January 21, 2014 Meeting

1-21-14 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

1. Review of Minutes of November 12, 2013 Meeting
2. Public Comment
3. Westport Bus (Draft Existing Conditions) and Rail Study Updates
4. Marketing Update
5. FY'15 Budget Update
6. Ridership
7. 2014 Meeting Schedule
8. Other Business
      
MEETING | Minutes

Attending
Westport Transit District Directors: Eugene Cederbaum and Jennifer Johnson; Jim Ross, Peter Gold, Cathy Talmadge, Kristen Hamlin, Caroline Siegel and Sal Liccione; and, Norwalk Transit District:  Louis Schulman, Nancy Carroll and Richard Bangs.

Minutes
The meeting was called to order at 8:35 AM. The minutes of the previous meeting held on November 12, 2013 were approved.  

Public Comment
Mr. Liccione requested mid-day service and bus shelters.  The Directors stated they are awaiting the results of the bus study, but bus shelters should be a future agenda item.

Ms. Hamlin expressed her concern with the meeting schedule and the time.  Evening meetings would be more conducive for RTM and general public participation.

Westport Bus and Rail Study Update
Mr. Schulman reported that a meeting has been tentatively scheduled for early February for discussion of initial recommendations.

FY’15 Budget Update
Considerable discussion occurred regarding the presentation of the budget.  The budget workshop with the Board of Finance is scheduled for February 12 at 6:30 PM.  The Special Hearing is March 18 at 7:30 PM.  The Directors did present the preliminary budget to the First Selectman.  Mr. Cederbaum said it was received positively.  Both Directors are working on the formal presentation to the Board of Finance.  There was discussion regarding a line item for a staff position.  Questions regarding part-time vs. full time were expressed as well as the implications of the Westport Transit District employing staff.

Marketing Update
Ms. Johnson and Mr. Ross discussed some of the marketing initiatives they were involved in.

Westport Projects on TIP
The capital planning process was discussed.  Shelters were part of the discussion and the need for a local share to access the federal enhancement funds.  Mrs. Carroll stated she would send the Directors the Coastal Corridor Bus Study for their consideration of locations for bus shelters.

Ridership
Ridership statistics were not discussed.

2014 Meeting Schedule
The meeting schedule was not discussed.

Other Business
The Norwalk Transit District staff had to leave at 10 AM for another meeting.  The meeting continued with those remaining.  The meeting was adjourned at a later time.

April 8, 2014 Meeting

4-8-14 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

1. Review of Minutes of January 21, 2014 Meeting
2. Public Comment
3. Westport Bus (Draft Existing Conditions) and Rail Study Updates
4. After-School Shuttles
5. FY'15 Budget Update
6. Ridership
7. Service Update re: S-1 Route
8. Other Business
      
MEETING | Minutes

 

Attendance:    Jennifer Johnson, Eugene Cedarbaum, Sal Liccione, James Ross, State Representative Jonathan Steinberg, Cathy Talmadge, Peter Gold, Louis Schulman, Patrick Cooney

The meeting was called to order at 8:45 A.M.

Jennifer Johnson indicated that the budget process is moving forward and that currently everything looks good for the District’s budget as presented.  

Jennifer Johnson suggested that three committees, composed of other town department personnel, the Board of Education or PTO representatives, and concerned citizens, should address the three services operated by the District. These include school services, daytime services and services for the elderly and disabled. Mr. Schulman remarked that the issue of whether the District can continue school services after the end of this school year still needs to be discussed with the Federal Transit Administration. A lively discussion followed.

There was discussion of the upcoming meeting with the study consultants and the public, scheduled for tomorrow evening. A question was raised about what the next steps to be taken by the Directors would be. There was no resolution of this topic.

Mr. Schulman provided a ridership update. However, the data was not entirely clear. Better data will be provided at the next meeting.

Mr. Patrick Cooney began a discussion regarding a desired change in the S1 service. Everyone agreed that the change was positive. Mr. Schulman said that he would ask Ms. Carroll to review the recommendation before putting it into service.

Mr. Schulman said that the Norwalk Transit District now has a signed contract with Avail for the provision of a GPS/AVL system. Work on the system will begin in early May.

As a result of a 10 A.M. TTAG meeting in Darien, the meeting concluded at 9:35 A.M.

June 10, 2014 Meeting

6-10-14 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

1. Review of Minutes of April 8, 2014 Meeting
2. Public Comment
3. Westport Bus and Rail Study Updates
4. Marketing Update
5. New Commuter Shuttle Schedule
6. Ridership
7. After School Shuttle - Meeting with FTA
8. Next meeting date and 2014 Meeting Calendar
9. Other Business
      
MEETING | Minutes

Attending
Westport Transit District Directors: Eugene Cederbaum and Jennifer Johnson; Peter Gold and Sal Liccione; and, Norwalk Transit District:  Nancy Carroll.

Minutes
The meeting was called to order at 8:35 AM. The minutes of the previous meeting held on April 8, 2014 were corrected to reflect State Representative Jonathan Steinberg was in attendance.  

Public Comment
Peter Gold, representing the Westport Citizens’ Transit Committee (CTC), shared comments from the committee:

  • Not in favor of a parking garage at the Rail Station – shuttle routes going by outer lots are better – addresses security issues.  Mr. Cederbaum suggested the CTC send a letter to Railroad Parking regarding outer lots security.
  • SWRPA Bus Study Report – suggested the G1 and G2 crisscross at Post Road be implemented as soon as possible.  Mr. Cederbaum requested more detail and it would be evaluated at next meeting.
  • Visioning event should be held.  Ms. Johnson thought a forum in September, with a regional focus, might be held at the Library.
  • Signage is needed at the Imperial Lot.
  • Press releases to local media needs to be done more frequently.  Consider engaging Staples journalism student or use marketing dollars for this purpose.
  • Bus shelters are in poor condition, specifically the one located on Bulkley.  It was recommended that the CTC write a letter to the Westport Transit District Directors or the Town of Westport regarding the maintenance of shelters.
  • Recognition of the Westport Transit District Directors for the effort they have demonstrated towards improvements of bus service.

Westport Bus and Rail Study Update
Ms. Johnson stated she was unsuccessful getting an update on the report.  The Directors stated they were concerned with their role in the review of the study and agreed to contact the First Selectman regarding the status.

Marketing Update
Mrs. Carroll had previously distributed to the Directors the total dollars spent through June 4, 2014 on marketing and the balance.  Based on this information, Ms. Johnson presented how the balance of funds might be spent, including, but not limited to:

  • Printing of 3000 route guides
  • Media insert
  • Java jackets (request of CTC)
  • Social media set-up (upfront consulting costs)
  • Increased visibility through a further developed website

New Commuter Shuttle Schedule
Mrs. Carroll discussed schedule changes that were made in May to accommodate Metro North changes and issues regarding meeting express trains.

Ridership
Ridership statistics were discussed.  The Directors requested notations on Metro North rail disruptions and weather emergencies are included on future reports.  Also, prior year totals should be included on the report for comparative purposes.

After School Shuttles – Meeting with FTA
Mrs. Carroll reported on the May 28, 2014 meeting Norwalk Transit District had with the FTA.  The concerns expressed by the FTA were shared, specifically: stops on school property, perception that service is not open door, consideration of a name change.  The Region I staff would be consulting with Headquarters in Washington for further clarification and would notify the Norwalk Transit District of their interpretation of the regulations.  It was suggested that a meeting with the Board of Ed and Superintendent would increase the visibility and understanding of the service.

2014 Meeting Schedule
The Directors agreed to meet the second Tuesday of every month at 8:30 AM.  The next meeting would be July 8, 2014.

Other Business
Mrs. Carroll reported on the status of the Norwalk Transit District’s Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Project.  

The Directors requested that a Norwalk Transit District Report be a standing item on the agenda each month.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 AM.

July 17, 2014 Meeting

7-17-14 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

1. It is anticipated that the Directors will vote to go into executive session to discuss strategies for challenging a pending claim made by the Federal Transit Administration that existing after school bus routes do not comply with federal regulations.

2. Status of the SWRPA Westport Bus Study

3. G1/G2 Route Adjustments

      
MEETING | Minutes

Attending

Westport Transit District Directors: Eugene Cederbaum and Jennifer Johnson

Town of Westport: Jim Marpe, First Selectman; Dewey Loselle, Operations Director; Cathy Talmadge, Chair, RTM Transit Committee; Peter Gold, RTM Transit Committee; James Ross, Chair, Citizens’ Transit Committee

Norwalk Transit District: Louis Schulman, Administrator and Nancy Carroll, Chief Operating Officer

The meeting was called to order at 10:30 AM.

A motion to recess the Public Meeting and move into Executive Session to discuss strategies for responding to a pending claim made by the Federal Transit Administration concerning after school shuttle routes was made by Mr. Cederbaum and seconded by Ms. Johnson. 

The motion passed unanimously at 10:40 AM.

Present during Executive Session were Westport Transit District Directors Cederbaum and Johnson.  Also present were Westport Town Officials Marpe, Loselle, Talmadge and Ross; and, Norwalk Transit District staff Schulman and Carroll.

The Public Meeting resumed at 11:20 AM.

After-School Shuttles
Alternative solutions for providing after school shuttle service were discussed.  Mr. Cederbaum stated conversations with Dattco/BOE were worth pursuing.  Ms. Johnson expressed concern with the FTA decision and said she would contact the BOE transportation director.

It was requested that the Norwalk Transit District staff prepare talking points for First Selectman Marpe for conversations with Congressman Himes and DOT Commissioner Redeker.

Status of the SWRPA Westport Bus Study
Since the Directors had been unsuccessful in several attempts to obtain the most recent draft of the bus study report from SWRPA; Mr. Cederbaum had made a request under the Freedom of Information Act for the report and other documents.  The request was subsequently withdrawn at the request of the First Selectman.  Less formal attempts to obtain the report continue.

G1/G2 Route Adjustment
Ms. Johnson reported on the meeting she had with Mrs. Carroll on July 16th regarding the route structure and some alternatives they discussed.  Further development of the concepts must be done before any action can be taken.  Progress will be reported on at future meetings.

On a motion made by Ms. Johnson and seconded by Mr. Cederbaum the meeting was adjourned at 11:45 AM.

October 17, 2014 Meeting

10-17-14 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

1. Review of Minutes of July 17, 2014 Meeting
2. Public Comment
3. WTD - Discussion of Transit Directors' roles (Proposed Resolution follows)
4. Mid-Day Service Route - preliminary discussion
5. Marketing
6. Transit Oriented Development - CTDOT Grant opportunity
7. RR Parking Fund - Request to BOF for transportation funds (Proposed Resolution follows)
8. Norwalk Transit District Report
9. Westport Bus and Rail Studies
10. Other Business

Agenda Item #3 - Proposed Resoltion

WESTPORT TRANSIT DISTRICT MEETING OF OCTOBER 17, 2014 PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS

I. Clarification of Roles and Responsibilities of the Westport Transit District

BE IT RESOLVED THAT pursuant to the authority granted to it by Chapter 103a of the
General Statutes, the 1969 resolution of the Westport Representative Town Meeting establishing
the Westport Transit District and the 2007 Plan of Conservation and Development, the purposes
and objectives of the Westport Transit District are hereby clarified and restated as follows:
The responsibility and authority of the Westport Transit District shall include:

a. to coordinate and insure an adequate level of modern and efficient public
transportation services for residents and businesses in the Town of Westport.

b. to improve the mobility of all Westport residents and those working in Westport,
provide alternatives to privately owned automobile as the primary mode of
transportation, reduce pollution caused by exhaust emissions and conserve energy.

c. in conjunction with the Westport First Selectmen, Representative Town Meeting,
Citizens' Transit Committee and other affected constituencies to identify and provide
new opportunities for all inter-modal forms of public transportation and services to
residents and businesses in Westport.

d. in conjunction with the Town of Westport to identify and pursue opportunities for
federal and state grants and local funding to enhance all forms of inter-modal
transportation within the municipality.

e. in conjunction with the District operations vendor, to develop marketing initiatives to
assure that all residents and businesses in Westport are aware of and make optimal
use of available public transit services.

f. insure compliance with all federal, state and local laws and regulations.

Agenda Item #7 - Proposed Resoltion

WESTPORT TRANSIT DISTRICT MEETING OF OCTOBER 17, 2014 PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS

II. Use of Railroad Parking Income

BE IT RESOLVED that pursuant to the ground lease between the Town of Westport and the
Connecticut Department of Transportation dated as of January 31, 2002 and the Internal Audit of
Railroad Parking dated January 4, 2012 that an appropriate portion of annual income generated
from collected railroad parking fees and related receipts be specifically allocated to provide
ongoing funding for inter-modal transportation improvements within the town. These funds
would be targeted to support all forms of physical improvements, marketing and operations
needed to maintain and improve commuter shuttle routes to and from the Saugatuck and Greens
Farms rail stations as well as enhance the safety and convenience of both pedestrians and
cyclists.
   
MEETING | Minutes

Attending
Westport Transit District Directors: Eugene Cederbaum and Jennifer Johnson; Dewey Loselle, Eileen Flug, Cathy Talmadge, Peter Gold, Richard Lowenstein, Sal Liccione, Philip Sharlach; Westport Now: James Lomuscio; and, Norwalk Transit District:  Nancy Carroll.

Minutes
The meeting was called to order at 9:30 AM. The minutes of the previous meeting were not circulated so action was postponed until the next meeting.

Public Comment
Peter Gold, indicated that the RTM Transit Committee would be meeting on October 29, 2014 at 7:30 PM and the Westport Citizens’ Transit Committee (CTC) would be attending.

Discussion of Transit Directors’ Roles (Proposed Resolution)
Mr. Cederbaum reviewed the enabling legislation that led to the formation of the Transit District and their designation to seek funding.  Of note are the 2007 Plan of Conservation and Development which states the importance of public transit service and the need to expand these services.  The intent of the resolution (Attachment 1 - proposed) is to clarify the role of the Westport Transit District consistent with the statute, the 1969 Town resolution and the 2007 Plan.  The Directors are seeking the RTM endorsement of this resolution.  Discussion followed and some language modifications were recommended.  The resolution as finalized in Attachment 2 (labeled amended, as submitted) was moved by Ms. Johnson, seconded by Mr. Cederbaum and adopted.

Mid-Day Service Route – Preliminary Discussion
Discussion was led by Ms. Johnson.  She reported on the First Selectman’s Advisory Committee for After School Transportation.  Consideration of a “loop service” during the mid-day that would serve multiple destinations and users was discussed.  

Marketing
Ms. Johnson requested the Norwalk Transit District to implement the marketing program from this point forward and suggested more presence on the web.

Transit Oriented Development – ConnDOT Grant Opportunity
Ms. Johnson led a discussion on transit oriented development and the availability of $5,000,000 in CT Department of Transportation planning funds for this purpose.  It was suggested that the Town pursue this funding with a focus on development around the train station.  November 14, 2014 was the submission deadline.  Mr. Loselle questioned the goals and their value as they would relate to the Town with regards to development.  The Directors agreed to list said goals and share them with the Town.

RR Parking Fund – Request to BOF for Transportation Funds (Proposed Resolution)
Mr. Cederbaum led a discussion on the proposed resolution (Attachment 3 - proposed) which would allow for the use of railroad parking income for transportation improvements and/or to support transit service.  Considerable discussion followed among those in attendance, specifically, the oversight by the Police Department, the role of the State, results of the 2012 audit, and whether this should be an administrative action rather than a resolution.   The resolution as finalized in Attachment 4 (labeled amended, as submitted) was moved by Ms. Johnson, seconded by Mr. Cederbaum and adopted.

Norwalk Transit District Report
Mrs. Carroll reported on the November 9th Metro North schedule change and the related update to the Commuter Route Schedules.  She also reported on the status of the ITS project.  She announced the retirement of Mr. Schulman as Administrator and the selection of his replacement.  Mr. Cederbaum acknowledged Mr. Schulman’s work with the Transit District and wished him well in retirement.

Westport Bus and Rail Studies
There was no discussion.

Other Business
There was no other business.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 AM.

December 12, 2014 Meeting

12-12-14 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

1.         Review of Minutes of July 17, 2014 and October 17, 2014 Meetings
2.         Public Comment
3.         Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) - update on state and regional transit-related matters
4.         WTD Marketing – train station schedule reprint
5.         After School Shuttle – status and discussion of funding
6.         Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) System - update
7.         SWRPA Bus & Rail Studies - update
8.         WTD Shuttle Ridership – status/year to date overview
9.         WTD Railroad Parking Resolution - status
10.       FY 2015 – 16 Budget – preliminary discussions
11.       FY 2015 – 16 proposed WTD meeting calendar

      
MEETING | Minutes

Attending
Westport Transit District Directors: Eugene Cederbaum and Jennifer Johnson; Dewey Loselle, Peter Gold, Sal Liccione, Pippa Bellander, Jim Ross, John Hartwell, Evan Barr, Jessica Newshel, Melissa Kane, and State Representative Gail Lavielle; and, Norwalk Transit District:  Nancy Carroll.

Minutes
The meeting was called to order at 10:00 AM. The minutes of the July 17, 2014 meeting were accepted.  The minutes of the October 17, 2014 meeting were accepted after clarification of the proposed and amended labeling on the resolution documents was explained.

Public Comment

  • Pippa Bellander described a project her son (film student) was proposing.  She requested, on his behalf, the ability to prepare a video of all things great in public transit.  The promotional project would be done during his semester break, December 19 through January 5 and would involve video recording of passengers using different modes of transit service.  The Directors approved the project.
  • Sal Liccione thanked the Directors and the Town for getting the waiver for the continuation of the After School Shuttle.
  • Melissa Kane reported on the first draft of the Master Plan for the Downtown.  Recommendations to support increased transit service to the downtown are made as well as additional transit amenities.  The final plan will be presented to the RTM.
  • Jim Ross noted the difficulties he has had scheduling door-to-door trips to the new Family Y.  Given the available vehicle resources, different strategies were discussed to provide service to the Family Y, including: a fixed-route component, user participation fees, surveys to determine demand, and establishing an Advisory Group or transportation working group representing all constituencies.

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Update
Jennifer Johnson reported on the Transit for Connecticut meeting in Hartford.  State Representative Gail Lavielle discussed bonding issues associated with commuter rail in terms of State priorities.  General discussion followed noting the need for an organized voice representing the interests of those along the Stamford to New Haven corridor.

Marketing
Mrs. Carroll reported on her recent meeting with Vertex Marketing and plans for future efforts.  Ms. Johnson led a discussion regarding the removal of the signs at the Rail Station by the MTA and the process to follow to have them placed back in the advertising racks.

After School Shuttle Status
It was reported that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) granted an extension through the end of the school year for the operation of the After School Shuttle.  Dewey Loselle discussed the RFP issued by the Board of Education for school bus transportation and the request for after school services as an alternate proposal for FY’16.

Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) System Update
Discussion deferred to the next meeting.

SWRPA Westport Bus and Rail Studies Update
Discussion deferred to the next meeting.

WTD Shuttle Ridership Status
Discussion deferred to the next meeting.

WTD Railroad Parking Resolution Status
Discussion deferred to the next meeting.

FY 2015 – 16 Budget – Preliminary Discussions
Ms. Johnson shared some of the challenges the directors were facing and indicated they were presenting a letter to the RTM expressing those concerns.  They will aim for mid-January to begin budget discussions for the next fiscal year.

2015 Proposed WTD Meeting Calendar
Directors’ Meetings in 2015 would occur on the second Friday of the month at 10:00 AM. The following months/dates were selected:

  • February 13
  • March 13
  • April 10
  • May 8
  • July 10
  • October 9
  • December 11
  • January 8, 2016

Other Business
There was no other business

The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 AM.