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Board Minutes


BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

Thursday, May 1, 2003

Board of Supervisors' Chambers
County Government Center
70 West Hedding Street
San Jose, California

1. CALLED TO ORDER at 6:03 p.m.
  
2.

ROLL CALL

Members Present: Alvarado, Beall (Ex-Officio), Chavez, Cortese, Dando, Dixon, Gage, Gonzales, Kennedy, La Poll, McHugh, McLemore, Pirzynski, Springer, Valerio, Williams

Members Absent: Mossar, Yeager

  
3.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

Changed Agenda Item 5, Approve recommendations from the Ad-Hoc Financial Stability Committee from an Action Item to a Discussion Item.

Fire Marshall announced that members of the audience must be seated in a seat or else they must move to the Isaac Newton Center to view the meeting on video feed.

Accepted Orders of the Day.

  
4.

AWARDS AND COMMENDATIONS

Presented an award to Diane Alves, Facilities Maintenance as our Employee of the Month for May 2003. Benny Cheung, Light Rail Dispatcher, and Cuong Nguyen, Transit Mechanic were unable to attend.

  
5.

Received Presentation on Recommendations from Ad-Hoc Financial Stability Committee.

Chairperson Kennedy left her seat at 6:07 p.m.

Commented on the recommendations by the consultants.

Discussed the time-line for recommendations suggested.

Chairperson Kennedy returned to her seat at 6:08 p.m.

Discussed the need for new revenue sources.

Discussed the potential vote in November 2004 and the time-line associated with that.

Discussed the support of Statewide Legislative efforts to broaden the sales tax and reduce the threshold for broad-based local transportation measures.

Mentioned the Board of Directors support of the ACA 7, Dutra bill.

Discussed seeking to partner with other entities when seeking new revenue sources.

Discussed the recommended fare changes.

Discussed the adoption of a formal policy guiding fares.

Discussed streamlining the procedure for considering a fare change.

Discussed organizational and labor negations and restructuring issues.

Discussed capital asset management and reduced fleet levels.

Discussed the possibility of placing vehicles back in service if service requirements change in the future.

Discussed service reductions and adopted service standards.

Discussed the need to review with the Board of Directors the annual presentation on the nature and magnitude of VTA services.

Board Member Chavez took her seat at 6:16 p.m.

Discussed the capital programs cost allocation.

Board Member Beall left his seat at 6:19 p.m.

Discussed the desire to have all new capital programs have operating revenue sources identified.

Recognized the members and stakeholders of the Ad-Hoc Financial Stability Committee.

Mike Macarelli, Bus Driver for VTA, expressed concern over the proposed budget and suggested that Peter M. Cipolla, General Manager, and his team be removed from office.

Marilynn Smith, Chapter Chair for Service Employees International Union Local 715 at VTA, expressed concern over the proposed cuts to employee health care benefits noting that the cuts will not solve VTA�s current fiscal crisis. Ms. Smith suggested VTA raise more money for operations and presented to the Board of Directors the proceeds of $650 from a bake sale to help off-set the cost of health care benefits.

Tom Fink, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 265 and stakeholder on the Ad-Hoc Financial Stability Committee, thanked Ad-Hoc Financial Stability Committee; expressed concern over final recommendations from consultants; further stated that the organization is top-heavy; supported expanding sales tax base; expressed concern over saving existing system from a downward spiral that may soon reach the point of no return. Further stated there is opportunity to use future revenue from 2000 Measure A to bridge financial gap.

Alan Triplett, President of ATU Local 265, expressed concern over reduction of transit service; stated 21 percent service cut scheduled for October 2003 need not happen; stated expanding system without existing revenue for operations is a mistake; encouraged the Board of Directors to use 2000 Measure A funds to reduce pressure on current budget; recounted current practice of VTA using 2000 Measure A funds to repay debt costs for purchase of 70 low-floor light rail vehicles. Urged the Board to advance 2000 Measure A funds for operating approved light rail extensions; urged VTA to advance 2000 Measure A funds to cover paratransit costs.

Terri Visperas, driver with VTA, expressed concern over how current situation is taking away public transportation from public. Urged Board Members to not allow any more service cuts.

Board Member McHugh arrived at 6:35 p.m.

Michael P. Goiman, currently laid-off VTA employee, expressed concern over statement of Mr. Cipolla to cut nothing from his upper management level out of the budget. Urged Board Members to cut from Mr. Cipolla's Management team. Expressed concern over a new BART station in San Jose.

Chris Clark, retired from VTA, expressed concern over suggestion by management for employees to pay portion of medical benefits, expressed concern that members of VTA would not retire due to not being able to afford to pay for medical benefits, resulting in aging work force.

Alvin Weldin Reese, driver at VTA, expressed concern over proposal by management to sell or close the North Yards bus center. Suggested closure of River Oaks Facility and either sell or lease property for additional revenue.

Karen Grimes, SEIU Local 715, expressed concern over proposals put forth by management to deal with the current budget crisis and disagreed with proposal by management to force employees to pay for portion of their medical benefits.

Board Member Chavez left her seat at 6:35 p.m.

Cedric de LaBeaujardiere, interested citizen, presented a memo to Board of Directors from Mr. Stuart Cohen, of the Transportation and Land Use Coalition. Urged VTA to identify stop-gap sources of funding to prevent service cuts. Stated there would be approximately $68 million needed to stop service cuts. Identified some potential sources of revenue.

Rick Trujillo, President of Labor Council Latin America Advancement, expressed concern over proposed service cuts. Stated organization will hand out 5000 leaflets in Spanish resisting any service reductions. Stated his union members and all unions involved at VTA should unite and stick together to resist any such service cuts forcing management to find money in other areas.

Joseph Devito, ATU Local 265, driver from Chaboya Division, and shop steward, expressed concern over proposed service cuts to working class, expressed concern over Mayor of San Jose wanting to construct new City Hall and build BART system to City of San Jose providing no ridership on the system currently in use in Santa Clara County.

Lupe Madrano, interested citizen, expressed concern over proposed service cuts, expressed concern for the disabled community that will be affected by service cuts if implemented.

Miriam Broumas, transit operator for VTA, stated that the current state of the company is an embarrassment. Stated in Spanish - Shame on you to Mr. Cipolla. Expressed concern over budget reserves being depleted. Expressed concern over proposed service reductions. Further stated Board Members should prevent service reductions or risk being voted out of office.

Rosemarie Lang, interested citizen, expressed concern over proposal to change paratransit service from door-to-door to curb-to-curb service. Stated clients that are blind, visually impaired, Alzheimer�s patients, and elderly need door-to-door service. Expressed concern for 90-year old mother being dropped off at curb and not being able to make it inside the Senior Center. Suggested raising rates of regular transit service riders instead of raising rates on paratransit services.

Barbara Williams, Work-Site Organizer for SEIU Local 715, expressed concern over current economic situations. Stated SEIU Local 715 members need to be able to afford shelter and basic medical care. Stated that other unions will work with SEIU Local 715 to mobilize members to work with VTA to obtain new revenue sources.

Rose Deterding, interested citizen, expressed concern over issue of curb-to-curb service versus door-to-door service. Suggested call-in program where you request door-to-door if needed and if not you receive curb-to-curb service.

Cathy Bonilla, president of the disabled club at DeAnza College, expressed concern over the consideration of VTA to change from door-to-door service to curb-to-curb service. Urged Board Members to stop cutting bus service and challenged Mr. Cipolla to travel around Santa Clara County using bus service while sitting in a wheel chair for a one-month time period during all types of weather.

Shira Leeder, interested citizen, requested VTA keep door-to-door service and stated that being within a three-quarter mile radius of a bus stop near your house rule would make her ineligible for Outreach services. Asked Board Members to consider not taking door-to-door service away as disabled community worked so hard to obtain it.

Tony Marquez, SEIU Local 715 Member, requested Board Members to support using 2000 Measure A funds for operations at VTA. Requested Board Members stop allowing management to balance current budget crisis on backs of disabled, students, and especially employees by cutting their health benefits. Stated there are too many supervisory positions supervising too few personnel. Asked who supervisors would be leading if workers get laid-off in next round of service reductions.

Board Member Dando left her seat at 7:03 p.m.

Tom Starkey, Business Representative for County Employees Management Association Local 3, expressed concern over plan of management to shift considerable health care costs to members of his union. Stated that his union and other unions will help find ways to contain health care costs.

Dr. Steinke, Alzheimer�s treatment doctor, expressed concern over consideration of management to institute curb-to-curb service for Outreach. Stated there are thousands of disabled and seniors that depend on door-to-door service Outreach currently provides. Stated that the recovered income changing from door-to-door service to proposed curb-to-curb service will be gained by eliminating approximately 20,000 to 30,000 seniors that will no longer be able to use service after change is made to curb-to-curb. Stated VTA will incur a large amount of liability as a senior may be left at a curb some day and not realize what block they are on and get lost. Dr. Steinke stated a senior�s cognitive state can change from moment to moment. Urged Board Members not to consider curb-to-curb service and suggested instead that a neutral solution be established.

Chris Firestone, interested citizen, expressed concern over the lack of respect for people riding bus and light rail by management. Stated that the Board of Directors and management staff at VTA have been very irresponsible with money. Stated current plan of management counting on 2000 Measure A funds is flawed. Suggested cutting management instead of raising fares for senior and disabled categories.

Eugene Bradley, Santa Clara VTA Riders Union, expressed concern over financial stability plan of management to make riders pay more for less service. Expressed concern over recommended budget showing an increase in managers positions. Urged Board Members to use whatever means necessary to preserve county�s transit service.

Andrew Franco, VTA employee, stated there used to be pride in working for a government agency. Expressed concern over fact that current situation may leave him without a job. Asked management to keep in mind those that contribute to transit.

Board Member Chavez left her seat at 7:10 p.m.

Matt Paulin, VTA employee, expressed concern over planned service reductions. Stated service cuts will make him lose his job. Challenged Board Members to ride the buses and ask members of the public what they think about service. Urged the General Manager to ride buses and hear complaints of the members of the community.

Tammy Dhanota, SEIU Local 715, expressed concern over labor negotiations concerning health care benefits. Stated members realize a compromise is necessary and that the proposal by management is not reasonable. Stated it is believed management is using current financial crisis as an excuse to make members pay higher benefit costs. Reminded Board Members that SEIU Local 715 was mobilized to help elect many of the sitting Board Members and stated that members are prepared to use their voting power at future elections.

Craig Ferguson, coach operator, stood at the podium and said nothing making apparent his silence. Stated that the silence is what the service cuts will feel like to passengers when they are initiated. Stated that service cuts need to be fair and equitable from the top of organization to bottom.

Carlos A. Guevara, interested citizen, expressed concern over last round of service reductions resulting in a friend losing a job because he could no longer get to work and could not afford a car. Stated that he is here to represent those in the same situation that rely on the transit service for transportation.

Gordon, taxi cab driver, expressed concern over issues surrounding changing Outreach service from current door-to-door service to recommended curb-to-curb service. Stated switching service from door-to-door to curb-to-curb is ridiculous as workers providing transport service for Outreach are willing to get out and escort elderly and disabled to the door. Suggested contacting drivers providing service for Outreach and ask them how to save money in the program.

Terry Applegate, interested citizen, expressed concern over management�s decision to restrict paratransit. Stated Board Members made promises to not let eligibility requirements be modified. Stated Board Members voted unanimously to restrict eligibility and increase fares on paratransit. Stated Board Members are asking to restrict paratransit further including restricting service to three quarters of a mile from a bus stop, and replacing door-to-door service with curb-to-curb service. Stated Board is further slapping the members of the disabled community in the face by recommending that seniors and disabled pay $20 per month for a monthly pass. Stated that at the paratransit meeting this past week Mr. George Tacke, Manager of VTA Accessible Services, never mentioned proposed paratransit fare increases. Stated Mr. Tacke answered a disabled member of the community claiming the changes would prevent them from getting to work by saying they should contact a faith-based agency. Reminded Board of Directors that the mission of VTA is to provide safe, accessible, affordable transit. Stated that she believes that the recommendations concerning paratransit are a Title II violation by eliminating people that have no other options but to comply with the recommendations by management.

Ron Compton, VTA employee, expressed concern about building a system over a 30-year period for the public and now laying off workers. Stated $174 million is not a small mistake or a miscalculation.

Karen Grimes, VTA employee, expressed concern over proposed service reductions that may result in the loss of her job. Urged the Board Members to reconsider proposed service reductions and asked Board to consider cuts at the upper management level.

Barbara Serrano, Yellow Cab driver, expressed concern over issue of three-quarter mile rule for paratransit riders. Stated entire South County area will not have paratransit service if the rule is implemented where paratransit riders must be within a three quarter mile of an existing bus stop to receive paratransit services.

David Schonbrunn, TRANSDEF, stated that at the last Board Meeting he handed out a legal opinion from his legal staff that concluded that VTA Board of Directors has discretion to use 2000 Measure A to fund existing bus operations. Stated General Counsel of VTA has a differing opinion of that matter. Requested Board ask General Counsel to go to court and seek declaratory relief to get a statement from a local judge as to the meaning of 2000 Measure A in a severe economic recession. Stated that with that information available Board Members would be prepared to make judgments that are weighing at this time. Stated without the declaration from a local judge the Board will not be able to make a responsible judgment.

Zackary Cribari, interested citizen, asked if any of the Board Members use public transportation.

Brian Rose, interested citizen, stated that the changes recently implemented to the existing paratransit services have made the program worse for users. Stated turnover in drivers at Outreach is high due to drivers being bullied and treated unfairly.

Silvia Ramirez, VTA employee, expressed concern over proposed service reductions, job cuts, and lay-offs. Stated we need to keep our customer service agents to answer the phones when people call. Stated we need our riders, we need our drivers, we need our facility workers. Stated we need everyone at VTA except Peter M. Cipolla, General Manager and his administration.

Alvin Welton Reese, VTA employee, and member of ATU Local 265, stated that privatization is growing and VTA is shrinking. Suggested VTA start to privatize and lease out some of the work and job duties that take place at the River Oaks facility.

Angie Dixon, ATU Local 265 member, stated she listens to the customers and they have a lot to say. Stated customers prefer to talk to a human being and can�t figure out the automated system. Stated there are complaints coming in about no bus showing up for service. Stated she has to tell customers that there is no driver for that bus tonight or the bus broke down and there is no mechanic to fix it. Stated there has to be a way to keep the buses rolling. Stated that the citizens of this County need to get around to get to their jobs. Urged Board Members to use the money from 2000 Measure A to keep the buses rolling.

Robin Andersen, interested citizen, expressed concern over proposed increase in transit fares and the disabled on fixed incomes. Expressed concern over transit route service reductions and suggested cutting administrative personnel at the River Oaks facility and removing Peter M. Cipolla, the General Manager, from office. Suggested putting the money saved from closing River Oaks facility back into the current operating system.

Roberto Fuentas, interested citizen, expressed concern over proposed service reductions.

Walter Schinke, Gilroy Center for the Visually Impaired and the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center in San Jose and Gilroy, expressed concern over proposed change in Outreach Services from door-to-door to curb-to-curb. Agreed with a suggestion offered that caller should specify if they need door-to-door service or if they could use curb-to-curb service. Noted there are many seniors and disabled that cannot get up and down stairs.

Karl Wright, VTA employee, expressed concern over proposed budget on Page 116 to spend $23 million on the Cerone Division Bus Yard. Asked when you have a bus fleet of 200 buses which can operate out of one bus yard, what is the use in spending $23 million. Urged Board Members to take a good look at the Proposed Budget and find out where the money is being wasted.

Randy Tamez, Chairperson for VTA Committee for Transit Accessibility (CTA), expressed concern over proposed change in Outreach paratransit services from current door-to-door to a curb-to-curb service. Stated CTA unanimously did not support the change. Stated he analyzed the proposed change to determine where VTA would save money changing from current door-to-door service to the proposed curb-to-curb service. Stated VTA would save money on the 15-20 percent of the population that would no longer be able to use the Outreach service.

Melanie Lanstrom, interested citizen, expressed concern over the fact that she can use her bicycle to get around faster than the bus service in Santa Clara County due to all of the cuts made to the bus service. Stated bus fares are too expensive. Cautioned when management raises the cost of the fares to increase revenue, riders will stop using the system, which will result in a decrease in revenue. Urged management to decrease cost of fares to entice more riders to use the system.

Barbara Rhodes, VTA CTA member, Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) Elderly and Disabled Advisory Committee member, expressed concern over proposal by management to eliminate door-to-door service with Outreach services and replace it with curb-to-curb service. Stated disabled and elderly community have tried to work with VTA, and have incurred such hardships as increased time on board, increased fares, and longer wait time for Outreach services. Stated she is willing to educate the community to work with management. Stated there are members of the elderly and disabled community that need assistance to and from the vehicle. Further stated in the Proposed Budget there is an item that says that VTA expects to save money on paratransit by eliminating 20 percent of the riders that would be able to use the service. Noted that making individuals ineligible for service is not the proper way to solve budgetary problems concerning paratransit services. Inquired about some of the personnel management issues and stated that she has five or six questions on that subject. Noted she would put questions in writing and send to Mr. Cipolla for response.

  

CONSENT AGENDA

6. Approved the Minutes of the Regular Board of Directors Meeting of April 3, 2003.
  
 

ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE COMMITTEE

7. Adopted a Resolution No. 03.05.06 authorizing the filing of an annual claim to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) for allocation of FY 2003 2004 Transportation Development Act (TDA) and State Transit Assistance (STA) funds.
  
8. Approved the allocation of $140,000 from the Local Program Reserve to the City of Milpitas for supplemental funding for the Dixon Landing Road/I-880 Interchange Reconstruction Project.
  
9. Adopted a support position for the following pieces of legislation: AB 813 (Salinas) - Farebox recovery ratios and SCA 7 (Murray) Loans of transportation funds.
  
 

CONGESTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND PLANNING COMMITTEE

10. Approved the modified FY 03-04 Congestion Management Program Work Program, Budget and Member Agency Fees.
  
11. Approved programming $2.7 million in Transportation Fund for Clean Air Program Manager (TFCA 40 %) funds to the Competitive Projects and to the Tier 1 Bicycle Projects in the FY 2003/04 cycle.
  
 

TRANSIT PLANNING AND OPERATIONS COMMITTEE

12. Authorized the General Manager to execute a contract with DeSilva Gates Construction LP, the lowest responsible bidder in the amount of $1,581,106, for construction of pavement resurfacing for the Tasman East Light Rail Project.
  
13. Authorized the General Manager to execute a contract with Industrial Door Service, Inc., the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, for door maintenance and repair services at all VTA facilities. The term of the contract is for three years with two one-year options at an estimate cost of $109,000 a year for the first three years. Option years four and five are estimated at $116,000 and $117,000, respectively.Thetotal amount of the contract is estimated at $560,000 for the five-year period.
  
  
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REGULAR AGENDA

  
 

ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON'S REPORT -

14.

Discussed Proposed Transit and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Paratransit Fare Modifications for Implementation August 1, 2003. (Forwarded Without a Recommendation).

Mr. Bradley asked the Board Members and management if the proposal to change from door-to-door service for Outreach services to curb-to curb service was considered to actually increase crime if an elderly or disabled individual had to wait at the curb to use paratransit services and became the victim of a crime.

Staff replied and stated that was not considered.

Larry Silva, General Manager for Yellow Cab Company in San Jose, stated his office provides the paratransit services in Morgan Hill and Gilroy. Stated in December 2002 he made an unsolicited proposal to the Board of Directors and Outreach, for transportation services. Stated his company could save 35 percent of the transportation costs resulting in approximately $9.5 Million annually. Stated the proposal was made before any areas were to be restricted for service within a three-quarter mile of a bus stop and before the door-to-door service was to be changed to curb-to-curb. Asked Board of Directors to re-examine proposal by his corporation to provide paratransit services as his keeps door-to-door service intact and does not limit the service area to being within three-quarter mile of a bus stop. Further stated proposal from his corporation would be able to handle the amount of current Outreach customers without having to send them to re-qualification in the hopes of reducing the participants in order to save on cost.

Barbara Bullis, Palo Alto representative to the Advisory Council on Aging to Santa Clara County, expressed concern over cost transferred to members of the elderly and disabled community and their families that will no longer be able to use the Outreach service. Stated this is not a well-planned business decision. Stated the Council on Aging offered VTA a small subsidy to help provide the Outreach services, and the money was turned down because the amount was so small. Urged Board Members to look at creative ways to keep the door-to-door service intact. Suggested a sliding-fee scale or keeping the door-to-door service rides at a minimum.

Cynthia M. Horvath, interested citizen, expressed concern over the senior and disabled fares proposed for the current budget. Stated proposed fares for senior and disabled would now become the highest in the State of California. Reviewed fares of cities in California and at cities in other states. Stated having seniors and disabled wait for long periods of time at night for arrival of the Outreach service vehicle is unsafe.

Micki Falk, Chairperson for the Advisory Council on Aging for Santa Clara County, expressed concern over proposed changes to paratransit services. Suggested administration at VTA take a cut in salaries. Requested Board Members to consider what has to be done and not place the burden on the seniors and disabled in the county.

Philip Angeles, interested citizen, expressed concern over the proposed service change to Outreach services to include a service area within three-quarters of a mile from a bus stop. Stated he would have to walk six miles just to get to a bus stop to travel the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital. Stated his disability causes pain when he walks long distances and that he has metal inside of his leg. Asked Board Members Gage and Gonzales to try to walk six miles every day with a similar medical condition.

Stated at the Outreach meeting in Gilroy regarding the paratransit service changes caused reflection on the nature of the needs in South County. Stated suggestion about eliminating unused bus service in Gilroy was made without knowing of VTA's intention to implement a three-quarter of a mile from a bus stop rule for paratransit services. Asked Board to realize that South County is not an urbanized environment. Stated they only have two bus lines in Gilroy. Stated if the three-quarters of a mile rule is applied in South County the vast majority of South County will be disenfranchised. Requested Board seriously consider that the three-quarters of a mile rule not apply in South County and instead a more reasonable rule be applied in that area. Suggested a premium charge for those clients who need door-to-door service.

Requested information concerning what it would take to make that premium service a reality. Requested Board of Directors and management take a look at the proposal to have Yellow Cab Company provide Outreach services. Requested management have some proposals come in and deal with any contract issues to find a more cost efficient way to provide the service without having to disenfranchise the members of the elderly and disabled community in the South County.

Noted non-support of this item. Expressed concern over the paratransit services and maintaining a certain level of door-to-door service for the seniors and disabled. Stated Board of Directors needs to look at the option of having Yellow Cab Company provide Outreach Services and then deal with contract issues. Requested clear definition of whether or not the Board of Directors can use the 2000 Measure A funds.

Expressed concern over the proposals by management concerning the three-quarters of a mile rule and the paratransit services provided to the elderly and disabled community.

Expressed concern over senior and disabled community receiving service and proposal to change paratransit service from door-to-door service to curb-to-curb service. Expressed concern over proposal to raise fares for senior and disabled and stated cost needs to be brought down a bit.

Expressed concern over senior and disabled service issues. Further stated it is absolutely necessary to get some kind of a legal or court response to the question of the ability to use 2000 Measure A funds in advance. Requested staff pursue that as quickly as possible. Expressed concern over fare increases and stated there is a large inequity in looking at other solutions to bringing other revenues in. Stated those that are most dependent on public transportation everyday do not usually have an employer that can put them into an Eco-pass program, and therefore, bare the burden of paying full cost on fare increases. Expressed concern over free shuttle services that VTA makes a contribution towards and requested a response to this issue in June 2003 describing options management is pursuing for a newly-defined shuttle program. Stated with the loss of jobs the commuter issues of two years ago may not be as severe today.

Stated there is one pot of money to draw from in order to keep the operation running, and the proposed cuts are a way to raise the fare box recovery rate to what other communities achieve. Stated that if figures here are manipulated in any way then the Board Members must present some other options on how to recover the $4 Million that staff is attempting to recoup through the fare box recovery. Stated if you take it off the fare box recovery category, you have to replace it somewhere else. Stated if Board Members do not say where the money will come from VTA will not be able to balance the budget.

Stated Agenda was confusing and did not state Board Members must decide what items will be left in the budget and what items will be removed from the budget. Stated at this point Board Members should be looking at all of the items mentioned by the public.

Requested the Proposed Transit and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Paratransit Fare Modifications for Implementation August 1, 2003, a different memorandum be drafted. Requested different types of alternatives that could be presented to deal with this issue and the ramifications of different decisions on the paratransit program. Stated it is not clear how VTA compares with the surrounding agencies in the Bay Area. Stated that VTA has reached a point where up until now a premium service was provided and the price for that correct price for that service is unknown.

Expressed concern over the paratransit service changes. Stated Board needs to understand all that we can do with the 2000 Measure A funds. Requested a model by management showing different solutions, what can be done without having to raise fares, what the implications are, and what can be done with 2000 Measure A funds to keep the system whole and running until we get over the hurdle when the market turns around.

Stated if we change the projected numbers on fare increases or make changes to the recommendations by staff concerning these budgetary items, then we have to find the money somewhere else. Stated if the money is not located somewhere then transit will not continue to operate in Santa Clara County. Stated the staff recommendations will buy the Board two years to develop new sources of revenue.

  
15.

Approved STIP amendments for a Federal Highway Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE bond) financing strategy for the Route 87 HOV Lane Projects from Julian Street in San Jose to Route 85 and the I-880/Coleman Interchange Project; and authorize the General Manager to enter into the agreements necessary to implement the project funding.

Mr. Schonbrunn stated that taking the action listed in Agenda Item #15 would be imprudent specifically due to the fact that VTA has made a series of promises in 2000 Measure A that cannot be delivered. Stated VTA sponsored 1996 Measure B to restrict flexibility in terms of shifting funds between highways and transit. Stated this action is going to lock up half of the available STIP money for several years to come. Stated flexibility is needed now in order to keep this organization alive. Stated VTA should be operating on a year-to-year basis. Suggested VTA do a re-evaluation of what projects they can actually afford to complete.

Mr. Cribari reviewed a list of highway projects for VTA. Stated there would be no need to improve roads if the public transportation system was designed with more mass. Asked Board Members to make a commitment to find a way to allow riders rapid transit East Ridge and Palo Alto in half an hour�s time.

Stated the project is vital for the airport expansion in the City of San Jose. Thanked VTA staff for their efforts and work with this project. Stated staff needs to work on being pedestrian friendly with this project. Stated this Interchange is an opportunity to provide a gateway and entryway into the airport and the Downtown Area of San Jose. Stated staff needs to try to make sure that the interchange is constructed to have an attractive design.

  
16. Authorized the General Manager to purchase insurance coverage for Excess Liability, General and Auto Liability and Public Officials Errors and Omissions Liability, Property/Boiler and Machinery, Inland Marine for Buses, Vans and Mobile Equipment, Inland Marine for Light Rail Vehicles, and Flood, for the annual Operations Program insurance renewal for an amount not to exceed $1,650,000.
  
 

CONGESTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND PLANNING COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON'S REPORT -

There were no items submitted for the Regular Agenda by the Congestion Management Program and Planning Committee.
  
 

TRANSIT PLANNING AND OPERATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON'S REPORT -

17.

Approved recommendations for the Santa Clara/Alum Rock Corridor, which includes advancing both the Enhanced Bus Service and the Single-Car Light Rail alternatives in the Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR).

Mr. Schonbrunn stated that the Mercury News had an article on Monday, May 7, 2003 that evaluated VTA's projects highlighting the 29.5-mile system that stretches from South San Jose to Milpitas and Mountain View ranks very low or last in speed, ridership, and cost effectiveness. Asked Board Members to re-evaluate entire direction of the agency. Stated projects have taken many years to build are not paying off as originally intended. Cautioned Board Members single-car rail system goes against all the economic advantages of rail such as a labor savings if multiple cars travel together. Asked Board Members to slow project down and as a Board develop a comprehensive and strategic vision of how to proceed forward with this project. Board Member Gage had left the meeting at 8:32 p.m.

  
18.

Authorized on a vote of 10 ayes, 2 noes, and 0 abstentions, the General Manager to execute a contract with Orthopaedic Hospital for the operation of the Paratransit Eligibility Certification Program. The term of the contract is for three years beginning July 1, 2003, with two one-year options, at a cost of $566,922 for the first year, $580,845 for the second year and $595,116 for the third year. Option years four and five are $615,595 and $636,791, respectively. The total amount of the contract is $2,995,300 for the five-year period. Further requested that staff provide a report back, after a year of starting the Paratransit Eligibility Certification Program, on the operation of the system and customer satisfaction.

Randy Tamez, Chairperson for VTA Committee for Transit Accessisibility (CTA) expressed concern over proposed contract with Orthopaedic Hospital. Stated that a year ago Outreach was receiving approximately 600 new applications per month, so there was a concern for VTA to develop a more stringent application procedure. Stated Outreach today is doing approximately half the amount of applications as a year ago. Stated proposal before the Board on this item includes the hiring of additional personnel out of the area, paying for facilities that will need to be acquired and stated that all that will occur will be an interview. Stated Outreach could possibly complete the interview services with applicants for less cost than what is being proposed to the Board with Orthopaedic Hospital. Recommended to the Board to not approve the proposed contract with Orthopaedic Hospital.

Ms. Rhodes expressed concern over the proposed contract with Orthopaedic Hospital. Stated that the contract will cost approximately $600,000 - $800,000 per year for five years and highlighted that it could be a savings if not approved. Stated that Outreach holding the current contract for eligibility of paratransit services was never allowed to bid for this contract. Stated that it is believed that Outreach is just waving people through for approval and that is not true. Stated that the customer service representative at Outreach has received training in Los Angeles by the proposed company for award of this contract Orthopaedic Hospital. Stated that this is a waste of money for VTA and that Outreach could institute new guidelines for approving or disqualifying individuals for a much cheaper price than proposed in the contract. Stated that the original proposal for this contract came about two years ago and that cost estimates have increased since then and should be re-examined. Asked the Board of Directors to try allowing Outreach to institute new guidelines for approving or disqualifying individuals for paratransit services for a proposed six-month period. Presented a petition from the Chairperson of the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind to the Board Members.

Ms. Applegate expressed concern over proposed contract to hire Orthopaedic Hospital to determine eligibility for paratransit services. Stated members of the disabled community have not received any information in writing on the proposed contract with Orthopaedic Hospital. Stated there are no written guidelines on how Orthopaedic Hospital comes to its final determination. Stated contract will cost $3 Million over five years and urged Board Members to reject the contract until there is a community meeting and advisement of the community agencies for the disabled community are notified.

Asked if the Outreach Services Department could have submitted a bid to provide the services for this eligibility contract.

Staff replied and stated that it was a public process and that anyone that wanted to could have submitted a bid.

Stated for the record that only two responses were received and that Orthopaedic Hospital was selected as the lowest responsible bidder due to the interview and the experience.

Asked if the proposed contract was presented to the Committee for Transit Accessibility (CTA) for approval.

Staff replied and stated that the contract for Orthopaedic Hospital was not presented to CTA. Stated that the desire for VTA to hire a third-party vendor for the qualification of individuals for paratransit services was presented to CTA and they supported that decision. Stated Outreach was specifically excluded from the entire process to avoid any conflict of interest at determining how such a process would be set-up and administered by VTA for eligibility of individuals to receive paratransit services.

Asked if there were any current paratransit service users involved in the choice of the vendor to provide eligibility qualifications for paratransit services.

Staff replied and stated that there were not.

Expressed concern that the idea of having current paratransit service users involved in the selection of the vendor to provide eligibility requirements was not implemented. Asked if it was a policy decision of the Board of Directors to exclude Outreach from the development of an eligibility program.

Staff replied and stated that was correct the Board adopted a proposal to not use any vendor currently involved with providing paratransit operations.

Asked if the proposed organization to provide eligibility services provided any other services to the public.

Staff replied and stated Orthopaedic Hospital is a full service organization with an operating room and intensive care unit.

Asked if the staff to provide the qualification interviews would include a physician.

Staff replied and stated primary staff providing service to VTA would include an occupational therapist, a physical therapist and other similar professional backgrounds.

Asked if staff had considered a one-year contract.

Staff replied and stated it has been the practice of VTA to encourage more participation in the proposal process, so a contract longer than one year was proposed and there is a start-up cost for this organization as well.

Stated would not be supporting the motion for approval of this proposed contract and expressed concern over the length of time for the contract.

Staff replied and stated that the contract could be modified, renegotiated or cancelled.

Stated that it would have been beneficial to have had the opportunity to examine the budget and the actual agreement for the services for the proposed contract.

Expressed concern over the decision to hire Orthopaedic Hospital over NovaCare to manage the eligibility process. Expressed concern that Orthopaedic Hospital will hire local personnel to provide eligibility services. Asked staff to consider the Veterans Administration Hospital (VA) to provide the eligibility services with better qualifications and for a better price.

Staff replied and stated Orthopaedic Hospital Management Team would bring in their program model to begin providing eligibility services here in Santa Clara County. Stated that in response to using the Veterans Administration Hospital (VA) no particular organization was targeted and it was advertised publicly in the San Jose Mercury News.

Asked why the contract with Orthopaedic Hospital was selected if the cost is $365,000 dollars more than the other proposed contract with NovaCare. Asked if the item is not time sensitive perhaps it should be deferred and suggested the contract be set-up to include a one-year period with a revaluation at the end of the term.

Staff stated that 13 months ago they began a plan to take a very serious look at Outreach and reduce costs. Further stated that the consultants used to develop a cost savings plan presented 23 specific recommendations assembled by staff into a four-phase program. Stated based on the plan previously submitted to the Board of Directors eligibility requirements were scheduled to implement on July 1, 2003. Stated in order to achieve some of the additional savings involved in reducing costs for Outreach Services the Board of Directors must approve the contract with Orthopaedic Hospital. Stated Phase 4 of the program is designed to increase overall competitiveness of bidding process and staff will identify a specific program where participation by those bidding for contract of services can be increased with the intent of achieving additional savings in the program.

Stated for Agenda Item #21C, the Minutes of the Transit Planning and Operations Committee meeting on page 2 of 14, under Item #15 states that when this recommendation was made by the TP&O for approval of the contract with Orthopaedic Hospital, staff was to report back after one year of service with Orthopaedic Hospital and that the contract would have a provision included in the contract to terminate the contract without cause if there was dissatisfaction with the program. Stated that it would be an advantage for VTA to lock-in a contract with Orthopaedic Hospital for 3-years with that termination clause included so that if after the one year VTA was very satisified VTA could avoid an additional charge by Orthopaedic Hospital by increasing the cost of the service.

Asked what the savings is for operating the qualification program for paratransit services.

Staff replied and stated they expect a 20 percent reduction in enrollment. Explained the proposed process for eligibility for paratransit services.

Asked about the location of facilities for this new eligibility process.

Staff replied and stated exact location unknown but there is agreement by Orthopaedic Hospital to work with Senior Centers to have staff available to do scheduled interviews.

Stated would support the motion to approve the contract with Orthopaedic Hospital.

Stated that in June 2003 staff will be presenting the appeals process for the eligibility program and stated that the recommended vendor for the appeals process will be NovaCare the competition to Orthopaedic Hospital in this current bid for the eligibility process.

  
  
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OTHER ITEMS

19.

ITEMS OF CONCERN AND REFERRAL TO ADMINISTRATION

There were no Items of Concern and Referral to Administration.
  
20.

LEGISLATIVE REPORT

Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

  
21.

SUMMARY MINUTES FROM STANDING COMMITTEES

A. Administration and Finance Committee

���� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

B. Congestion Management Program and Planning Committee

���� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

C. Transit Planning and Operations Committee

���� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

  
22.

REPORTS FROM ADVISORY COMMITTEES

A. Committee for Transit Accessibility (CTA)

��� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

B. Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC)

��� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

C. Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC)

��� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

D. Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

���� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

E. Policy Advisory Committee (PAC)

��� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

F. Community Oriented Design Enhancements Committee (CODE)

��� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

  
23.

REPORTS FROM JOINT POWERS BOARDS (JPBs) & REGIONAL COMMISSIONS

A. Peninsula Corridor JPB

��� Reported that ridership on Caltrain went up almost 2000 passengers per day.

B. Capitol Corridor JPB

���� There was no report from the Capitol Corridor JPB

C. Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) JPB

���� There was no report from the Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) JPB

D. Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)

���� There was no report from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)

  
24.

REPORTS FROM VTA POLICY ADVISORY BOARDS (PABs)

A. Tasman/Capitol Light Rail PAB

��� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

B. Vasona Light Rail PAB (No Meeting Scheduled)

���� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

C. Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor PAB

��� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

D. Caltrain PAB (No Meeting Scheduled)

���� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

E. Downtown/East Valley PAB

���� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

F. Highway PAB - South

���� Accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

  
25.

REPORT FROM THE CHAIRPERSON

Heard a report, highlighting: 1) Recommended Budget for Fiscal Years 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 will be presented to the Advisory Committees in May 2003; 2) Recommended Budget for Fiscal Years 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 will come before VTA Board of Directors for approval June 2003.

  
26.

REPORT FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER

There was no report from the General Manager.

  
27.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

There were no announcements.

  
28.

PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS

James Wightman, interested citizen, expressed concern over proposed service reductions and suggested thirty-minute headways in lieu of service reductions.

Ms. Applegate expressed concern over Recommended Budget for Fiscal Years 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. Stated staff positions were all omitted and asked if there was an increase in positions for the administration. Expressed concern over a Title II complaint. Requested accommodations at paratransit meetings and at public VTA meetings to have a sound system available for the elderly and disabled members of the community.

Mr. Bradley expressed concern over New Hall Yard Land Purchase, Agenda Item #29.A. Stated there is not a budget crisis at VTA if they can do a land purchase of this size. Stated this will be used as a BART maintenance facility. Asked what kind of message this will send to the public, buying land for a rail extension that may not happen due to the current State of California budget crisis.

Mr. Schonbrunn stated members of VTA Board of Directors and the public want to find out from a court what is possible with the 2000 Measure A funds. Stated unless the Board of Directors provides specific direction to staff with a motion to go before a judge, nothing will happen.

  
29.

CLOSED SESSION at 9:19 p.m.

A. Conference with Real Property Negotiator

[Government Code 54956.8]

Purchase property, approximately 48 acres, at Newhall Yard in the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara between Newhall Street and Brokaw Road.

Under negotiation: price and terms of payment and purchase.

Negotiator for VTA: Scott Buhrer, Chief Financial Officer

Negotiator for Union Pacific Railroad: Rick L. Gooch, Director of Special Properties, Sales & Development

B. Existing Litigation - Conference with Legal Counsel

[Government Code Section 54956.9(a)]

Name of Case: Homer J. Olsen v. VTA

(Santa Clara County Superior Court Lead Case No. CV785402, Consolidated Cases)

C. Conference with Labor Negotiators

[Government Code Section 54957.6]

Employee Organizations:

County Employees Management Association (CEMA)

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 715

Transportation Authority Engineers and Architects (TAEA)

VTA Designated Representatives:

Kaye L. Evleth, Chief Administrative Officer

Scott Buhrer, Chief Financial Officer

Robert Escobar, Manager, Office of Employee Relations

RECONVENED TO OPEN SESSION at 9:40 p.m.

  
30.

CLOSED SESSION REPORT

A. Conference with Real Property Negotiator

[Government Code 54956.8]

Purchase property, approximately 48 acres, at Newhall Yard in the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara between Newhall Street and Brokaw Road.

Under negotiation: price and terms of payment and purchase.

Negotiator for VTA: Scott Buhrer, Chief Financial Officer

Negotiator for Union Pacific Railroad: Rick L. Gooch, Director of Special Properties, Sales & Development

There was no reportable action taken during Closed Session.

B. Existing Litigation - Conference with Legal Counsel

[Government Code Section 54956.9(a)]

Name of Case: Homer J. Olsen v. VTA

(Santa Clara County Superior Court Lead Case No. CV785402, Consolidated Cases)

There was no reportable action taken during Closed Session.

C. Conference with Labor Negotiators

[Government Code Section 54957.6]

Employee Organizations:

County Employees Management Association (CEMA)

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 715

Transportation Authority Engineers and Architects (TAEA)

VTA Designated Representatives:

Kaye L. Evleth, Chief Administrative Officer

Scott Buhrer, Chief Financial Officer

Robert Escobar, Manager, Office of Employee Relations

There was no reportable action taken during Closed Session.

  
31. ADJOURNED at 9:40 p.m.
  
  
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