Let’s see, do we spend 624k/yr on a trolley and 675k on a parking lot S. of Sharkey’s or do we make the repairs at the VPD and VFD
by Frankie Abbruzzino, The Uncensored Report
This is the draft memo from the Traffic Advisory Task Force, in regards the trolley. The note states that the trolley averaged 118 people per day. I must have missed every one of these days, since I have seen it several times with just a couple people.
I know he mentioned taking 60k from the BP suit money, however I believe the real cost over a six-week period came to approx. $72,000. Now I am no mathematician, but if we assume that rate for a six-week period, does that mean the city is looking at spending $624,000 a year?
We have a fire and police department that have been in dire need of repair for some time now, I believe over one year. We need fire trucks, police cars, and we need to fix the fire and police pension issue. All of which there is no money and they are considering a fire tax to cover some of the cost.
So, my question is a simple one. When did a trolley at $624,000/year and a
parking lot south of Sharkey’s for $675,000 become a higher priority than water leaking in the evidence room of VPD or a fire truck breaking down on the way to rescue a family?
If you are on the same page as me regarding this issue, write the city council and let them know your thoughts.
If you want to send an e-mail to the mayor and all council members, use:email@example.com
The draft memo is below
Paid for by Frankie S. Abbruzzino For Mayor – City of Venice
To: Ed Lavallee, City Manager
From: R. Fazzalaro, Chairman, Traffic Advisory Task Force
CC: Len Bramble, Assistant City Manager
Date: September 3, 2016
Subject: Recommendations for Trolley Program
The city of Venice conducted a Trolley Pilot Program in 2016, using $60,000 from the BP settlement. From late January to early April, a single trolley ran a specified route on a 30-minute schedule Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The trolley averaged 118 riders per day. Detailed summary statistics, route information, observations, comments and other data may be found in the “Summary Report, Trolley Pilot Program 2016” compiled by the Venice Public Information Office.
The Trolley Pilot Program was deemed a success and city officials plan to go forward with the program in 2017. Accordingly, $_______ is identified in the 2017 proposed budget to conduct the program.
The Traffic Advisory Task Force was asked to provide input and recommendations for the successful implementation of the 2017 Trolley program. The Task Force reviewed the 2016 pilot program in detail with staff, and studied the Summary Report data. Several Task Force members actively participated as riders and observers during the pilot program and shared their observations and opinions with the Task Force and staff. At the September 1, 2016 Task Force meeting the group discussed numerous issues and now makes the following observations and recommendations.
1. Purpose: The Task Force believes the primary purpose of the program is to promote the charm, uniqueness and ambiance of Venice. Secondarily, the trolley program can have a positive effect on the perceived parking problem in downtown areas, can help move people around the city, lower vehicle circulation in congested areas, encourage participation in city events and promote area businesses.
2. Timing: The Task Force recommends the trolley program run four months, from January 23, 2017 to April 23, 2017, Monday through Saturday inclusive, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The circuit time should remain a maximum of 30 minutes.
3. Scope: We recommend the trolley route be changed from the pilot route. At a minimum, the route should include stops at Centennial Park, Venice Beach, South Jetty, Community Center and Library. Consideration should be given to potential stops off the island (Example: Publix on East Venice Ave and Capri Isles Blvd.) to
help minimize island traffic and offer an alternative to visitors and citizens visiting the island. This idea is consistent with area growth.
4. Narrative: The city should provide a recorded audio narrative or story of Venice, including descriptions consistent with the sights along the trolley route.
5. Financial Impact:
a. Cost: We believe the city should offer $30,000-$40,000 for operational cost of the trolley to potential bidders, to defray the cost to operate.
b. Revenue – Fare: We recommend a daily fee charge of one to two dollars per rider. The charge should include all boardings for the day. Children under five years old should ride free.
c. Revenue – Advertising: We recommend the selected provider be allowed to sell advertising for the interior and exterior of the trolley.
6. Monitoring: The city should designate an employee to monitor trolley operation and contractor performance, through the use of check rides, observation, and feedback from riders. Also, the city should develop parameters/measurements for determining the success or failure of the program, and recommend future enhancements, expansion, and improvements. The contractor should provide daily passenger statistics similar to the data collected during the 2016 pilot program.
7. Advertisement: The city should actively promote the trolley program through the use of pamphlets, web sites, newspapers and other modern means of communication.
Ron Fazzalaro, Chairman
Traffic Advisory Task Force