Smart Cities & Innovation Committee

Download June Meeting Package

Meeting Minutes – June 11, 2020

The Smart Cities and Innovations Committee (SCIC) convened at 12:11 pm on Thursday, June 11, 2020.

Commissioners in attendance

Chairperson, Commissioner Andria McClellan (Norfolk)
Commissioner Keith Parnell (Norfolk)
Alt. Commissioner Carl Jackson (Portsmouth)
Alt. Commissioner Tara Reel (Virginia Beach)

Hampton Roads Transit Staff in attendance

William Harrell, President & Chief Executive Officer
Brian Smith, Chief of Staff
Ray Amoruso, Chief Planning & Development Officer
Michael A. Price, Chief Information Officer & Chief Technology Officer
Kamlesh Chowdhary, Director of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
Erin Glenn, Director of Enterprise Technology Solutions (ETS)
Bobby Edwards, Bus Transportation
Shelia Gulledge, Technology Project Manager, SCIC Administrative Liaison

Additional Attendees

Janice Taylor, PAC
Denise Johnson, TRAC
Cole S. Fisher, City of Virginia Beach

The SCIC meeting package containing the Agenda and March and May 2020 Meeting Minutes was distributed electronically to all Commissioners in advance of the meeting and posted to Hampton Roads Transit’s SCIC website.

Agenda – June 11, 2020

  1. Call To Order
    1. Review and Approval of Smart Cities & Innovation Committee Minutes
    2. Updates & Announcements
  2. Old Business
    1. Working Group Updates
    2. Legislative Updates
  3. New Business
    1. Automated Bus Consortium Program – HRT & DRPT
    2. SCIC Initiatives & Opportunities
  4. Adjournment
Opening Remarks

Commissioner McClellan convened the meeting with a brief discussion of maintaining a sense of normalcy to the extent possible by continuing to move forward and reaching out to members for greater virtual participation in the Committee. The March 2020 meeting minutes were not approved as there was not a quorum present.

1. Old Business
  1. Legislative Updates
    • Dr. Brian Smith provided legislative updates, noting the interest from SCIC in particular of technology is properly invested as a core area. He announced that the General Assembly passed legislation this session to create a dedicated level of funding for regional transit. Regional funding may be leveraged to supplement projects like mobile fare payments, real-time technology, passenger information displays at major transit hubs, etc.
      • One of the key components of HRT’s Strategic Plan the Board is considering for adoption is this regional program wherein technology is one of the eligible expense categories and critical investments that will be made.
  2. Automated Bus Consortium
    • Ray Amoruso provided an update on the Automated Bus Consortium that has been underway for 14 months with a goal to accelerate the deployment of automated transit technology throughout the country. The Consortium consists of 13 agencies working together to answer key questions and advance understanding and the leverage of technology to provide transit services.
    • A challenge to automation is that many of the traffic signals (e.g., City of Norfolk) on 264 would have to be replaced and retrofitted to a standard to be able to communicate with the bus, which is a significant capital investment.
    • William Harrell noted HRT’s conversations with DRPT and the fact that the traffic engineering staff have added funding request which differed significantly from what was initially presented. Recognizing the increased costs and technological challenges, the State recommended they not continue, and HRT concurs based on manufacturers’ concerns and speed of potential pilot that it would not be advantageous to move forward. He added that as technology improves in the future, there may be an opportunity to reengage.
  3. GTFS-Real Time
    • Michael Price updated SCIC on the status of the Google validation necessary for real-time data, estimated to take up to 90 days, with a go-live projection of October 1.
    • Comm. McClellan suggested we consider wrapping real-time and electric bus news in an October announcement/activity.
  4. Mobile Ticketing
    • Mr. Price responded to questions on mobile ticketing integration advising that we are working towards an enterprise-wide solution.
2. New Business
  1. COVID Impact on Public Transit
    • Comm. McClellan led a discussion of what transit may look like in the near- and long-term future that incorporates some form of social distancing and how technology can assist with that, such as initiating a seat reservation system, wearing masks. She questioned whether some of the COVID dollars can be used for this purpose. Mr. Harrell noted Jim Price’s presentation that covers what HRT is doing across all modes.
      • Ray Amoruso mentioned publicly funded transit agencies have to ensure Title VI compliance and some of those protected classes do not have Internet access that would be needed to reserve seats.
      • Comm. McClellan asked about status of microtransit pilot. Funding was not necessarily going to be connected to DRPT funding. Looking to leverage VDOT funding.
      • We should be leaning into innovations, especially during COVID to think about how we do things differently.
      • Alt. Comm. Jackson asked if HRT has looked into some of the ultraviolet lamps as a way of bus sanitation as have some other cities to which Mr. Harrell responded that electrostatic cleaning is done nightly and HRT is looking into additional air purification systems as well.
  2. Additional Discussion/Announcements
    • Alt. Commissioner Tara Reel announced that she is leaving the City of Virginia Beach to join the U.S. Department of Transportation in Boston, MA working on developing Federal policy on electric and automated vehicles.
    • Commissioner McClellan suggested taking a summer break and returning to the SCIC meeting schedule in September. Ms. Gulledge will notify membership of the new schedule.

The meeting adjourned at 1:15 p.m.

Meeting Date

June 11, 2020 12:00pm

View Smart Cities & Innovation