The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Board of Directors today voted unanimously to approve a $5,793,193, 10-year contract with Trapeze Software Group for an enterprise asset management system.
METRO received $3.2 million in Federal Transit Administration Grants for the State of Good Repair Program, which will help fund the contract. Initial implementation of the system is $2,146,095, which will be paid through the grant. Annual licensing and maintenance costs will total $365,000 per year.
Director Cindy Siegel asked about the higher cost of the contract, which was selected for the company's “superior capital planning functionality”. METRO had received two proposals for the system.
“This proposal gives us a more robust system, and gives us the opportunity in the field, to use our workforce more expeditiously,” METRO CEO George Greanias said.
The board voted to approve an interlocal agreement with Fort Bend County for the development of a “seamless transit service” between the county and downtown Houston.
Under the agreement, Fort Bend County will provide federal funding and METRO will assist in providing local matching funds for a study to determine how to provide transit service with the county.
METRO's share of the local match is $2,266.
“This is just an example being a trusted community partner, which requires us to reach outside our service area to complete the transit system that we really need,” Greanias said.
The board voted to modify a contract with HRT METRORail for the design and installation of a perimeter security system at the rail operating center, at a total cost of $764,592.
All items were approved by unanimous vote. Directors Christof Spieler and Carrin Patman were absent. Agenda
Dr. Stephen Klineberg, co-director of Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, presented information to the board regarding transit-related findings from the most recent Kinder Houston Area Survey, which he said reveals a major change in the public’s attitudes toward transit Listen
“A critical question that we asked this year is ‘Should we continue to use 25 percent of METRO funds for street improvements and other non-transit projects, or should all METRO funds be dedicated to transit improvements?” Klineberg reported. “Fifty-five percent said ‘Stop what we’re now doing – all METRO moneys need to be spent for transit’.”
He said only 40 percent of those surveyed say the current process should continue. In 1995, a similar survey said that 53 percent thought it was a good idea to use transit money for non-transit purposes; and 39 percent were opposed.
“So that has been reversed,” Klineberg said. “People are now much more concerned about transit moneys being used to improve transit.”
Greanias gave a report on the 2012 Service Area Assessment Survey. Listen
“Nearly 70 percent of our riders and non-riders gave us a positive impression of METRO, either Good, Somewhat Positive or Very Positive,” Greanias said.
The Kinder Houston Survey and the METRO Service Area Assessment Survey will be posted on the METRO website at www.ridemetro.org.
Better Houston Director Peter Brown appeared before the board to encourage METRO to “go on the offensive” to promote its rail expansion project. Listen
Uptown Houston District President John Breeding urged the board to consider improvements its bus system to serve the area along Post Oak Boulevard, Westheimer and the Galleria. Listen