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New Intercity Bus Funding Approach

New Intercity Bus Funding Approach

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New Intercity Bus Funding Approach

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  1. New Intercity Bus Funding Approach Stephen Abernathy, AICP Intercity Bus Program Manager Public Transportation Division

  2. Intercity Bus Program • Separate FTA 5311(f) funds from the WSDOT Consolidated Grant Process. • Provide more flexibility to meet identified needs • Request for Proposals (RFP) for specific routes within the identified corridor for open competitive process • Select best operator for each project • Competition between providers, not projects

  3. RFP Process(No Grant Applications!) • RFP’s Issued on Corridor Basis. • Purchase of Service Contract, rather than operating assistance grant. • Provides more control. • Sets expectations in advance. • Ensures provider is tied in with Greyhound schedule, ticketing (MAX) and web-site.

  4. Greyhound Rural Feeder Service Program How Local In-kind Match Pilot Project works: 5311(f) FormulaLocal Match Option $100,000 Actual Operating Cost $100,000 $100,000 Project Cost $150,000 - 50,000 less Fares - 50,000 50,000 Deficit 100,000 - 25,000 50% 5311(f) - 50,000 $ 25,000 50% local match $ 50,000* * At about $2.00 per mile (50% of Greyhound’s total operating cost), the project would need 25,000 annual Greyhound miles to match the project. * Greyhound agrees in writing to make this in-kind donation to the project.

  5. RFP Process and Contract Award • WSDOT collaborates with area stakeholders to identify intercity transportation needs and levels of service for each route. • Each RFP is drafted for a specific route. RFP is published • statewide for maximum response potential. • Providers respond to the RFP with their proposals for meeting specified service criteria. • Pre-proposal conference held prior to final review. • A diverse panel of regional stakeholders reviews each of the proposals, scores each to select the one which meets the service criteria, and reflects the best overall public interest value.

  6. RFP Criteria • Realistic schedule connections with interstate, regional and local providers. • A sound and sustainable business plan which includes marketing, revenue recovery from fares, freight handling and contracts. • ADA compliant service vehicles and accommodations for bicycles. • Interline agreements with Greyhound, Amtrak & other intercity carriers. • FMCSA authority to connect with interstate carriers. • Federal certifications and assurances regarding insurance and drug/alcohol compliance.

  7. Travel Washington Intercity Bus • Project funded with FTA 5311(f) funding and local “in-kind” match provided by Greyhound’s unsubsidized capital costs • Definition includes rural feeder service segments to interstate trunk-line Greyhound service in Washington. • The service schedules will help meet regional travel needs in addition to making the Greyhound connections. • Initial three rural feeder routes are: Travel Washington Grapeline- Walla Walla to Tri-Cities Travel Washington Dungenessline- Port Angeles to SeaTac Travel Washington Appleline- Omak to Ellensburg (October 2008)

  8. Travel Washington Grapeline

  9. Travel Washington Grapeline • With the Greyhound Rural Feeder Service program and FTA local in-kind match pilot in place: WSDOT established the model process for creating feeder service to/from Walla Walla to the Tri-Cities. • The project was designed to meet all FTA requirements for the 5311(f) program, including scheduled connections with Greyhound. • WSDOT & Greyhound staff cooperated on the development of service schedules. • WSDOT held numerous local and regional public meetings to obtain input in service design.

  10. Travel Washington Grapeline Project Status: • WSDOT completed the RFP process and selected a service provider July 2007. • The provider completed all the steps for service start up in September 2007. • Provider has schedule connections with Greyhound, Amtrak and two local transit agencies.

  11. Travel Washington Grapeline • WSDOT conducted a competitive RFP process that clearly presented service requirements, including: • Prescribed routing & scheduling • Service name: Travel Washington Grapeline • Days of service: 7 days per week, 365 days per year • Obtain NBTA membership for revenue sharing • Secure FMCSA and Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission (WUTC) authority • Ensure Greyhound ticketing capability for service • Aggressively market the service under Travel Washington brand

  12. Travel Washington Intercity Bus Customer ticketing: • All Travel Washington customers are able to buy a one-way or round trip ticket in several ways: • Greyhound’s toll-free telephone information center • Online through • By phone (or in person) through Travel Washington providers, using Greyhound-supplied software and ticket printer (MAXX system) • Customers buy tickets in advance or on the day of travel • Tickets, issued in multiple parts, will include travel on Travel Washington and Greyhound (to their final destination)

  13. Travel Washington Intercity Bus Reconciling ticket revenues: • Travel Washington providers & Greyhound both sell tickets. • If Travel Washington provider sells the ticket, they will collect the fare for all segments of the trip including Greyhound segments. • If Greyhound sells the ticket, Greyhound will collect the fare for all segments of the trip including Travel Washington provider segments. • At the end of each month, Travel Washington providers and Greyhound reconcile ticket revenue collected by both and reimburse the other for any ticket revenue owed.

  14. Travel Washington Intercity Bus • Unique marketing of statewide intercity bus service. • Standardized branding of vehicles.

  15. Travel Washington Intercity Bus Network

  16. The Result • Consistent and sustainable high quality service • Increased community and regional awareness of services • More regional interconnectivity and mobility • Increased coordination amongst interstate and regional providers