A study to assess the feasibility for consolidating transit operations between the City of Santa Fe and the North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD) has begun after resolutions calling for the study from the Santa Fe City Council and the NCRTD Board of Directors.
After a joint competitive bid process was completed, the two groups selected Carlsbad, California-based Transportation Management & Design, Inc. (TMD) to lead the transit system merger/consolidation analysis. Felsburg Holt & Ullevig (FHU), a transportation specialist organization based in Denver, Colo., will assist in the study and Rosemary Romero Consulting, a Santa Fe-based business consultant, will lead the public involvement component of the study.
In the course of its budget process this year, the City of Santa Fe’s mayor, council and city manager discussed various ideas about creating cost efficiencies with several city services including transit. In order to better understand the opportunities for service coordination, cost efficiencies and coordination, the city council passed a resolution in April 2016 calling for a feasibility study for transit consolidation between the City of Santa Fe and the NCRTD. The NCRTD Board passed a similar resolution supporting the joint effort.
Among the key components of the study:
- Public Outreach, Consensus-building and Presentations;
- Evaluation of Current Operations;
- Labor Force Analysis;
- Collective Bargaining Analysis;
- Fixed Route Service Evaluation;
- Organizational Analysis;
- Paratransit, Dial-A- Ride and demand response systems evaluation;
- Potential for both efficiency and cost associated with consolidation; and
- Constraints associated with consolidation.
Once completed, the study will provide a series of consolidation options, which will be evaluated against those key areas of study to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of each option, as well as obstacles. It also will include a detailed analysis of financial, legal and labor implications; sharing and/or use of existing and future physical assets and labor force; and service performance and integration.
A final document describing the preferred option (s) will be prepared, regardless of the outcome. Even if no consolidation is ultimately recommended, this study will include short-, mid-, and long-term strategies that can be used to achieve a more coordinated system for the users of the fixed (and flex) routes, paratransit, Dial-A- Ride, and demand services in Santa Fe County.
Over the course of the study, TMD will be meeting with key decision makers and elected officials, as well as key stakeholders. A series of four public meetings will be held, one in each city council district, once information from the study becomes available. Those are expected to be conducted in early 2017.
Funding for the $150,000 study is being provided by the New Mexico Department of Transportation, which is contributing $120,000 in federal transit grant planning funds, with an additional $15,000 each to be provided by NCRTD and City of Santa Fe.