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Report ID: 20-336   
Type: Regular - Planning
Meeting Body: Board of Directors - Regular Meeting
Meeting Date: 9/9/2020 Final action: 9/9/2020
Recommended Action: Consider adoption of the Transit Recovery Infrastructure: A Quick Build Framework.
Attachments: 1. STAFF REPORT, 2. Att.1 Quick Build Framework, 3. Master Minute Order

TO:                                          AC Transit Board of Directors                                          

FROM:                                          Michael A. Hursh, General Manager

SUBJECT:                     Transit Recovery Infrastructure: A Quick Build Framework                     

 

ACTION ITEM


RECOMMENDED ACTION(S):

 

Title

Consider adoption of the Transit Recovery Infrastructure: A Quick Build Framework.

Body

 

STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE:

 

Goal - Convenient and Reliable Service

Initiative - Service Quality

 

Adopting the framework report would initiate staff efforts to engage local jurisdictions and funding agencies to speed implementation of transit infrastructure projects to improve bus operations and service quality as part of an overall COVID-19 recovery strategy.

 

BUDGETARY/FISCAL IMPACT:

 

Acceptance of this staff report would not have any budgetary impact. As individual projects are developed, a combination of grant funds, available District funds, or funds provided by local jurisdictions may be used.

 

BACKGROUND/RATIONALE:

 

Nationally, there is growing interest to streamline the construction of transportation infrastructure as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to stimulate the economy. Although there is rampant speculation on what the post-pandemic public transit world will look like, early indications are that traffic conditions will worsen before transit ridership bounces back and that, therefore, steps should be taken now to protect and enhance transit operations. The quick-build concept is intended help the District meet this immediate challenge and also achieve long-term goals, such as schedule reliability and efficient transit operations. Small-scale projects like red bus lanes, queue-jump lanes, temporary priority features, traffic signal modifications and other simple-to-build components could be employed throughout the District providing widespread benefits to bus riders. These could take the form of stand-alone projects or be an early phase of a larger effort.

 

Attachment 1 describes the quick build strategy in more detail. The framework document will serve as a Board-approved, public facing document to help advocate for the implementation of small-scale transit-supportive infrastructure projects that improve transit operating speeds and schedule reliability.

 

Next Steps

District staff will work with city staff to identify up to three small-scale and achievable projects for consideration. In parallel, staff will reach out to community advocacy groups to explain the quick-build program and solicit their assistance. Funds will be identified through traditional channels and through discussions with the Blue Ribbon Transit Recovery Task Force. Once funding is secured, projects would undergo a streamlined version of project development (planning and outreach, environmental, design, construction and monitoring). Potential changes to CEQA (Senate Bill 288) may make these types of projects simpler to implement.

 

ADVANTAGES/DISADVANTAGES:

 

Advantages - Acceptance of the framework document would permit staff to begin to advocate with local jurisdictions to explore project ideas and discuss the funding for these types of projects with funding agencies.

 

Disadvantages - There are no disadvantages to approving the framework document.

 

ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS:

 

An alternative to adopting the framework would be to evaluate each project on a case-by-case basis without a strategic context guiding the efforts. This is not desirable for one key reason: The District would be unprepared to engage with funding agencies and local governments except when projects are already under development, potentially slowing implementation.

 

PRIOR RELEVANT BOARD ACTION/POLICIES:

 

There are no previous Board actions or policies on this topic.                     

ATTACHMENTS:

 

1.                     Transit Recovery Infrastructure: A Quick Build Framework

 

Prepared by:

Jim Cunradi, Transportation Planning Manager

 

Approved/Reviewed by:

Ramakrishna Pochiraju, Executive Director of Planning & Engineering

Robert del Rosario, Director of Services Development and Planning

Jill A. Sprague, General Counsel