Carolinas Association for Passenger Trains
Board Meeting
via Zoom
January 16, 2021 1:10 PM

Present: Martin Wheeler, David Robinson, John Bobinyec, Gayle McCurry, Ed Locklin, Jim Frierson, Ralph Messera, Bill Cole, Don Yehle, Don Stewart and Phil Astwood

Secretary's Report: Phil Astwood e-mailed the minutes of the November meeting to members of the Board. A portion of Jim Friersonís comments were omitted from the minutes. Jim said the important items were that Mayor Benjamin is still interested in a multi-modal station for Columbia. And Jim also said that Doug Frate is now the only contact for passenger rail issues at SCDOT. With these corrections, the minutes were accepted as sent.

Treasurer's Report: Ralph Messera e-mailed a finance report showing an Initial balance of $313.05, Income of $55.00, Expenses of $27.13, and a Current balance of $340.93 He sent a draft of a letter to be sent requesting renewals. Renewal letters will go to the most recently active members first. This was approved. It was decided to set the dues at $15 for retirees (62 and up) and students (under 18), $25 for regular members, and $100 for corporate members. This structure was approved. Set up of the Cheddar Up account is in process. Cost will be charged to the payee (3% or $0.45). Board members felt that this sort of system was needed to match the more modern payment methods some will expect. Use of Cheddar Up as described was approved.

Consideration of Open Board Member Positions: Bill Cole proposed Gayle McCurry as a new member of the Board. She is a train host and the coordinator for train host training. Leon DeBaer was recently elected to the Board, but has not responded and thus we will need someone to take his place

Update on Website: David Robinson compiled a new list of links to put on the CAPT website. The Board agreed with his selections and Ed Locklin will add some museum sites. David suggested CAPT set up one or more web cams similar to what is used in some places in England that allow one to watch train activity. Local business might sponsor a camera in their area. David suggested we look into this.

Update on Newsletter: Martin Wheeler and Don Yehle plan to send out a monthly one-page newsletter. Others could add to this as well. Reaction to the trial copy was positive. Donated materials from other sources are welcome. This will go on the website initially, but individual copies may be e-mailed to members. It was decided that use of regular mail was probably an unnecessary expense.

Update on News in NC and SC Affecting Transit and Rail Passenger Service: Martin - Passenger use of Charlotte light rail is still way down from pre-Covid numbers. The gold line streetcar service is nearly ready to start, but due to an operator shortage the start will probably be delayed until July. Work on track and bridges for the Gateway station appears to be on schedule.

Western NC Rail Alliance Membership: If we donate $100 to the Alliance we can join their meetings. For now David will try to attend their next meeting to keep up with their activities. David asked if someone from the Alliance might be asked to join the CAPT Board. David will look for someone who might be interested.

Reports from Officers and Directors: Martin- ACNW line is getting money for freight upgrades now, but this could become a commuter line. Ed- Saw on the RTA website that a bill for Covid relief is being worked on with $20 billion for transit but not including Amtrak.

Planning for Future Meetings: Next meet March 20 on Zoom

Adjourn 2:37