At our recent October 2023 TPGA Board Meeting in New Braunfels, April Richardson from the Alternative Fuels Safety Division of the Railroad Commission of Texas provided updates and addressed various concerns and questions. The meeting covered several important topics related to the Commission's operations and upcoming changes. Here's a summary of the key points discussed:
Alternate Fuel Online System (AFOS): April mentioned that the production date for the Alternate Fuel online system, known as "a boat," has been extended into early 2024. Much of the current focus is on data migration from the existing system to the new platform.
The new system will offer various advantages, such as renewing licenses, making updates, adding outlets, updating insurance, and registering trucks. Completion reports can also be submitted through the system. The system will allow immediate access to inspection reports, reducing delays in obtaining this information.
The system aims to provide transparent progress tracking for applications, including notifications and email alerts.
Staffing Updates: The Commission outlined new staff members and administrators who will assist with licensing and compliance.
Cory Gretlein, Deputy Director of AFS, will supervise the licensing and compliance section, assist with the administration of the licensing and compliance section, supervise the ASF admin, and ensure smooth processing of licensing and compliance tasks.
Angie Whitehead has been named Compliance and Licensing Lead for the Alternative Fuel Safety Division, and Kent Thompson will continue his role as a Safety Specialist, providing compliance assistance on rules and codes.
Haley Eiland, Begonia Guy, and Roxanna Gramada are new Licensing Compliance Specialists and will process inspections and completion reports as well as provide support and assistance to licensees.
Blue Cards: The Commission acknowledged the challenges in issuing blue cards promptly and plans to improve the process.
Training & Exam Registration: The Commission is working with its IT department to address production issues related to the event registration system. Specific timelines for resolution are still pending.
Online Testing Issues: Concerns were raised about online testing, including difficulties with proctoring and inconsistent open-book policies. Participants voiced concerns about proctoring, particularly third-party issues with the process. Attendees emphasized the need for better consistency, clearer steps, and improved user experiences during online testing.
In conclusion, the RRC portion of the meeting focused on updates, challenges, and planned improvements related to the Railroad Commission's operations and the transition to a new online system.