Carolinas Association for Passenger Trains
Board Meeting
Raleigh Union Station, Raleigh, NC
September 29, 2018 Open: 1:01 P.M.

Present: Martin Wheeler, John Bobinyec, Bob Bischoff, Ed Locklin, David Robinson, Gene Kirkland, Jim Frierson, Bill Cole, Leon DeBaer & Phil Astwood

Secretary's Report: Minutes from the July meeting were e-mailed to members of the Board. The minutes were read at the meeting and approved with the following corrections: The NC State Fair is not in Lexington and the May balance in the association’s account was $1,196.79.

Treasurer's Report: Gene Kirkland reported an opening balance in July of $1,213.79. Income of $30.00, expenses for printing and postage of $316.76 left a closing balance of $927.93. Starting on Oct 10, Gene plans to send renewal notices every night until he is caught up. He plans to collect e-mail addresses so as to be able to send out all renewals by e-mail.

New Raleigh Station Report: Gene will give a report on the new station and conduct a tour after the meeting. David Robinson pointed out several problems with the station including: 1. It is difficult for seniors to get to some portions of the station, 2. Buses 8 and 13 stop at the station, but the R line (free circulator) does not, and 3. There is no way that a person who cannot walk up the ramp from the train can request assistance. David said that we should look at the accessibility of all stations.

Update on Resolution Drive in South Carolina in Support of Increased Rail Passenger Service: There has been no action since the last meeting. Phil agreed to send a copy of the cover letter to Martin Wheeler and Jim Frierson.

Update on Creation of an Organization similar to Virginians for High-speed Rail: Martin Wheeler met recently with Jason Orthner and Allen Paul of the NCDOT. The meeting went well. Both Orthner and Paul generally agree with CAPT’s ideas including the avoidance of the term “High-speed Rail” and the idea that it will be a professional organization once established. Overall the aim of the organization should be improved service and greater frequencies. Emphasis should be on increased safety and production of new jobs. It is important to work with existing organizations such as chambers of commerce. It was suggested that we consider working with those in Western North Carolina who have experience dealing with the legislature on rail issues. David pointed out that there is a NC public transportation commission which would be a good place to start. He thought that it would not be productive to deal with the Sierra Club since they do not favor any sort of development. Bob suggested contacting the Foundation for the Carolinas as a source of funding. We still need to consider a name for the organization (Such as “On Track North Carolina”) and we should discuss its goals and objectives. We can use CAPT’s mission statement as a guide. David will put together a one-page starting list. We also need to consider whom we would like to involve.

Update on CAPT Website and Newsletter Issues: Board liked the most recent newsletter. John Bobinyec asked that Phil send him the most recent minutes.

Update on News Affecting Transit and Rail Passenger Service in NC and SC: Jim Frierson – SCDOT says the Clemson station project should be complete by the end of the year. Jim will send Gene the most recent report on the Assembly Street project in Columbia. Currently it is expected to be delayed for at least 24 months for the preparation of an environmental impact statement. Gene Kirkland – CSX is being sued by the City of Lumberton because it has not completed its portion of a flood control project. Leon DeBaer- WiFi is finally available in this station. Spectrum Mobile has an ad shows a person hiking on a rail line. Will contact Operation Lifesaver about that. Ed Locklin – Amtrak is having a lot of trouble with on-time performance and has rated the freight lines on the extent to which they interfere with passenger schedules. NS was rated worst. David Robinson – What is known about the Brightline projects outside of Florida? A Charlotte/Atlanta line is being considered and apparently rights have already been obtained for a route from L.A. (or outside of L.A.) to Las Vegas. Martin Wheeler - CATS doing a variety of studies of potential new routes in the Charlotte area. There is interest in the west line to the airport. Work is progressing on the Gateway Station. Light rail is doing better. Ridership up, but much lower than expected due primarily to train speeds. Parking fees may be an issue as well.

Future Meetings: Durham - Nov. 17, Chas/Cola - Jan 19, March 16, May 18, July 20, Sept 21, Nov 16

Adjourn - 2:52