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Board Minutes


BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Minutes

1.

CALLED TO ORDER

The Regular Meeting of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA)Board of Directors was called to order by Chairperson Chavez at 5:33 p.m. in the oard of Supervisors’ Chambers, County Government Center, 70 West Hedding Street, San Jose, California.

  
2.

OATH OF OFFICE

Maria Marinos, Board Secretary, administered the Oath of Office to newly appointed Board Members Breene Kerr, representing the Town of Los Altos Hills (Group 2); Dennis Kennedy, representing the City of Morgan Hill (Group 4); Greg Perry, representing the City of Mountain View (Group 2); Dolly Sandoval, representing the City of Cupertino (Group 3); Norman Kline, representing the City of Saratoga (Group 3); and Al Pinheiro, representing the City of Gilroy (Group 4).

  
3.

ROLL CALL

Members Present                                                         
Jim Beall, Ex-Officio
Cindy Chavez, Chairperson
Dean Chu, Vice Chairperson
David Cortese
Don Gage
Ron Gonzales
Dennis Kennedy
Breene Kerr
Liz Kniss
John McLemore, Ex-Officio
Greg Perry
Dolly Sandoval
Forrest Williams

Members Absent
Nora Campos

Alternates Present                                                  
Norman Kline, Alternate
Jamie Matthews, Alternate
Pete McHugh, Alternate
Al Pinheiro, Alternate

Alternates Absent
Ken Yeager, Alternate

* Alternates do not serve unless participating as a Member.

A quorum was present.

  
4.

ADJOURNED TO CLOSED SESSION at   5:37 p.m.

Ex-Officio Board Member Beall took his seat at 5:54 p.m.

Public Employee Performance Evaluation
[Government Code Section 54957]

Title:            General Counsel

  
4.X.

Conference with Legal Counsel - Existing Litigation

[Government Code Section 54956.9(a)]
Name of Case:  Ortega vs. VTA
WCAB No. STK 176469/STK 176468/STK 173241

RECONVENED TO OPEN SESSION at 5:57 p.m.

  
5.

CLOSED SESSION REPORT

Public Employee Performance Evaluation
[Government Code Section 54957]

Title:            General Counsel

There was no reportable action taken during Closed Session.

Conference with Legal Counsel - Existing Litigation

[Government Code Section 54956.9(a)]
Name of Case:  Ortega vs. VTA
WCAB No. STK 176469/STK 176468/STK 173241

Suzanne Gifford, General Counsel, noted that the details of the settlement would be available for public review when agreed to by the other party.  

  
6.

Chairperson Chavez noted that staff requested that Agenda Item #17. Approve the 2006 Federal Legislative Program for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) be moved to the Regular Agenda and that Item #18. Authorize the General Manager to negotiate a contract with CompuCom Systems, Inc. to purchase server hardware, installation services, migration services, and maintenance services in the amount of $1,951,092, be deferred from tonight’s Agenda. 

Chairperson Chavez requested that Agenda Item #10. Approve the Minutes of the Regular Board of Directors’ Meeting of December 1, 2005, be deferred for one month.

M/S/C (Williams/Kniss) to accept the Orders of the Day.

  
7.

AWARDS AND COMMENDATIONS

A.             Employees of the Month for January 2006

Chairperson Chavez presented   awards to Renato De Castro, Rail Construction Administration, and Worku Senbet, North Division Operations, as VTA Employees of the Month for January 2006.  Tom Ryan, Operations Engineering Maintenance, was unable to attend.

B.         Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition to David Julian

Bernadette Arellano, representing the Offices of Congress Members Michael Honda and Zoe Lofgren, presented a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, signed by Member of Congress Michael Honda, to David Julian, Committee for Transit Accessibility (CTA) former Chairperson, in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community.

C.             Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition to Aaron Morrow

Ms. Arrellano presented a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, signed by Member of Congress Zoe Lofgren, to Aaron Morrow, CTA Chairperson, in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community.

Chairperson Chavez congratulated the Employees of the Month for January 2006 and also congratulated David Julian and Aaron Morrow on receiving their Certificates of Special Congressional Recognition.

NOTE:    M/S/C MEANS MOTION SECONDED AND CARRIED AND, UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED, THE MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

  
8.

COMMENTS FROM CHAIRPERSON CINDY CHAVEZ

Chairperson Chavez reported that she had a very exciting opportunity to work with Michael T. Burns, VTA General Manager, to discuss some initiatives that we can pursue as a team. She indicated that the theme for 2006 is “Full Participation and Full Information”.

Chairperson Chavez reported that she has three initiatives that she would like to focus on and the first is conducting a financial and organizational assessment.  From a financial and organizational assessment, she would like to pursue a basic financial review of VTA’s resources, including an analysis of methods and forms of reporting, to identify opportunities for cost savings as well as insuring that the dollars we have are used in the most expeditious manner, evaluating business practices and staffing levels on an ongoing basis, to analyze industry best practices to assess their applicability to VTA, develop benchmarks and matrix’ to measure progress, and our goals to maximize our ability to provide services to our communities.

Chairperson Chavez requested that staff come back to the Board of Directors within 90 days with a Request for Qualifications for the financial and organizational assessment along with a timeline specifying when the Board of Directors can expect to see the results of the audit.

Chairperson Chavez reported that the second initiative relates to Advisory Committee and Board Relationships.   She noted that many of our conversations at a Board level or even at a Committee level were not deep enough where we felt like we were getting all the necessary information. Chairperson Chavez reported that she an Mr. Burns have discussed a number of strategies to increase the effectiveness of the Advisory Committees and ways to improve communication between the Board and the Committees and to improve communication between the Board and staff. She noted that the Committees are a valuable part of the Board’s decision-making process, and that it is important to increase our two-way openness and communication, and particularly with our stakeholders as well. 

Chairperson Chavez requested that the following be placed on the February 2006 Advisory Committee Agendas: “Receive Feedback from the Advisory Committees on how communication is working and how the Committee feels their experience as a participant in a Board Committee is working”.

Chairperson Chavez reported that one of the most important Committees that has been underutilized is the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). She commented that Mr. Burns will be working with TAC to develop a work plan as well as all the Advisory Committees. She noted that Mr. Burns’ goal by the end of the year is to have full participation and buy-in from all the Committees. 

Chairperson Chavez referred to a state infrastructure bond to be placed on the ballot in June and noted the importance of the County of Santa Clara and VTA working together to see what kind of infrastructure the VTA Board would like to see in the bond measure.   Chairperson Chavez appointed a committee composed of Board Members Campos, Gage, and Kerr, three representatives from private businesses that are engaged in infrastructure development, and three VTA staff members, one of whom is the General Manager, to develop a list of priorities and to give the Board feedback through the committee process and through informational memos and to report back at the January 27, 2006 Board of Directors’ Workshop Meeting.

Chairperson Chavez noted the importance of assessing VTA’s existing contractual relationships with VTA’s advocacy firms in Washington D.C. and Sacramento. She stated that VTA’s current contracts with both of its lobbyists expire at the end of the year and that staff will initiate a competitive process for these services.

Chairperson Chavez noted that this Chairperson’s report would be provided in writing to the Board of Directors.

Chairperson Chavez indicated that she is very excited about being the Chairperson of the Board of Directors and that she is excited about the opportunity to pursue the strategy of Full Participation and Full Information.  

Chairperson Chavez directed attention to Agenda Item #8. Board Standing Committee Appointments that was distributed at the Board Meeting.   She noted that Board Member assessments were moved to share the leadership. Chairperson Chavez thanked the Board Members for their participation and flexibility.

Board Member Cortese noted   a conflict with serving on the Transit Planning & Operations (TP&O) Committee due to obligations with the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).  He noted that as a courtesy to the TP&O Members that perhaps a change in meeting time could resolve the problem.  He noted that he is working on the issue to try to resolve the conflict.  

M/S/C (Sandoval/Williams) to approve the following Committee Appointments for 2006:

             Board Standing Committees:

             Administration & Finance

             Forrest Williams, Chair

             Nora Campos

             Breene Kerr

             Don Gage

             Congestion Management Program & Planning

             Liz Kniss, Chair

             Cindy Chavez

             Ron Gonzales

             Dennis Kennedy

             Transit Planning & Operations

             Dolly Sandoval, Chair

             Dean Chu

             Dave Cortese

             Greg Perry

             Regional Committee Appointments:

             Dumbarton Rail Corridor Policy Committee

             Ken Yeager

             Breene Kerr

             2020 Peninsula Corridor Gateway Study

             Breene Kerr

             I-680 Sunol Grade Policy Advisory Committee

             Dean Chu

  
9.

REPORT FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER

Mr. Burns wished everyone a Happy New Year and on behalf of the staff congratulated and welcomed the new Board Members.

Mr. Burns provided an update on the recommended VTA Quarter Cent Sales Tax Scenario.  He referred to the Board Memorandum dated December 23, 2005, that was sent to the VTA Board of Directors and all Committees, and indicated that the memorandum contained an updated recommendation on the Quarter Cent Sales Tax Scenario.   Mr. Burns noted that the recommended VTA Quarter Cent Sales Tax Scenario would be reviewed at the Advisory Committees and Board Standing Committees over the next two weeks. He indicated that the recommendation that was contained in the memorandum is based on new sales tax projections provided by the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, and that staff would have Steve Levy from the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, at all the meetings to discuss the projections.  Mr. Burns noted that VTA is also holding the January 27, 2006 Board of Directors’ Workshop Meeting date open for further discussion in advance of the February 2, 2006 Board Meeting, consistence with the direction that staff received from the Board of Directors.

Mr. Burns directed attention to VTA’s 2006 Board Orientation Binder and indicated that the binder was prepared as an orientation for new Board Members and as a reference document for existing Board Members, noting that the binder contains key VTA business information. The binder will also be provided to all of the Advisory Committee members and staff plans to review the information with each of the Advisory Committees at their February 2006 Meetings.  Mr. Burns directed attention to the blue folder located in front of the binder and indicated that the folder contained a CD that had a comprehensive compendium of documents associated with VTA.  He acknowledged Elaine Baltao, VTA Board Assistant, who prepared the binder and CD and indicated that, if possible, a Board Orientation would be held as part of the January 27, 2006 Board of Directors’ Workshop Meeting and Ms. Baltao would go through the information contained on the CD.  Mr. Burns noted that staff would like to receive feedback from the Board of Directors with regard to the information provided.

Mr. Burns extended an invitation to the Board of Directors and Members of the Advisory Committees to visit VTA’s Operating Divisions, noting that staff would be providing information over the course of the next two weeks to the Board of Directors and Members of the Advisory Committees identifying several opportunities to visit the Operating Divisions.

Mr. Burns provided an update on VTA’s construction projects.   He noted that subject to good weather conditions, the Route 85 Noise Mitigation Project should be completed in three weeks.   He referred to the Route 152-Phase B1 bridge and highway widening from 2 to 4 lanes in the City of Gilroy and noted that VTA is anticipating a ribbon cutting ceremony in early February 2006. Mr. Burns indicated that both projects are 1996 Measure B Projects and have been brought in on time and under budget.

Mr. Burns provided an update on VTA’s bus and light rail ridership, noting the continued increase in both bus and light rail ridership.

Mr. Burns reported that staff brought forward a recommendation for securement of wheelchairs to CTA and the Transit Planning & Operations (TP&O) Committee at their December 2005 Meetings and received significant comment at the TP&O Meeting with regard to the implementation plan.   Mr. Burns indicated that once staff develops the implementation plan, staff will go back through the Committee Structure.  He noted that CTA has done a significant amount of work on the issue and that the implementation plan would be brought to CTA and TP&O in February 2006 and forwarded to the Board of Directors for consideration in March 2006.

Board Member Kniss queried about the status of Highway 101 and 85.   Jack J. Collins, Chief Construction Officer, noted that subject to good weather, an opening of the entire HOV direct connectors is anticipated for mid to late April 2006.   He referred to the improvements on Shoreline Boulevard and noted that VTA is anticipating an opening of the Shoreline ramp in February 2006.

The Agenda was taken out of order.

  
8.

COMMENTS FROM CHAIRPERSON CINDY CHAVEZ    (continued)

Eugene Bradley, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Riders Union, queried about Board Member Chu’s qualifications to serve on the I-680 Sunol SMART Carpool Lane Policy Advisory Committee, noting that I-680 is not located near the City of Sunnyvale.  Carolyn M. Gonot, Chief Development Officer, noted that the requirement for sitting on the I-680 Sunol SMART Carpool Lane Policy Advisory Committee is to be an active member of the VTA Board of Directors and the member does not have to be a resident of the area. 

  
10.

PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS

Omar Chatty, Interested Citizen, expressed concern about the terrible accident on December 27, 2005 on State Route (SR) 152 and noted the need for a grade separated six-lane freeway to be built on the SR 152/Pacheco Pass Corridor.  He recommended that    SR 152 not be held hostage for a future toll road and not to be held hostage for high-speed rail.

James Wightman, Interested Citizen, queried about the Downtown Light Rail Platform Retrofit Project and the Vasona Light Rail Project. Mr. Burns noted that staff would speak to Mr. Wightman to address his questions.

Tomy Doomany, Interested Citizen, expressed concern about an issue that was presented by his wife at the December 1, 2005 Board of Directors’ Meeting regarding their request to remove Bus Stop #13, located behind their house, at the corner of Almaden Road and Mountain Shadows, due to noise and safety issues.  He expressed concern noting the letter they received from VTA Management rejecting their petition. Mr. Doomany also referred to the new development and median built in the area right next to the bus station and expressed concern regarding the narrowing of the area; he said it is a safety hazard.

Janti Doomany, Interested Citizen, expressed concern that the research completed by VTA Management pertaining to the removal of Bus Stop #13 was inadequate; she felt that an immediate and irrational decision was made.  She noted that the petition to remove the bus stop contained 41 neighbors and that the other two bus stops mentioned had curbsides.

Martin Bishop, Director of the N.E.E.D. Project, directed attention to the letter that he provided to the Board Members and requested that Board Member Gonzales read the letter regarding the deferment of implementation of mandatory securement of wheelchairs and scooters on VTA buses and possibly light rail vehicles. Mr. Bishop
noted that the additional documents provided to the Board Members contained his potential solution to the issue and that he has been working with VTA Staff to come up with a solution.

Ross Signorino, Interested Citizen, congratulated Board Member Chavez on her new position as Board Chairperson and also congratulated new Board Members.  He referred to an article in the San Jose Mercury News regarding the Quarter Cent Sales Tax and the new projections based on the latest forecast by the Center of Continuing Study of California Economy in Palo Alto.  He expressed concern that the article did not project any potential increase in labor and material costs.

Mr. Bradley commended VTA on their Simple and Free Fare Program for the Senior and Disabled.

  
11.

Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) Chairperson’s Report

Yoriko Kishimoto, PAC Chairperson, congratulated new Chairperson Chavez and all the new Board Members and Alternates.

Ms. Kishimoto provided a report on the December 8, 2005 PAC Meeting, highlighting:  1) Discussed the Caltrain subcommittee. The following PAC members have indicated their interest in serving on the committee: a) Saratoga Mayor Norman Kline, b) Los Gatos Council Member Steve Glickman, c) Los Altos Hills Mayor Breene Kerr, d) Mountain View Council Member Greg Perry, and e) Palo Alto Council Member Yoriko Kishimoto; 2) Received the following nominations from the Nominating Committee for PAC chair and vice-chair for 2005: a) Los Gatos Council Member Steve Glickman for Chair and Saratoga Mayor Norman Kline for Vice-Chair.  The PAC will be voting for chair and vice-chair at the January meeting; 3 ) Discussed the modified VTA quarter-cent sales tax scenario. After an initial discussion, members agreed to further analyze the modified scenario and be prepared to discuss in greater detail at the January meeting; and 4) Reviewed the fiscal year 2006 – 2015 Short Range Transit Plan.

Chairperson Chavez thanked Ms. Kishimoto for her service as Chairperson of PAC.

  

CONSENT AGENDA

Board Member Perry requested that Agenda Item #22. Approve the Fiscal Year 2006-2015 Short Range Transit Plan be removed from the Consent Agenda and placed on the Regular Agenda.

M/S/C (Williams/Kniss) to approve the Consent Agenda, as amended.

  
12.

(Deferred to the February 2, 2006 Board of Directors’ Meeting.)

  
 

ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE COMMITTEE

13.

Reappointments to the Committee for Transit Accessibility (CTA) 

M/S/C (Williams/Kniss) to approve the reappointments of Linda Gallo, Katie Heatley (OUTREACH) Paratransit Broker, Laura Michels, Emma Eljas, Sandra Gouveia, Martin Lasich, and Barbara Stahl to the Committee for Transit Accessibility (CTA) for a two-year term. 

  
14.

Contract Award for Operations Insurance Broker

M/S/C (Williams/Kniss) to authorize the General Manager to execute a contract with Driver Alliant Insurance Services for insurance broker consulting services for a three-year term from February 1, 2006 through January 31, 2009, with options for two one year extensions.   The three-year contract fixed fee for services is $243,200.  The full five-year fee with the option years is $398,800. 

  
15.

Contract Amendment with Ruth & Going, Inc. for Final Design and Design Support during Construction of the State Route 87 North HOV Lanes Widening Project

M/S/C (Williams/Kniss) to authorize the General Manager to: 1) amend the contract with Ruth & Going, Inc. for design support during construction services of the State Route 87 North HOV Lanes Widening Project, increasing the approved contract value by $100,000 for a new total contract value of $6,720,709 and 2) extend the term of the contract through June 30, 2007. 

  
16.

Cooperative Agreement with the City of Mountain View for the State Route 237/State Route 85 and State Route 237/Middlefield Road

M/S/C (Williams/Kniss) to authorizethe General Manager to: 1) execute a cooperative agreement with the City of Mountain View that specifies the funding and the project development responsibilities for the State Route 237/State Route 85 and the State Route 237/Middlefield Road Interchange Projects, 2) approve adding these projects to the VTA Capital Budget, and 3) approve the use of $250,000 in Local Program Reserve Funds as the VTA share of project funding. 

  
17.

(Removed from the Consent Agenda and placed on the Regular Agenda.)

Approve the 2006 Federal Legislative Program for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). 

  
18.

(Deferred)

Authorize the General Manager to negotiate a contract with CompuCom Systems, Inc. to purchase server hardware, installation services, migration services, and maintenance services in the amount of $1,951,092. 

  
19.

Consultant List for Highway Program Planning and Engineering Services

M/S/C (Williams/Kniss) to approve the list of prime consultants and subconsultants selected to perform planning, preliminary engineering, and final design engineering on VTA Highway Program projects. 

  
 

CONGESTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND PLANNING COMMITTEE

20.

Sunnyvale Citywide Deficiency Plan Approval

M/S/C (Williams/Kniss) to approve the City of Sunnyvale Citywide Deficiency Plan. 

  
 

TRANSIT PLANNING AND OPERATIONS COMMITTEE

21.

Downtown Light Rail Platform Retrofit Project - Increase Project Budget and Award Construction Contract

M/S/C (Williams/Kniss) to approve increasing the Downtown Light Rail Platform Retrofit Project budget by $4.5 million to $23.0 million, and authorize the General Manager to execute a contract with Robert A. Bothman, Inc., the lowest responsible bidder, in the amount of $18,650,000 for retrofitting Transit Mall station platforms to accommodate level boarding with low-floor light rail vehicles.  Initial federal funding is 22 percent, however, a Letter of No Prejudice from the Federal Transit Administration has been signed, which will allow VTA to be reimbursed up to 80 percent by Fiscal Year 2008. 

  
22.

(Removed from the Consent Agenda and placed on the Regular Agenda.)

Approve the Fiscal Year 2006-2015 Short Range Transit Plan.

  
  
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REGULAR AGENDA

  
22.

Fiscal Year 2006-2015 Short Range Transit Plan

Board Member Perry referred to the Fiscal Year 2006-2015 Short Range Transit Plan (SRTP) and expressed concern regarding the standards for the bus routes.  He noted that there are separate standards for bus routes based on whether they are feeder routes, primary grids, or secondary grids.   He noted that when looking at the data there is not sufficient data to support calling a feeder route a feeder and that most people who get off of a feeder are not getting onto another bus or did not come from another bus. Board Member Perry indicated that having a lower standard for the feeder routes seems a way of keeping non-productive lines on the books.  He noted that from a VTA perspective, in trying to move the most people for the lowest cost, it might be better to have a single standard for the bus routes and evaluate them as a bus rather than having the three levels of standards.

Matthew O. Tucker, Chief Operating Officer, referred to VTA’s Service Management Standards and noted that each month at the TP&O Meeting a discussion will be held regarding ridership that will build up to VTA’s quarterly reports. This information will reflect VTA’s current Service Management Standards. He noted that the Service Management Standards were approved by the Board of Directors two years ago.  

Mr. Tucker referred to the comments made regarding the separate standards for bus routes based on whether they are feeder routes, primary grids, or secondary grids.  He noted that in terms of how VTA developed the program was basically the intent of how the route is going to serve.   In the case of a feeder route, it was designed to either feed into another bus route or feed into light rail.  Mr. Tucker noted that a discussion could be held in the future in terms of how to re-evaluate the groupings and the evaluation performances of VTA’s routes.  He noted that the SRTP document just reflected the current Board adopted evaluation process for VTA’s routes. 

M/S/C (Perry/Kennedy) to approve the Fiscal Year 2006-2015 Short Range Transit Plan.

  
17.

2006 Federal Legislative Program

Mr. Chatty recommended adding funding for SR152.

Kurt Evans, Governmental Affairs Manager, referred to SR 152 and noted that it would be better to wait for the SR 152 Project and have further definition before actually going after and seeking a federal earmark for the project.  There is still discussion about the project and until that has been firmed up, it is very difficult for our congressional members to advocate for the project. 

Mr. Evans reported that the reason that staff asked for this item to be placed on the Regular Agenda was because VTA received a request from the City of Gilroy to seek a federal earmark for the 101/25 Interchange Project in South County.  Specifically, the city would like VTA to take the lead in going after a federal earmark for the project and the city would support VTA’s efforts in that regard.   He noted that this is a project that is much more defined than the SR 152 Project and VTA thinks it has a better opportunity to compete for the limited dollars on the highway side. Mr. Evans indicated  that most of the highway dollars are allocated by formula to the states, and in the case of California, funding is programmed to the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) process.  He noted that the 101/25 Interchange Project would have a reasonable chance of pulling in some federal dollars through the earmarking process. Therefore, staff is recommending that the Board of Directors adopt the 2006 Federal Legislative Program with an additional bullet point that references the 101/25 Interchange Project.

Board Member Sandoval queried about the timeline of discussion on the SR 152 Project.   Ms. Gonot noted that meetings have been held on the Southern Gateway Study and that the Study has been in progress for about three years. VTA is working with San Benito County to get a little more definition about what to do in the area, which also includes SR 101, SR 156, SR 152 and SR 25. VTA is also in the process of doing the South County Circulation Study and is working with the cities of Gilroy, San Jose, and Morgan Hill, and Santa Clara County to define projects for circulation.  VTA is working with the South County Highway Policy Advisory Board and over the next year VTA will be able to determine what area to focus on.

Board Member Perry noted that his first concern focused on New Starts and requesting modifications to the Cost Effectiveness Standard.   He indicated that he would hope that the item would be passed without the modifications to New Starts Cost Effectiveness and trust that as a nation we are better off if our national transit projects are cost effective rather than asking that it be redefined for us. 

Mr. Evans   referred to the part of the Federal Legislative Program referencing modifications to the Cost Effectiveness Measure and indicated that the bullet point is consistent with what Congressional intent is with regard to how to measure cost effectiveness for New Starts Projects. When Congress adopted the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and then subsequently, Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which are the Federal Surface Transportation Authorization bills, the intent was for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to develop a cost effectiveness measure for the projects that takes into consideration the benefits for all users in the proposed corridor not just how many riders are going to be using the transit system, but what are the benefits of the project to highway users, existing transit riders, and potential new transit riders. What FTA has been able to do up to this particular point in time is to develop a measure that addresses the benefits of a New Starts Project from a cost effectiveness perspective for transit, but they have not come up with a way to determine how a potential New Starts Project would benefit highway users in the corridor. 

Board Member Perry indicated that FTA at a staff level has decided that having a floor for how low your cost effectiveness can go makes sense and that he would rather try to up the cost effectiveness of our projects than remove that standard.

Board Member Perry indicated that the second concern is asking that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and rail be in separate categories. If the BRT is competing better than rail and VTA gets more federal funds for BRT, than that is still money for the Agency. 

Board Member Perry stated with respect to third concern, he would let lawyers debate congressional intent up and down.   The impact of the third concern seems to be going toward a fuzzier standard and cost per new rider is a relatively clear standard.  Board Member Perry stated that he would not be supporting the motion on the floor, but would be making a motion to remove the three items from the 2006 Federal Legislative Program. 

Board Member Kerr expressed concern regarding the problems on SR 152 and requested that staff provide information in a couple of days on what needs to be done on SR 152, what it is going to cost and how could VTA advocate for SR 152. 

Board Member Cortese referred to the U.S. 101 Corridor being added to the Legislative Program in 2005 and the approximately $4 million in TEA-21 for the project. He indicated that the U.S. 101 Corridor was a priority highway project and queried if it was dropped off the Program. Board Member Cortese noted that the U.S. 101 Corridor is about a $120 million project and that it would seem that we would want to continue making the project a priority.   Mr. Evans indicated that VTA sought a federal earmark for the project through the TEA-21 reauthorization process. Both the City of San Jose and VTA had a request in for the project, and $10 million was pulled in between both the City of San Jose and VTA.   He indicated that if it was the Board’s desire, VTA could certainly try to seek additional funding for the project in Fiscal Year 2007.    He noted the rules of the game are a little bit different in the appropriations process with regards to highway projects than they are in the authorization process.   In the appropriations process, where the structure of the highway program has been determined by the authorizers, it is the intent that the highway dollars be allocated to the states by formula and that the states then determine the processes for how they utilize that money.  As mentioned earlier, in the case of California, it is the STIP process, and the projects that VTA programmed through the STIP process received federal gas tax money that has been allocated by formula to California.

Upon query of Board Member Cortese, Mr. Evans noted that there is a better chance of getting a larger chunk of money through the STIP process than through the federal earmarking process.  

Upon query of Board Member Kniss, Board Member Perry clarified his comments.  Board Member Perry indicated that there are three items within New Starts that are
geared toward finding ways around cost effectiveness standards either by changing the definition of cost effectiveness, grouping projects differently, or requiring them to be included as a multi-measure.  He noted that we would all benefit when cost effectiveness is enforced more strictly and that we should not be advocating for any modifications or weakening or redefinition of the federal cost effectiveness. Board Member Kniss noted that she was in support of Board Member Perry’s comments.

Upon query of Chairperson Chavez, Board Member Perry indicated that he was referring to the following bullet point items contained on Pages 7 and 8 of the 2006 Federal Legislative Program: #1 – “Ensuring that FTA is utilizing a multi-measure approach with regard to evaluating New Starts projects consistent with congressional intent, not an approach under which a single criteria can determine a project’s overall rating.  A multi-measure approach was first established in 1998 in TEA-21 and then reaffirmed in SAFETEA-LU”, #3 – “Supporting modifications to FTA’s evaluation process for New Starts projects that result in the establishment of criteria that differentiate between BRT and the various modes of rail transit, rather than the current process, which evaluates all of these modes in the same manner”, and #5 – “Supporting modifications to the cost-effectiveness measure to reflect the benefits for all users in a New Starts project corridor, not just for public transit users”.

Board Member Williams indicated that he interprets bullet point items #1, 3, and 5 differently and does not believe that we are saying we want to not be effective in our standards in terms of what we are requesting or try to get around the standards.   He indicated that it was his understanding that we are looking at the legislative process and that we are looking at what we need to do in order to be effective in terms of our getting the kinds of appropriations we need for the transportation system. 

M/S/C (Cortese/Gonzales) to approve the 2006 Federal Legislative Program for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), with the addition of the 101/25 Interchange Project, as requested by the City of Gilroy, and the U.S. 101 Corridor Project, as requested by Board Member Cortese; and to remove bullet point items #1, 3, and 5 contained on Pages 7 and 8 of the 2006 Federal Legislative Program for discussion immediately following this motion.

Board Member Perry stated that he could make a motion, but his motion would be to do nothing, since bullet point items #1, 3, and 5 were not included.   He moved not to take further action on these bullet points.

Board Member Gonzales recommended that bullet point items #1, 3, and 5 remain in the 2006 Federal Legislative Program. He indicated that what staff is bringing forward provides the maximum flexibility to be strong advocates for commuters in Santa Clara County and that he relies on staff to be the professionals as they try to get our projects represented in Washington D.C. He indicated that he thinks that the advice staff has provided is solid advice and that he encourages his colleagues to approve the motion. 

Board Member Kennedy queried about the importance of having bullet point items #1, 3, and 5 in the Program and what would happen if the items were left out of the Program.

Mr. Evans noted that the three bullet points provides consistency with what the intent of Congress was with regards to how the FTA should implement the evaluation process for New Starts Project.  In the case of the bullet point that is referencing a multi-measure approach, the intent with this bullet point is not to change a specific target, but what a New Starts Project has to achieve from a cost effectiveness perspective.  The intent here is that a New Starts Project consistent with the intent of Congress is not evaluated and rated based upon one factor. TEA-21 and SAFETY-LU indicate that when FTA evaluates a New Starts Project, they are supposed to evaluate it based upon three factors under financial criteria and six factors under project justification, and that a project’s rating on all nine of those factors come together to determine the overall rating of the project.  What we are concerned about is FTA saying that we are going to rate your project based upon cost effectiveness, but those other eight factors do not count. The bullet point references that it was the intent of Congress that projects be judged not on one measure, but on multi-measures to determine whether the project is of merit. Mr. Evans referred to the bullet point with regards to the cost effectiveness measure where the intent was to move away from cost per new rider and toward what is now called cost per hour of travel time savings where you have the ability to judge the benefits of the project more comprehensively in terms of how it benefits not just existing transit users, but how it attracts new transit riders, and how it benefits highway users. Mr. Evans noted that the third bullet point is an attempt to try to move BRT in a direction of a New Starts Project, noting that there are different types of modes that are eligible for New Starts funding.  There is BRT, heavy rail, and commuter rail project, and the projects are different. For FTA to set-up a process that is an essence one size fits all prejudices your modal decision where certain types of modes may be advantaged over other types of modes. A BRT project is not a heavy rail project, a heavy rail project is not a commuter rail project, and for FTA to rate those projects as if they were all the same, disadvantages certain types of modal choices that a local community might make.

Board Member Kerr referred to bullet point item #3 and expressed concern regarding getting a different standard for a light rail project than for a BRT project.   He noted that he thinks that BART would do just find versus a BRT project along the I-880 corridor and that it is appropriate to apply the same standard to a potential BRT along that route.   Board Member Kerr indicated that we have successfully implemented BRT projects, there has been discussion at the Board level about implementing more BRT projects, and that they have been found to be cost effective.   He indicated that he does not think that VTA should be out advocating for one modal over another.  

M/S/C (Cortese/Gonzales) to approve on a vote of 8 ayes, to 3 noes, to 0 abstentions to approve the 2006 Federal Legislative Program for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA); with the addition of the U. S. 101/SR 25 Interchange Project, as requested by the City of Gilroy, and U. S. 101 Corridor Project, as requested by Board Member Cortese; and that bullet points #1, 3, and 5 contained on Pages 7 and 8 of the 2006 Federal Legislative Program remain in the Program.   Board Members Kerr, Kniss, and Perry opposed.

  
 

ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON'S REPORT - (See Agenda Item #28.A.)

23.

Cooperative Agreement with the County of Santa Clara to Develop and Administer a Lifeline Transportation Program in Santa Clara County

Ms. Gonot reported that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, MTC, established the Lifeline Transportation Program as part of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), and would fund projects that result in improved mobility for low-income residents within the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties. She noted that MTC has designated the Program at the county level to the Congestion Management Agencies (CMAs) for a three-year demonstration. The RTP includes $200 million towards the Program and approximately $4 million is expected to come to Santa Clara County.

Ms. Gonot reported that VTA and Santa Clara County would jointly administer the Program.   In order to implement the Program jointly, VTA and the County of Santa Clara intend to enter into a cooperative agreement and will develop a Joint Lifeline Transportation Committee (JLTC), which will consist of two members from Santa Clara County, two members from VTA, and three members from countywide organizations.

Ms. Gonot referred to the project selection process and noted that VTA has to submit projects to MTC within six months.   The JLTC is scheduled to meeting in February 2006 and will develop the scoring criteria and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and VTA Board of Directors will approve the criteria.   Santa Clara County will issue a call for projects at the beginning of March 2006, and JLTC will accept and score the projects in the beginning of May 2006.  It is anticipated that Santa Clara County and VTA will approve the list of projects in June 2006, and the projects will be submitted to MTC in mid June 2006.  MTC will then review the projects, all nine county submittals and add them to the Federal Transportation Improvement Program, so that the project sponsors could then move on the projects.  The project implementation would then occur and VTA staff would hold a workshop helping the project sponsors work through all the paperwork needed to be done in order to obligate the projects, receive the funds, and move the projects forward.  The Program would be monitored over three years and quarterly reports would be provided to JLTC.

Upon query of Board Member Kniss, Ms. Gonot noted the following three countywide organizations to serve on JLTC: 1) Food Bank of Santa Clara County, 2) Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and 3) Housing Authority.

Board Member Kniss noted that perhaps the selection committee could use non-profit organization boards, rather than the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, because they are the groups that use the Lifeline more often.

M/S/C (Williams/Gage) to authorize the General Manager to execute a Cooperative Agreement between the County of Santa Clara and VTA to develop and administer a Lifeline Transportation Program in Santa Clara County. 

  
24.

Joint Powers Agreement with the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency and Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority for the Interstate 680 Sunol SMART Carpool Lane Project

John Ristow, Programming and Project Development Deputy Director, provided a PowerPoint Presentation on the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) with the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency and Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority for the Interstate 680 Sunol SMART Carpool Lane Project, highlighting: 1) High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes: a) What is a HOT Lane and b) Assembly Bill 2032 (2004); 2) Project Overview: a) Southbound I-680 SMART Carpool Lane Under Design, b) Reasons to Implement the I-680 Sunol SMART Carpool Lane, and c) User Benefits of I-680 Sunol SMART Carpool Lane Project; and 3) Summary of JPA: a) JPA Purpose, b) JPA Structure, and c) JPA Functions and Responsibilities. 

Board Member Kniss requested that staff provide information on the locations of the SMART Carpool Lanes that are operating in California and the respective cost benefit analysis.

Board Member Perry expressed concern regarding the HOT Lanes and indicated that as a tax it is inefficient, because the amount of money being spent in concrete to get the money is eating up a third of the revenue generated.   He recommended that access stickers be used as an alternative to doing HOT with separate lanes, re-striping, and widening.   He noted that it would be a less expensive option that could be applied to both northbound and southbound I-680.

Board Member Chu noted that one of the important things about participating in the I-680 Sunol Grade SMART Carpool Lane Project is that Santa Clara County was authorized for two HOT Lanes within the County and evaluations are being conducted on the locations of the toll roads.   Board Member Chu indicated that we are looking at what is happening outside the County first before implementing inside the County.

BoardMember Kerr noted that he philosophically opposes toll roads in the County and noted that he thinks that VTA collects a significant amount of money from the citizens to improve the transportation infrastructure and hopes that the implementation of the toll roads is not done on a broad scale throughout the County.

Chairperson Chavez requested that staff provide information pertaining to the City of San Diego using revenues from SMART Carpool lanes to purchase buses.   She also requested that information be re-circulated pertaining to the studies that were completed that analyzed the impact to lower-income communities.

M/S/C (Gage/Cortese) to authorize the General Manager to execute a Joint Powers Agreement with the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency and Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority, establishing a Joint Powers Authority for the Interstate 680 Sunol SMART Carpool Lane Project. 

 

  
25.

Contract Amendment with Santa Clara Valley Highway Associates for Program Management and Construction Management Services for the 1996 Measure B Transportation Improvement Program

Board Member Perry asked where VTA is on the transit side and the highway side of 1996 Measure B. Mr. Collins reported that the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors recently approved a Completion Plan that moved a number of projects from the deferred list. There are only three remaining projects on the Completion Plan awaiting updates of sales tax on Measure B. The projects are the Palo Alto Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements at the Palo Alto Transit Station, California Avenue ADA improvements in Palo Alto, and the San Martin improvements for additional parking.   Mr. Collins referred to the highway side and noted that Santa Clara County just moved the last highway project, which is being advertised for bid by VTA the month of January 2006. The project is the State Route 152 B-2, which is the second bridge over Llagas Creek in the City of Gilroy.

Board Member Perry queried if the highway money was separate from the transit money in the 1996 Measure B Program. Mr. Collins noted that there were both highway and transit projects in the Program and that most of the transit projects are finished except for the three he mentioned, noting that all the highway projects are near completion.

Board Member Perry noted that by going forward with the highway half, the money could not be used for the California Avenue improvements. He indicated that California Avenue is the holdout station, which means not funding the California Avenue second platform would make it difficult to increase frequency.   He queried if the State Route 152 B-2 Project would have to be dropped in order to get the California Avenue Improvements, so Caltrain service frequency could be improved. Mr. Collins noted that the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has moved forward with the State Route 152 B-2 Project.

Mr. Collins indicated with reference to the three remaining projects, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and the VTA Board of Directors authorized moving forward with the design of those projects in June 2005. The project designs for the California Avenue and Palo Alto ADA work are currently in final design and with approximately six to nine months of design work left. Mr. Collins noted that hopefully in that time there will be some additional Measure B revenue to move these projects forward and to complete all of the projects that were in the original 1996 Measure B Program.

Board Member Perry referred to borrowing unexpected sales tax revenues and queried about the funds available to create the second platform at California Avenue and thus eliminating the holdout. Ms. Gonot noted that the SRTP that was just adopted by the Board of Directors has put $2.2 million toward the California Avenue Project and it is anticipated that Measure B monies may still become available for the project.

M/S/C (Kniss/Chu) to authorize the General Manager to amend the contract with Santa Clara Valley Highway Associates for Program Management and Construction Management services for the 1996 Measure B Transportation Improvement Program, increasing the approved contract value by $1,309,864 for a new total contract value of $82,567,316 and to extend the term of the contract through June 30, 2007. 

  
 

CONGESTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND PLANNING COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON'S REPORT - (See Agenda Item #28.B.)

 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 - (See Agenda Item #28.C.)

 There were no items submitted for the Regular Agenda by the Transit Planning and Operations Committee.
  
  
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OTHER ITEMS

26.

ITEMS OF CONCERN AND REFERRal TO ADMINISTRATION

There were no Items of Concern and Referral to Administration.

  
27.

ITEMS OF CONCERN AND REFERRal TO ADMINISTRATION

There were no Items of Concern and Referral to Administration.

  
28.

SUMMARY MINUTES FROM STANDING COMMITTEES

A.             Administration and Finance Committee

On order of Chairperson Chavez, there being no objection, the Administration and Finance Committee Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

B.             Congestion Management Program and Planning Committee

On order of Chairperson Chavez, there being no objection, the Congestion Management Program and Planning Committee Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

C.             Transit Planning and Operations Committee

On order of Chairperson Chavez, there being no objection, the Transit Planning and Operations Committee Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

 

  
29.

REPORTS (UNAPPROVED MINUTES) FROM ADVISORY COMMITTEES

A.Committee for Transit Accessibility (CTA)

On order of Chairperson Chavez, there being no objection, the Committee for Transit Accessibility (CTA) Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

B.Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC)

There was no CAC Report.

C.Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC)

On order of Chairperson Chavez, there being no objection, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

D.Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

On order of Chairperson Chavez, there being no objection, the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

E.Policy Advisory Committee (PAC)

On order of Chairperson Chavez, there being no objection, the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

  
30.

REPORTS FROM JOINT POWERS BOARDS (JPBs) & REGIONAL COMMISSIONS

Chairperson Chavez advised the Board Members that the Reports from the Joint Powers Boards (JPBs) & Regional Commissions were placed in front of them on the dais.

A.             Peninsula Corridor JPB

Ex-Officio Board Member McLemore directed attention to the report provided, bullet point #2 under Section A. Caltrain, and noted that Board Member Stuart Sunshine of San Francisco was not elected as Vice Chair. He noted that the Treasurer of the City of San Francisco, Jose Cisneros, was elected Vice Chair of the JPB.

On order of Chairperson Chavez, there being no objection, the Peninsula Corridor JPB Report was received.

B.             Capitol Corridor JPB

On order of Chairperson Chavez, there being no objection, the Capitol Corridor JPB Report was received.

C.             Dumbarton Rail Corridor Policy Committee

On order of Chairperson Chavez, there being no objection, the Dumbarton Rail Corridor Policy Committee Report was received.

D.             Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)

On order of Chairperson Chavez, there being no objection, the Metropolitan Transportation Committee (MTC ) Report was received.

  
31.

REPORTS FROM VTA POLICY ADVISORY BOARDS (PABs) & TASK FORCE

A.Vasona Light Rail PAB

There was no report from the Vasona Light Rail PAB.

B.Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor PAB

There was no report from the Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor PAB.

C.Downtown East Valley PAB

There was no report from the Downtown East Valley PAB.

D.             Highway PAB – South

There was no report from the Highway PAB – South.

E.          I-680 Sunol SMART Carpool Lane Policy Advisory Committee

There was no report from the  I-680 Sunol SMART Carpool Lane Policy Advisory Committee.

F.             Ridership Initiative to Develop Energy-Efficiency (RIDE) Task Force

Chairperson Chavez advised the Board Members that the Report from the RIDE Task Force was placed in front of them on the dais.

  
32.

REPORT FROM CHAIRPERSON

Board Member Gonzales expressed concern about not receiving notification of the January 27, 2006 Board of Directors’ Workshop Meeting and requested   that the Board be informed of VTA scheduled meetings in a timely manner.

  
33.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

There were no Announcements.

  
34.

ADJOURNMENT

On order of Chairperson Chavez, there being no objection, the meeting was adjourned at 7:51 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Tracene Y. Crenshaw, Board Assistant
VTA Board of Directors

  
  
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