Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda

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Meeting Date: 04/18/2019  

Receive, consider and act upon an update on Transit Services to the Energy Corridor; 
Annual Cost of Service: $1,246,248
Fare Recovery ($422,500)
Net Annual Cost (Less Fare Recovery): $823,748
Annual CMAQ Grant Funding (80%): $658,999
Annual Local Share (20%): $164,750
Three Year Annual Local Share: $494,250
To date, no interest has been expressed by Energy Corridor District employers to provide the local share funding. To formally accept the CMAQ grant and enter into a pilot program partnership with H-GAC, The Woodlands Township will need to provide the 20% local share.  If The Woodlands Township does not provide the local share, notification of grant denial will be sent to HGAC.
In October 2018, the Board authorized staff and consultants to prepare a grant application for the H-GAC Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Commuter and Transit Pilot Program for a route to the Energy Corridor (See Attachment A for Executive Summary). The Board also directed staff to seek additional funding from regional partners in the Energy Corridor to serve as the local match.
On December 28, 2018, the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) sent formal notification that they have selected the Township’s Energy Corridor commuter transit pilot project for grant award. As indication of the high local interest for this service, Township staff began to receive numerous phone calls, social media questions, and emails from both riders and Human Resources departments inquiring as to when service will be available.
Township staff sought additional funding from regional partners in the Energy Corridor to serve as the local match.  In January, solicitation letters were sent to leadership staff of Energy Corridor area companies. Township staff also met with Energy Corridor District (ECD) staff to discuss funding partnership options between the organizations. A ridership demand survey was conducted between March and April 2019 to provide more information to Energy Corridor District and Energy Corridor-based companies about the level of demand for such a service (See Attachment B for survey results). Of the 166 survey respondents 135 (81%) would ride the service ‘frequently’ (three or more days per week).

Based on the current status, the Board has several options to consider:

Option 1:             Accept the CMAQ pilot grant and fund the required 20% local share through Township resources
Option 2:             Place on a future agenda to consider rejecting the offer for CMAQ pilot grant
Option 3:             Take no action/defer to a later date
Option 4:             Other considerations
Board to determine action
Attachment A - Oct.24.2018 Executive Summary
Attachment B - Survey Result - Energy Corridor Service


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