City of Georgetown, Texas
City Council Workshop
July 13, 2021
Presentation and discussion regarding the funding for GoGeo in Fiscal Year 2022 -- David Morgan, City Manager and Will Parrish, Transportation Planning Coordinator
At the March 23, 2021, Council workshop, Council received an update on the viability of PPP and a voucher system for transit options. Council directed staff to:
• Council directed staff to return with an item for Council to take formal action regarding the future funding for the GoGeo transit system;
• Council sought more information on options for paratransit only services, such as a) a City grant with local nonprofit or agency using local funds only or b) a partnership with Cap Metro with a combination of local and federal funds; and
• Council also requested information on what transit services was the City supporting prior to the initiation of GoGeo.
Georgetown Transit Services prior to the initiation of GoGeo.
Prior to the current GoGeo fixed route service, which was initiated in 2017, the City of Georgetown had a “Demand Response” pickup service, which allowed customers to call ahead and request service.
The primary characteristics of the Demand Response service are as follows:
• Passengers reserved rides by telephone or online with 24 hour advance notice.
• Curb to Curb service.
• Offered Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• $2.00-$6.00 depending on destination zone.
This service operated from 2011 to 2016. In 2016, the total cost of the pickup service was $348,140, with the City providing $208,884. City Staff discussed the cost implications of renewing this system with CapMetro, and they stressed that costs have gone up significantly in the past 5 years.
Paratransit only services Options.
Council requested information about the possibility of a) a City grant with local nonprofit or agency using local funds only or b) a partnership with Cap Metro with a combination of local and federal funds.
City Staff reached out to several non-profits within Georgetown with the help of Suzy Pukys of the Georgetown Health Foundation. The majority of the non-profits support GoGeo by providing vouchers for their constituents to access GoGeo.
One of the Georgetown non-profits, Faith in Action, does focus on providing transportation to its constituents through a network of volunteers. Faith in Action provides limited transportation for able bodied seniors to medical appointments and the grocery store. Faith in Action has expressed interest in working with the City of Georgetown to expand their current services, but at this time they do not feel that the organization can provide paratransit services at a service level that would benefit the City of Georgetown.
City Staff also reached out to a company located in Leander, Silver Lift, which currently focuses on providing door to door services for able bodied seniors. Silver Lift does not currently provide Paratransit Services, but is very interested expanding to include Paratransit. Silver Lift provided a cost estimate and breakdown (included in packet) and estimates that they can provide paratransit service for approximately $871,000 for the first year of service (assuming weekly services M-F / 8-5).
City Staff met with CapMetro regarding Paratransit only service. Based on the current number of Paratransit approved riders (234) CapMetro could work with CARTS to provide a Paratransit Service with one vehicle. This vehicle would operate Monday – Friday, from 7a.m. to 7p.m., and require 24 hour advance reservation. Based on these parameters, CapMetro estimates a service cost of $271,140 ($162,684 cost to City / $108,456 FTA Match). It should be noted that with
the loss of fixed route service, there may be an increase in the number of people who apply to be eligible for Paratransit service. This could increase costs above current estimates.
At the January 26, 2021 regular meeting, Staff provided a breakdown of CapMetro’s Microtransit proposal. CapMetro’s Microtransit service would provide Paratransit Services as all vehicles are Paratransit ready. The service area for the proposed Microtranist option is essentially the same as the current fixed route service area. CapMetro estimated a local match (cost to the City) of $556,673 in FY 2021 dollars for a full year of service. This service would serve both Paratransit and non-paratransit riders, would be a Demand Response system with a 15 minute wait, and would be curb to curb.
Formal Action Regarding Future Funding for GoGeo
The City of Georgetown has an annual contract that expires on September 30 of 2021.
• The contract will automatically expire if not renewed.
• In order to be prepared to continue or suspend services, CapMetro needs to know if contract will be renewed, or if there is to be a significant change in the service provided.
Staff is requesting formal action regarding the future funding for the GoGeo transit system.
The Financial Impact to the City of Georgetown would depend on what action Council chooses to take.
David Morgan & Will Parrish