San Antonio Mobility Coalition, Inc. 2008 Annual Performance Report City of San Antonio Deliverables November 1, 2008 Page 1 As required in SAMCo’s professional services contract with the City of San Antonio, SAMCo is to provide an annual report on or before January 31, 2009 regarding the level of success in achieving the goals and objectives of our agreement. This report is based upon the list of SAMCo deliverables outlined in Exhibit “A” of our contract’s Scope of Work. Organize two or more delegations to Washington, DC to advocate for 2009 federal transportation and infrastructure appropriations projects supported by the City, County, VIA, Port SA, and other SAMCo partners. Encourage Congressional action to address a projected deficit in the Federal Highway Trust Fund, projected to reach a negative balance by 2010. As in previous years, SAMCo organized the transportation component of the June 22-25, 2008 SA to DC trip sponsored by the Greater San Antonio Chamber and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber. Several members of City Council and City staff participated in office visits with members of Congress and key Congressional staff focusing on San Antonio’s transportation appropriations requests (VIA, Fort Sam Houston, Port SA, Rail District), rail relocation funding, and the need to address a $4 billion plus deficit in the Federal Highway Trust Fund. SAMCo also organized a January 14-16, 2008 DC trip that focused on individual briefings for local Congressional staff on these same issues. In, 2009 SAMCo is planning two additional Washington, DC delegations that will focus on priority requests for the 2010- 2015 transportation reauthorization bills. In September 2008, Congress approved an $8 billion short-term infusion of cash to maintain solvency of the Federal Highway Trust Fund through 2010, thus addressing one of SAMCo’s federal goals. As of November 1, 2008, Congress had yet to approve a 2009 transportation appropriations bill. In partnership with the MPO, City, County, VIA, Commuter Rail District, Port SA, and other SAMCo members, develop a strategy and identify priority projects for inclusion in the next six year transportation reauthorization bill to replace SAFETEA-LU. A two year process, final action is expected by Congress in 2010 or 2011. In preparation for the two SA-DC trips organized by SAMCo during 2008 (see above), SAMCo’s State-Federal Working Group coordinated efforts with the above entities and with chambers of commerce to develop priority requests for the 2010-2015 reauthorization bill. The priority requests include: 1) Fort Sam Houston access/transportation enhancements; 2) Rail relocation and commuter rail; 3) VIA – new buses/bus facility/BRT; and 4) the 36th Street extension project at Port San Antonio. Additional transportation reauthorization projects are likely to be developed through the City-County Transportation Task Force, appointed by Judge Wolff and Mayor Hardberger in August 2008 and through the MPO Policy Board. When these additional projects are further developed, they will be added to SAMCo’s federal agenda. As stated above, SAMCo is planning at least two additional Washington, DC delegations in 2009 to continue advocacy efforts for these project priorities. Develop and implement a 2008-2009 SAMCo legislative agenda in concert with the MPO, City, County, VIA, Alamo RMA, and Commuter Rail District. Encourage legislators to reduce/eliminate diversions of gasoline tax revenue to non-transportation programs, index the gasoline tax to inflation, capitalize the Texas Rail Relocation Fund (essential to Bexar County rail relocation and commuter rail projects), and provide urban areas with a menu of local option revenue sources to fund congestion relief projects. The SAMCo Executive Committee approved a 2009 SAMCo legislative agenda in July 2008, with all of the above listed issues with the common objective of providing the Bexar County/San Antonio region with additional funding resources to pursue transportation projects. The agenda was developed by SAMCo’s State- Federal Working Group comprised of more than fifty representatives from SAMCo’s key public and private sector partners. Additional items are likely to be added as a result of the work of the City-County Transportation Task Force. During the fourth quarter of 2008, SAMCo organized a series of meetings/briefings with members of the Bexar County legislative delegation to provide an update on San Antonio’s funding shortfall and the above funding initiatives to address the shortfall, and to seek leadership from the delegation in implementing these legislative objectives. During the 2009 legislative session, SAMCo will work closely with the government relations teams from the City, County, VIA, Alamo RMA, Rail District, and chambers of commerce to enact this legislation. During Sunset Review of TxDOT, 2008 legislative hearings, and the 2009 legislative session, ensure that any proposed adjustments in formula distributions to the twenty-five TxDOT Districts are favorable to the San Antonio/Bexar County region. This issue is likely to be considered during the 2009 legislative session. Presently, the eight largest urban areas of the state represent 71 percent of the state’s population but receive only 65 percent of funding for added capacity projects (Category 2). The remaining 35 percent is shared by smaller urban areas and rural areas (Categories 3 and 4). As the larger urban areas continue to grow (i.e. Dallas-Fort Worth recently expanded from 8 to 12 counties), this puts San Antonio’s 11 percent share at risk whenever the next formula adjustment occurs. Initiatives being pursued by SAMCo and others to address these concerns include: 1) work with other urban areas to expand Category II from 65 to 71 percent to reflect the actual population of these large urban areas; 2) encourage the MPO Policy Board to consider a boundary expansion as an option to preserve or expand formula share; and 3) support proposal to restrict federal MPO discretionary funds to urban areas with 500,000 plus population. Host a series of small group meetings during 2008 with each legislator from Bexar County to discuss our region’s transportation funding challenges, how this relates to San Antonio’s future economic development, and options for addressing projected funding shortfalls. As of November 1, 2008, most of these meetings had either taken place or been scheduled. Senator Jeff Wentworth and Representative Mike Villarreal have agreed to provide leadership on transportation issues for the San Antonio region and to help coordinate efforts with other members of the San Antonio delegation. SAMCo will also be organizing the transportation component of VIVA San Antonio in Austin on February 17, 2009. In addition, SAMCo has participated in several meetings to coordinate with the lobby teams representing the City, County, VIA, Alamo RMA, Rail District, and others. Coordinate project specific agenda items and/or delegation presentations before the Texas Transportation Commission and maintain a regular presence at Commission meetings. Invite new Commissioners to visit San Antonio for a tour of key projects and to meet with City/County leaders. In concert with the Greater SA Chamber and others, SAMCo helped organize a September 17, 2008 briefing in San Antonio for Deidra Delisi, Chairwoman of the Texas Department of Transportation, who was recently appointed to that office and an invitation has been extended to her to address a future SAMCo luncheon event. SAMCo continues to regularly attend meetings of the Texas Transportation Commission in Austin and elsewhere around the state in support of items impacting the San Antonio region. SAMCo staff also regularly attends the new Commission workshops the day prior to each Commission meeting in order to report on various funding policy recommendations that are under discussion at the Commission level. Continue to support implementation of the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Mobility 2030 plan (and 2035 update) and addition of new projects through increased funding tools. - This is the primary objective of SAMCo’s local option initiative and other elements of SAMCo’s 2009 state legislative program. During the past six years, SAMCo has helped generate more than $1 billion in new or accelerated funding to implement Mobility 2030 and Mobility 2035. In addition, we continue to seek additional federal funding and new federal funding tools, including a title in the 2010-2015 transportation reauthorization bill for rail relocation efforts. The entirety of SAMCo’s strategic plan is focused on securing additional funding for the MPO’s transportation vision for the region. Provide support for efforts by the Alamo RMA to develop a network of added capacity toll projects in Bexar County along portions of Loop 1604, US 281, and other appropriate corridors. Continue to support local control of any future toll projects and revenues. For more than five years, SAMCo has advocated at numerous public hearings and meetings for added capacity toll lanes along 40 miles of US 281 and Loop 1604. In December 2007, the SA/Bexar County MPO Policy Board voted 12-4 to support a recommended toll financing plan developed by the Alamo RMA. In concert with local chambers of commerce, SAMCo coordinated a pro-mobility effort in support of moving forward with these projects. Despite these efforts, legal challenges to the second TxDOT Environmental Assessment (EA) for the US 281 Project and various irregularities in the TxDOT procurement process for the EA will result in several more years of delay as the Alamo RMA seeks authority to take over the environmental process from TxDOT and conduct a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project. Support continuing efforts by City of San Antonio, VIA and TxDOT to accelerate delivery of street, transit, and highway projects funded through the Advanced Transportation District (ATD) quarter-cent sales tax and help communicate ATD successes. The ATD concept was developed in 2003 and 2004 through a SAMCo working group in partnership with the City, County, VIA, and others. As a result of voter approval in November 2004, more than $340 million in additional transportation funding is being generated during a ten year period. Due to higher than anticipated growth in the tax base, the final financial results are likely to be substantially higher. The results of ATD implementation in terms of new City, County, and VIA projects are being highlighted in a new 2009 SAMCo transportation report that will be used for legislative briefings, delegation presentations, and various public presentations on transportation in the region. ATD results are also being reported as part of SAMCo’s website. During the coming three to four years, SAMCo will partner with all of the above public agencies to recommend potential uses of future ATD money when current funding commitments (mostly through project bonding from previous years) expires in 2015 or so. Continue to support investments to preserve and support reconstruction of the local street network. Since its inception in 2001, SAMCo has supported efforts to preserve and reconstruct the local street network. In recent years, City Council has invested additional financial resources toward this end, and SAMCo applauds these efforts. As part of the 2009 City budget process, SAMCo members were encourage to submit comments and suggestions related to street preservation and maintenance. In addition, SAMCo worked closely with local chambers of commerce, the business coalition, and other supportive groups to develop positive and proactive policy statements in support of these efforts. Support increased funding for the City’s Five (5) Year Infrastructure Management Program (IMP). SAMCo has communicated its support for annual increases in this program as part of the budget process. The program will also be highlighted in SAMCo’s 2009 annual brochure as part of the City of San Antonio section. For additional information, see above item. Partner with VIA, the Rail District, City and other involved entities to identify ways to expedite implementation of Bus Rapid Transit and express bus service along high traffic corridors in San Antonio. All $108 million required to implement BRT on the Fredericksburg Road corridor has been secured through a combination of federal appropriations and local (ATD and other) sources, and express bus service has been expanding as demand increases from various locations along Loop 1604. The City-County Transportation Task Force appointed by Judge Wolff and Mayor Hardberger is exploring options for expansion of mass transit, most likely through a combination of a starter light rail system, additional BRT lines, and the Austin -SA commuter rail line. The recent offer by Union Pacific to donate an existing rail line parallel to IH-10 provides a potential new corridor. In anticipation of these developments, SAMCo stands ready to assist in efforts to obtain local, regional, state, and federal funding for capital and operating costs for future expansion of San Antonio’s transit system. The local option menu proposal is one such example. Continue to support development, funding and implementation of plans to relocate and upgrade freight rail in the San Antonio region and establish commuter rail between Austin and San Antonio. Both issues continue to be high priorities for SAMCo. With regard to rail funding, SAMCo is participating in a statewide coalition that is advocating capitalization of the Texas Rail Relocation & Improvement Fund authorized by voters three years ago. To date, the legislature has not allocated any money to the Fund. In addition, SAMCo will be supporting efforts by the Austin-SA Corridor Council and the Austin-SA Commuter Rail District to establish a title in the 2010-2015 transportation reauthorization bill specifically to provide federal matching funds for rail relocation efforts. SAMCo also hosted a July 31 Transportation Leadership Series event entitled “Fast Tracking Rail and Commuter Rail” and is participating in the City-County Transportation Task Force’s efforts to incorporate light rail, BRT, and commuter rail into a combined transportation vision for our region. Actively support federal and state funding requests for transportation projects related to Ft. Sam Houston and other BRAC projects in San Antonio. SAMCo continues to include Ft. Sam Houston transportation improvements as a priority for the 2010-2015 transportation reauthorization bill and annual Congressional appropriations requests. The critical importance of these projects has been stressed during recent SA-DC trips, and will continue to be emphasized during upcoming Congressional office visits. Support development of a concept for future consideration for a dedicated truck freight corridor connecting the ports of Laredo, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi. This is a long term vision championed by former Transportation Commission Chairwoman Hope Andrade and others. A working group consisting of involved parties was established in 2007. One potential delivery mechanism is the freight shuttle technology currently under development at Texas A&M University. SAMCo has invited advocates of this regional transportation and economic development project to present their vision to our Board of Directors, and we stand ready to assist this project as appropriate in the future. Several local retailers, including HEB, have expressed interest in both the new freight movement technology and the desirability of connecting the three port cities. This has the potential to be a major regional undertaking in the coming years. Represent the City and SAMCo at various statewide and regional transportation organizations and events, including TEX-21, TEAM Texas, TSRT, the Texas Urban Transportation Alliance, Metro 8 Chambers, Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council, and other transportation coalitions and partnerships supporting issues of common interest. SAMCo staff members regularly attend these meetings and report back significant developments to the City, SAMCo members, and other partners. In addition to the above, SAMCo represented San Antonio at the Texas Transportation Forum (Austin) and the Irving Transportation Conference (TEX-21) all focused on transportation funding and related legislative issues. SAMCo also organized several meetings with other urban mobility coalitions (Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, El Paso, etc.) during 2008 to discuss issues of common interest and coordinate state and federal legislative agendas. Continue to carry out a public relations strategy on transportation needs, solutions, and funding sources including periodic presentations to various community and civic groups, media relations, and a PowerPoint presentation on these topics. SAMCo volunteers and staff are frequently called upon to provide updates on transportation funding and related topics to business, community, civic, neighborhood, and other groups and organizations in our community. In addition, SAMCo provides a regular and supportive presence at various community meetings and public hearings on transportation issues before our community. In addition to a frequently-updated PowerPoint presentation on transportation funding challenges and solutions, SAMCo also produces a several white papers, one-pagers, and email alerts on issues related to SAMCo’s mission and strategic plan. SAMCo staff and volunteers are often interviewed by or quoted in the local news media on the emerging transportation topics of the day. We also serve as a resource for elected officials in our community and region who are seeking information on transportation funding and related issues. Regularly update SAMCo website with real-time information on federal, state, regional, and local transportation funding issues, project maps, and descriptive links to local and regional partners. Continue to provide frequent news updates and action alerts by email. The SAMCo website (www.samcoinc.org) provides project maps and descriptive links of various transportation projects that have or are currently being pursued by SAMCo. The site also includes links and descriptions of the many local, regional, state, and federal partners involved in planning and delivery of transportation projects. The news section is updated frequently with information about upcoming workshops, public hearings, and other opportunities for member input. SAMCo Action Alerts are distributed by email to members and partners to encourage attendance and/or testimony at key public hearings and meetings. Organize and host quarterly Transportation Leadership Series, consisting of luncheons and other special events focusing on emerging transportation topics and featuring national, state, and local leaders in transportation policy and planning. During the past year, SAMCo has hosted four Transportation Leadership Series events, including two State of the District luncheons, the Let’s Rebuild America (US Chamber of Commerce) luncheon, and the Fast Tracking Rail and Commuter Rail luncheon. Attendance ranged from 200 to 400 for each event. Financial goals for sponsorship and budget were exceeded for the fiscal year, and it is hoped that these events provided an important public service by helping educate the general public, local news media, and SAMCo members on emerging transportation topics in our region and beyond. Provide to City an annual report on or before January 31, 2009 regarding the level of success in achieving the goals and objectives of the Agreement. This memorandum constitutes the required annual report.
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