Transportation Committee Meeting Minutes November 01, 2008

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Meeting Notes
Transportation Committee Meeting, GCI
Saturday November 1, 2008
Notes prepared by Axelrod

Attendance: Phil Whitney, Richard Beal, Eric Dyer, Skip Stevens, Katy Morse Fernald, Barbara Meyers, Erica Merrill, Dan Lief (by phone), and Ron Axelrod (by phone)

The meeting followed the Agenda and focused on the survey results transmitted to Committee members earlier in the week.

There were no comments on the Meeting Notes. Ron mentioned that letters requesting further information on ridership and business statistic were sent to David Bunker and Steve Pagels. Following receipt of the information, a meeting will be scheduled to review the information submitted.
Review Survey Data:
There were 43 survey responses were tabulated (Skip: do you know how many were to be surveyed on GCI? I counted 45 to be surveyed on LCI). The surveys were first tabulated by Skip and Sally based on a template from Jim Fisher. Eric took that information and issued to the Committee members a graphic and literal presentation of the data by email October 30, 2008.

On the positive side or “like most”, people liked the ride and grateful to have it while on the “least liked” categories were overwhelming comments about schedule and safety.
Comments by each Committee member were given:
-Skip asked if there were any questions of the survey for him. He saw what people were saying about their scheduling needs and about their concern for medical care.
-Barbara questioned whether we had the information we desired and where do we go from here.
-Eric said we had good information on schedule and lots of comments on it. Age distribution tended to be fifty and over and tracked with Island Institute indicators
-Richard said one major initiative was health care and do we have a boat that really helps us.
-Phil felt there was good return on the survey but some were apathetic.
-Erica said we did not get everyone on the list, although there were no problems with those answering. She questioned whether we need more people surveyed.
-Ron said the survey findings on the big issues of schedule and safety bore out the findings from the Ice cream Socials and the initial reasons why the Committee was formed to improve these issues.
-Katy said safety on and off boats was a concern and we have some control on our docks. A subsidy was not mentioned- but not on survey.
Other Comments are grouped into survey questions/findings, schedule, and barging:
There was discussion about how much survey information was enough. Many felt there was enough and that further surveys would likely reap the same results. The survey findings seem consistent with the Ice Cream Socials and other comments that initiated the study. Do we need to look at needs of LCI and GCI separately?

Schedule change was dramatic response in the survey and amplified in the “Comments” that are noted in October 31, ’08 analysis reciting exactly the words from the “Comments” section. More people wanted a later boat than an earlier boat and more service around holidays as shown on the “Referenced Preferred Off Season Schedule Departures and Arrival Times” chart.

The ridership showed more “other boats” going, and how many would use the ferry if it were on the right schedule. Are we missing some potential riders? Use of other boats didn’t show up except trips/month.

Safety was a major issues and most concern in the winter and then the “shoulder” seasons. Some felt that the worst impact in the winter- no surprise. There was concern about the competency of captains and what control we have over it.

Barging was pretty flat as that is the nature of the business as well as so many choices for barging. Are we subsidizing those users of barging? (I understand the rate use charge of each barge landing on TCI ramps has increased from $2.50 to $5. Can we get records of revenue and numbers of landings on this?)
Next Steps:
Should we give a copy of survey to operators and others? The Committee member’s consensus was YES.
Action Item: TCI will send out postcards to say survey findings available on TCI website by the end of November and hard copies of survey will be sent to providers.

It was decided that emergency response members or Margaret in particular, should be included on the meeting notes to understand what is happening and perhaps any input.
Action Item: add Margaret Blank to meeting distribution

Erica and Barbara said they would gather more information on whether one would be more able to live on the islands if there was better transportation schedule.

Recommendations for Town Meeting Warrants are required by Dec. 31st and there was consensus that we were not in a position to make recommendations from the study. However, we could request some funds ($6000+/-?) for further study of safety issues for to be studied by Kleinschmidt Engineers. Eric will ask Kleinschmidt for cost of survey.

Skip distributed revised mission statement and asked for comments via email.

Next meeting: What can we prepare for Town Meeting?
Development of concepts for a new ferry service- Skip, Eric, and Ron to work on this before the meeting

Next Meeting Nov. 21st, 4:15 LCI.

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