CITY OF WORCESTER

Public Service and Transportation Committee Meeting

Monday, June 1, 2020

Levi Lincoln (North) Chamber

Convened: 5:30 P.M.

Adjourned: 7:02 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Gary Rosen
Vice Chairperson Donna M Colorio
Councilor Sarai Rivera
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Gary Rosen Councilor Donna M Colorio Councilor Sarai Rivera
 
Also:WRTA Administrator Dennis J. Lipka Senior Transportation Planner Brian Pigeon City Clerk Nikolin Vangjeli, clerk
 
1.

Approval of the Minutes

1a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee of Public Service and Transportation hereby approves the minutes of the Public Service and Transportation Committee on February 24, 2020.

View Agenda

Chairperson Councilor Rosen read the item and moved for a roll call vote to adopt the item. Order adopted on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

2.

WRTA Related Items

2a.

Order of Councilor Gary Rosen - Request City Councilís Standing Committee on Public Service and Transportation discuss the feasibility of having WRTA buses transport more Worcester Public School students to and from school. Further, request Standing Committee on Public Service and Transportation Committee consider all safety implications for youths who would utilize said services. # 8c Tuesday, January 28, 2020

In Committee February 24, 2020 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Rosen read the item and moved to take items #2a through #2e collectively.

Chairperson Councilor Rosen provided an overview of the meeting, including a desire to discuss providing as much information to the public as possible relating sanitizing busses, services and routes provided by the WRTA during COVID-19 and increasing ridership.

Chairperson Councilor Rosen recognized the WRTA Administrator, who discussed routes and ridership with the WRTA during COVID-19, social distancing practices for riders and drivers of the WRTA and cleaning procedures for active busses during COVID-19.

Chairperson Councilor Rosen recognized Councilor Rivera, who discussed the public outreach the WRTA is doing during COVID-19 and the dependability of routes and ridership for the WRTA with the WRTA Administrator.

Chairperson Councilor Rosen recognized Councilor Colorio, who discussed the cleaning and sanitization for WRTA busses.

Chairperson Councilor Rosen recognized the following speakers, who partook in discussion with the various committee members and the WRTA Administrator:
1. Cyrus Moulton, Worcester resident, discussed funding relating to CARES Act
2. Adam Theilter, Worcester resident, discussed cleaning procedures
3. Ethan Mitchell, Worcester resident, discussed safety precautions and marketing WRTA to new riders
4. Shaun Bartone, Worcester resident, discussed technology advancement for the WRTA
5. Tanya Whitworth, Worcester resident, discussed fare-free ridership and replacing fare boxes
6. Nancy Garr-Colzie, Worcester resident, discussed the requirements of individuals wearing a face covering when riding on the WRTA
7. Robert Bilotta, Worcester resident, discussed precautions taken for individuals at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19
8. Angelina (no last name given), Worcester resident, discussed ridership opportunities for youth
9. Andrea Freeman, Worcester resident, discussed childcare and FMLA available to WRTA employees
10. Brenna Robeson, Worcester resident, discussed ensuring systems and schedules are getting individuals to their jobs
11. Raquel Castro-Corazinni, Worcester resident, discussed growing opportunities for youth ridership of WRTA
12. Terry Cherry, Worcester resident, discussed schedule and routing difficulties for riders
13. Tina (no last name given), Worcester resident, discussed fare-free ridership

Chairperson Councilor Rosen discussed testimony received from State Senator Chandler, who discussed safety procedures in place for riders and drivers.

Chairperson Councilor Rosen moved for a roll call vote to recommend items #2a, #2c, and #2d be held and items #2b and #2e be filed.

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

2b.

Order of Councilor Gary Rosen - Request the City Council Standing Committee on Public Service and Transportation hold a public hearing(s) to discuss whether the inefficient, under-utilized, taxpayer-subsidized and possibly obsolete WRTA is serving the public transportation needs of Worcester residents. # 10b CC May 28, 2019

In Committee February 24, 2020 - Held

Attachments

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #2a)

2c.

Order of Councilor Gary Rosen - Request Standing Committee on Public Service and Transportation hold a virtual hearing soon so that WRTA riders on fixed and Paratransit routes, the company's drivers and members of the public can ask questions and voice their concerns about the future of the WRTA, it's response to the coronavirus pandemic and how the expected $38.4 million COVID-19 funding from the FTA will be allocated. # 9c CC May 19, 2020

Attachments

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #2a)

2d.

Petition of Jo Hart request City Council provide a master plan for public transportation to the Polar Park area. # 9e Tuesday, August 13, 2019

In Committee February 24, 2020 - Held

Attachments

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #2a)

2e.

Petition of Jo Hart request City Council work with the City Solicitor and the Department of Transportation to clarify who or what entity is actually responsible for seeing what needs to be done to obtain at minimum a workable level of public transportation for Worcester from the Worcester Regional Transportation Authority (WRTA). # 8g CC November 13, 2018

In Committee February 24, 2020 - Held

Attachments

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #2a)