Meeting Notes: Ferry Committee Meeting with Tom Ballard 2009.09.22


September 22, 2009


Present:  Ron Panzero, Tom Ballard, Glen Veal, Dyvon Havens, Terry Ebersole, Allen Bush


Issues list sent out prior to Meeting:


Guemes Island Ferry Operations Issues List

September 13, 2009


Ferry issues list 9/4/09 Carl Cady


1.             The Roundtable resolution process has not been followed.


2.             Security and or surveillance of vehicles using the Anacortes County parking facilities is inadequate resulting in thefts, break-ins and siphoned gasoline .


3.             The ferry schedule does not address surges in demand (time of day and/or holidays) or differences in summer and winter usage.


4.             The evening schedule is designed around the crew needs rather than the ridership needs.


5.             Many of the fares, particularly frequent user cards, have been dictated by Public Works rather that working collaboratively with the Ferry Committee.


6.             The union contract has not been renegotiated to recognize the change in work rules that occurred in 2003, going from a 12 hour day (with some extension) to 10 hours of less.


7.             Since 2003, ferry management has been unwilling to return to a three crew operation as the standard even though ridership has not increased, using safety, cash handling and other needs as justification.


8.             Public Works has shown little concern for the cost of the operation, particularly in the method of staffing, crew size, shift overlap, extra scheduled time at the end of the day, use of the mechanic as part of the crew and purser reconciliation time.


9.             The multi-trip ticket sales process is not user friendly or efficient. 


10.          The planned changes to the ferry terminal and 6th street do not appear to address the possible loss of parking spaces for normal operation and during the annual ferry outage or to accommodate SKAT, or public access temporary parking at the terminal.


11.          The ferry fares target should return to the “Bridge Analogy” providing the county will embrace a policy of cost containment.


12.          The ferry system needs to operate in full compliance with both the letter and the spirit of the ADA.  This is of particular concern during outages of the car ferry when historically access to the mobility impaired has been less than fully compliant.  Compliance needs to take into account both those persons who have with difficulty and sheer fortitude used substitute service and those riders who find the challenge of access to the substitute service so onerous they sequester themselves on the island for the outage duration.


Ferry Issues List 9/11/09 Tom Ballard


13.          November 30th Reporting Requirements – Resolution 20080018

a.             Fare Revenue Target Calculation (July 1, 2008-June 30, 2009 data)

b.             Recommended Fare Rate Schedule for 2010

c.             Estimate of 2010 Revenue


14.          Roundtable BCC Reporting Principles – Resolution 20040393

a.             Annual Roundtable Work Plan

b.             Semi Annual Progress on Work Plan (Spring & Fall which includes financial element)


15.          Next Roundtable Meeting Date & Agenda


16.          Standard Calendar of Ferry Operations Events

a.             October –Roundtable meets to discuss issues and efforts included on Work Plan and to discuss Annual Fare Target Report, prepare status report on 2nd Semi-Annual Status Report on Meeting Roundtable Work Plan, and prepare Next Cycle Roundtable Work Plan.

b.             November – PW presents to BCC Annual Fare Target Report, and Ferry Committee & PW presents 2nd Semi-Annual Status Report on Meeting Roundtable Work Plan, and Next Cycle Roundtable Work Plan.

c.             January – Roundtable meeting to discuss issues and efforts included on Work Plan.

d.             April – Roundtable meets to discuss issues and efforts included on Work Plan and to prepare status report on 1st Semi-Annual Status Report on Meeting Roundtable Work Plan.

e.             May – Ferry Committee and PW presents to BCC 1st Semi-Annual Status Report on Meeting Roundtable Work Plan.

f.              July - Roundtable meeting to discuss issues and efforts included on Work Plan.


17.          Make up of Guemes Island Ferry Committee – 5 v. 6 v. chartered v. island elected


18.          Round Table Operating (Guidelines) Principles

a.             Codify In New Resolution

b.             Expand & Upgrade Operating Guidelines

c.             Addition of other interest community group, city, school district, SKAT etc.


19.          Ferry Operations Level of Service - Policies

a.             on demand v. scheduled runs

b.             seasonal (peak v. off-peak) schedule

c.             leave behind

d.             staffing levels – boat & terminal


20.          Ferry Operations Performance Measures


21.          Subsidy v. Fare box

                a. Pricing policies for WSDOT, Whatcom, Pierce?


22.          Fare Methodology


23.          Ticket Purchasing Equipment & Processes

24.          Ticketing Booth


25.          Payment Methods


26.          Ferry Terminal Building


27.          Security Cameras


28.          Parking mainland side


29.          Loading Lane(s) mainland side


30.          Parking Lot island side


31.          Loading Lane island side


32.          Coordination with SKAT


33.          Ferry Docks & Dolphins


34.          Asset Management & CRAB Reporting


35.          14-Year Ferry Plan


36.          Annual Work Plan – County vs. Roundtable


37.          Ferry Data on Website


38.          Code of Conduct on Ferry


39.          Staff training and retention of quality individuals


40.          Other Island Issues

a.             Emergency Access to Island

b.             GPAC

c.             Drainage

d.             Ditches

e.             Shoulders

f.              So. Shore Drive

g.             Eden’s Road




Ron Panzero Reported on the (CRAB) COUNTY ROAD ADMINISTRATION BOARD decision to make reporting at the end of the calendar year as opposed the end of the fiscal year (June 30). This is to save on audit expenses at an estimated $70,000-$90,000 annually.


CRAB audits County compliance with laws, administrative rules, and the Standards of Good Practice. This audit requires submittal of Road Fund budgets, review of financial audits performed by the State Auditor's Office  and review Annual Construction Program and Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plans.


Ron Panzero also stated there would be a lump sum Sales Tax Revenue monies coming to the Ferry system and would report the exact ammount in the near future.


Tom Ballard reviewed Carl Cady’s Ferry issues list and added to them (attached) with the idea that some were duplicated on both lists. He would like to build a list of priorities and complete them by mid November. His list begins with the Fare Target report, a 6 month Roundtable Report and a 6 month Roundtable Work Plan. All of which need to be presented to the public in a formal  roundtable setting before being presented to the Board of County Commissioners.


Next  Meeting to be held with the Guemes Island Ferry Committee on October the 8th.

Items to be discussed would be any modifications to the Roundtable operating rules. This would include the incorporation of greater public participation with invitations to stakeholders.


For the October 8th meeting we will also discuss ideas or past resolutions for arriving at a fair and equitable fare structure. Options for a simpler method of creating the fare structure such as 11939 and 9518 were examples to be compared to the current fare target model.



Note taker: Allen Bush















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