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Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

Approved 6/20/16

Monday, April 4, 2016

The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) Advisory Board met on Monday, April 4, 2016 at 3:05 pm, at 15 Blandin Avenue, Framingham, MA, at the call of Mr. Joe Nolan, Chair.

In attendance were:Edward Carr/MWRTA Administrator, Patrick Moynihan/MWRTA Counsel, Joe Nolan, Chair/Wayland, Jay Marsden, Clerk/Holliston, Ed Burman/Ashland, Cheryl Tully Stoll/Framingham, Deb Galloway/Sudbury, Susan Stocker/Sudbury Disability Community member, Harold Rhodes/Milford and Jamie Erickson/Natick.

MWRTA Consultant: John Glynn.

MWRTA Staff:Eva Willens, Carl Damigella, Sara White, and Joy Glynn.

Kiessling Transit:Roger Kiessling and Chuck Curran.

The meeting was called to order at 3:05 pm.

Mr.Nolan declared a quorum was present, announced the agenda and requested a roll call.

Order of Business:

Introduction of all.Note of Thanks to be sent to Charlie Hughes for his many years of service on the Advisory Board.

Advisory Board vote is required on several items.

Minutes of the previous meeting:

A motion was made by Susan Stocker: To approve the last two meeting minutes of the Advisory Board. It was seconded by Ed Burman. The vote was unamious.

Public Comments:

A request was made by Joe Nolan to hear any public comments or questions from the audience.Hearing none, the meeting proceeded.

Administrator’s Report:

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)/Bus Wash Facility Project has a scheduled completion date of July 1st, we are currently on time and on budget.

CNG Operator Services RFP has been advertised and we have eight interested bidders.This RFP will privatize the operations of the CNG facility whereby the MWRTA will collect rent and revenue for CNG.

The Framingham Walkway has been cleaned up (removed vegetation, trash, etc.) and people have been receptive.The MWRTA received a donation of 900 feet of jersey barriers to separate the tracks from the trail.Sara White is applying for a Community Art Grant for the walkway.

Contract for MWRTA to takeover maintenance of Framingham Commuter Rail Station is pending review.

The art sculptor continues to work on the clay composite for the Veterans Memorial.We are looking into local space for the artist to complete the project.

MBTA has begun the process of bringing the MWRIDE to Wellesley, Weston and Dover.This will provide an increase in our budget, which will make a difference in those communities, along with a cost savings to the MBTA.

The MWRTA received an award from the Mass Coalition.

Employment Options in Marlborough is providing transportation to the elderly and disabled.

MV-1s are parked just outside the door. These are new wheelchair accessbile vehicles which will replace the sedan fleet.

MWRTA will take over the RIDE on July 1st, rides will go through the Call Center, MWRTA will provide a significant amount of Travel/Training, will work closely with the MBTA on this transition.

CNG Operator Services RFP will be available in a week or so and has an aggressive schedule and will require a vote from the MWRTA Advisory Board. In the existing market we may initially experience slow activity.Recommendation that a memo be issued to MWRTA Community Member towns, providing them notification regarding the CNG availability.

The Mobility Grant will be utilized to replace 20% of the MWRTA fleet with CNG vehicles.

MWRTA may hold an event to announce the opening of the rail walkway.This project has been well received by the community and many people are now utilizing the walkway.

New Business:

Fixed Route/Shuttle Services Recommendation from the Evaluation Committee:

Bidding for the Fixed Route/Shuttle Services RFP was robust.The Evaluation Committee consisted of Eva Willens (Chair), Sara White and Patrick Moynihan.John Glynn/CFO provided financial support and Joy Glynn was the keeper of records and processes.

The bidders were:

  • -First Transit, Inc. (FTI) Cincinnati, OH
  • -Kiessling Transit, Inc. (KTI) Norfolk, MA
  • -Mercedes Cab Provincetown, MA
  • -MV Transportation Dallas, TX
  • -VTS of MA, Inc. West Dover, VT

Mercedes Cab was eliminated based on price, lack of comparable service and overall financial condition of the company.MWRTA conducted interviews with MV, FTI, KTI, and VTS.Information was exchanged, and at the end of the interview process a Best and Final Offer (BAFO) was requested of the bidders.Fixed Route/Shuttle Services contract term is three years with two, one year options.

Criteria for Evaluation:

40 points - Price (lowest bidder)

30 points - Resources (15 points – GM) (10 points - Financial capabilities; 5 points -

20 points – Experience (10 points - Fixed Route/Shuttle Services) (10 points - Corporate

5 points - References (2.5 points – Transportation; 2.5 points - GM)

5 points - Creative Innovations

The Authority recognizes KTI as the apparent successful Proposer. We recommend the Advisory Board vote in favor for the Administrator to negotiate with the successful Proposer, and if the negotiations are successful, then vote to move to contract with KTI.KTI Management Team and their proposed GM were factors in the decision process. MWRTA has been working for just under one year with the proposed GM under our Demand Response Services Contract.KTI corporate offices are located in Norfolk, MA, they have resources, and are a known entity to the MWRTA.It was mentioned KTI had quickly responded to and resolved safety issues within the service area.Having a good system is in big part dependent upon the relationship between the Administrator and the GM.

MV had a very good proposed GM candidate, yet we have not worked with that person.FTI has a long history of going through GM’s.In the past 8 years, we have had to work with 7 different GMs.Within the BAFO, FTI held their price, then offered us yet another GM.This was a determining factor in differentiating the quality of the selection of the GM.

Motion made by Joe Nolan: To approve the Fixed Route/Shuttle Services contract with Kiessling Transit Inc. as the apparent and successful bidder.The MWRTA Advisory Board authorizes the Administrator to negotiate and enter into the contract with Kiessling Transit Inc. for the amount bid on the contract.

Second:Ed Burman.No opposition.The vote was unanimous.

Chuck Curran/GM of KTI, provided his qualifications which include 13 years of transportation experience (from driver to dispatcher), GM for Norfolk prior to Demand Response at the MWRTA, GM for GATRA, and GM for Dean College.

KTI will provide the Advisory Board with an annual report rather than waiting for the end of the contract to receive a 3 year report.

The Administrator reminded the Advisory Board of their role as a member is to approve the budget, hire/fire Administrator, set fares, advocate for your community, and hear customer satisfaction issues.

Budget - John Glynn/CFO:

Preliminary Budget – 3 schedules have been provided.

Actual vs. Budget has 3 categories:Revenue, Fixed Route and Demand Response.

  • oRecast the current budget to actual;
  • oAuditor requests a schedule for the board to meet again to vote on the budget;
  • oMaintenance Department Budget:supplies/parts inventory $20,000 vs $70,000; there are chargebacks of supplies/parts inventory to Demand Response and in the future the Fixed Route will have a separate line item;
  • oCall Center staff has increased, due to expanded service, from 9 to 14 Operators, resulting in payroll increase.

Request for $750,000 Line of Credit (carryover pending state funding):

Cash receipts require a Line of Credit to get to the Projected Ending Balance on 7/31/2016.

Every RTA within the Commonwealth has a Line of Credit for good cash management.The MWRTA is requesting a Line of Credit to carry us through the June/July timeframe then it would be paid back.The current rate is 4% annually.If we go out for RAN, the cost of Bond Counsel and the Financial Advisor is $10,000. We should have access to a Line of Credit to maintain proper cash management.

Motion made by Cheryl Tully-Stoll: To authorize a Line of Credit for the MWRTA.

Second: Ed Berman.No opposition.The vote was unanimous.

Proposed Operating Budget:

Wellesley, Weston, Dover ADA RIDE project takeover and Fixed Route in Milford.The Council on Aging’s (COA’s) will increase, which is a direct cost in excess of $1.1M.Member communities are not an out-of-pocket, these are deducted from the T’s allocations, with the exception of Marlborough and Milford.

We are working on the local assessment charges and the new contract assistance has stabilized. Operating Revenue from the Federal Government is no longer available, reauthorization will be with Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and funding is becoming available.

MassDOT has issued State Contract Assistance (SCA) to the MWRTA for $2.6M.RTAs are asking for $84.1M in the budget and there are possibilities of earmarks.

FY16 Budget breakdown from the MWRTA will be provided to the Advisory Board.

Motion made by Jay Marsden:Motion to vote to support the authorization for the Preliminary 2017 Budget.

Second:Harold Rhodes.No opposition.The vote was unanimous.

Administrator’s Contract

The Administrator’s Review Committee has reviewed the Administrator’s Contract for a new three year term beginning July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2019 and the Advisory Board is required to vote for that term.If the Advisory Board terminates the services of the Administrator, the committee voted to increase the severance pay period from 3 months to 4 months.With regard to compensation, the committee would increase the Administrator’s pay by 5% beginning on July 1, 2016.

The committee analyzed the MWRTA against other RTA’s, reviewed the evolution of the MWRTA, and all committee members agreee that the Administrator is doing a great job.

Motion made by Cheryl Tully-Stoll: To approve the Administrator’s pay as presented by the appointed Administrator’s Review Committee.

Second:Ed Burman.No opposition.The vote was unanimous.

Board Member Comments:

Ashland indicated there was a recent emergency evacuation.MWRTA buses were on site to assist within 9 minutes.MWRTA Team did a great job and with a very quick response time.

Ed Burman was very appreciative.

Milford member, Harold Rhodes, mentioned there will be a May 23rd Town Meeting.The Board of Selectmen have a warrant to be voted on: (1) which will require final approval by the Finance Committee; (2) vote by the Board of Selectmen with a recommendation.There is an election tomorrow and Brian Murray, Milford’s member to the MWRTA Advisory Board, is up for re-election.There was a recent Public Open Forum which Carl Damigella attended on behalf of the MWRTA, this was a very successful event.

Deb Galloway, of Sudbury, mentioned a Pilot Program from Sudbury to the Boston Hospital Shuttle has begun.

All members welcomed Jamie Erickson, of Natick, to the MWRTA Advisory Board, replacing Charlie Hughes.Congratulations made to Ed Carr and Kiessling Transit for their contract awards.

The Advisory Board requested they be kept informed on the status of the budget.

Motion made by Ed Burman:Motion to adjourn.

Second:Jay Marsden. No opposition The vote was unanimous.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:25 pm.

Next meeting to be scheduled in June 2016.



The undersigned being the duly qualified clerk of the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board, acknowledges that the foregoing minutes accurately reflect the actions taken at a legally convened meeting of the Advisory Board held on April 4, 2016.

Jay Marsden, Clerk

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