Manatee County Government Administrative Center First Floor, Commission Chambers 9:00 a.m. - February 13, 2018
REVISED February 13, 2018 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #58

Transit Route 3/Manatee Avenue - 30-Minute Service Implementation


Contact and/or Presenter Information

William Steele, Transit Division Manager, William.Steele@mymanatee.org, (941) 747-8621 x7440

Chad Butzow, P.E., Deputy Director of Field Operations Services, Chad.Butzow@mymanatee.org, (941) 708-7450 x7432

Action Requested
This is an information item. No action required.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
  • Chapter 341, Florida Statutes.
  • Manatee County's 2013 Ten-Year Transit Development Plan (TDP) major update, Manatee Connects.
  • May 2017 Board of County Commissioners (BCC) approval to create a Transit Operator "Extra Board". 

Background Discussion
  • In FY 2016, the Manatee County Transit Division conducted a comprehensive review of Fixed Route operations utilizing ridership and operational analytics. That effort, known as the Fixed Route Optimization/Restructuring Plan, resulted in a number of service modifications intended to optimize service delivery and, wherever possible, repurpose fixed route service hours to increase frequency on "core network" routes.
  • On March 8, 2016, the BCC in regular session approved the use of repurposed service and the savings accrued in service hours from the Fixed Route Optimization/Restructuring Plan in conjunction with approval to execute Joint Participation Agreements (JPAs) with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Those JPAs provide FDOT Service Development Program funding to enhance the Route 3/Manatee Avenue service frequency to every 30 minutes. The savings from the Fixed Route Optimization/Restructuring Plan provided the necessary 50% local match for the Route 3 service enhancement FDOT grant.
  • The Route 3/Manatee Avenue 30-minute service was subsequently implemented on November 12, 2016, in concert with the Public Works Transit/Fleet Divisions move to the Manatee County Transit Fleet Facility (MCTFF).
  • In Spring 2017, the Transit Division reached a critical point in operations where operational staff could no longer sustain Transit/Trolley and Handy Bus service levels through overtime and extra shifts. Temporary service reductions were implemented as a short-term solution, including re-establishing 60-minute service on Route 3/Manatee Avenue.
  • This effort relieved the extreme pressure on operations staff so that transit operators and supervisors could work fewer hours each week, and take some much-needed time off, until staffing levels stabilized and service delivery operations could be balanced with safety margins and improved workforce conditions. As the roster of hired and trained operators available for work reach a sustainable threshold, the Route 3/Manatee Avenue 30-minute service would be re-established.
  • At the same time, staff continued working on a long-term solution to relieve stress on the workforce and maintain service levels. This long-term solution involves the development and use of an operator "Extra Board". As implemented in the public transportation industry, an Extra Board consists of bus operators who are available to cover open work due to vacancies and leave occurrences for regularly assigned operators.
  • In Spring 2017, the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners approved the addition of 16 operator positions to serve as the Transit Division Extra Board. Dan Boyle, a consultant specializing in transit operations scheduling and staffing, validated the need and number for Extra Board operators in August 2017.
  • Over the last several months, Transit Division operations staff worked diligently to hire and train qualified staff to fill open operator positions, including the newly established operator Extra Board; and the Transit Division is now positioned to re-establish 30-minute service on Route 3/Manatee Avenue. This service enhancement will go into effect on February 17, 2018

County Attorney Review
Not Reviewed (No apparent legal issues)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records
Please provide two copies of meeting minutes to  Ryan Suarez, Planning Section Manager, Public Works/Transit Division, X7622, Ryan.Suarez@mymanatee.org.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs