Smart Cities & Innovation Committee

Download March Meeting Package

Meeting Minutes – March 12, 2020

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

Commissioners in attendance

Chairperson, Commissioner Andria McClellan (Norfolk)
Commissioner Keith Parnell (Norfolk)
Alt. Commissioner Carl Jackson (Portsmouth)

Hampton Roads Transit Staff in attendance

William Harrell, President & Chief Executive Officer
Brian Smith, Chief of Staff
Robert Travers, HRT Attorney
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
Chandler Motley, Transit Operations
Shelia Gulledge, Technology Project Manager, SCIC Administrative Liaison

Additional Attendees

Janice Taylor, PAC
Denise Johnson, TRAC
Paul Atkinson, Eggleston/PAC
Judy Swystun, HRTI
Noelle Claybrook, TransLōc
Chris Campbell, RouteMatch

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

Agenda – March 12, 2020

  1. Review and Approval of Smart Cities & Innovation Committee Minutes
  2. New Business
    1. Microtransit Exploration, Presentations, Discussion
    2. Legislative Updates
  3. Old Business
  4. Adjournment
Opening Remarks

Commissioner McClellan began with a brief overview and outline of microtransit services in public transit and expectation of this and the next SCIC session to hear from microtransit providers to learn about leveraging these services and unique approaches to microtransit.

1. New Business
  1. Microtransit Presentations
    • Noelle Claybrook, representing TransLōc, headquartered in Durham, NC, announced that her organization recently merged with DoubleMap and Ride Systems. They will soon be known as Ford Mobility.
      • Ms. Claybrook presented data on TransLōc’s on demand platform and Uber-like service that includes the software/mobile application, professional services, reporting and strategic partnerships with companies that provide dispatch/administrative assistance.
    • Chris Campbell, representing RouteMatch, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, explained the principles guiding mobility as well as the platform, approach and vision of RouteMatch’s mobility-on-demand services which are focused on the technology that leverages artificial intelligence to positively effect rider and community-centric outcomes.
  2. Microtransit Discussion
    • SCIC members actively engaged in microtransit exploration covering a myriad of questions and considerations such as how this concept may be leveraged to increase paratransit riders on fixed routes via on-demand services to a hub or last stop.
    • Other discussion items included:
      • Fare payment options for the unbanked or those without credit/debit cards; possibility of having microtransit subscription services
      • Microtransit availability for under-served or unserved areas (transportation deserts), micro-zones and creation of service hubs for frequently traveled locales
      • ADA services and accommodations (and service animal protocols) for those with little/no Internet access or smartphones
      • Demonstrated and potential cost efficiencies using intermodal trips
      • Mapping data integration/interface from publicly available, AVL or API sources
      • Pilot scoping/analysis; system design/simulations
    • Judy Swystun, HRTI, encouraged HRT to visit and talk shortfalls and positives “transit-to-transit” with any microtransit provider being considered to see them in action in agencies of similar size.
  3. Legislative Win
    • Commissioner McClellan commented on HRT’s recent, large funding award to support the regional backbone bus plan (transformational transit study). Dr. Brian Smith acknowledged that this dedicated funding stream had been sought since HRT’s inception
      • William Harrell added that planning and strategic thinking was invested in determining the potential pilot zones. Gene Cavasos added that focus on empirical data for zones with a high probability of success resulted in identifying the initial two highest scoring zones are in Newport News and Virginia Beach, though the results of this pilot will also benefit the region.
2. Old Business
  1. GTFS/Real-Time Transit
    • Michael Price, HRT’s CIO/CTO, delivered a brief presentation on the status, progress and plan for upcoming real-time information that will enable HRT riders to plan trips and access real-time schedules, bus stop and other transit data through web browsers or phones using Google Maps
  2. Electric & Autonomous Buses
    • Mr. Harrell responded to Commissioner McClellan’s question on the status of electric buses by advising that next month expecting to recommended contract for design of the powering stations. Mr. Harrell advised that Mr. Amoruso is prepared to present to this committee next month and the challenges this technology may present. One of which is an important part of the discussion – working with the Unions to discuss issues such as retraining opportunities in the future.
    • Mr. Harrell also mentioned opportunities to expand ridership and improve the customer experience – not just in lowering costs of rides but lessening the amount of time needed to arrive at destinations.
  3. Upcoming SCIC Meetings
    • Commissioner McClellan noted that next month, Uzurv and Via are expected to present and in May, DRPT will participate and provide updates on their activities and focus
    • Alt. Commissioner Carl Jackson suggested consideration of virtual meetings as part of the pandemic response. Commissioner Parnell added that while virtual meetings can be held, the current rules require in-person participation to hold votes on full Committee issues. Commissioner McClellan advised that as a subcommittee of TDCHR, this does not apply to SCIC.
  4. SCIC Meeting Records
    • Commissioner McClellan queried participants on their review of the previous SCIC meeting minutes and called for any revisions. Hearing no changes, a motion to approve was offered by Alt. Commissioner Jackson and properly seconded by Commissioner Parnell. The SCIC Meeting Minutes from October and December 2019 as well as the January and February 2020 were subsequently approved by a unanimous vote.

The meeting adjourned at 1:36 p.m.

Meeting Date

March 12, 2020 12:00pm

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