Smart Cities & Innovation Committee

Download SCIC June 13 Meeting Package

Meeting Minutes — June 13, 2019

The Smart Cities and Innovations Committee (SCIC) convened at 12:04 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, 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
Ray Amoruso, HRT Chief Planning & Development Officer
Brian Smith, HRT Chief of Staff
Kamlesh Chowdhary, HRT Director of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
Sheri Dixon, HRT Director of Treasury, Finance
Stephanie Salzone, HRT Sr. Manager of Bus Transportation, Transit Operations
Keisha Branch, HRT Grants Administration & DBE Officer, Planning & Development
Jennifer Dove, HRT DBE & Grants Coordinator, Planning & Development
Shelia Gulledge, HRT Technology Project Manager, SCIC Secretary

Additional Attendees:

Janice Taylor, Paratransit Advisory Committee (PAC)
Mecit Cetin, Old Dominion University
Kevin Curry, Code for Hampton Roads
Jan Lesser, Innovations in Transportation, Inc. (INIT)

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 – June 13, 2019

  1. Approval of May 2019 Smart Cities & Innovation Committee Minutes
  2. Old Business
    1. Action Items Review
    2. Updates on Transportation Events in May
      • 2019 APTA Mobility Conference
      • Transportation Innovation Forum
      • 2019 VTA Annual Transit Conference
    3. Updates on Local Smart Cities Initiatives
    4. Updates from Working Groups
  3. New Business
    1. Grant Discussion – Projects supporting SCIC initiatives
    2. 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)
  4. Adjournment

Opening Remarks

Commissioner McClellan convened the meeting with introductions of attendees and their titles/roles.

Review of the May 2019 Meeting Minutes resulted in no changes which was followed by a motion to approve by Commissioner McClellan and properly seconded by Commissioner Woodbury. The May 2019 Meeting Minutes were subsequently approved by a unanimous vote.

Old Business

  1. Action Items were distributed and reviewed with no updates needed
  2. Transportation Events Updates
    • Transportation Innovation Forum – Commissioner McClellan noted innovative ideas were discussed, e.g., Jacksonville’s “Beach Buddy” Service which are fixed route trollies and larger, ADA-accessible on-demand golf cart services with drivers that work for tips. This is low-tech but is “outside-the-box” thinking that would not involve a huge cost to pilot in an area like near the Oceanview beaches. Presentations from the Transportation Innovation Forum are posted in the SCIC Library
    • VTA 2019 Transit Annual Conference – There was strategic dialog between vendors and Virginia transit agencies, including Virginia DRPT, related to opportunities for incorporating mobility in transit. Ms. Cain was a presenter on the Mobile Solutions for Virginia Transit Agencies: Challenges and Opportunities Panel. Mr. William E. Harrell, President/CEO of Hampton Roads Transit, spoke on Inclusion of Mobility Advances in Strategic Planning and Mr. Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., CEO of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), keynote speaker, spoke on Mobility Advances in the Transit Industry and Leadership – video here:
    • APTA 2019 Mobility Conference – Ms. Cain attended many sessions focused on emerging technologies, connected vehicles, autonomous vehicles and the implications to transit. FTA spoke about their priorities and initiatives, including infrastructure investments, mobility management, workforce development, and technology
      • The APTA Connected and Automated Vehicle Committee launched with a goal of convening annual meetings and monthly teleconferences to examine how this committee can best work on the regulatory side with vehicle requirements and standards
      • RTD (Denver) launched the first TNC and public transit collaboration in the nation integrating their transit information within the Uber app for journey planning
      • Key take-aways from the conference are that transit agencies need to be ready for the upcoming push for emerging technologies to include autonomous, connected and electric vehicles and that they should seek and participate in creative and collaborative partnership opportunities to develop and deploy tech to usher in a new age of transit
    • Additional Discussion
      • Commissioners Woodbury and Parnell discussed the concept of Pedicabs and Mr. Amoruso added that the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program grant (now inactive) related to this effort never progressed from the research and development phase
      • Ready-Ride vans are being used for paratransit that cuts costs, which may be something for our agency to explore. Mr. Smith mentioned that we have partnered with VA Clean Cities in the past and they were helpful collaborators
      • Commissioner Woodbury shared two articles from “American City & County” magazine on Smartest Cities in the US and The Road to Tomorrow that considers how autonomous vehicles will define funding structures on the roadway and speaks to providing connectivity in underserved neighborhoods
  3. Smart City Initiatives
    • Innovative ideas included an “Art in Transit” public outreach program that engages local artists and/or musicians to creatively design exhibitions/murals on HRT vehicles; perhaps partnering with the Virginia Arts Festival. Ms. Taylor mentioned this would provide opportunity for new artists as well as spotlighting transit
    • ASCE Transportation & Development Conference – Mr. Cetin reported on this civil engineering event, June 9-12, 2019 held in Alexandria, VA that focused on the impact of smart cities on the infrastructure side
    • Regional Broadband Initiative – Commissioner McClellan noted that this is awaiting authority to be created from a legal standpoint; the expected timeline for finalization is in July for funding and connectivity in 1.5 years. After that, Phase 2 will move out to the Peninsula

New Business

  1. Grant Discussion – Projects supporting SCIC initiatives
    1. FTA IMI Grant Notice
      • NOFO (notice of funding opportunity) created to develop and deploy technology to usher in new age of transit. They are looking for strategic transit automation and integration and the next evolution of mobility on demand programs promoting safe, seamless, reliable transportation systems
      • Each area designated is nationwide funding
      • Schedule to submit grant – August 6, 2019 11:59 pm
      • FTA hosting a Webinar on June 18
      • Potential Ferry Mobile Ticketing Pilot – description and opportunity for submission for FTA IMI Grant was discussed
    2. Electric bus pilot/purchase – Federal and State partnership
      • Mr. Amoruso and Ms. Branch provided updates on the discretionary Federal and State grant awards and the VW Settlement that will be used for future electric bus purchases, the design/rehab of charging structure connected to the power grid
      • DEQ working with HRT on the VW settlement. Ms. Branch coordinating the grant requirements between DEQ and VDRPT
      • Seven charging stations and six full-size electric buses planned
      • Facility charging infrastructure is being worked on
  2. SCIC Working Group Reports
    • AV/EV/Alternative Transportation: Commissioner McClellan, Lead
      Members: Alesia Cain, Ray Amoruso, Sybil Pappas, Susan Vitale, Alt. Commissioner Reel
      • Examining potential pilot for AV loop on naval base; identifying potential candidate routes that meet specific criteria. Meeting with Autonomous Bus Consortium next week on the six suggested routes that will need to be narrowed to three, then scored and ranked
      • Exploring challenges of on-base security enclaves and benefits to military personnel to ride bus when parking is prevalent. Jointly exploring regulatory requirements to allow buses to operate on state-run facilities with DRPT
      • Upcoming VA Command meeting between military branches and agencies to discuss VDRPT project at Henderson Hall Meyers Air Force Base project with Naval Station Norfolk representatives
      • Commissioner McClellan advised that we are not yet ready at an AV autonomy Level 5 – the no operator model
      • Mr. Lesser reported on Rhode Island’s DOT six-passenger AV project, “Little Roadie”, wherein they created a non-existent route, that may be worth exploration. A lot can be learned from that pilot to translate to larger vehicles; challenges of the navigation piece are identical
      • Additional information on the AECOM Automated Bus Consortium
    • Partnerships: Commissioner Parnell, Lead
      Members: Commissioner Gray, Brian Smith, Ron Hodges
      • Commissioner Parnell discussed the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) study in Newport News and Hampton; both City Councils have approved and endorsed participating in the AV pilot and being a test bed. Commissioner Gray added that HRT is currently working with both cities that have both endorsed a grant-funded environmental impact study.
      • Mr. Cetin commented that for that pilot, the roadway systems and routes have specific criteria for full-sized buses such as minimal left turns, light pedestrian traffic, etc. and that the pilot would not likely fit well on the ODU campus
      • Mr. Amoruso mentioned that if the pilot program that demonstrates how the technology works is successful, other controlled environments can be considered


The meeting adjourned at 1:15 p.m.

The July SCIC meeting is cancelled. SCIC will meet next on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 12:00 p.m.
Location: HRT, 509 East 18th Street, Norfolk VA — 2nd Floor Board Room

Meeting Date

June 13, 2019 12:00pm

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