Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Board Meeting Report

June 16, 2010 Meeting in Oakland

Reported by Michael Barnbaum, Associate Director

The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors Meeting was held at the BART Boardroom in Oakland.  There were as many as ten out of the sixteen total directors present for this particular meeting.

The Meeting opened with remarks from Chair Jim Holmes of Placer County.  Chair Holmes highlighted the Capitol Corridor Business Plan for Fiscal Years 2010-2011 and 2011-1012.  In his highlights, he mentioned that the Business Plan, which the Board adopted at its February Meeting, was submitted to the California State Secretary of Business Housing and Transportation in March, and accepted by the BT&H Secretary since it met the State’s Criteria and was received in the BT&H Secretary’s Office by the April First Deadline.

Chair Holmes also highlighted the FoodDrive event that kicked off in Sacramento on June First.  The early morning event featured many “CC Riders” with Chair Holmes and Board Member Roger Dickinson in attendance.  Later in the meeting the food drive was brought up by Managing Director David Kutrosky where a rider appreciation event that was going to be held at the Emeryville station the day after the meeting of the CCJPA.

After the minutes were approved, the CCJPB had taken up the consent calendar, and this is where the meeting became interesting.  One item, regarding a potential November Ballot Measure to protect transportation funding from being raided ever again, was pulled by Sacramento’s Roger Dickinson.  Roger expressed concern in that this possible ballot measure was problematic to the County Supervisors Association, particularly as it pertained to the area of Health and Human Services.  It was expressed that Health and Human Services could be subject to raids at the possibility of transportation not ever again being subject to raids.  The decision, voted upon sepate of all of the other Consent Matters went down as eight yes, one no, and one abstension.  Based on that vote count, BART’s District Secretary, who is also the Board Secretary to the CCJPB mentioned that the item failed to get endorsed, since it did not receive a nine out of sixteen vote majority.

The Board did approve the Sacramento-Roseville 3rd Track Project: Design Plans and Environmental Documents specifically for funding to go through to do an environmental analysis for the construction of a third mainline track between Sacramento and Roseville.  The project, if constructed, would have in place a third mainline track to achieve the goal of more Capitol Corridor Service to Roseville, and possibly one more additional frequency to/from Auburn.  We’ll check with staff in September on the Auburn matter and get back to all of you.  On the item that was before the Board, this writer got up to speak and specifically asked the Managing Director what the estimated time frame would be once the environmental analysis is done and construction begins to get additional frequencies to/from Roseville.  The Managing Director could not give an exact time-frame, but he did say that, “If I had to guess, it would be about three to five years.”  We can be optimistic about this time-frame, but we ca not hold our hopes up too high until the announcement comes on specific dates of schedule changes to benefit Roseville in this.

Once this item had finished, the CCJPB, through the direction of Chair Jim Holmes, took up reconsideration of the potential Ballot Measure for November that is currently titled the “Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Protection Act of 2010.”  Chair Holmes, while personally feeling that the Ballot Measure is something that concerns him, changed his vote for what is best business of the CCJPA’s Business Agenda, and by doing so, got the Board to get to a nine vote majority to endorse the ballot measure.  Of the ten directors present, only Sacramento’s Roger Dickinson cast an abstain vote on this measure, getting the final vote count to 9-0-1.

The board took action on a variety of Security Projects, including a security camera project at the San Francisco Ferry Building, Lighting for the OverFlow Parking Lots in Martinez, and by recommendation of the Oakland Police Department, Fencing for the Jack London Square station.

After the action items, a big discussion took place in regards to extending Capitol Corridor Service to/from Salinas.  The Meeting was attended by Christina Watson and Debra Hale, who work for the Transportation Agency for Monterey County.  The opportunity to extend Capitol Corridor service is being made in huge part because of the availability of “slots” that would permit passenger trains to operate at certain times in an operating schedule.  The ability to make this service real would require much getting together with other agencies and other companies.  Based on the discussion that took place, CCJPA Staff would have to work cooperatively with Monterey Salinas Transit, California Transportation Commission, TAMC, Union Pacific RailRoad, the Pinnensula Corridor Joint Powers Board, as well as Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.  If the service was done by Capitol Corridor rather than by CalTrain, it would also need to include CalTrans funding and changes in legislation at the state level that would allow for additional counties to have seats on the CCJPA Board of Directors.  Board Member Joel Keller of BART and CCJPA stated that he would love to see this happen and he would travel to Sacramento and work with legislators to see that this occurs.  Future agenda items regarding this matter will appear at CCJPA Meetings to come.  Stay tuned for more on this expansion matter.

In the Managing Directors Report, the Emeryville Station Project Completion was highlighted.  As the report states, “This project permits parallel moves into/out of the north end of the station, greatly reduces congestion at this current ‘choke point’ and improve freight rail access to/from the Port of Oakland.”

Ridership, particularly on Friday’s should be slowly recovering.  The State of California had its so-called 46th and final “Furlough Friday” for State Workers that began in December 2008.  The Furlough Friday’s have hurt Capitol Corridor Ridership since they began in December of 2008.  This being said, the Managing Director’s Report reflected positives for the Capitol Corridor in May of 2010.

May 2010 Ridership, the report states, was 1.4% above May 2009 as was revenue, a 2.9% increase from May of 2009.  The 95.9% On-Time Performance for the Capitol Corridor in May of 2010 was a record for the fiscal year, making the Capitol Corridor, “once again the most reliable train service in the Amtrak system for May 2010 as well as fiscal year-to-date.”

In the Marketing area, the CCJPA Cross-Promotional Contract with Cal Football ends after the conclusion of this football season.  One negotiating point between the CCJPA Marketing Team and Cal Football is the rennovation of Memorial Stadium in Berkeley which will in the 2011 Football Season, force Cal to play its “home” football games at AT&T Park in San Francisco.  Those dates are now being negotiated between Cal Football and San Francisco Giants Baseball so as to not have Saturday conflicts.  Stay tuned, more to come on this developing marketing contract renewal.  It was mentioned by this writer that prior to the next CCJPA Meeting Cal will host UC Davis at Memorial Stadium on September Fourth, while Stanford will host Sacramento State on September Fourth.

The next Board Meeting of the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority will take place at 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, September 15 in the City Council Chambers in Suisun City.

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