The Galveston County Transit District Board of Directors, comprised of representatives of most of the municipal governments in Galveston County, on Wednesday voted to elect League City Mayor Tim Paulissen as chair, Texas City City Commissioner Dee Ann Haney as vice chair and Bayou Vista alderman Mark Johnstone as secretary.
The board voted unanimously to approve an interlocal agreement with the City of Galveston to assume responsibility for accepting state and federal funding for transportation projects.
“As we suspected, the 2010 Census’ impact on Galveston County has made some changes,” explained transportation consultant Barry Goodman. “The city of Galveston is no longer a ‘small urban’ area. It is now considered a ‘rural’ area.” Listen
Goodman said that because of the way the federal and state laws work with respect to the distribution of transit funding, rural areas get both federal and state transit funding through the Texas Department of Transportation.
“They use a formula to allocate that funding,” he said. “They also, by state law, need a transit district to at least be the representative agency, and in this case, a pass-through agency for the funding to get it to where they want it to go; in this case the city of Galveston.”
Goodman updated the board on the new transportation bill under consideration by the United States Congress. Listen
“The bill is sort of what we call a stop-gap measure to continue funding transportation programs for another two years,” he said.
Kemah City Administrator Rick Beverlin reported on an interlocal agreement his city council has approved with the Gulf Coast Center to establish a multi-story transportation terminal. He said the terminal could serve as a park and ride for commuters to Houston and Galveston as well as terminal for visitors to the Kemah Boardwalk who will use a “touristy looking” old style or electric trolley. Listen
“We’re also going to investigate even a pedestrian bridge or swing bridge infrastructure across the marina channel,” Beverlin said.
John Carrara of The Goodman Corporation reviewed issues related to the Galveston-Houston Mobility Corridor and the proposed Island Transit-METRO Interconnect. Listen
James Hollis of the Gulf Coast Center reported that the Victory Lakes Park and Ride operation continues to be a success.
The meeting was at the Dickinson Historical Rail Depot in Dickinson.