Executive Director's Report


Executive Director's Report - October 2020

NVTA Board and Community Members:

Executive Director’s Report

New Staff Onboard

NVTA welcomes Elizabeth “Libby” Payan, as the new Transit Planner. Libby has 6 years of public sector planning experience, and holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Sonoma State University; one in Environmental Studies & Planning and one in Economics. Libby lives in Napa with her husband.

NVTA also welcomes Laura Sanderlin, as the new Human Resource and Board Secretary, replacing Karrie Sanderlin, who retires in December. Laura has 6 years of hospitality management experience and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration from San Francisco State University. Laura lives with her husband and three children in Napa.

Blue Ribbon Task Force

The Blue Ribbon Task Force has launched the Healthy Transit Dashboard. The dashboard includes metrics that reflect visual observations of workers' and riders' adherence to using personal protective equipment such as masks and social distancing. Reporting periods are monthly. Members of the public may view the data results at http://www.healthytransitplan.com/.

Schools Reopening

NVUSD resumes in-person classes on October 26. Please drive slowly in school zones and watch for kids who may be walking and biking.

NVTA has restored limited fixed-route service in American Canyon and St. Helena to accommodate the schools reopening schedule. In American Canyon, we are deploying a 40’ bus followed by the shuttle for school trippers. In St. Helena, we are pulling the on/demand vehicle out of service for limited periods, which is typically how we provide school service in St. Helena.

In Napa, we will evaluate demand and have extra vehicles ready for back up. Staff will assess demand and restore limited fixed route service if deemed necessary. We do not know how many kids will return to in-person classes and how many will return to using the bus.

As part of the Healthy Bay Area Transit Plan and CDC recommendations, students are required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines. The social distancing requirements and the double school shifts could  present capacity issues on our buses. Unfortunately, we have limited vehicles available because of the loss of funding and service cuts associated with the pandemic, but we will accommodate demand as best we can.

Phone Charging at SGTC

NVTA has installed a multi-phone charging station on the east side of the Soscol Gateway Transit Center, to ensure that homeless riders have a place to charge their mobile devices. Many of the pre-existing outlets around the facility have been unavailable to the public since March, when transit center hours were reduced and building access was restricted due to the pandemic.

After the Napa Valley Register published an article about the phone charging station, we’ve received inquiries from most jurisdictions in Napa, so there may be more installed around the Valley soon.

We have also received several letters about the charging station, including one from Ashley MacKenzie-Holding, Abode Homeless Services outreach worker who writes:

My name is Ashley and I work as an outreach worker for Abode Services. I read the recent article from the Napa Register about the free access phone charger located at the transit center. I wanted to thank you as this is important for the homeless community. Reading your concerns about the homeless not having access to something so small- but important to everyone, makes an impact on how we serve the community. We've had calls over the years to handle some situations with the homeless regarding the transit center and it's always a pleasure to collaborate. Just wanted to give you a shout out of appreciation.

Roundabouts

The California roundabouts were recognized as the 2020 Outstanding Roadway and Highway Project of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The distinguished honor goes to a roadway project with outstanding design and construction of vehicular or multimodal transportation. The project was implemented jointly by the City of Napa and Caltrans, and partially funded by NVTA. NVTA staff congratulates the City and Caltrans for this major accomplishment.

NVTA’s Fire Services

During the Glass Fire, NVTA helped with evacuations in Calistoga and food delivery to first responders and evacuation shelters. A huge thanks to NVTA Planning Director Danielle Schmitz and Transdev management staff, including Cheryl Drake, Charlene Hicks. I would especially like to thank the following drivers for help with the fire evacuation services:

  • Albert Dommer
  • Tim Calhoun
  • Brian Wilkie
  • Marcos Perdomo
  • Elaine Ordonez
  • Wayne Grisby
  • Luz DeLeon
  • Kelcy, Brown
  • Vic Luis
  • James Flower
  • Mike Molina
  • Iris Keller
  • Bridget Bishop
  • Baldemar Ceja
  • Samuel Gonzales
  • Josue Martinez

drivers who assisted in providing meal service to shelters:

  • Minerva Thompson
  • Jonah Singelton
  • Teresa Harry
  • Joe Villalobos
  • Tyler Cross
  • Briana Morales
  • Brooke Wooley
  • Benny Ramirez
  • Heather Crago

Food Drive

Throughout the pandemic, Vine drivers have been moving those struggling with homelessness to hotels/shelters and providing food and laundry delivery services. A Transdev employee noticed the Salvation Army's meal distribution increased dramatically during the Glass Fire and initiated a food drive. Transdev staff, NVTA staff, and Vine riders supported the drive with contributions. During the food drive.

Flu Shots

Finally, NVTA staff would like to remind transit workers and riders that it is flu season and we strongly encourage you to get your flu shot.

 
Sincerely,
 
Kate Miller
NVTA Executive Director