Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 10/28/2015  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon consideration of providing a Town Center Holiday Shuttle Service for the 2015-2016 season and authorize an agreement with First Class Tours to provide vehicles and operators; 
FISCAL IMPACT:
$  50,000 (Currently programmed in the FY2016 budget)
$  61,930 (Extended service hours)
$111,930 (Total Gross Budget Impact w/o 50% FTA Operating Assistance)
 
$  55,965 (Total Net Cost to Township with 50% FTA Operating Assistance)
 
$    5,965 above current budget (Does Not Include Cost-Sharing from Mall or Market Street)
BACKGROUND:
The 2014-2015 Holiday Shuttle Express was implemented last year during the holiday season to provide shoppers direct and timely access to major shopping areas in Town Center. In order to continue and build on the successes of last year’s effort, staff and HDR have begun meeting with other departments and stakeholders to design a route that will provide the most efficient trips for passengers.
 
Ridership on the Holiday Shuttle was 14,960 passengers for the 42 days of operation, constituting over 33,000 passenger miles traveled.
 
2015-2016 Holiday Shuttle Express
Proposed Operations:  The 2015-2016 Holiday Express is again proposed to be operated independently of the existing Waterway Trolley System. The proposed route and stops would be in use only during the dates indicated below.
Proposed Dates: The service is proposed to initiate on November 21, 2015 and conclude on January 3, 2015, with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. This would constitute a total of 42 service days.
Proposed Service Locations: There are six proposed stops for the 2015-2016 Holiday Shuttle Express.
  • The Gold Lot
  • Market Street
  • Ice Rink (on demand stop)
  • The Woodlands Mall – North
  • The Woodlands Mall – South
  • Movie Theatre
 
The stops were selected based on proximity to major activity centers and from feedback gathered from passengers and stakeholders during last years’ service.

Proposed Service Hours: The Holiday Express Circulator is proposed to be in service from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. seven days per week (or staggered to reduce costs Monday through Thursday) throughout the dates of operation (with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). 

Based on requests for earlier and later service to accommodate retail employees, the headways and service hours have been adjusted accordingly. During non-peak hours (7:30 a.m. to 10: a.m. and 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.) vehicles will keep 15-minute headways. During peak hours (10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.) vehicles will run on 10-minute headways.

Proposed Vehicles: The vehicles for this service should be clearly identifiable as belonging solely to the Holiday Express service. During the 2014-2015 provision of this service, the Township wrapped four vehicles to provide the service and they were well received. Since the Township wants to maintain the “look and feel” of the service from last year, it is proposed to keep the same artwork and similar collateral materials for marketing purposes.

Estimate of Cost: Based on the anticipated service hours, the budget impact is estimated to be:

$  50,000 (Currently programmed in the FY2016 budget)
$  61,930 (Extended service hours)
$111,930 (Total Gross Budget Impact w/o 50% FTA Operating Assistance)
 
$  55,965 (Total Net Cost to Township with 50% FTA Operating Assistance)
 
$    5,965 above current budget (Does Not Include Cost-Sharing from Mall or Market Street)

In 2014, the Mall & Market Street participated in joint funding of the holiday shuttle service.  Staff is currently negotiating funding for 2015.

A draft agreement with First Class Tours will be available prior to the October 28, 2015 Board of Directors meeting. 
RECOMMENDATION:
Approve the implementation of the 2015-2016 Holiday Shuttle and authorize the President/General Manager to negotiate and execute an agreement with First Class Tours to provide vehicles and operators.

    

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