Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 10/24/2018  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon a grant application to the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) for a Park and Ride pilot program route to the Energy Corridor; 
FISCAL IMPACT:
Total H-GAC (Federal) 3-Year Investment: $1,749,000  (Operations) + $120,000 (Marketing) = $1,869,000
Total Township 3-year Investment: $437,384 (Operations) + $24,000 (Marketing) = $461,384

Township Estimated Local Share (Operations & Marketing)
  • Year 1: $142,058 (20% local share)
  • Year 2: $147,498 (20% local share)
  • Year 3: $147,828 (20% local share)
  • Marketing: $24,000 (20% local share)
BACKGROUND:
Previous Board Action

The Board of Directors tabeled this matter at the October 18 meeting for additional information and rescheduled for the October 24 Board of Directors meeting. 

Earlier this year, the Board of Directors approved a task order directing HDR Engineering, Inc., the Townhip's retained transit consutants,  to assist staff in preparing a response to a competitive grant call from H-GAC for new and innovative commuter and transit pilot programs. In its approval, the Board of Directors authorized pursuit of grant funding to develop a new weekday commuter service to the Energy Corridor to serve former passengers of The Woodlands Express who now work in areas not currently served by the service.

The pilot grant provides funding for a  maximum of three years with 80% maximum federal participation with a minimum local participation of not less than 20% of net project costs.

Responses to the Call for Projects - grant applications are due October 31, 2018.

Survey
Staff and consultants developed and conducted a survey originally intended to gauge demand from Shell Oil employees being relocated to the Energy Corridor. As interest grew from other local residents, the survey was shared with employees of other companies that moced to the Energy Corridor including BP and ConocoPhillips. Response to the survey -- expected to bein the 100 person range -- grew to over 360 respondants showing high interest in a daily commuter service to the area.

Proposed Service
Based on H-GAC's solicitation for projects, the agency will provide funding at an 80% federal funding / 20% local funding rate. In preliminary planning and cost calculations, staff and consultants have developed the following estimates:

 
Operating Costs Forecast ($13 RT)
Forecast Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 TOTALS Year 4 Year 5
Operations1  $     1,132,789  $   1,159,990  $          1,178,540  $  3,471,319 $1,197,393 $1,221,345
             
Ridership (Yr) 65,000 65,000 67,600 197,600 71,500 78,000
Farebox Revenue2 $422,500 $422,500 $439,400 $1,284,400 $464,750 507000
Net Operations $710,289 $737,490 $739,140 $2,186,919 $732,643 $714,345
             
H-GAC Share (%) 80% 80% 80% H-GAC 0% 0%
H-GAC Share ($) $568,231 $589,992 $591,312 $1,749,535 $0 $0
             
Local Share (%) 20% 20% 20% LOCAL 100% 100%
Local Share ($) $142,058 $147,498 $147,828 $437,384 $732,643 $714,345
1 Contractor-owned coaches          
2 $13 round-trip          

After Year 2 operations, FTA Section 5307 formula funding will catch up with the new service and provide additional federal funding based on the new service (based on FY2018 multipliers):
 
Year 3 Section 5307 Bus Incentive Value
VRM = $102,567
Incentive = $358,384
TOTAL = $460,951

An estimated $460,951 in additional FTA Section 5307 formula funding would be allocated based on performance metrics using FY2018 multipliers (latest available). However, this funding will not be available for assistance on this program until Year 4 based on current regulations.

Proposed Schedule
The proposed operations will provide service from the Sawdust Park & Ride location every half-hour beginning at 5:30 a.m. (including midday service) ending with the final run of the day at 6:30 p.m from the Energy Corridor. The proposed schedule is provided below:



 
AM OPERATIONS
 
     
REVENUE OPS
       
DEADHEAD OPS
 
 
     
ETA to EC
       
ETA back to SD
 
Run
Departure
Est. Travel Time
 
Between
 
Returns To
 
Est. DH Time
Between
Turn Run
EC1
5:30 AM
50-55 min
 
6:20 AM
and
6:25 AM
 
SD
 
75 min
7:35 AM
and
7:40 AM
EC6
EC2
6:00 AM
50-55 min
 
6:50 AM
and
6:55 AM
 
Yard
 
75 min
8:05 AM
and
8:10 AM
- n/a -
EC3
6:30 AM
50-55 min
 
7:20 AM
and
7:25 AM
 
Yard
 
75 min
8:35 AM
and
8:40 AM
- n/a -
EC4
7:00 AM
50-55 min
 
7:50 AM
and
7:55 AM
 
Yard
 
75 min
9:05 AM
and
9:10 AM
- n/a -
EC5
7:30 AM
50-55 min
 
8:20 AM
and
8:25 AM
 
Yard
 
75 min
9:35 AM
and
9:40 AM
- n/a -
EC6
8:00 AM
50-55 min
 
8:50 AM
and
8:55 AM
 
Yard
 
75 min
10:05 AM
and
10:10 AM
- n/a -
                             
                             
  RECOMMENDATION:
Board to determine course of action regarding submission of an application to Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) for the pilot program. 

    

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