We’re makin’ some progress

Capital Metro published its promised community progress report today outlining the status of several recommendations made by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission in July.

Capital Metro has been working hard to make needed changes, and the report indicates the agency’s substantial progress.  Eleven of the 18 recommendations are either fully implemented or substantially implemented.

“The swift progress made on these recommendations demonstrates Capital Metro’s commitment to transparency, accountability and credibility,” said President/CEO Linda S. Watson. “This is a clear signal that we are raising the bar and changing the way we do business every day. Our efforts will not stop here because we must earn the public’s trust to successfully fulfill our critical role within the community.”

The Sunset recommendations focus on four key areas: finance, labor, rail and governance/public engagement. Capital Metro addressed several recommendations at the board of directors meeting on Sept. 24 when the board approved:

– Balanced budget for FY2011, including capital spending (the complete, adopted budget document will be available online soon)
– Cash reserve policy
– Railroad bridge replacement plan
– Community involvement policy
– Advisory committee policy
– MetroAccess policy changes
– Elimination of free fares for seniors and passengers with disabilities (pending public outreach and final approval of the proposed fare structure)

Capital Metro also exceeded Sunset recommendations by earning the “Gold” designation from the Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle for posting detailed financial information online.

15 thoughts on “We’re makin’ some progress

  1. N Crowther

    Great news and great report. I could not enter the CEO Evaluation area–it said page not available yet the recommendation had been completed.

    Fares are fair–please know that from a sitting position it is extremely difficult to slide a card, insert a card or find the coin slot on the fareboxes unless they are lowered as on the new buses–which I love. Can we not charge up the the Disability Fare Card so it can be a two for one card–one it counts my boarding and two it snatches the fare off the card. We can recharge thru cash at 323 and get balance info there too.

    I know the operators will not want to aid with the change or the passes….just another thing they have to do for “us.” Boarding and securing take long enough. Please don’t make me struggle with the farebox too.

    Not all disabilities need this type of assistance but for those of us who do, an easier method would be appreciated.

    Thank you for making bus riding fair about fares–there is too much abuse. I am a dedicated–because I have to be–bus rider. Please help to accommodate the needs of riders who cannot use the farebox as easily.

  2. I will be impressed with your transparency when you guys do at least the following:

    1. Restore the full financial reporting in the monthly status reports (including the numbers about operating subsidy per passenger on commuter rail)

    2. Stop blaming the media for stories you don’t like, and start responding graciously and productively to their requests rather than fighting them or being passive-aggressive (i.e. with KXAN).

    1. Adam

      I don’t mind that you hate Capital Metro, but if you are suggesting that this organization provides insufficient media relations then I do mind that part. I am responsible for media relations here, and it is my goal to operate one of (if not THE) most responsive and accessible government media relations offices in the region. We are a staff of three and make it a high priority to available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist news organizations in nothing less than a professional manner. I think we have an excellent working relationship with the reporters who cover us regularly.

      If there are any news organizations with concerns about how we’re doing our job, please contact me anytime: 369-6027.

      1. Adam, I am talking about the repeated comments by many of your employees in response to media stories that the media just doesn’t do their job well (especially in regards to Ben Wear, who has been right in retrospect on nearly all those controversial issues). Too many examples to list here; and the most prominent offender has blocked me on twitter (he would prefer to be able to speak to decision-makers without being seen by the public); but he’s far from alone.

        I’m also talking about the way that you fought KXAN’s efforts to look into your finances.

        That is not professional, period.

      2. And you may find it difficult to believe, but I defend Capital Metro quite vigorously when you deserve defending (for instance, against the suburbanite claim that the ‘buses are always empty’).

      3. Adam

        Thanks, Mike, for the clarification at 9:07. I’m glad to hear you weren’t referring to our day-to-day media relations efforts. Speaking of KXAN, I loved the story they did about the Gilleland Creek bridge earlier this week. We suggested this to Josh since he did a story about the old bridge a few months ago.

  3. Erica

    Hey, M1EK, for the record JMVC is not in any way connected to the media relations function of Capital Metro. While he clearly represents himself online as an employee of Capital Metro (as good ethics would dictate), his twitter and facebook posts are his own–not “sanctioned” by Capital Metro. In other words, JMVC (and Lyndon Henry and every other employee here) have the same freedom of speech rights as you do… and if they don’t like something they see in the media, they get to voice that, too. I’m pretty certain that it doesn’t hurt Ben Wear’s feelings that JMVC doesn’t like his stories.

    I’m sorry that he doesn’t want to be your friend on twitter. I’ll be your friend.

    1. JMVC is part of your PR organization. The distinction is meaningless to those of us outside Capital Metro. He’s not a bus driver or somebody working in the back office.

      And he’s not the only one; just the most frequent offender. Notice my phrase “far from alone”. I have seen some of the people responsible for this blog do the same thing.

  4. N Crowther

    I’m sorry but, what was the question? I believe it is a new day and I am hearing old news. Can we focus on what is really important like service, fares and surviving the economy without giving in to politics? Capital Metro has come a long way. Let’s keep it moving so we can keep moving.

    1. ky

      @ N Crowther,

      gee, even after you retire you still tow the company line N C. You always act like people, even the public, should not talk about Metro’s past.

      Well it is not like it was only one or two things that happened, it was generations of failure and mismanagement, people hauled away to jail, burning money like paper, keeping secrets. And you yourself sat on years of ADA violations silently and towed the line.

      Good gosh, if you do not want to talk about it. fine, but drop the goody too-shoe talk when anyone else like M1EK wants to talk about things skeptically. Fine, starts your own Metro cheer section, just leave the rest of us out of it.

      1. Erica

        Nancy, a goody two shoes? Are we talking about the same Nancy that chained herself to a Capital Metro bus in the late 80s, advocating for wheelchair lifts on our buses? You must be confusing Nancy for someone else…

  5. JMVC

    Hey Don, nothing personal, but I try to limit my FB friends to folks with whom I actually have some sort of personal friendship or other relationship. It is my personal page, and the opinions I express there are my own and are not representative of CM – that is unless the official stance of Capital Metro is that Greg Davis (UT Offensive coordinator) should be fired post haste. I kinda have a beer/coffee rule with FB – if we have not had a cup of coffee or beer together at some point, then we probably aren’t friends. To that end, if you want to have a cup of coffee sometime, I’d love to & would then be happy to be your bud on FB. Appreciate your comments as always. – jmvc

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