Grant Application for Fund Night Service on CTS Route 5



Guidance on County participation with Charlottesville Transit Service (CTS) to apply for a grant to fund night service for Route 5 in the Route 29 north corridor




Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Graham, Benish, and Wade







January 9, 2008


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During the Board of Supervisors discussions on allocating the additional $250,000 for transit service improvements in June 2007, consideration was given to using those funds to reduce headways (to 30 minutes) on Route 5 or to provide for night service on this same Route. The Board approved using the additional funds to reduce headways on Route 5, but also indicated an interest in participating with CTS in applying for a future grant to assist in funding night service on CTS Route 5 along Rt. 29 North.


Applications are due in late January for the Federal Transit Administrationís Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) Grant. As the current public transportation provider, CTS would have to apply for the JARC funds. CTS is now is the process of developing a grant application and needs to know if the County still wishes to provide night service on Route 5 and will provide the necessary financial commitment (local match) in order to proceed with the application process.   


Staff has submitted a budget request for FY08-09 to request funding for night service on CTS Route 5.  The budget proposal is currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget and will be reviewed by the Board during the FY09 budget process. A final decision on whether to provide night service on Route 5 will be made during the budget process; however, due to the timing for the grant application, County staff and CTS need direction from the Board on its willingness to participate in the grant proposal prior to the Boardís review schedule for the upcoming budget.




By June 30, 2010, expand regional transit opportunities.




Route 5 currently runs between Barracks Road Shopping Center and Wal-Mart on roads that parallel Route 29 North. Route 5 has service every 30 minutes and operates 6:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. The new night service would extend service to 11:00 p.m. (with service every 30 minutes). CTS has estimated that the total cost to provide this service would be approximately $225,000 per year.  If funded, the service would start in August 2008.


The Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) grant funds, if awarded, would pay for 50 percent of the cost for the expanded service.  CTS is also anticipating that other ongoing Federal and State operating assistance funds and fare revenue from bus riders would cover a portion of the cost for the service.  Therefore, if the JARC grant is received and other Federal/State funds remain at the same level, the Countyís cost for the night service on Route 5 will be approximately $70,000. County funds will be required to apply for this grant since the service is entirely within the County.


Night service along Route 29 North is recommended in the current Transit Development Plan (TDP) that was completed in 2006. This initiative will benefit transit dependent residents that work the night shift at the retail/office establishments along Route 29 North. They will benefit by being able to keep and find jobs because they will have safe, reliable, and cost efficient transportation. This route runs through several residential neighborhoods and therefore has the potential to serve numerous new riders.   The community organization IMPACT has also requested that the Board of Supervisors fund this service.


CTS has previously provided night service to the general area currently served by Route 5. In 2005, the Board discontinued funding for the night route. At that time, the route was the poorest performing route when compared to other night service routes on a rider per service hour basis, serving only 2.72 riders per service hour in FY04 based on data provided by CTS. However, it is important to note that the proposed Route 5 night service differs from the eliminated service in that it will provide headways that are more frequent and the night route will be aligned with the current daytime route, both of which are improvements that would be expected to increase ridership.




The estimated cost to the County would be approximately $70,000 if CTS receives the full grant award and other funding sources remain consistent. A budget request has been submitted as a new strategic initiative for the FY2008/09 budget for the total estimated cost for the night service in the County ($225,000). The Countyís match would be paid to CTS on a quarterly basis. CTS must re-apply for JARC funds annually. 




Staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors join with CTS to apply for the Federal Transit Administration the Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) grant and commit the estimated $70,000 toward the funding of night service on Route 5 in the County.


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