Golden Coral Restaurant,
Present: Martin Wheeler, Brad Schultz, Bill Cole, Gene Kirkland, Robert Johnson, Art Peterson, Jim Davis, Ernest Robl, Dan Smith, Ken Davis, Charles Hiatt, Jim Stevenson, Bill Muller, Jim McManus, Ed Locklin, Don Stewart & Phil Astwood
Schultz reported on transit planning
for the Triangle Area (A full report is available at tansitblueprint.org ). Based
in part on the success in
1. An Enhanced Bus System at the “Charlotte Level” including expresses
3. Light Rail – 56 miles were planned
4. Information from the NC Commuter Rail Study to serve as a foundation
5. Funding from a sales tax and/or vehicle tax. Assume no federal funding
After considerable effort, the funding did not materialize. With present rider ship up 15%, rapid action is necessary. Possible choices at this point are:
1. Encourage separate areas to enhance transit and eventually link all together
2. Work for improvement in federal funding formula
3. Support politicians who support transit
4. Educate the public as to value of transit
5. Begin to organize businesses and other facilities to surround and support transit routes
Report – Bob Bischoff, former secretary, mailed minutes from the April 5
3. Treasurer’s Report - Gene Kirkland distributed the treasurer’s report. It showed a total balance of $13,893.33. Gene asked that we note that 51 members had been transferred to “inactive”. He will send renewal notices in the future to try and cut down on this loss.
4. CAPT Newsletter – Gene Kirkland said the newsletter will go to printer in next two days. It will contain information on the DOT fleet. Martin Wheeler said he has received a contact from Malcolm Kenton, a student with rail interest who would like to write for the newsletter. He will send contact info to Gene. Malcolm also offered to help with website. Though we currently have someone to manage the site, Gene suggested we might need a better host and Malcolm might help with this. To increase visibility, Gene said he would get copies of the newsletter into Amtrak and DOT stations. He also will get some copies to museum at Hamlet.
5. SC Resolution – Martin reported that the Resolution drive is set up. We have a list of possible recipients similar to drive in NC. We are waiting for brochure to be finished to accompany resolution. The SC Legislature meets January to May and we should get resolution out so that reps hear about it before they get back.
– Don Stewart reported that he has a final copy, but it contains errors. It is
also necessary to update the cover photo and update the maps. With current
congressional action, this may be right time for brochure to stay in date for a
while. Don has reviewed it and will try for corporate sponsors (Bombardier
& Siemens). These already sponsor receptions. Gene suggested Herzog and
CATS. It was suggested that the brochure be handed out at fairs in the
Rail – Jim Frierson sent the following revision of this item - Richland
County Council was to consider a proposal to put on the ballot for November,
2008 a referendum for the voters to approve a one cent sales tax to last for
eight years. This sales tax would
provide funds for roads (60% of the proceeds); transit (25% of the proceeds);
and sidewalks, bike trails, and greenways (15% of the proceeds). At the end of eight years, the voters could
renew the sales tax for another eight years to continue the funding. Unfortunately, the county council voted
against putting the proposal on the ballot so now the voters will not get to
have their say. Commuter rail is still
receiving serious consideration in the
9.HR 6003 – Don distributed handouts and reported that the House passed the bill to reauthorize Amtrak for the next 5 years. This is best funding yet, but still less than needed. Funds are included for Amtrak and state initiatives also for high speed rail partnerships. There is also a way to use money spent in the past as a 50% match for new projects. Senate and House will have to reconcile and form new bill. Bush sent out a very stiff anti-Amtrak letter threatening a veto, but bill turned out to be veto-proof. SC had 4-2 pro Amtrak vote as did NC. This bill only authorizes money, it still must be appropriated.
11. Third Frequency for Piedmont/Carolinian – Gene reported new train will have baggage/food combine so it can have 6 coaches. It will have approximately a departure from each city. Should begin in about one year. The roster for the train is in newsletter. It will have 3 engines, 2 combines, 8 coaches.
Meeting – August 11 in