Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda

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Meeting Date: 11/20/2019  

Receive, consider and act upon a proposal to provide The Woodlands Express service to 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (C-2015-5229A3);
Total cost for 2020 Rodeo Service with the  proposed service plan is estimated to be $38,000 which includes operations, marketing, and administrative costs.
Operations  $30,000
Marketing & Program Administration $8,000
TOTAL  $38,000
2019 Rodeo Service Recap
Ridership: For the 2019 Rodeo Service for The Woodlands Express, ridership totaled 1,515 passengers for the three weekends in March and 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. (See Attachment A for recap presentation of 2019 Service).
Marketing: Survey data indicated mainly heard about the service through The Woodlands Community Magazine, The Township website, and Facebook/Twitter.
Satisfaction Survey:  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.
Environmental and Safety Impact:  2019 Rodeo Service reduced vehicle miles travel by 51,660 miles, reducing congestion and the number of single occupancy vehicles traveling to the Rodeo.  Rodeo Service resulted in an approximate 21,000-kilogram reduction in air pollution emissions with a resulting monetized value of $1,661 in air quality benefits. Rodeo Service also had the benefit of reducing the risk exposure to accidents and other traveling concerns for riders.
Proposed 2020 Rodeo Service
Based on the response of the 2019 Rodeo Service, staff recommend continuing service for the 2020 Rodeo season. If approved, staff will begin preparations for service. See Attachment B – 2020 Proposed Rodeo Service presentation, for full schedule, marketing, and budget information.
Schedule: Highlights of the proposed 2020 Rodeo Service schedule include the following.  
  • Service provided March 7 & 8, March 14 & 15, March 21 & 22
  • Service will originate from the Sawdust Park & Ride to capture more riders from the I-45N corridor area and provide a lower cost per service hour. 
  • Return service will be deferred during concerts to better sync schedule with ridership demand.
  • To ensure adequate capacity to meet demand, reservations will be required for all riders. 
Marketing: In addition to the marketing and advertisement efforts that were conducted in 2019 that will be repeated in 2020, The Woodlands Express Rodeo Service will be more fully integrated with the 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s (HLSR) transportation plan and marketing efforts. First Class Tours has been in contact with the Rodeo’s transportation committee and have confirmation that the HLSR will provide a link to The Woodlands Express Rodeo Service reservation system on their website. The HLSR is also aware of our desire to be a part of the overall transportation promotion efforts for the season. See Attachment B - 2020 Proposed Rodeo Service presentation, for a full timeline of marketing efforts.
Budget and Revenue: Total cost for 2020 Rodeo Service with the above service plan is estimated to be $38,000 which includes operations, marketing, and administrative costs. See Attachment B - 2020 Proposed Rodeo Service presentation, for a proposed budget.

As was the case for 2019 service, tickets will be available through an online ticketing reservation system. As buses at certain hours of the service day fill up, there will be the option to add additional buses for an additional cost.
 As this service requires the utilization of Federal Transit Administration funded assets, it is considered an extension of The Woodlands Express regular service. Therefore, the set ticket price will be set at $13 round trip per ride.  At $13 per roundtrip ticket, this would require a total ridership of 2,769 or 461 riders per service day.
First Class Tours Contract Amendment
The 2020 Rodeo Service requires amending the First Class Tours Contract for Commuter Bus Services to reflect an updated 2020 rate for rodeo service.
The original First Class Tours Contract for Commuter Bus Services (C-2015-5229) became effective February 16, 2015. The current contracted rate articulated in the contract for service is $149.65 per revenue hour for Township provided buses for weekday commuter services. The rate to provide expanded weekend service during the Rodeo will be $119 per revenue hour for the 2020 Rodeo Service.  This rate is lower than the contracted rate for the Woodlands Express service as this weekend service expansion requires only Township owned buses to operate, a lesser number of stops, and reduced bus operators' schedules (no split shifts). The increase in hourly rate from 2019 to 2020 is due to the need for additional on the ground supervision oversight at the Rodeo grounds. Therefore, First Class Tours’ contract requires amendment to include this revised cost per revenue hour for expanded weekend services for Township provided buses (See Attachment E).
Approve the 2020 Woodlands Express Rodeo Service Plan and approve the Third Amendment to Contract for Commuter Bus Service with First Class Tours (C-2015-5229A3) and authorize the President General Manager to execute contract in final form as approved by the Township attorney.
Attachment A - 2019 Rodeo Service Presentation
Attachment B - 2020 Proposed Rodeo Service
Attachment C - FCT Contract (C-2015-5229) and 1st Amendment
Attachment D - FCT Contract 2nd Amendment (C-2015--5229A2)
Attachment E - DRAFT FCT Contract 3rd Amendment (C-2015-5229A3)


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