YTD, which is the best the District has seen in almost 2 years. Commuter shuttles are down, and Greenwich shuttles are being looked at for possible efficiency gains due to decreased ridership. Westport door to door trips are running slightly lower YTD.
Mr. Liotta reviewed the performance metrics which are substantially unchanged from the last month.
Mr. Liotta commented that the U-Pass usage has now accumulated over 60,000 rides since its inception last August. Total revenue projected lost to the District is at $61K. The State has proclaimed this pass to be a great benefit to the State’s ridership program, and will be continuing it past Dec 2018. Ms. Morton added that the State has engaged the services of UCONN to analyze specifically our ridership to determine a reasonable reimbursement formula.
Door to Door Paperless Progression
Mr. Liotta spoke briefly about the Paratransit process to move from paper route sheets every day in Paratransit service to a paperless system performed through the use of existing technology. After working out some issues with data collection, the District will start to move forward with a transformation to paperless. Eventual savings will be realized through reduction of staff tasks, allowing the staff to refocus towards overall stronger dispatching and customer service.
MAINTENANCE AND FACILITIES
Mr. Meyer reported that all maintenance records and vehicles have been reviewed. Any issues were repaired and documented on work orders. All vehicle re-inspections were completed on Feb 27th. Foreman Keon Evans with the assistance of the Data Entry Clerk reviews all bus mileages daily to prevent PM exceedances. There haven’t been any PM exceedances since this process began.
Mr. Meyer noted that the parts room was an additional area of focus this month. Additionally assistance was brought in to assist the new Parts Room Manager. The training is going well and the stockroom is becoming more organized.
Mr. Meyer reported that mechanic training for New Flyer and Pro-Heat will be rescheduled due to a weather related cancellation. Scheduled for April and May respectively are AC Systems and tire and wheels.
Service Truck Specification
Mr. Meyer reported he was working on the specification for a replacement service truck.
PLANNING AND MARKETING
Head of the Harbor Survey
Mr. Liotta commented that an initial meeting was held with Head of the Harbor in regards to possible shuttle transportation. The group from the Harbor did not have a feel on what the tenants needs would truly be, but did comment that currently that have adequate parking for all of the tenants. NTD is going to put out a survey to try to gauge the needs of the tenants.
The item will be tabled until the next meeting.
The item will be tabled until the next meeting.
Logo design is complete. The Graphics Company for the paratransit vehicle is working with staff on final design. Nothing has been determined as a final proof for review at this point. Business cards are awaiting a final proof from the printer.
Fixed-Route Bus Proposal
Ms. Richards reported 30’, 35’ and 40’ Bus RFP was released on Wednesday, 3/28/2018. Anticipated award date is June 2018.
Ticket Vending Machine
Ms. Richards additionally noted that the ticket vending machine project was canceled due to CTDOT including NTD in a statewide procurement.
Ms. Brayboy reported the following activity during the previous month.
Manager of Safety & Security
Part-time Fixed Route and ADA/Shuttle Drivers
Part-time Cleaner and Operations Dispatcher – are on hold
Director of Finance – will be starting on April 16, 2018
Procurement/Inventory Control Specialist (temporary) – started on 3/26/18
Part-time Data Input Clerk (temporary) – will be starting on April 9, 2018
Part-time Mechanic A (temporary) – will be starting on April 9, 2018
Manager of Safety & Security will be transiting to a Transit Supervisor in June 2018
Mechanic B promoted to Mechanic A in January
Distribution of Non-Bargaining Unit Personnel Manual
Ms. Brayboy highlighted the changes in the Administrative Employee Handbook. She advised the handbook was reviewed by our attorney. Ms. Brayboy noted that all the new Federal and State laws are now in compliance and highlighted a few changes regarding Paid Time Off (PTO) for part-time employees, mirroring the Collective Bargaining Agreement. She requested formal approval of the new Handbook which was unanimously approved by the Commissioners.
Ms. Morton, Mr. Liotta and Mr. O’Connor met with the First Selectman and senior staff to discuss possible transportation options. Ms. Morton advised that 5310 funding could be a possibility but that they had just missed the grant filing date. Additionally discussed was the option of advertising the Westport Shuttles that originate at the Westport/Weston Commuter lots near the Merritt Parkway.
CTDOT Site Visit
Ms. Morton advised that the District had a surprise visit from CTDOT due to miscommunication on the behalf of CTDOT. Our previous visit was post phoned due to weather related conditions and the District was not advised it was rescheduled. The visit went well and they spent a good portion of the day touring the facility and surrounding area, and meeting employees. Mr. Solensky, Public Transit Administrator, spoke highly of the District’s facility and felt that Norwalk was prime for new innovative services.
City of Norwalk Economic Development Meeting
Micro Transit options were reviewed as potential alternative options for the provision of a circulator.
POCD (Plan of Conservation of Development Hearings
Staff members, Morton and O’Connor and Supervisor Digsby were represented at all interactive meetings conducted by the City to share what’s going on in each specific neighborhood over the next ten years. As we expected significant growth is noted. Ms. Morton presented the concern for West Norwalk where there appears to be interest in moving our Hub location to the vicinity of the SONO train station. The District will continue to object to this plan for the reasons previously noted on record. The transit Hub exists in the heart of the City transportation opportunities are at their highest and this investment was subsidized with nearly $4 million State and Federal dollars and is depreciated over a 40 year period. Relocation of the Hub will need Federal and State intervention and probably a significant capital investment on behalf of the City.
CT Commission on Fiscal Stability
Ms. Morton summarized the final report and provided copies to the Commissioners. The Committee consisted of high level successful CT Business leaders. The Committee recommended immediate action must be taken including the provision of a steady source of funding for the Special Transportation Fund. These sources should include an increase in the gas tax of at least seven cents over four years; retention of the half cent of sales tax currently contributed from the General Fund; immediate receipt by the Special Transportation Fund (STF) of the new car sales tax; creation of tolls, revenue streams that do not flow through the General fund but dedicated to the STF and evaluating the consolidation of the 26 transit districts and other step to improve that service.
Local Lawmakers Transportation Forum
Ms. Morton noted that she continues to attend all local transportation forums relative to the ongoing collaborative effort in support of sufficient and equitable funding of the Special Transportation Fund. Ms. Morton provided a copy of her most recent testimony at a forum held at City Hall hosted by local legislators Wood, Lavielle, Wilms and Commissioner of Transportation Redeker. She stressed that the current proposal of a 15% decrease in fixed-route operations will have a devastating impact to the tune of $1.2 million dollars. Ms. Morton advised that her remarks were positively received by local officials.
TVM – Ms. Morton advised that the State requested that the District cancel its contract award for a ticket vending machine in lieu of participation in a Statewide procurement that would look towards bringing uniformity to all future statewide purchases. She advised that since the contract was not yet executed it would not be an issue to cancel. She advised that coordination at as many levels possible without losing our individual autonomy would be a win- win to the Stat, City and consumer.
Micro Transit - Ms. Morton advised that she was asked to participate in a potential “MicroTransit” demonstration project. Micro Transit is demand response transit system to meet public transportation needs such as last mile or specifically defined zoned areas such as the City of Norwalk TOD area. Westport may be another good potential area for such services. The City of Norwalk is onboard for participation and currently ideas and systems are being analyzed.
Spare Ratio – Ms. Morton noted that we are currently bringing our spare ratio into compliance with FTA acceptable standards. We will look to dispose and not replace certain vehicles that are no longer needed due to recent service cuts.
Autonomous Vehicles – The State will possibly engage in a demonstration of the autonomous vehicle. Some believe they are only five to ten years out in the future. In conversation Ms. Morton advised the State she felt that the Norwalk TOD area and more specifically a circulator would be prime for this type of service.
Tire Tax – Ms. Morton advised that the District will now begin exercising our right to purchase tires exempt from taxes given our status as a governmental agency.
Norwalk Chamber Annual Dinner – As a reminder Ms. Morton informed the Commissioners’ of the Annual Chamber Dinner to be held on April 18, 2018.
Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
No further business was brought before the Board.
Next Meeting April 26, 2018 at 2:00 PM
The next regularly scheduled meeting is April 26, 2018 at 2:00 PM.
The meeting adjourned at 10:15 AM.
Kimberlee A. Morton
Kimberlee A Morton, CEO
Norwalk Transit District