Executive Director’s Report - February 7, 2020
Snow event of January 13-17: Island Transit staff managed to operate through another snow event with little incident and few trip cancellations. Only one paratransit vehicle got stuck in a passenger’s driveway. Supervisors spent many hours in the middle of the night to evaluate road conditions before service started each day. The new all-wheel drive service vehicles helped to ensure this was safely done.
Vehicles: There has been good progress in the procurement of new bus vehicles: preproduction visit for the three Gillig hybrid electric-diesel buses, inspection visit for the ten Eldorado propane buses, and the installation of the propane tanks on the five other cutaways is proceeding. Staff received propane filling station training. The yearly inventory is complete and preparation for the surplus is also nearly finished.
Service improvements: A minor service adjustment is underway for the Goldie Road area on Whidbey and the Arrowhead/Camano Center on Camano Island. A public hearing will be held on March 6, 2020, starting at 9:30 AM, at the main Island Transit offices in Coupeville.
Legislative Update: Island Transit continues to work as part of The Bus Coalition to increase funding for bus and bus facilities across the country. As a Bus Coalition Board member, I participated in the recent strategy and planning meeting for the Coalition. Island Transit is also participating in the work of the Washington State Transit Association to protect the funding jeopardized by the passing of Initiative 976. I met with Representative Norma Smith and Senator Ron Muzzall to update them on the initiative’s impacts on transit service in Island County.
Grants: The agency is currently evaluating the call for projects, both through the Island Regional Transportation Planning Organization, where we are represented by Oak Harbor Councilmember Beth Munns, and also through the Federal Transit Administration.
Staffing: We have hired three new coach operators who are currently in training. The agency also filled a vacancy in the Coupeville dispatch. We are currently interviewing to fill a vacancy in the Coupeville facilities maintenance team. Three operators, one mechanic, and one facility maintenance employee passed their CDL test here in Coupeville on site.
Finance: All quarterly and year-end reports were completed. Year-end tax statements were sent to staff and other required forms to the IRS. Wage changes for 2020 reconciled, the year-end OSHA report was completed, and the 2020 grant cost allocation model for the state Department of Transportation was finalized.
Information Technology: Our small staff replaced a firewall for the Camano workgroup and are upgrading the software for our file server and migrating and updating our email server.
Todd E. Morrow, Executive Director