Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 02/22/2018  

Receive, consider and act upon a first amendment to the Trolley Interlocal Agreement with Brazos Transit District (C-2017-0160A);
$19,000 (fiscal impact to Township after 50% FTA participation)
The current 2017 Interlocal Agreement (2017 ILA) by and between The Woodlands Township (Township) and the Brazos Transit District (BTD) for the provision of trolley services expires April 30, 2018. Per the agreement, the ILA must be renewed or amended within 120 days of expiration.

The attached First Amendment to the 2017 ILA extends the term of the entire agreement by twelve months with an effective date of May1, 2018 and expires April 30, 2019. The amendment includes the expansion of the trolley service to Hughes Landing as approved by the Board of Directors in October 2017.

The amendment further outlines the new hourly service rate for the provision of the trolley service which escalates from the current rate of $65.46 per hour to $68.06 per hour. The escalation represents an increase in the hourly rate for trolley drivers from $14.00 per hour to $16.00 per hour. This would increase trolley drivers’ pay to a rate closer to others in the region providing similar service.

Local pay rates for similar services:

BTD Current Rate: $14.00 per hour
Harris County METRO: $15.00 per hour
The Woodlands Express: $16.50 per hour
Conroe ISD: $16.00 per hour
After the Board of Directors approved expanding the trolley service to Hughes Landing, Township staff coordinated closely with BTD to implement the approved service. BTD indicated that they would need to hire additional drivers for the service in order to meet the new service requirements. (Transit drivers require a Class B Commercial Driver License (CDL) with a "Passenger" endorsement.)

BTD placed ads in local publications to hire the additional drivers needed for the service with little luck. After 90 days of efforts to find drivers, BTD has indicated they are still short the number of drivers needed to complete the implementation of the expansion.

After additional meetings with BTD, Township staff considered whether increasing the hourly pay rate may make the position more attractive to qualified personnel and determined that an hourly pay rate of $16.00 would be sufficient to attract and retain drivers for the service.

Additionally, Township staff research found there is a shortage of approximately 100,000 CDL drivers nationwide, based on industry estimates.

The resultant escalation in the amendment would have a fiscal impact of approximately $140,000 over the FY2017 budgeted operation from the 2017 ILA.
Estimated Operating Costs ($16.00 per Hour/Loaded Rate: $68.06)
Phase Full Yearly Operations Cost Net of FTA Operating Assistance (50%)
Phase II (Current Operations) $779,000.00 $389,500.00
Phase III (HL Proposed Operations) $1,057,720.46 $528,860.23
Operations Cost Variance $278,720.46 $139,360.23
Cost to Township (Over Current Operations) $139,360.23

In October 2017, the Board approved expending $121,000 over current operations for the Hughes Landing service expansion. Comparing the the escalated rate versus the previously approved rate provides the following total fiscal impact:

$140,000 (cost for Hughes Landing operations at $16.00 per hour)
$121,000 (previously approved Hughes Landing operations budget at $14.00 per hour)
$19,000 (fiscal impact to Township to escalate driver pay rate by $2.00 per hour)
Authorize the President/General Manager to negotiate and execute the First Amendment to the ILA by and between The Woodlands Township and BTD for the provision of trolley services.
1st Amendment to Trolley ILA


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