November 2016 Harbor Transit Local Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

Harbor Transit Local Advisory Committee

MINUTES OF THE November 16, 2016 MEETING

Grand Haven Community Center


The meeting was called to order at 1:16 p.m.


Members present:

Roger White, Chairperson

Carol Soule, Grand Haven Citizen Representative

Nancy Nielsen, Spring Lake Village

Jon Toppen, Member at Large

Marion McDonald Spring Lake Township

Warren Roosen, North Ottawa Council on Aging Representative

Members absent: Carrie Uthe, Spring Lake Township

Karen Flannigan, Grand Haven Charter Township

Ray Harz, Grand Haven Charter Township Representative

Citizen present: Lou Paxton

Harbor Transit staff:

Tom Manderscheid, Transportation Director

Anthony Dionise, Operations Manager

Shelly Converse, Customer Care/Compliance Manager

Dennis Swartout, Marketing

John Phillips, Safety & Training

Moved by Roger White and supported by Carol Soule, to approve the minutes of the August 17, 2016.  Motion carried.

  1. General Business/Call to Audience


  1.  General Business:

Committee Member Input on Customer Service

Tom asked the Committee if they had any input on customer service. Most of the input was in regards to the Senior Shuttle. Carol and Marion had only favorable things to say about the service. Marion did express the need to have signage on the bus that is designated for this service. It was also brought to our attention that the schedule should be posted in the bus. This would serve as a reminder to passengers of pick up and drop off times.

Review of Ridership August thru October 2016

Once again, we have seen a steady increase in ridership. Part of the increase is still given to the fact that we are now serving Spring Lake Township. Our target number for 2016 is 245,000 in ridership. Tom did mention he has heard positive feedback from Spring Lake Township for the service they are receiving.

Senior Shuttle

Shelly did inform the Board that the Senior Shuttle is running on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s only. The ridership for two days is about the same as what it was in a six day period. Hours of operation are from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. both days. We will continue the service thru the winter months and track numbers on a monthly basis.

Employee Training

John Phillips was introduced to the Board as the Safety and Training Coordinator. He brought with him materials he has been working on to enhance our training program. He also informed the Board that he has a Safety Committee formed of drivers and himself to help compile data that will be helpful in our daily operation. Tom added that the main reason for this position is to be able to document safety and training for reportable purposes. He also informed the Board that Harbor Transit was selected for a Safety and Training program thru MDOT. We were 1 in 5 agencies throughout the state that was chosen.

Marketing Report

Denny brought to the Boards attention a tribute to George Spink, a long time rider of Harbor Transit. Harbor had 13 employees attend the memorial service for George. George’s grand-daughter showed her appreciation by thanking Harbor on Grand Haven Informed (a social media site). The post she wrote got 524 likes and numerous positive comments. Denny let everyone know it was not about the publicity, but the connection between drivers and passengers that make Harbor a very unique place. Carol did inquire if it was acceptable for the drivers to aide passengers, as years ago it was not allowed. She was assured that it is encouraged for employees to assist those that need assistance.

  1. Director’s Report:


Tom reported on the hiring of a part time mechanic. Will Sleutel, a former full time mechanic of the City and HT, has returned to us as a part time employee. Will is working five hours per day, four days per week. The hour are late afternoon to early evening, when more buses are available. The hiring of a part time person will help to alleviate the work load on our full time mechanic.

Bus Delivery

Four new buses will be ready for delivery by the end of December 2016 or the first of January 2017. The tentative inspection date for the buses is December 15th. Tom and Ross will make the trip to Indiana for the final inspection and delivery should follow shortly thereafter. Buses 23, 25, and 26 will be retired when the new buses arrive.


The single audit conducted recently, declared Harbor Transit is doing well. The only issue brought to our attention was the need to conduct a physical account of assets on a bi-annual basis.

Harbor Trolley LLC

The Harbor Trolley LLC has had 39 bookings to date. Monies brought in are $18,600 in revenue, which points in a good direction.

Excise Tax

We are still receiving a tax credit of .50 cents per gallon on LP. We will be receiving a check for $5,818.00 for the propane tax credit.


Tom announced his retirement to the Board. He will be leaving on June 16, 2017. He did indicate before he retires he has two more objectives. The first, is to extend business hours. Extended running hours would help provide service to third shift workers, whom at this time have no transportation. It would also allow for general riders to utilize our service later in the evening. This gives people more opportunities when trying to attend functions after our normal service hours. The second objective is to broaden our service area to the Lakes Mall area. This would provide service to the medical facility on Harvey, which has been a request by riders and other Board members. Tom plans to see both projects up and running before leaving Harbor Transit.

Open Committee Seats

Harbor Transit has 2 open seats available on the HTMMTS Local Advisory Board. One (1) Committee seat is open to a Grand Haven Charter Township resident and (1) one Committee seat is open as a Member at Large. Resumes will be accepted until December 19, 2016. All resumes should be submitted to Tom Manderscheid at Harbor Transit.


The Board asked that we look into information and brochure racks for the buses.

The Employee Appreciation dinner held in October went well. The turnout was not as high as we would have liked, but everyone that did attend was very appreciative and enjoyed themselves.

  1. The next Local Advisory meeting will be held on February 15, 2017; 1:15pm at the Grand Haven Community Center.


Adjournment- The meeting was adjourned at 2:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Shelly Converse

Customer Care/Compliance Manager




Posted on by Don Rogers in HTMMTS Meeting Minutes, News