Transportation Committee Meeting Minutes November 29, 2008

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Transportation Committee Meeting
LCI -Kate Fernald’s Kitchen
Saturday November 29, 2008

Notes prepared by Axelrod based on Eliza Greenman notes

Attendance: Phil Whitney, Skip Stevens, Katy Morse Fernald, Erica Merrill, Ron Axelrod, and Eliza Greenman
There were no comments on the October 29, ’08 Meeting Notes previously sent out.

The meeting started with a discussion of the “Process Timetable” flow chart (attached) that Ron developed representing work completed and an approach for coordinating and integrating future work aimed at a proposal to be presented to the Board of Selectmen and Town Meeting. The chart focused on the period Dec. ’08 to May, ’09.
Discussion about this “Process Timetable” focused on the following main points:
1. Definition of the optimal schedule and safety issues need to be developed.
2. We have to determine the obligations, legal and operational, we have for our docks
3. Ridership figures must be determined including all seasons, school children based on recent special boat, and others.
4. Determine current fees TCI gets from barging and any other uses related to docks and harbors.
Safety - the early and late boats identified as highest priority in the survey will require improvements. Safety was the second highest priority item from the survey. Phil offered to develop a report on safety issues for boats and facilities in our harbors. This document will form a scope of work for marine consultant to study and make recommendations to TCI. Funds for this study are to be proposed for inclusion in the Town Meeting Warrants, March ’09. The consultant study should define short and long term goals / improvements. Phil said he would have it ready by Dec. 6th and review it with Paul Pottle of MEDOT. It will be a topic at our Dec. 21st meeting. Short and long term improvements are to be developed by the safety consultant study recommendations.
TCI relationships with Town of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor are important to our ferry service. Discussion focused on how to maintain a liaison with these communities were important to understand their operations and for them to understand ours as it applies to our ferry service. A proposed structure for maintaining a working relationship with these towns will be developed by Phil for discussion at our next meeting.
Barge and Ramp Fees: Skip offered to get TCI records on fees paid to TCI for barging for the current and past three years. We also need to find out other town and islands fee structures.
Norris Memo on Next Steps: the suggestion of a two step process issuing a draft Request for Responses (RFR) and final Request for Proposals (RFP) in the memo was discussed with the following noted:
1. Transparency of the process
2. We need to be up front with the current and potential operators
3. An initial RFR workshop or individual operator by operator response was discussed in order to have operators be more candid without their competition.
4. One operator for all passenger ferry operations will be the “hot button”
Performance Specification draft: the document included for review was discussed briefly and will be taken up at the next meeting.
Mission Statement: The revised Transportation Committee mission statement prepared by Skip was voted on and accepted and is as follows:

The TCI Transportation Committee is charged by the town to develop a plan for a ferry system that meets the needs of a year-round population whose residents function like any town linked to another for employment, shopping, visiting, entertainment, medical appointments and similar needs. This ferry service is to be safe, to cater to all resident needs from children to elderly, and to play a positive role in the development and sustainability of the community. The plan is to be developed during the period from April 2008 to March 2009, and presented to the town at the annual meeting in March 2009.

The March 2009 date was changed to March 2010. A suggestion to change the name of the Transportation Committee to Transportation Task Force was tabled.
Next meeting: Dec. 21st, 9am LCI to focus on next steps, review of Phil’s scope for safety study, review of town liaison proposal, review of draft Performance Specification not discussed at this meeting.

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