Gold Coast Transit District Hosts Congresswoman Julia Brownley
On Monday, August 4, 2014, Gold Coast Transit District (GCTD) hosted Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village), for a presentation and tour of its facility. Congresswoman Brownley’s 26th Congressional District includes much of the GCTD service area, which encompasses the cities of Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Ventura and the western portions of Ventura County.
Chair Morehouse (left) and Congresswoman Julia Brownley
Congresswoman Brownley was joined by GCTD Board Chair Carl Morehouse of Ventura and Boardmember Jonathan Sharkey of Port Hueneme, both of whom have long supported the expansion of public transit in the western portions of Ventura County.
Steven P. Brown, General Manager of GCTD, welcomed Congresswoman Brownley and highlighted GCTD’s recent accomplishment of becoming a transit district while giving an overview of the agency. Reed Caldwell, Facility Project Manager, reported on the progress of the new administration and operations facility and presented next steps. He informed the Congresswoman that GCTD has recently acquired the property for the new facility and has almost reached the 30% milestone in the design.
Mr. Brown also thanked the Congresswoman for her support of GCTD’s recent TIGER grant application for the new administration and operations facility.
"Discretionary programs like these are very important to small agencies like GCTD. When funding for bus and bus facilities was made into a formula program, the funding was cut and the amount for our urbanized area, about $600,000, would only be enough to replace one bus a year,” said Brown. “Agencies like ours generally need funding from time to time to replace a number of buses at once or build a new facility; onetime costs that happen every so often.”
Chair Morehouse expressed that transit is a valuable asset in terms of mobility and jobs and asked if Congresswoman Brownley had any suggestions for partnerships and alliances towards which GCTD could work. The Congresswoman suggested that, “Chair Morehouse, in his role as SCAG President this year, is in a unique position to help pull together the entire Southern California delegation in support of large regional projects that are beneficial for the regional economy and all of its residents.”
Congresswoman Brownley and her staff were provided with detailed fact sheets about GCTD and the transit industry’s support for the reauthorization and growth of the MAP-21 federal transportation program. The Congresswoman was also given a tour of the current facility including the compressed natural gas fueling station.
Debbie Williams, HR Director (left); Steven P. Brown, General Manager; Boardmember Jonathan Sharkey, Congresswoman Julia Brownley; Robert Lurie, Fleet and Facilities Director; Reed Caldwell, Facility Project Manager; Steve Rosenberg, Director of Finance and Administration; Andy Mikkelson, Director of Operations