Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 04/18/2019  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon The Woodlands Express Service to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo; 
FISCAL IMPACT:
Revenue Collected: $19,695
Operations $31,770
Marketing & Administrative Costs: $6,732
Difference: -$18,807 
 
BACKGROUND:
At the December 5, 2018, Board of Directors meeting, the Board directed staff to investigate the feasibility to provide bus service to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (Rodeo).  On January 16, 2019, after presentation of this feasibility analysis, the Board directed Township transportation staff to pursue expanding The Woodlands Express service to provide weekend service to the 2019 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.    

The Board requested a review and presentation of the service upon completion. Staff has developed a presentation that is to be presented at the April 18, 2019, Board of Directors meeting (See Attachment A for presentation).
 
Through the end of January, Township and First Class Tours staff moved quickly to implement service logistics and an online reservation system for the purchase of tickets. The new service was featured in a press release and posted to social media. Advertisement space was purchased in local newspapers and on Facebook. Informational signage will also be placed at the Park and Ride Terminals.
 
Upon completion of service, ridership totaled 1,515 passengers for the three weekends in March with March 16th  havng the highest ridership at 331 passengers. The program was successful at reducing total vehicle miles by 51,660.  
 
Analysis of origin addresses indicates that a majority of passengers are residents of The Woodlands. Survey data indicated they heard about the service mainly through The Woodlands Community Magazine, The Township website, and Facebook/Twitter.
 
Upon examination of departure times, the 10am to 2pm timeframe was the most popular. Return trips from the Rodeo started significantly in the 6pm hour increasing steadily until 11pm indicating that later and more frequent return trips are warranted if the service is to run again.
 
Township staff found a high level of positive social media conversations occurring about the service during its operations. Staff also conducted a satisfaction survey in which 270 responses were received (49% response rate). An overwhelming majority – 96% – were either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ satisfied with the service with 97% indicating they would ride again.
 
Staff recommends and seek approval to begin to pursue a 2020 Rodeo service. If approved, staff will analyze the feasibility of the following service improvements: 
  • Weekday/Friday Night Service
  • Sawdust Park and Ride
  • Flexible return times
  • More return trips
  • Sync schedule better with demand/concerts
  • Improve online reservation experience
RECOMMENDATION:
Accept the report and approve staff to begin to pursue 2020 Rodeo Service.
Attachments
Attachment A - Rodeo Service Presentation


    

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