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The Coordinator is the bi-monthly newsletter produced by the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG).
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May is Bike Month!



Above: Sarah Skeen and Cheng Yan display SLOCOG & Rideshare's Bike Month promotional items at the FHWA office in Sacramento.

May 2015 is Bike Month! SLO Regional Rideshare has been gearing up for its month long celebrations intended to encourage and educate the public on the benefits of riding a bike. A major theme this year is safety and Rideshare has created some key public engagement promotions in order to carry that message throughout the month. 

More information can be found in the staff report. 
READ HERE

Questions? Contact Stephanie Hicks at 805-781-4462 or shicks@slocog.org.
 

2014 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) Approved!


On April 1st, the SLOCOG Board unanimously approved the required environmental documentation and the SLOCOG 2014 Regional Transportation Plan (2014 RTP). The SLOCOG Board authorized staff to incorporate various SLOCOG Board and public comments, finalize, and release the 2014 RTP.

The 2014 RTP includes a strong commitment to creating a more sustainable transportation system that maximizes choice, addresses transportation issues holistically, and is both visionary and attainable. The Plan includes a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) that calls for the development of more multi-family housing close to job centers to help reduce the generation of greenhouse gases. The SCS strengthens the land use/transportation connection and supports smarter, more sustainable land use policies by providing for more livable and walkable communities; and, further enhance our quality of life by promoting sustainability and offering more mobility options for people and goods.

The 2014 RTP provides for a balanced multimodal investment strategy by focusing on the effectiveness of the entire transportation system. The Plan prioritizes improvements addressing how to maximize system efficiencies through implementation of transportation demand and system management techniques; enhanced transit services; improvements to state highways, routes of regional significance and local streets: as well as bike and pedestrian improvement projects that are proposed to be implemented "on the ground" over the 20 year time frame covered by the Plan.

More information can be found in the staff report.
READ HERE

Questions? Contact Steve Devencenzi at 805-781-4662 or sdevencenzi@slocog.org.
 


Tightened Estimates for TDA Funds in FYs 14/15 and 15/16.


Annually SLOCOG apportions TDA funds to the seven cities, the County, SLOCOG and Ride-On for the upcoming fiscal year. These funds are made up of Local Transportation Funds (LTF) and State Transit Assistance (STA). LTF is derived from ¼ cent collected in retail sales taxes. STA is a portion of the sales tax on diesel tax.
 
For FY 14/15, the Board has approved a 3.8% reduction in LTF allocations. This is a result of a recently received revenue estimate that was lower by 15%. The resulting 3.8% LTF reduction is intended to be absorbed primarily from Streets and Roads allocations rather than Transit. The reduction would have been significantly higher if $2,000,000 had not been set aside as an LTF Reserve at the start of the year. The large reserve was an acknowledgement of the uncertainty of LTF deposits, particularly receipts from solar accounts. 
 
For 15/16, the County Auditor has estimated LTF at $12,426,000, assuming essentially flat revenue and no opening cash balance. An STA estimate has been received from the State Controller’s office which totals $1,510,596 (a $28,164 increase over prior year). Thus, the combined LTF/STA estimate is $13,936,596. After deductions for the fund reserve and other required allocations the preliminary LTF amounts available for apportionment to the jurisdictions, shown in Table A of the staff report, represent an average 23% decrease over the previous year. Similarly, the proposed STA allocations are shown in Table B.

More information can be found in the staff report. 
READ HERE

Questions? Contact Peter Rodgers at 805-781-5712 or prodgers@slocog.org.
 

SLOCOG and Rideshare Triennial Performance Audit


In October 2014, SLOCOG retained PMC, Inc. to conduct a 3-year performance audit of SLOCOG and Regional Rideshare. A site visit was held in January 2015. The draft findings and recommendations were released in early March.
 
At the April SLOCOG Board meeting, the auditor presented highlights on key findings and resulting recommendations for SLOCOG/Regional Rideshare to implement over the next 3 years. Key findings are as follows:
  1. SLOCOG fulfilled all TDA requirements as the Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA); the agency also implemented all prior audit recommendations.
  2. As shown by FTE counts, SLOCOG remains prudent with personnel composition, in line with funding constraints at the local and regional levels of government.
  3. A major re-branding took place during the audit period, which helped to promote a cohesive identity in addressing regional transportation issues.
  4. Interviewees gave high marks to SLOCOG: namely its responsiveness, ability to maintain fairness and consistency with the vision of the transportation system. They also recognize further challenges ahead under an environment of diminished resources.
  5. Agency is active in the planning and coordination of public transit services; the auditor noted the agreements in place to facilitate the communication and coordination with local and regional partners-leading to transit plans updates, grant applications and programming of transit projects.
  6. With the Board support toward consolidation, the region succeeded in completing transit plans, examining productivity and leading to ways to improve the transit systems to better meet community needs.
  7. Regional information and outreach played a significant role in SLOCOG’s ability to achieve its milestones in the past 3 years.  With the addition of the Public Information Officer, SLOCOG was able to revamp its approach to marketing and public engagement.  These improvements were done in line with the updated Public Participation Plan.
Audit Recommendations address the following areas:
  • Make possible or mandated administrative changes: greater use of technology for annual Transportation Development Act (TDA) claims and SLOCOG’S readiness for State Transit Assistance (STA) eligibility tests (exempt for the past 5 years).
  • Consider codifying the use of TDA contingency reserve fund (regional TDA guidelines).
  • Expand the Unmet Transit needs geographical/temporal outreach by working with local jurisdictions, if/when they wish to participate.
More information can be found in the staff report.
READ HERE

Questions? Contact Eliane Wilson at (805) 781-5711 or eguillot@slocog.org
 


$723,791 in Transit Funds Awarded! 


At their April 1st meeting, the SLOCOG Board awarded 7 projects in the amount of $723,791 from two different transit funding programs (Proposition 1B and Rural Transit Funds). Funding goes towards transit capital projects and to maintain existing regional transit service levels. The following projects were awarded:
  • Bus Stop Solar Lighting for RTA, SCT, and Paso Express - $64,612
  • Runabout and Dial-A-Ride (DAR) Vehicle Video System - $176,691
  • 2 North Coast Replacement Vehicles - $149,600
  • Call Back System for Runabout and DAR Vehicles - $33,000
  • Match for 5 Runabout Cutaway Vans - $46,700
  • Ride-On Transportation Onboard Cameras - $53,188
  • RTA Operating Assistance 2015/16 - $200,000
TOTAL = $723,791

The SLOCOG Board also approved setting aside an $84K reserve in Rural Transit Funds to supplement funding shortfalls for rural transit operators due to a reduction in FY 15/16 Local Transportation Funds (LTF). Programming is scheduled for December. 

More information can be found in the staff report.
READ HERE

Questions? Contact Tim Gillham at (805) 781-1520 or tgillham@slocog.org
 


Active Transportation Funding 


In April, staff presented a list of 31 concept proposals to the SLOCOG Board that were received from member agencies that will be seeking funding for Active Transportation (AT) projects. The total funding requested in the concept proposals exceeded $57M. SLOCOG staff anticipates that approximately $1 to $2M may be available through the state’s competitive ATP grant program for projects in San Luis Obispo County. The fund estimate for SLOCOG’s discretionary programming is estimated at approximately $2.5M per year for FY16/17, FY 17/18, and FY 18/19.

More information can be found in the staff report.
READ HERE

Questions? Contact Richard Murphy at (805) 781-5754 or rmurphy@slocog.org

 


Environmental Projects, 
Transit Assistance Included in FTIP Amendment No. 4


Amendment No. 4 to the 2015 Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP), which was approved by the SLOCOG Board on April 1, included the Piedras Blancas Realignment Project and a number of programs aimed at improving transportation for seniors and persons with disabilities via the (FTA) Sec. 5310 program. The FTIP is a comprehensive listing of the San Luis Obispo County region’s surface transportation and transit projects that receive federal funds or are subject to a federally required action, or are regionally significant.

Amendment No. 4 also included the addition of a project funded by the federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) to purchase trail maintenance equipment in the Los Padres National Forest. It is being submitted to Caltrans, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and FTA for approval.

More information can be found in the staff report.
READ HERE

Questions? Contact Richard Murphy at 805-781-5754 or rmurphy@slocog.org.
 
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FY 15/16 OWP and Budget
 
At the April board meeting, the SLOCOG board approved the FY 2015/16 SLOCOG Overall Work Program (OWP). The draft 2015/16 OWP was submitted to FHWA, FTA and Caltrans March 9, 2015. Their final comments and recommendations will be included in the final OWP which will be brought back in June for final Board consideration. The draft 2015/16 OWP is available on-line at slocog.org/about/work-program

More information can be found in the staff report. 
READ HERE
 

Down the Road...
 
The next scheduled meeting of the SLOCOG Board will be held at the San Luis Obispo County Government Center, Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Upcoming items:
  • Regional Disadvantaged Communities Assessment
  • Rideshare update 
  • Scenic Byway Community Gateway Project Update
  • Status of US 101 Operational Improvements Assessment
ADA accommodations may be requested by contacting SLOCOG offices at 781-4219. Please note that 48 hours advance notice is necessary to accommodate your request. 
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ABOUT SLOCOG
The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) is an area-wide planning and programming agency for issues of regional concern. SLOCOG is also the federal-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the state-designated Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA), the Service Authority for Freeways and Expressways (SAFE), the Census Data Affiliate (CDA) and the Regional Ridesharing Program for the San Luis Obispo Region. Member agencies and their designated representatives are listed below:
 
President - Debbie Arnold (District 5)
Vice President - Jan Marx (San Luis Obispo)

District 1 Supervisor - Frank Mecham
District 2 Supervisor - Bruce Gibson
District 3 Supervisor - Adam Hill
District 4 Supervisor - Lynn Compton
District 5 Supervisor - Debbie Arnold

Executive Director - Ron DeCarli

Copyright © 2015
San Luis Obispo Council of Governments,
All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
1114 Marsh St.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
         


          Arroyo Grande - Jim Guthrie, Council Member

          Atascadero - Tom O'Malley, Mayor

          Grover Beach - John Shoals, Mayor

          Morro Bay - Jamie Irons, Mayor

          Paso Robles - Fred Strong, Council Member

          Pismo Beach - Shelly Higginbotham, Mayor

          San Luis Obispo - Jan Howell Marx, Mayor

          Ex-Officio, Caltrans District 5 - Timothy Gubbins