CITY OF WORCESTER

Public Service and Transportation Committee Meeting

Monday, December 11, 2023

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 5:02 P.M.

Adjourned: 6:11 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Morris A Bergman
Vice Chairperson Thu Nguyen
Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Morris A Bergman Councilor Thu Nguyen Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson
 
Also:WRTA Administrator Joshua Rickman WRTA Deputy Administrator and Chief Financial Officer Thomas Coyne Commissioner of Transportation and Mobility Stephen Rolle Deputy City Clerk Stephen A.J. Pottle, clerk
 
1.

Virtual Attendee Call-In Information

1a.

Pursuant to Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021 and in order to ensure active, public engagement, the City of Worcester currently allows for both in-person and remote participation at all City Council and Standing Committee meetings. To partake in the meeting, you may attend the meeting in-person within the meeting location, follow the below link to join via Zoom or dial the direct line as indicated.

Public Service and Transportation Committee Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82436542012
Public Service and Transportation Committee Zoom Phone Number: (929) 205 6099
Public Service and Transportation Committee Zoom Access Code: 824 3654 2012

Attachments
2.

Approval of the Minutes

2a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee of Public Service and Transportation hereby approves the minutes of the Public Service and Transportation Committee meeting on March 30, 2023.

View Agenda

Chairperson Councilor Bergman read the item and moved to adopt the item. Order adopted

3.

Miscellaneous Item

3a.

Order of Councilor Thu Nguyen and Councilor Khrystian E. King - Request Standing Committee on Public Service and Transportation invite the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA)ís new Administrator to an upcoming meeting to discuss their vision for public transit in the city. # 11u CC July 18, 2023

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Bergman read the item and recognized the Deputy City Clerk, who discussed the origins of the item before the Standing Committee.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized the following speakers:
1. Adam Theilker, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor or opposed to the item
2. Anne Bureau, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor or opposed to the item
3. (Name indiscernible), Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor or opposed to the item

Chairperson Councilor Bergman discussed various concerns that have been brought forward to the Standing Committee by the public, including how best to increase ridership, as well as the cancellation of routes that are seemingly popular, such as the route passing the cityís EcoTarium.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized Councilor Nguyen, who discussed the need for maintaining the WRTAís fare-free system, how the WRTA plans to manage route cancellations and how the WRTA communicates their information to the public with the WRTA Administrator.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who discussed improper bus signage posted throughout the city, businesses who must clean bus shelters adjacent to their property, whether the WRTA benefits from utilizing yellow cabs for para-transit and whether the WRTA could utilize a bus route that passes the cityís EcoTarium with the WRTA Administrator.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Commissioner of Transportation and Mobility work with the WRTA Administrator to provide City Council with a list of all businesses responsible for cleaning and maintaining bus shelters during winter storm events.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman discussed the ridership numbers for the previous year, how the WRTA decides which bus stop locations get shelters and why the WRTA should or should not allow patrons to eat food on the busses with the WRTA Administrator.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized Councilor Nguyen, who discussed various community initiatives being brought forth the improve the WRTA with the WRTA Administrator.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized the WRTA Administrator, who discussed various initiatives being spearheaded by the WRTA, such as coordinating with the cityís Transportation and Mobility Department, engaging with the community and bringing more electric busses to the organizationís fleet.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman discussed the organizationís marketing efforts and whether ridership has increased since fare-free ridership has been enacted with the WRTA Administrator and WRTA Deputy Administrator.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson discussed the positive impact that increased ridership has on the community with the WRTA Administrator and WRTA Deputy Administrator.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized Councilor Nguyen, who discussed increasing the numbers of shelters available to residents, how follow-up associated with ensuring para-transit needs are met and how bus drivers will be allowed to provide feedback regarding the organization with the WRTA Administrator.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman discussed ensuring increased public engagement through supporting hybrid in-person and remote solutions for WRTA public meetings with the WRTA Administrator.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized the following speakers:
4. (Name indiscernible), Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor or opposed to the item
5. Anne Bureau, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor or opposed to the item
6. Ace (No last name given), Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor or opposed to the item

Chairperson Councilor Bergman discussed revenue sources available to the WRTA to continue fare-free practices with the WRTA Administrator.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman moved to recommend the item be placed on file.

Recommend File

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Commissioner of Transportation and Mobility work with the WRTA Administrator to provide City Council with a list of all businesses responsible for cleaning and maintaining bus shelters during winter storm events.