From Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority
(ie. lets cut our carpool ridematching funding to save money....)
EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT AND AUDIT COMMITTEE
NOVEMBER 21, 2002
SUBJECT: MTA RIDESHARE PROGRAM
ACTION: APPROVE MTA RIDESHARE SERVICE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH RIVERSIDE COUNTY TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
Authorize the Chief Executive Officer to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) for rideshare development and support services for Los Angeles County during the second half of FY03 and FY04 in an amount not to exceed a total of $625,000.
As part of the transition to an MTA-Operated Rideshare Program, a replacement rideshare matching system and database must be developed during the second and third quarters of FY 03 to ensure no disruption in service while the current rideshare services being performed by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) are fully transferred to MTA by July 1, 2003. Staff is seeking approval to execute an MOU with RCTC to develop and manage a new web-based rideshare matching system for Los Angeles County that also includes the counties of Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura.
Consistent with the May 23, 2002 Board direction to establish an MTA-Operated Rideshare program, we are currently in a transition period to completely transfer rideshare activities from SCAG. It is anticipated that rideshare activities will be fully transitioned from SCAG by July 1, 2003 and a new rideshare matching database and system must be developed and fully operational by that date in order to ensure no disruption in service to MTA employer clients and customers. The purpose of developing a rideshare matching system is to provide information necessary for commuters to form carpools and vanpools consistent with the goals and objectives of the adopted MTA Long Range Transportation Plan. The Board directed MTA Rideshare Study conducted during FY 02 determined that the existing rideshare matching system currently being operated by SCAG is antiquated and requires replacement in order to provide more cost-effective services to the public. The FY 03 expenditures will be covered by the $4.9 million in FY 03 funding approved for rideshare services at the May 23 Board meeting.
The MTA Board can choose not to authorize the CEO to execute an MOU with RCTC to perform these rideshare services. Staff does not recommend this option because this would likely cause a disruption in service because SCAG will not be able to provide this service for Los Angeles County after June 30, 2003. The MTA could also choose to contract these rideshare services to another public or private entity. However, after June 30 no other service provider will be available that offers a ridematch system with information for commutes to and from Los Angeles County into neighboring counties. Partnering with RCTC will allow MTA to offer cross-county commuter information to customers.
The Rideshare Services Program was originally funded in January 1998 through the 1998 County Transportation Improvement Program for Los Angeles County using $17.3 million in State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) funding over a six-year period. A portion of this rideshare STIP grant will be used to fund the rideshare services performed by RCTC. This project is included in the constrained element of the adopted Long Range Transportation Plan and has no impact on the FY 03 MTA budget. Approval of this action will ensure continued implementation of this program. Funding for FY 03 activity is located in Cost Center 7175 and was included in the $4.9 million approved for the FY 03 MTA Rideshare Program at the May 23, 2002 Board meeting.
Staff is proposing to partner with RCTC in developing a new rideshare matching system for Los Angeles County primarily as a way to ensure that cross-county commutes can be assisted when finding carpool and vanpool options. The system currently being used by RCTC covers the San Bernardino and Riverside County areas and began operation July 1, 2002. Plans to include Orange and Ventura counties into the system are currently under development with similar schedules. Maintaining a regional partnership for a rideshare database as opposed to creating a system only for Los Angeles County is preferred because this will improve the pool of data between counties therefore enhance service to our customers.
Scope of Services
During the remainder of FY 03, staff is proposing that RCTC add the Los Angeles County area to the newly established web-based rideshare matching system currently being used for the Inland Empire. To accomplish this system expansion, a new database will be developed as well as software enhancements to address the higher volumes typically experienced in Los Angeles County. Web-based software to generate carpool and vanpool match lists and to calculate Average Vehicle Ridership statistics for employers will be provided. Each county will then connect to the main database via remote local networks that will allow each county to control output and data collection processes. For FY 04, staff is proposing that RCTC continue database management activities, minor software enhancements and remote user support activities such as help desk services.
Rideshare Matching Software
The Inland Empire rideshare matching system uses RidePro. This software is based on software that is in its 15th generation and is redeveloped every 3 to 4 years to ensure that the system is keeping pace with state-of-the-art practices. This system provides real-time web-based rideshare information and has been fully operational in the Inland Empire since July 1, 2002. A study of the regional rideshare services funded by the county transportation agencies within the SCAG region during FY 02 recommended that a new “off-the-shelf” system be purchased to replace the system currently being used by the region. Entering into an MOU with RCTC to provide a new rideshare matching system for the region will address the issue raised in that study.
Staff will execute an MOU with RCTC prior to December 31, 2002. System development is scheduled to begin in January 2003 in order to ensure system start-up is operational by July 1, 2003.
Prepared by: Cosette P. Stark, Executive Manager
Program and Service Development