SAN JOAQUIN REGIONAL RAIL COMMISSION Meeting of August 28, 2009
Minutes of August 7, 2009
The regular meeting of the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission was held at 8:02 a.m., August 7, 2009 at the Robert J. Cabral Station, 949 East Channel Street Stockton, CA 95202 1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance/Roll Call Chairman Harris called the meeting to order at 8:02 a.m. and Mr. Dâ€™Andre Berry led the audience in the pledge of allegiance. Commissioners Present:
Ives, Johnson, Bestolarides, Johnston, Vice-Chair Sayles, Chairman Harris, Alameda Commissioners Blalock and Haggerty Ex-Officio Members Present: Cowell/SJCOG
2. Public Comments None 3. Presentations and Recognitions Ms. Mortensen thanked SJRTD for providing an emergency bus for a recent train incident that stranded passengers. The Commissioners held a brief discussion regarding the train incident. 4. Consent Calendar: All items listed immediately below will be acted upon under one vote unless specifically requested to be removed from the Consent Calendar by a member of the Commission, a member of the staff, or a member of the public.
4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7
Minutes of June 26, 2009 Rail Commission/ACE Monthly Expenditure Report Monthly ACE Fare Revenue ACE Ridership ACE On-Time Performance Approve Resolution Adopting the ACE Service Holidays for 2010 State Legislative Update
ACTION INFORMATION INFORMATION INFORMATION INFORMATION ACTION INFORMATION
M/S/C (Johnston/Ives) to approve the Consent Calendar. Passed and Adopted by the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission on the 7th day of August, 2009 by the following vote to wit: Ayes: 8 Noes: 0 Abstain: 1 Absent: 0
Johnson, Haggerty, Blalock, Johnston, Bestolarides, Ives, Vice-Chair Sayles, Chairman Harris Vice-Chair Sayles on item 4.1 only
SAN JOAQUIN REGIONAL RAIL COMMISSION Meeting of August 28, 2009 5. Approve Task Order with STV Engineering for Additional Design Services Related to Value Engineering Revisions for the Altamont Commuter Express Maintenance and Layover Facility for a not-to-exceed amount of $646,239.00 and Authorize and Direct the Executive Director to execute all necessary documents. Ms. Mortensen introduced Bryan Pennino, consultant to SJRRC and noted that he has been the coleader on the technical aspects of the project along with Gregg Baxter. Mr. Pennino gave a brief overview of the past contracts and task orders that have been executed with STV. In addition to the contractual agreements, Mr. Pennino updated the Board on the progress that has been made since their last action on the project in February of 2009. Mr. Pennino noted that the project had been tracking slightly above the Board approved project budget since the 35% cost estimate, but since the contingency was at 20% he believed that through the design process the actual construction cost estimate would decrease as the contingency was reduced. He noted that the prior project budget only included the engineering, ROW and construction costs and that it was necessary to identify an overall project budget that included all costs associated with the project. The change in the project budget is due to higher than anticipated permit fees, legal fees, annexation process, environmental contamination issues, LEED Certification, and increased construction management costs. Mr. Pennino briefly discussed how staff and STV determined items that could be eliminated or made into bid alternate items for future consideration. Mr. Pennino noted that most agencies are seeing construction contracts bid at about 25% to 35% below the engineers cost estimate. Additional, Mr. Pennino described how the bid alternate items could be executed within the construction contract. By removing the non-operational items and/or not exercising the bid alternates the Rail Commission could save approximately $8 million dollars in construction costs. Commissioner Johnston inquired about the current total project cost. Mr. Pennino responded that the current project cost is around $78 million dollars. Commissioner Johnston asked for clarification regarding the work proposed in the Task Order. Mr. Pennino responded that the additional Task Order is to revise the existing construction documents to reflect the bid alternates. Commissioner Johnston asked about the contingency currently included in the project budget. Mr. Pennino responded that the project budget has approximately $8 million dollars in contingencies that would be used for anticipated change orders during construction. Commissioner Ives asked if the Commission runs the risk of getting beyond the point of the construction savings by delaying the completion of the design. Most of the bid alternates seem to be elements that have been talked about as necessary in the past. He cautioned that later the Commission would have to pay more to add these back in. Ms. Mortensen noted that she had requested staff to provide some alternatives to reduce the project cost because the Board had previously only authorized a smaller project budget. She cautioned that the Rail Commission may or may not have the funds to pay for this project if the construction bid exceeds the current project funding.
Commissioner Johnston asked whether the suggested bid alternates could be left in and then taken out later, if need be, as part of the change order process. Mr. Pennino responded that deductive
SAN JOAQUIN REGIONAL RAIL COMMISSION Meeting of August 28, 2009 change orders are a possibility, but there will still be additional engineering and costs to remove the items at that time. Commissioner Johnston commented that if these items are needed for optimal operations of the facility, which is the point of building the new facility, maybe the Commission should continue on with them and hope for good construction bids. Commissioner Bestolarides noted that change orders increase time, and increased time equals increased costs and these costs are often hard to control. The more certainty there is, the better pricing there is. He acknowledged the Commission would be taking a risk and hoping the bids come in low enough for the contingency to cover the costs. But to do otherwise would almost certainly inflate the costs over time, either through change orders or inflation. Commissioner Bestolarides stated he really does not want to proceed with cuts to the construction of the facility because he believes it would most definitely impact operations. Commissioner Blalock commented that hitting the good construction window is important. BART has been experiencing construction bids much lower than the engineerâ€™s estimate. Commissioner Ives noted he appreciated the opportunity for the Board to discuss the various options prior to going forward, rather than after the bids come in. He also suggested that the LEED Certification be one of the alternative components, in the event that the bids come in over the available funding. Ms. Mortensen noted that additional funding was applied for based on energy saving components. Vice-Chair Sayles commented that the City of Lathrop has withheld some elements of projects only to add them in later at much greater costs and disruption. She recommended going forward with the project. After considerable discussion, the Board decided to take no action and allow the project to proceed without modifying the contract for bid alternates. Commissioner Bestolarides left the meeting at 8:45 a.m. 6. Approve Amendment to the Existing Consultant Services Agreement with WCS-Ca for Development and Analysis of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Credit EA 5 â€“ Measurement and Verification for the Altamont Commuter Express Maintenance and Layover Facility for a not-to-exceed amount of $39,650.00 and Authorize and Direct the Executive Director to execute all necessary documents. Mr. Pennino presented the proposed consultant agreement for Measurement and Verification (M&V) by WCS-CA. Mr. Pennino provided a background on the services currently under contract with WCS-CA and noted that these additional services are a result of the LEED Certification process. Mr. Pennino also noted that equipment installed, as a result of this design work, will allow the SJRRC to monitor the energy consumption of key building components. By monitoring the energy consumption staff will be properly equipped to react to malfunctioning equipment and remedy the problem before additional energy is wasted. This agreement includes an M&V Plan and Implementation Document that details locations of sensors that report back to a central monitoring system. Because of the features in this system,
SAN JOAQUIN REGIONAL RAIL COMMISSION Meeting of August 28, 2009 SJRRC applied for a TIGGER grant through FTA. If SJRRC receives the TIGGER funds, this system will be a requirement of that grant. WSC-CA is providing the consulting side of developing and implementing this plan. Mr. Pennino noted that this as a design component only and there is definitely a construction component for the sensors and systems; that cost will be included in the construction contract. Construction cost for the installation of the sensors and programming is currently estimated at $40,000. Commissioner Johnston asked for clarification on the how the measurement and verification system is included in both the design and construction. Mr. Peninno responded that the system design will be included in the construction docs and bid specifications and the construction contractor will install the equipment. Commissioner Ives asked whether the system entailed a local or central monitoring system. Mr. Pennino noted that an IP based system is contemplated so it can be logged into from remote locations. Mr. Schmidt noted that the energy savings will need to be reported to FTA on an annual basis. M/S/C (Johnston/Johnson) Approve Amendment to the Existing Consultant Services Agreement with WCS-Ca for Development and Analysis of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Credit EA 5 â€“ Measurement and Verification for the Altamont Commuter Express Maintenance and Layover Facility for a not-to-exceed amount of $39,650.00 and Authorize and Direct the Executive Director to execute all necessary documents. Passed and Adopted by the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission on the 7th day of August, 2009 by the following vote to wit: Ayes: Noes: Abstain: Absent:
Johnston, Haggerty, Blalock, Johnson, Ives, Vice-Chair Sayles, Chairman Harris
0 0 1
Status Report Wi-Fi Service
Dâ€™Andre Berry, Strategic Development & Communication Assistant, presented an update on the WiFi project. He gave a brief project history and gave an overview of the series of Wi-Fi evaluations that were run onboard the train. Mr. Berry explained that the passenger feedback was very positive and that this was a determining factor in incrementally moving forward. Mr. Berry informed the board that Wi-Fi service had been installed on one car of one train for about 5 weeks. He provided usage statistics on how well the service had been received thus far. He also spoke about how the service could be an asset to other departments such as the Operations Dept. for communicating train and passenger data and the Safety and Security Dept. for monitoring and response purposes. Mr. Berry explained that staff will closely monitor user statistics and expand service based on user demand as funding becomes available. Commissioner Johnston asked whether the passengers pay for the Wi-Fi. Mr. Berry responded that for now, the Wi-Fi would be provided as a passenger amenity to encourage increased ridership.
SAN JOAQUIN REGIONAL RAIL COMMISSION Meeting of August 28, 2009 Commissioner Blalock commented that the costs for having Wi-Fi on all cars may be cost prohibitive and he was more supportive of an incremental effort. Ms. Mortensen noted that Thomas Reeves had been successful in finding potential sponsors to help support the ongoing Wi-Fi costs. A public comment came through WebX inquiring whether the Wi-Fi was necessary for the proposed eTicketing system. Leila Menor, the eTicketing project manager noted that the new ticketing system was being designed with Wi-Fi as the central communication framework, but that the consulting team was also developing an alternate design that does not require onboard Wi-Fi. Larry Camino, Tracy, CA commented that in his experience as a conductor for SPRR and UPRR, he would recommend the purchase of the old SP line to eliminate the tunnels and the slow spots for the Wi-Fi.
8. SJRRC Financial Contribution Strategy for the High Speed Rail Altamont Corridor Development and the Merced to Sacramento Corridor Development. Ms. Mortensen summarized the highlights of the CA High Speed Rail Authority meeting held that week. She then went on to describe the intent of a series of MOUâ€™s anticipated between the Rail Commission and the HSR Authority, noting that the HSRA had the mission of implementing a longhaul high speed rail system and the Rail Commission had the mission of improving the rail service between all of the cities and the regions. These objectives can be very complimentary. Ms. Mortensen reported that the second MOU with the HSRA would provide more detail on the rights, responsibilities and cost-sharing of the two parties. She overviewed funding in fiscal years 2009/2010 and 2010/2011, that could potentially be available. Ms. Mortensen also asked for feedback on how any Rail Commission contributions should be allocated between the Altamont Corridor and the Merced to Sacramento Corridor. Several Commissioners commented on the hard legislative work that has occurred to position the Altamont Corridor as a top priority for the region and the Central Valley. Commissioners cautioned about eroding any support/funding/momentum for the Altamont Corridor. After further discussion, the Board developed consensus on keeping the Altamont Corridor as the highest priority, but making a definitive effort to support the HSRA in whatever they needed to keep the Merced to Sacramento Corridor moving forward. Commissioner Johnson asked about the involvement of the Merced to Sacramento Commuter Rail Policy Advisory Committee in the process. Ms. Mortensen noted that she has talked to the HSRA staff about using that Policy Advisory Committee as the framework for getting local policy and technical input on the Merced to Sacramento segment. Commissioner Blalock mentioned the activities of the Advisory Committee for the San Joaquinâ€™s Amtrak service, and also the need to determine which of the potential funding sources requires matching funds. Ms. Mortensen noted that she would be asking the Commissioners on the High Speed Rail Subcommittee to provide input to staff and Counsel on the drafting of the next MOU with HSRA.
SAN JOAQUIN REGIONAL RAIL COMMISSION Meeting of August 28, 2009 She also suggested that the Rail Commission and SJCOG jointly host a San Joaquin County High Speed Rail Roundtable to develop a unified position on the development of the corridors and stations affecting the region. Commissioner Haggerty left the meeting at 9:15 a.m.
9. Commissioner Comments None. 10.
Mr. Cowell reported that the Proposition 1B highway project is currently running about 6 months ahead of schedule and that it should be ready to go out to bid in the next few months. Also, Mr. Cowell mentioned that the SJCOG has hired a consultant to begin the environmental impact report process. 11. Executive Director Report Ms. Mortensen reported that the worsening economic conditions caused her to rigorously re-think the planned schedule change for the 4th ACE train in October. Additionally, the connecting shuttle service estimates for the Tri-Valley and Silicon Valley had been submitted by the transit agencies, totaling over $400,000 in additional annual costs. The original proposal to move the 4th train to a commuter slot was slightly over $160,000 for train related expenses and train layover and staff were seeking creative shuttle options to provide skeletal connecting services without dramatically increasing the costs. In the peak period, shuttle services are critical for connecting the passengers to the employment site, but the transit agencies were not able to come up with any creative, cost-saving solutions. The new cost estimate of $560,000 over and above the current service budget is not an option that can be pursued in this economic climate. Ms. Mortensen also noted that the unemployment trends may be a much more powerful influence than any marketing efforts on overall ACE ridership. If this is the case, she suggested that a more conservative approach would be to pull the 4th train in October and add it later in a peak slot when the unemployment statistics begin to measurably improve. After several Commissionersâ€™ questions, Ms. Mortensen indicated that the staff would present a service change proposal at the next Commission meeting.
12. Adjournment Chairman Harris adjourned the meeting at 9:35 a.m. Due to the Labor Day Holiday The next regular meeting is scheduled for: Friday August 28, 2009 @ 8:00 a.m.
Robert J. Cabral Station 949 E. Channel Street Stockton, CA 95202
Published on Aug 21, 2009