Meeting Minutes — August 8, 2019
The Smart Cities and Innovations Committee (SCIC) convened at 12:05 pm on Thursday, August 8, 2019.
Commissioners in attendance:
Chairperson, Commissioner Andria McClellan (Norfolk)
Commissioner Keith Parnell (Norfolk)
Commissioner Dr. Patricia Woodbury (Newport News)
Commissioner Jimmy Gray, TDCHR Hampton
Hampton Roads Transit Staff in attendance:
Alesia Cain, HRT Chief Information Officer & Chief Technology Officer, SCIC HRT Representative
William Harrell, HRT President & Chief Executive Officer
Ray Amoruso, HRT Chief Planning & Development Officer
Conner Burns, HRT Chief Financial Officer
Joe Dillard, HRT Government Relations Liaison
Kamlesh Chowdhary, HRT Director of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
Stephanie Salzone, HRT Sr. Manager of Bus Transportation, Transit Operations
Shelia Gulledge, HRT Technology Project Manager, SCIC Secretary
Jan Lesser, Innovations in Transportation, Inc. (INIT)
Ben Schoenfeld, Code for Hampton Roads
Judith Brown, League of Women Voters, South Hampton (LWVSH)
The SCIC meeting package for June 13, 2019 contained the Agenda and Meeting Minutes from May 9, 2019. It was distributed electronically to all Commissioners in advance of the meeting and posted to Hampton Roads Transit’s SCIC website.
Agenda, August 8, 2019
- Review and Approval of June 2019 Smart Cities & Innovation Committee Minutes
- Old Business
- Action Items Review
- Updates on Local Smart Cities Initiatives
- Updates from Working Groups
- New Business
- SCIC Initiatives and Opportunities Discussion
- Working Group Breakouts
- Data & Analytics (Alt. Commissioner Tara Reel, Lead)
- Fare Collection (Alt. Commissioner Carl Jackson, Lead)
- First Mile/Last Mile (Commissioner Aaron Rouse, Lead)
- AV/EV/Alternative Transportation (Commissioner Andria McClellan, Lead)
- Partnerships (Commissioner Keith Parnell, Lead)
Commissioner McClellan convened the meeting with introductions of attendees and their titles/roles.
Review of the June 2019 Meeting Minutes resulted in no changes which was followed by a motion to approve by Commissioner Woodbury and properly seconded by Commissioner Parnell. The June 2019 Meeting Minutes were subsequently approved by a unanimous vote.
- Action Item Updates
- FTA IMI Grant Application – Commissioner McClellan noted that this was an exciting opportunity but there were challenges with the short timeframe, coupled with the internal resources that would have been needed. Ms. Cain added that the grant administrators were looking for shovel-ready projects but we had nothing in the pipeline that could be immediately identified for the grant.
- Ridesharing – Commissioner McClellan received case studies package and stated that other Uber talks covered their journey planning, ticketing and pooling technology similar to Traffix in Dallas; microtransit direct connect for disadvantaged people in Florida and paratransit efforts in Boston. Other cities are subsidizing Uber pools.
- Concept Paper – a technical write up was provided and the State is seeking clarification on associated items and the coordination with other projects. HRT is working on the response which will be provided to SCIC.
- Electric Bus Pilot – FTA signed federal grants on May 28 for six electric buses and seven charging stations. HRT in queue for Proterra that is 100% grant-funded; awaiting Commission approval.
- Local Smart City Initiatives
- “Art in Transit” – Whether this art is visual, performance, on the bus or at the station, this initiative may coincide nicely with the VA Arts Festival. Commissioner McClellan mentioned that a brainstorming session with stakeholders and interested parties, perhaps including Amtrak, who would like to participate is being scheduled. She asked for SCIC suggestions on others that should be included. Commissioner Parnell cautioned to ensure regulations are in place for art displays and use.
- Clean Energy Summit – Scheduled in September that Commissioner McClellan suggested that a transit representative may consider attending.
- SCIC Working Group Updates
AV/EV/Alternative Transportation: Commissioner McClellan, Lead
Members: Alesia Cain, Ray Amoruso, Sybil Pappas, Susan Vitale, Alt. Commissioner Reel
- Commissioner McClellan discussed the business model for scooter providers and how other transit agencies work with them, using geofencing, curbside lanes and other options. Virginia Beach wants to consider using trolley lanes since Wave vehicles go slowly on the ocean front. There are some concerns given the magnitude and size difference, but that 181k miles have been traveled with scooters and cities like Atlanta ban their use during certain times due to the deaths associated with riding them late night. Scooters may be an option for customers to get to/from bus stops.
- Mr. Harrell and Mr. Amoruso added that local scooter companies want to paint slots to serve as parking spaces for scooters and that HRT will coordinate meetings with them to include Safety & Security. There was discussion on safety of lithium batteries and boarding light rail vehicles.
- Dr. Woodbury asked for an updated status on Pace (bicycles) or whether scooters have now replaced them so we can determine how people use scooters (vs. riding local transit) and what partnerships may be needed. She also addressed the hazard scooters may present when they have no designated parking and are left to impede crosswalks and standing areas to await bus arrivals.
- Mr. Schoenfeld added that if there are scooter docking stations at bus stations and riders had financial incentives to drop off there, that may bring a concentration of scooters where they are more likely to ridden by HRT passengers. Commissioner McClellan noted that Lyme (current scooter provider) “rebalances” scooters nightly to charge them (GPS-tracked). Commissioner Parnell advised that businesses would love to see these devices in front of their businesses because it reduces the need for public parking spaces.
- Microtransit Flex Zones – Mr. Harrell advised that the State is looking for information on more defined projects that will be addressed in the upcoming President’s Report within the HRT Strategic Plan. The State seems to be very amenable towards partnerships to address flex zones.
- SCIC Initiatives and Opportunities
- Additional information forthcoming on DRPT opportunities at the state level that will be shared with SCIC Members when received.
- Commissioner Gray led a brief discussion on reconciliation, strategic budgeting, funding and priority setting to ensure technology investments can be properly identified, leveraged and approved. Mr. Harrell advised that Ms. Cain will formulate a comprehensive plan of the top two-to-three technology priorities and provide a realistic foundation of those suggested priorities and the structure(s) needed to achieve them. Commissioner Gray acknowledged that some of these priorities, like electric buses, may have a significant lead time to build the infrastructure (remote recharging stations, etc.) to complete the effort. The Commissioners expressed interest in providing necessary support and advocacy for technology priorities to bring before the TDCHR.
- Commissioner McClellan added that two key priority considerations should be real-time data and mobility payments
- Commissioner Parnell reminded the SCIC that this committee is an idea committee with open-ended conversations of what we might want or need to do and that how the projects will be funded should not guide priorities or conversations
The meeting adjourned at 1:08 p.m.
The next SCIC meeting has been rescheduled to Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 2:30 pm
Location: HRT Hampton Offices, 3400 Victoria Boulevard