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City of Claremont

Agenda Report

TO

JEFFREY C

PARKER

CITY MANAGER

FROM

SCOTT CARROLL COMMUNITY SERVICES DIRECTOR

DATE

APRIL 14

2009

SUBJECT

VILLAGE TROLLEY UPDATE

 

SUMMARY

On January 22 2008 the City Council approved a pilot program for an off track trolley

and

trolley service commenced

October 30

2008

fixed route through the Village

running every fifteen

minutes on

a

Data from the first five months of service has recently been analyzed

although industry

standards indicate service should be in place for a minimum of one year to generate

reliable feedback Information on the ridership survey staff conducted in January 2009

as well as other performance measurement indicators is included in this report Based

on this

preliminary feedback

program

the

council may

consider options for the

future of the

Staff Recommendation

That the City Council choose Option A to continue the trolley service and the Mayor appoint a council adhoc committee to evaluate possible system changes

ANAL YSIS

B ackground

On

February 27

2007

trackless trolley

program

committee

committed to

the City

Council

with

input from

directed

staff

to

pursue

the

concept of a

a

citizen s

committee

The sixteen

person

the

goal of

indentify ing

the feasibility and desirability of a

trackless trolley shuttle operating within the Village as a means of promoting economic

development for the City and subsequently analyzed various aspects of such a

program

The committee returned to the City Council on January 22

2008

and offered multiple

recommendations The council approved

the committee s recommendation to

implement

a

pilot

program

for

a

trackless

trolley

necessary funds for the program

system

and

appropriated

the

FOR CITY COUNCIL AGENDA

ITEM

9

City Council

April 14

Page 2

of 7

2009

The Claremont Village trolley began service on October 30 2008

The trolley continues

to run Thursday through Saturday from 11 a m

the following locations

to

11

p

m

on a fixed

route with stops at

First Street at the Depot

Metrolink Parking Lot Bonita Avenue at Yale Avenue

Oberlin Avenue

Performance Measures to Date

Staff has been working towards the performance measurement goals set forth

by the

Trolley Committee as part of the program approved by the City Council The committee established three performance measures for evaluation of the program

1

1 Passengers per service hour

2 Community Satisfaction

3 Village Awareness

The committee s

benchmark

for

success

is

15

passengers

per service hour

which

is double the

reasonable standard for this type of service according to the

report published in 2007 by AMMA

the consultant who performed a feasibility

study for the Trolley Committee

Ridership counts are described in Table 1 Special events in November and

December

such as

Friday Nights Live and the Holiday Promenade

drew large

crowds to the Village

and

contributed to the increased

number of riders during

these months

It is also important to note that there are seasonal factors at work

insofar as the weather shorter daylight hours and absence of events in the

Village which have reduced the numbers of potential riders

Table 1

November 08

1

773

12

3

December

1411

10

7

Janua

09

1

188

7

1

Februa

  • 958 7

6

 

March

  • 977 8

6

City Council

April

Page

14

2009

3 of 7

2

Evaluation

of Community Satisfaction was based on

three groups

Merchants

Riders

and

Non riders

The committee decided that success with the program

would be determined

by

80

of each group agreeing to certain standards

To

date

staff has conducted only a Merchants and Non riders

groups

survey of trolley

riders

The remaining two

will be surveyed in the coming months

During the weekends of January 8 2009 and January 15 2009 staff conducted

a survey of trolley riders to gather information on who is using the trolley and how

the service could be improved Various questions were asked of riders ranging

from basic demographic information to the convenience of the route days times

and trolley stops General comments were also sought A total of 107 surveys

were received

however

some respondents did not answer every question on the

survey The results described below are based on the number of responses to

each question not the total number of surveys received

Approximately sixty percent of respondents were first time riders signifying the

relative newness of the trolley program

The ages of the surveyed riders were

distributed fairly evenly indicating there is no one single ridership group the trolley is servicing

Nearly

two

thirds

of

survey

respondents

were

Claremont

residents

The

remaining riders were mostly from immediate surrounding

areas

Pomona

Montclair

Upland

and

Rancho

Cucamonga

Most

riders

such

as

became

aware of the trolley program by seeing the trolley in the Village or through print advertisements Seventy percent of respondents took a car to the Village

utilizing

available

street

or

lot

parking

Only

twenty five

percent

of

survey

respondents who drove a car to the Village utilized the parking structure

Two of the most common comments were requests for a route expansion or to

add entertainment elements to the trolley experience such as music or

Claremont Village history and trivia to entertain riders Most respondents who

mentioned

a

route

expansion

specifically

requested

the

route

Claremont Colleges and Foothill corridor

include

the

3

Benchmarks for the final performance measure Village Awareness have been

met

halfway

Over fifty

percent

of businesses

have

had

Trolley

posters on

display since the inception of the program me eting the first benchmark The second benchmark however has now become immeasurable due to the current

economic downturn the community is experiencing Business owners are no longer in a position to offer discounts to patrons who have ridden the trolley

City Council

April 14

Page 4

of 7

2009

Future of the Trolley Program

The committee originally identified several possible user groups but decided to focus on

non

the

resident visitors and

parking structure patrons

goal

of promoting

economic

development

in

two groups they thought best met

the

City

However

due

to

the

nationwide

traffic

and

recession

Village

merchants

a

slowdown

in

sales

The

have experienced a

reduction

in

declining

trolley

ridership

figures

customer

are

likely

correlated with this reduction in customer traffic in the Village

As

a

result

of the preliminary analysis of information obtained

by staff regarding the

trolley service

the

council

must

consider

the

future

of the

trolley

program

Three

options are available to council that address the concerns with the program and

are

further described below

Option A To maintain the committee s goal of promoting economic development

within the City staff recommends the council continue the program and the Mayor appoint a Council adhoc committee to evaluate system changes to the trolley service to

better meet the needs of the Claremont community Options to consider might include

schedule changes or route alterations to include the Claremont Colleges

Claremont

High School

Doubletree

Hotel

or Foothill Corridor This committee will need to

and bring recommendations back to the May 12

2009 City Council meeting

meet

Option

B

If the council determines that continuing the trolley program

is not viable

during this economic downturn

and based on the availability and obligation of funds

the program could be concluded at the end of this fiscal year In order for the City to

terminate the program for fiscal

reasons

the council would need to take formal action

on May 12

2009 to notify the leasing company prior to the beginning of FY 2009 10

Option C

Continue operations of the trolley as the system is currently running

While

the winter months have been slow

some

of this can be explained due to the weather

and

reduced

activity

in

the

Village

in

addition

to

the

economic

situation

Staff

anticipates that with the extended hours of daylight warmer weather

and Friday Nights

Live starting up again that ridership should increase due to more people being in the Village

FINANCIAL REVIEW

The updated budget below reflects the operating budget for the 3 day service compared

to actual expenditures projections for the first nine months of service

City Council

 

April 14

2009

 

Page

5 of 7

 
 

1st Year

 

2nd Year

 

3rd Year

 

TOTAL

ANNUAL OPERA TING BUDGET

 

Trolley Lease

 

53 129

 

53 129

 

53 129

 

159 387

Operation Costs

 

169 000

176

000

183 000

528 000

Bus Stops

 

65 000

 

303

 

318

65 621

Marketing

10 000

 

10 000

 

10 000

 

30 000

Consulting

5 000

5 000

 

5 000

15 000

Contingency

10

24 900

19 130

 

19 832

 

63 862

Vehicle Replacement

 

0

0

25 000

25 000

GRAND TOTAL

 

327 029

 

263 562

 

296 279

886 870

REVENUE BUDGET

 

Prop A Fund Balance

 

1

689

421

1

571 909

 

1462

146

Prop A Yr End

 

Ba

76 801

 

50 799

60 000

 

Prop C

 

100 000

103 000

106 090

P op

1 B

32 716

 

MTA

FAP Operating

 

33 000

 
 

1

898 938

 

1

725 708

 

1

661

236

Revenue

 

1

898 938

1

725708

1

661 236

 

Operations

 

327 029

 

263 562

 

296 279

Net Prop A Fund Balance

 

1

571

909

 

1

462 146

 

1

364 957

 

2008 09

 

2009 10

2010 11

 

TOTAL

 

ACTUAL OPERA TING COSTS

 

Trolley Lease

 

40 095

 

0

0

40 095

Operation Costs

 

83 690

0

0

83 690

Bus Stops

 

56 667

0

0

56 667

Marketing

18 259

0

0

18 259

Consulting

 

0

0

0

0

Contingency

10

13 000

0

0

13 000

Vehicle Replacement

 

0

0

0

0

GRAND TOTAL

 

211

711

0

0

211 711

REVENUE BUDGET

 

Prop A Fund Balance

 

1

689

421

N

A

N

A

Prop A Yr

End

 

Ba

76 801

 

N

A

N

A

Prop C

 

100 000

N

A

N

A

Prop

1 B

30 722

 

MTA

FAP Operating

 

N

A

 

1

896 944

 

0

0

City Council

April

14

2009

Page

6 of 7

Revenue

Operations

Net Prop A Fund Balance

  • 896 0

  • 1 944

0

  • 211 711

0

0

  • 685 0

  • 1 233

0

Projected actuals based on 9 months of service

November thru June 30

Trolley program operational costs are funded from

generated by a

0 005

sales

tax

county

wide

Proposition A transportation funds

These

funds

must

be

used

for

transportation purposes The City currently uses Prop A to fund the Dial A Ride and Get

About programs in addition to the trolley As the budget above shows with the addition

of the

operations

of the trolley

program

the

City s

annual

expenditures exceed

its

annual allocation

fund the

program

This requires funds to be taken from

the fund

balance to

While

use

of some fund

balance was anticipated

the

be used

to

increase in

costs for the

Dial A Ride

program and

reduction

of state funding requires use of fund

balance for annual operations of the other transit services the City of Claremont

provides

Fund

balance

could

be

used

to

fund

the

trolley

program

however

the

depletion of fund balance may limit the ability to fund Dial A

future

Ride and

Get About in the

Should the council want to

look at the options

available for the Prop A fund

balance

including plans for rising costs

funds to offset the General Fund

additional programs

and

services

or selling

Prop A

additional analysis would need to be completed and

brought forward to the City Council Staff would therefore recommend creating a City

Council adhoc subcommittee to look at all of the transit funding options

LEGAL REVIEW

The City Attorney has reviewed this report

CEQA REVIEW

The Community Development Director has determined that this matter is covered by the

general rule that the California Environmental Quality Act applies only to projects that

have the potential for causing a significant effect on the environment in accordance with

Section

15061

b

3

of the Guidelines

This update item

will

not have

a

significant

effect on the environment because the receipt of information regarding the trolley usage

will

not result

in

or lead

to a physical change

in

Claremont Therefore

environmental review is needed at this time

no

additional

PUBLIC NOTICE PROCESS

This item has been notified through the regular agenda notification process

Copies are

available at the City Hall public counter the Youth Activity Center the Alexander Hughes

Community Center the City website and the Claremont Public Library

City Council

April 14

2009

Page 7 of 7

ALTERNATIVES TO STAFF RECOMMENDATION

In addition to the staff recommendation

there are the following alternatives

  • 1 Refer the matter back to staff

Submitted by

Prepared by

ott

a

roll

Director of Community Services

Anna Sanchez

Senior Management Analyst

Prepared by

  • v CTudor Council Agenda ReportslTrolley Report 4 14 09 doc

W

Elizabeth Bretthauer

Administrative Intern

Reviewed By

yp

Adam Pirrie

Finance Manager

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