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I_TLRC_2019A 10/28/2019 11:02:02 AM Committee Summary

Date 10/28/2019
Carver X
Catlin *
Donovan X
Duran X
Exum X
Foote *
Froelich X
Hisey X
Hooton *
Humphrey X
Lewis E
Moreno X
Pettersen *
Priola X
Scott X
Valdez A. *
Valdez D. *
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Time 11:02:02 AM to 04:12:10 PM
Place Old State Library
This Meeting was called to order by Representative Gray
This Report was prepared by April Bernard
Hearing Items Action Taken
Presentation from RTD Committee Discussion Only
Presentation from the DMV Committee Discussion Only
Presentation from the Public Highway Authorities Committee Discussion Only
Presentation from the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition Committee Discussion Only
Presentation from the Colorado Motor Carriers Committee Discussion Only
Enterprise Holdings Rental Car Company Presentation Committee Discussion Only
Biodiesel Presentation Committee Discussion Only
ACLU Presentation Committee Discussion Only
EdenCrete Presentation Committee Discussion Only
Interim Bill Draft Approval Bills Approved

Presentation from RTD - Committee Discussion Only

11:02:18 AM  

Doug Tisdale, representing the Regional Transportation District (RTD) provided an update to the committee.  He distributed a copy of his presentation (Attachment A).  Mr. Tisdale started with a history of RTD, indicating that this is RTD's 50 year anniversary.  He noted that RTD has 140 fixed bus routes, 99 miles of rail, 8 light rail lines, 3 commuter rail lines, 1 bus rapid transit line, 10,000 bus stops, 80 plus Park-n-Ride locations, and 3,000 employees. He stated that district is 2,400 square miles and serves three million people within the district.

He also noted that the G Line, from Denver Union Station to Wheat Ridge, opened earlier this year on April 26. An extension to the Ridgegate Station was opened for rail lines E,F, and R on May 17, 2019. A $92 million Small Start Grant helped develop the extension sooner.

He also stated that bus routes run 80 percent on time and that light rail lines run 91 percent on time. He noted that the train to the plane, the A line, runs 95 to 96 percent on time.  Mr. Tisdale indicated that employees are working overtime to run services, as there is an operator shortage.

11:12:43 AM  

Dave Genova, representing RTD, provided information about the operator shortage. The committe and Mr. Genova discussed the impacts of the shortage.  Mr. Genova stated that to deal with this issue, 791 bus operators were hired over the last 33 months. Light rail operators were also hired, including 777 employees.   He noted however that a  temporary service reduction may occur in the future and that feedback about service reductions is currently being gathered from stakeholders.

11:16:25 AM  

Mr. Genova responded to questions about service reductions. There was a discussion about strategies to fully staff lines. Mr. Genova stated that RTD may start working with temporary agencies to provide operators, utilizing folks who have worked on similar equipment.

11:20:25 AM  

Mr. Genova continued by stating that outreach will occur to folks before service reductions go into effect.  He noted that the board has committed to temporary reductions and will bring full service back at a later time.

11:22:07 AM  

Mr. Genova continued to provide updates, including information about safety testing. He noted that horns will be used until safety measures are approved. Mr. Genova also presented information about the N line completion to North Thornton Highway 7. He noted that wireless grade crossings are being tested and that there is no official date for opening yet.

11:26:36 AM  

Mr. Genova responded to questions about the N line, including operations and shortages. He noted that RTD is drawing from the same labor pool as contractors currently operating lines.

11:28:07 AM  

Mr. Genova responded to questions about Fastracks projects and stated that project is about 70 percent complete. There are four unfinished remaining corridors, including the B line, Boulder/Longmont; N line, north metro to State Highway 7; C/D line extensions to Highlands Ranch; and L line, extension to 38th Avenue and Blake Street. He stated that these projects require $2.0 billion in funding and that RTD stafff is developing an unfinished corridor report.

11:31:28 AM  

Mr. Genova continued by discussion transportation-oriented development and noted that development has created increased values for office properties, Denver Union Station, and multifamily properties.

He also noted that transit fares may be purchased on the Uber and Lyft apps, and trips involving transit may be planned on the apps. He also stated that youth discount fare programs are being implemented, in addition to fare reductions for low income individuals through the LiVE program.

In response to questions, he stated that RTD is also focused on electrification, including electric zero emission buses on the 16th Street Mall. Planning for the 16th Street Mall project continues with construction beginning in 2020. Other improvements include the 15L bus route, with efficiencies and new shelters. RTD has a new way to communicate news about RTD, News Stop.

11:37:19 AM  

Mr. Genova continued by discussing the planning for the future of RTD.  He noted that the population continues to increase equating to more congestion and funding challenges.  However, there are new technologies on the horizon which may assist with efforts.  RTD created a new program, Reimagine RTD, to reimagine and redesign the mobility of the future.  Current services will be evaluated, as well as projects on the horizon.

11:38:59 AM  

In response to a committee question, Mr. Genova stated that the starting wage is $20 per hour for operators. The salary tops out at $25 per hour. Incentives include $2 per hour for a split shift. An addition $2 per hour is provided for over time. The committee also discussed partnerships with trade schools to provide additional operators and mechanics. Mr. Genova noted that RTD will pay for a commercial driver's license.

11:42:04 AM  

Mr. Genova discussed the employee shortage, especially the drug test requirement. He stated that RTD is subject to federal drug and alcohol requirements which include pre-employment, random, and post-accident testing.

11:43:40 AM  

Mr. Genova responded to questions about pressure on Park-n-Rides, especially riders from outside the district parking in the lots. He stated that popular corridors are 100 percent utilized on a daily basis and that those living outside of the district are charged $4.00 per day to park. Extended stay parking is $2.00 per day if cars are left in the lot longer.

11:45:05 AM  

Mr. Genova responded to questions about the 16th Street Mall project. The commitee discussed paver material. Mr. Genova stated that maintenance is expensive for the pavers and there is concern about the slippery nature of the pavers, as well as drainage.

11:46:49 AM  

Mr. Genova responded to questions about alternatives to grow the transportation system. He noted that a regional bus rapid transit study was completed, including routes and funding and that the Colfax corridor is being considered for this option.

11:48:06 AM  

Mr. Genova responded to federal funding questions and stated that projects related to the Capital Grant program have been successful, as that is how 20 percent of projects are funded.

Presentation from the DMV - Committee Discussion Only

11:51:10 AM  

Mike Dixon, representing the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), provided an update to the committee on the division's activities. (Attachment B).

11:52:21 AM  

Mr. Dixon provided information about the new vision for the DMV, Always Help. He stated that the division is focused on outstanding customer service, innovation, and dedicated employees.  He noted that driver licenses, driver control, vehicle services, motor vehicle investigations, and applications are the major areas that DMV supports.  The DMV partners with county clerks and is involved in a number of working groups, including DRIVES county governance, financial advisory, voter registration, DMV county trainers, and the county clerk association to carry out its responsiblities.

11:56:03 AM  

He contiuned by noting that the DMV recently focused on shorter wait times, online services, formal customer feedback, and efficient use of call service centers and that with the use of online services 80,000 hours related to in-person trips to the DMV have been saved.

12:05:57 PM  

Mr. Dixon continued by discussing the DRIVES implementation. He noted that there were challenges with a recent roll out and that report data was changing after reports were run.  He stated that fixes were installed in early October, lessening the time to complete a report.  A call center, technical team, and support team were created to support these issues.

He also stated that the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System was integrated with DRIVES. He noted that initially there was a great deal of work, since the national system was not linked to Colorado in the past.  He stated that there have been some system outages, but that a disaster recovery module was included in recent updates.  He noted that DRIVES is a more modern system that will be updated on a regular basis.

12:13:18 PM  

Mr. Dixon responded to questions about the licensing process, including costs for updating DRIVES. There is a contract that specifies an hourly rate. The contract includes 2080 hours per year.  The state needs to find additional DRIVES developers, as there are currently no state employees with this skill set.

12:15:29 PM  

In response to a question about DRIVES computer programming related costs, Mr. Dixon stated that there is a contract that specifies an hourly rate and that the contract includes 2,080 hours per year.  He noted that the state needs to find additional DRIVES developers, as there are currently no state employees with this skill set.

12:16:48 PM  

Mr. Dixon continued by provideing an update on the Real ID program. He stated Colorado Driver License is Real ID compliant and that the DMV will be communicating with the public.  Colorado must remain compliant, including state-to-state data sharing.

12:18:50 PM  

Mr. Dixon provided an update about the dealership registration program.  He stated that the program will be complete by November and that customers will be able to register new vehicles at the dealership.  He also provided an update about the self-service kiosk program.  He continued by discussing group special license plates and noted that 19 nonprofits are currently going through the process for a license plate.

12:21:51 PM  

Mr. Dixon responded to questions about the dealership program and stated the DMV is currently working with a donor for funding to implement this program.

12:23:19 PM  

Committee discussion ensued about of out-of-state cars registering in Colorado and enforcement provisions.

12:27:27 PM  

Committee discussion ensued about foster youth and driver licenses. Mr. Dixon noted that the DMV does not directly manage foster youth and driver licenses.

Presentation from the Public Highway Authorities - Committee Discussion Only

12:29:45 PM  

Tim Stewart, representing E470, provided an update to the committee (Attachment C). He began by providing a detailed a history of the authority.  He stated that the authority has $1.4 billion in A rating bond debt that will mature in 2041.  He noted that of every dollar spent on E470 toll revenue, $0.13 goes to reserves to pay down debt; $0.26 goes to capital renewal; $0.21 pays for operations and maintenance; and $40 is used to pay debt. He noted that the board continues to lower fees and that ExpressToll customer's rates were frozen in 2018 and may continue frozen through 2020.  He continued by noting that a master plan through 2041 was completed and strategic plan was adopted in 2019. He noted that toll rates are currently being evaluated as a part of that plan and that authority would like to fund current needs without raising rates.

12:39:34 PM  

Mr. Stewart responded to questions about traffic increases and stated that traffic forecasting does include information about use of transit and individuals choosing to get rid of cars.

12:41:17 PM  

Mr. Stewart continued by noting that the authority serves as the tolling service provider for Colorado, including Plenary, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and Northwest Parkway tolls. The authority handles tolling through ExpressToll and pictures of plates as drivers use the roads.

12:42:11 PM  

Mr. Stewart responded to questions about illegible license plates. About 15 percent of vehicle license plates are unidentifiable.

12:43:21 PM  

Mr. Stewart responded to questions about carpooling and shuttle type buses. He stated that RTD does drive buses on E470 and that shared ridership is encouraged through a partnership with CDOT.

12:44:23 PM  

He continued by stating that the authority's accomplishments include toll lanes in progress on C-470 and I-25; 960,000 calls answered in 2018; and 87.4 million transactions in 2018. He stated that transponders are encouraged, as 50 percent is saved on tolls. He noted that the authority would like to provide input on issues related to red light cameras, the Colorado Clean Pass, hazardous material routes, autonomous vehicles, data privacy, and transportation funding incorporationg tolls in the future.

12:46:49 PM  

Commitee discussion ensued regarding the potential purchase of E470; revenue in terms of use in partnerships and improving overall transportation, emission reductions, and toll rates.

12:54:40 PM  

Councilman David Beacom, representing the Northwest Parkway Authority, provided an update on the authorities activities to the committee (Attachment D). He disscussed the history of the roadway and noted that trips on the highway have expanded with very few fatal accidents.  The committee discussed toll rates, included in the concessionaire agreement.

01:01:51 PM  

Bill Ray, representing the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority, provided an update on the authoriy's activities (Attachment E). He discussed the soil sampling that was undertaken earlier this year with one sample reported to the Department of Public Health, due to elevated levels of plutonium.  He stated that additional samples were submitted to the department and that the authority is also discussing monitoring construction and construction techniques.

01:08:49 PM  

Mr. Ray responded to questions about soil samples. Samples were taken along the right of way near the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge. There was also a discussion about wildlife collisions.

01:12:48 PM
The committee recessed for lunch.

Presentation from the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition - Committee Discussion Only

01:32:10 PM  
The committee came back to order.
01:32:20 PM  

Julie Reiskin, representing the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition, discussed the state of transportation for persons with disabilities in Colorado. She stated that major tansportation issues encompass four areas: Bustang, on-demand transportation, safe walking, and county-to-county travel.  She stated that there should be a Bustang route to Sterling and that outrider stops are not wheelchair accessible.  She also discussed transportation networking companies and that there is no on-demand transportation for wheelchairs.

01:40:20 PM  

Lloyd Lewis, representing the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition, provided information about the cost of transportation.  Ms. Reiskin provided information about Access-a-Ride. She noted that there are issues with operation and timing of appointments, especially riders visiting parts of the city that they had not planned to visit because trips are not being grouped by destination.

01:43:51 PM  

Ms. Reiskin continued by discussing the hazards of distracted driving and their impacts on persons with disabilities. Ms. Reiskin responded to questions about the bike lanes and stated there are accessibility problems from the bike lane to the curb.

01:46:41 PM  

Mr. Lewis responded to questions about ride share and best practices. Committee discussion ensued on Access-a-Ride, including driver pay rates.

01:50:00 PM  

Mr. Lewis responded to questions about Bustang and access to facilities. Outrider routes extend to smaller towns where there are no facilities for passengers in wheelchairs.

01:51:51 PM  

Committee discussion continued regarding Access-a-Ride.

Presentation from the Colorado Motor Carriers - Committee Discussion Only

01:54:34 PM  

Greg Fulton, representing the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, provided an update to the committee.  He distributed a copy of his presentation to the committee (Attachment F). Mr. Fulton provided some basic facts to the committee:  84 percent of manufactured freight commodities are transported by truck and that 79 percent of communities are served by trucks. He stated that trucks comprise 6 percent of vehicle miles traveled.

He continued by stating that the key issues facing frieght include traffic, the shortage of drivers and mechanics, inadequate parking for drivers, last mile issues, distracted driving, and insurance for trucks. He stated that truck parking is needed for mandated breaks and that the Freight Advisory Council in CDOT is working on this issue. In addition, he noted that delivery often occurs in urban areas where there are fewer freight loading locations abd that there is competition for parking with Uber and Lyft drivers. He noted that distracted driving is a big issue and that insurance costs for trucks have increased around 20 to 50 percent

He highlighted that there has been a 98 percent reduction in emissions since 1988, due to changes in engines and newer model trucks. He noted that newer trucks are also more safe and that truck involvement in fatal crashes has declined by 85 percent.

02:11:43 PM  

Mr. Fulton discussed proposed legislation regarding annual fleet overweight divisible load permits.  He stated that there are two permits and that the proposed bill would lead to efficiencies.

The second bill Mr. Fulton discussed included VIN vehicle verification inspections. He noted that the change in law would be more efficient and that the law includes verification, not a full inspection.

Mr. Fulton asked that proposed legislation on hazardous materials permitting be deferred at this time.  He stated that discussions continue on this issue.

02:14:33 PM  

Mr. Fulton responded to questions about VIN verifications and the draft bill. He stated that program will not replace other VIN verifications and that the inspection only involves verifying the number on paper documents, not a database record.

Enterprise Holdings Rental Car Company Presentation - Committee Discussion Only

02:18:39 PM  

Meegan Wood-Trombley provided an update on Enterprise Holdings Rental Car Company and their compliance with the new traction law. Ms. Wood-Trombley indicated that rental drivers will be notified of the new law and that Enterprise would like to work with the Colorado State Patrol on safety.  She noted that many of the vehicles in the Enterprise fleet are newer with adequate traction.

04:12:10 PM   The committee adjourned.