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07-16-15LAS CRUCES AREA TRANSIT (RoadRUNNER) TRANSIT ADVISORY BOARD MEETING MINUTES The Transit Advisory Board (TAB) meeting was held on Thursday, July 16, 2015, at 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room — 203, Mesilla Valley Intermodal Transit Terminal, 300 W. Lohman Avenue, Las Cruces, NM. Members Present: Gary Manley, Chair; Antonio Ringo, Ken Erhard, Councillor Gill Sorg, and John Walker. Others Present: Mike Bartholomew; Margaret Hensley; Tom Murphy; Michael McAdams; Laura Todd; Rosa Herrera; Lydia Pittman, and Francesca Harrison. I. Call to Order, Roll Call & Agenda Call to order at 3:03 p.m. by Gary Manley - Roll call was taken. II. Public Comments Ms. Todd brought up concerns about the proposed changes to the routes and expected difficulties with communicating with those that have certain disabilities. Ms. Herrera brought up a situation that a friend of hers had experienced being left at the wrong stop. She also brought up issues she had experienced with her service animal. Mr. Manley stated those issues would be addressed. Ms. Pittman had concerns about the number of transfer points and having to go downtown each time to transfer. Ms. Pittman also asked why there was not much opportunity for the university community to provide input. Tom Murphy stated that the process began in October of 2014 with counts and surveys beginning in January and February of 2015. Ms. Harrison stated that she had mixed feelings about what she was hearing and what she is observing and how she conducts herself in listening to some of these concerns regarding a lot of those passengers that utilize RoadRunner Transit. I am just a regular passenger that supports those (passengers) that feel that they don't have a voice, are being talked down to, or that their voice isn't being heard that things aren't going to change for the better just because they are a bus passenger. Ms. Harrison stated that she observes driver attitudes and believes that no matter what changes occur, driver attitude should be stressed. She went on to mention grumblings, grievances, passive aggressiveness, negative spirits, and quoted Psalms 82, verse three. Mr. Bartholomew address the customer service concerns stating that Customer Service training is on -going as a group and as individuals. Transit Advisory Board Meeting July 16, 2015 III. Presentation Michael McAdams, Associate Planner with the MPO, made a presentation regarding Transit's short range plan. After almost one year of study, the plan was made in cooperation with Nelson-Nygard. Nelson-Nygard is familiar with this area, we have worked with them before and we have a very good relationship with them. Although this was done in concert with them, the MPO had full control over what we were doing. We feel that we are using the consultant in the best manner possible. First we looked at all of the components of the service. We then looked at the analysis of key findings and outcomes on how the routes can be revised to be the most effective and efficient for the long term. We looked at effectiveness which equates to ridership over revenue hours. We also conducted a boarding — alighting study which showed where people are getting off and where they are getting onto the service. This provided further details of the service. We also looked at areas where it is difficult for buses to maneuver. We also looked at how we compare to other systems with similar populations with universities — peer analysis. How are we serving the population dense areas of our city? Where are the employees living? Where are the employers? We look at where the present routes are and how we can make them better. All of these things combined are referred to transit propensity. Where the senior citizens, young adults and students, and low income are is something we look at. The survey that was handed out on the buses and available on-line asked about the destination and trip purpose, how many transfers, and satisfaction questions were all asked. Mr. Bartholomew mentioned that all surveys were available in English and Spanish. The following had been noted: • Ridership has been increasing steadily partly due to population growth • There are noticeable fluctuations coinciding with the opening and closing of university terms. • Most of the boarding occurred at the MVITT, Mesilla Valley Mall and the Venus transfer point. • We have some very strong routes such as University Boulevard, Picacho, El Paseo, Roadrunner Parkway and any route that services the Wal-Mart stores. The Wal-Mart stops are strong due to shopping but as a major employer as well. • We knew that some of the routes were hindering others and passengers would have to transfer to get to a grocery store. • We want to address decreasing the time it takes to connect to a transfer. • Bus operators were included in this process through meetings. • Routes 10 and 90 left no recovery time for the drivers to use the restroom. A 40 2 Transit Advisory Board Meeting July 16, 2015 minute headway was discussed. • More evening service and Sunday service were requested. • The Lohman Express route was popular and it has been requested to return as part of the service. • Passengers noted that our drivers are very courteous. • In comparison to our peers, servicing the area of the population; we are at the mean with our peers. Our revenue hours are the lowest of our peer groups that were compared. • The local contribution to transit budget is much lower than our peer groups that were compared. We are looking to go forward with these changes in phases. The first phase would include combining routes 20 and 30, reinstate the Lohman/Amador express, direct service between the MVITT and the DACC East Mesa Campus and NMSU. There will be new service to Elks Drive to include Convergys. Most of the transfers will occur at the MVITT on the hour. The others, routes 80 and 110, will be on the half hour. The second phase will be to increase service hours. The last phase will be a Solano Drive from NMSU to Albertson's on North Main. These changes will increase our coverage to 94% of Las Cruces, improve access to DACC, and include non -transferring routes to grocery stores. • Route 10 will go up north Main and loop around Del Rey Boulevard and cover Convergys. • Route 20 will combine with Route 30 will cover MVITT, NMSU and DACC East Mesa Campus. • Mesilla will be as before and include Union to be a more efficient route. • Missouri will connect major employment centers and housing as well. • Highway 70 along Madrid, connecting at Wal-Mart and; connecting key employment and housing areas. • Route 80 serves a lot of social service agencies including Dona Ana County Administration. This will also serve the Mesilla Valley Mall via the MVITT and Lohman/Amador Express. • Routes 10 and 110 will be split that will provide enough time to adequately serve the area. We could also increase ridership by creating more of an urban environment to include bicycle friendly and pedestrian friendly areas. We could also consider bike lockers for the folks coming in from the outer areas. These bike lockers would provide a safe and secure place to leave their bicycles. Bike sharing is another choice to create a more bicycle friendly environment. There are several ways that you may leave your comments with us. There is our website is mvmpo.las-cruces.org and we have a mailing list to keep informed. Implementation will be some time in 2016. 3 Transit Advisory Board Meeting July 16, 2015 IV. Board Comments Councillor Sorg requested clarification about the route lengths. Mr. Murphy stated that next quarter there could be more changes to review after comments are considered. Mr. Ringo asked where Routes 10 and 110 had split and where they would meet up. Route 110 would meet at the Mesilla Valley Mall with Route 80. Ms. Todd brought up the difficulty passengers would have in processing the changes with routes and how difficult those could be to those with disabilities: Mr. Manley brought up the he works for Tresco and that RoadRunner Transit and Tresco work closely together to provide assistance to those that require the extra assistance. Councillor Sorg asked whether it would be a good idea to send the survey out to NMSU students via their email. The student body would need to provide permissions to fulfill that request, V. Action Items Mr. Manley asked if each board member had an opportunity to review the minutes from the February 2015 meeting. All agreed and Mr. Ringo motioned for approval with Mr. Erhard seconding the motion. Motion passed, minutes accepted. Mr. Manley stated his term had ended and asked if there was anyone interested in accepting a nomination for chair. Mr. Ringo stated that he would accept a nomination. Mr. Manley motioned for approval with Dr. Walker seconding the motion. Motion passed, Mr. Ringo is nominated as the new chair. Next was a nomination for vice chair. Mr. Erhard accepted a nomination for vice chair. Dr. Walker motioned with Mr. Ringo seconding the nomination. Dr. Walker motioned for Mr. Ringo to be chair and Mr. Erhard to be vice chair with Mr. Manley seconding the motion. Motion passed, Mr. Antonio Ringo is the new chair and Mr. Ken Erhard is the new vice chair. It was decided that there would be a special meeting in September for the board to review final changes from the MPO. The meeting will be September 10, 2015. VI. Discussion Items Mr. Bartholomew brought ridership update information. Ridership was up 1 % on the Fixed Route side. Routes 10 and 20 had declines in ridership over last year. NMSU and DACC had strong ridership. Dial -a -Ride had a 7% increase in ridership. The new agreement with NMSU and DACC is awaiting signature at the City Manager's desk. This agreement is all inclusive of transportation agreements and affords DACC students with U-Pass opportunities as well. The Transit Operations and Maintenance Center will be brought up to approximately 95% of the design phase. VII. Public Comment Ms. Herrera asked what would happen to her chair (wheelchair) if she were to get sick on 4 Transit Advisory Board Meeting July 16, 2015 the bus. Mr. Bartholomew stated that the chair would stay secured to the bus and then Transit would secure the chair. Ms. Herrera asked if the price of the busses would go up with these changes. Mr. Bartholomew stated that there has been no discussion of a fare increase. Ms. Todd expressed her concern about more ridership putting a strain on the busses. Mr. Bartholomew stated that most of our fixed route busses are designed to run 20 hours a day, 365 days a year, and for at least 12 years. The fleet is older and we are replacing the heavy duty busses as the budget allows. Ms. Pittman had a comment on the transit plan. Which route will be serving out of the new hospital (Mt. View)? Mr. Bartholomew responded that the plan is now to have the stop out on Roadrunner Parkway and not in the hospital to alleviate having the stop on private property. Ms. Pittman noted that if the Foothills loop was removed, there would be a lot of time saved and the mall could still be used. Ms. Harrison asked if Route 20 going to be stopping anywhere except downtown? She expressed her concern about the length of the route and that it will not be able to make it in 45 minutes. She stated that the busses were not tested at peak traffic times on University Avenue, Telshor Boulevard and Lohman Avenues. She stated that accurate information could not be gathered. Mr. Bartholomew stated that the route was tested during heavy times and that the route was not one that is concerning us as far as time is concerned. Mr. Garcia expressed his concern about access to the Health Department with Solano being the final phase of the plan. Mr. Bartholomew stated that the plan is to be mindful of that intersection as the adjustments are being made. Mr. Garcia gave some options to keep the health department on a route. Ms. Harrison asked about service to the side of the Branigan Library as it was in 2008. Mr. Bartholomew stated that a stop there was not in the plans at this stage. I. Adjournment Mr. Ringo motioned for adjournment with a second from Mr. Erhard; motion passed, meeting adjourned at 4:44 p.m. The next regular scheduled meeting is on October 15, 2015. Prepared by: Approved by: Margar t Hensley, Admi strative Assistant Date: / 9' A% i/ 02 G /S 5 Transit Advisory Board Meeting July 16, 2015