BILL REQ. #:  H-0977.2 


State of Washington62nd Legislature2011 Regular Session

By Representatives Morris, Armstrong, Rolfes, Clibborn, Fitzgibbon, Liias, Maxwell, Appleton, Sells, Eddy, and Smith

Read first time 01/25/11.   Referred to Committee on Transportation.

     AN ACT Relating to improving and measuring performance of the management of the state ferry system; adding new sections to chapter 47.60 RCW; adding a new section to chapter 47.64 RCW; and creating a new section.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   The legislature finds that the ferry system is an important driver of the Washington state economy, supporting jobs and businesses in communities around Puget Sound. The ferry system is also an integral part of the state highway system and, as such, benefits all citizens by connecting communities and markets around the state.
     The legislature further finds that funding for the ferry system remains insufficient to provide adequate service in support of this economic engine. Further, new funding sources will only be acceptable when the state can show that the ferry system manages its costs prudently, while delivering reliable, safe, and quality cross-sound transportation services.
     The legislature finds that the ferry system is subject to the statewide transportation system policy goals established in RCW 47.04.280 and yet performance criteria are not used effectively by management to improve operations or demonstrate to the public that ferry service is being provided in the most cost-effective manner.
     Therefore, the legislature intends to: Strengthen performance incentives for Washington state ferries managers; increase the accountability and transparency of ferry management and operations; improve service to ferry riders; and realize cost savings in the ferry system.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   A new section is added to chapter 47.60 RCW to read as follows:
     (1) For the purposes of this section and section 3 of this act:
     (a) "Management" means a nonrepresented employee position at the Washington state ferries that includes management responsibilities.
     (b) "Performance criteria" means measurable standards to be used by the department to evaluate the sufficiency of the services being provided to ferry riders.
     (2) Performance criteria may include, but not be limited to:
     (a) Customer satisfaction based on a statistically significant sampling of onboard passengers conducted by a contracted sampling research company;
     (b) On-time performance based on at least seventy percent of the total sailings, by route or departure port arriving and departing within ten minutes of published sailing time minus authorized delays, such as medical or weather delays;
     (c) Cost containment measures including, but not limited to, overtime as a percentage of regular employee hours, operating cost per passenger mile, capital staff and support costs as a percentage of total capital costs, and fuel conservation measures to include achieving a goal of equal or better vessel fuel cost per gallon than that achieved by the Alaska marine highway system and British Columbia ferries while accounting for any differential tax policies;
     (d) Safety performance as measured by passenger injuries and crew lost time injuries per unit measure of total passengers and crew carried aboard vessels;
     (e) Employee satisfaction as measured by an employee satisfaction survey with a satisfaction rating increase of ten percent over two years;
     (f) Project delivery rate as measured by the number of projects completed on time and within the omnibus transportation appropriations act;
     (g) Vessel and terminal design as measured by engineering designs for vessels and terminals that achieve cost efficiencies in operating and maintenance costs at a rate of at least ten percent operating savings over two years.
     (3) Based on the performance criteria under subsection (2) of this section, contracts for ferry system management functions must provide for incentive or retained payment arrangements as a means of ensuring satisfactory performance of the contract and improved performance of the ferry system over time.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3   A new section is added to chapter 47.60 RCW to read as follows:
     (1) By June 30, 2013, the department must meet or exceed the target performance level for fifty percent of the performance criteria under section 2(2) of this act.
     (2)(a) If the Washington state ferries accountability board created in section 4 of this act determines that the department has not met the requirement under subsection (1) of this section, the department must competitively contract out ferry system management functions to a private management services firm. The contract must include the specific performance criteria and measures to be achieved by the firm and must require that the firm retain existing collective bargaining agreements between the state and the employees' labor representatives. The contract must be for a six-year period, with a ten-year extension option.
     (b) The invitation for bid process for the contract may include a preliminary request for qualifications to inform the most effective way to contract for management functions.
     (c) Consistent with RCW 41.06.142(3), the contract is not subject to requirements for agencies purchasing services that have been customarily and historically provided by state employees.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4   A new section is added to chapter 47.60 RCW to read as follows:
     (1) The Washington state ferries accountability board is created and must consist of ten members representing ferry user groups, the legislature, and the executive branch.
     (2) The board shall meet annually to determine the department's progress towards and achievement of the performance criteria outlined in section 2 of this act.
     (3) The responsibilities of the board include, but are not limited to, establishing baseline data and target performance levels for the performance criteria outlined in section 2 of this act.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5   A new section is added to chapter 47.64 RCW to read as follows:
     A collective bargaining agreement may not allow for department of transportation Washington management services managers or exempt management services managers to belong to the same bargaining unit representing employees whom the managers supervise.

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