SFMTA Multimodal Accessibility Advisory Committee (MAAC) > April 19, 2007, minutes
MUNI ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (MAAC)
Minutes of April 19, 2007
Rae Chamberlain, Les Clark (Chair), Janet Copriviza, Jean Ellis-Jones, Edward Evans, Barbara George, Melvin Galloway, Dave Longa, Jean Kempf, Bruce Morgan, Bruce Oka, Arden Wheeler
Paul Fichera, Vernon Smith (Excused)
Accessible Services Staff Present:
Jamie Osborne, Virginia Rathke, Annette Williams
Ken Anderson (Muni System Safety), Beth Berenson (Lighthouse for the Blind), Jeannette Cross (Muni), Jerrel Cross, Pat Henry (Passenger Services)
Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 1:00PM.
Introductions were made in lieu of a roll call.
Reading and approval of agenda:
The agenda was approved with additions.
Approval of the minutes from February MAAC meeting:
The minutes for the February 15 MAAC meeting were approved with corrections.
Comments from the Chair:
MAAC Chair, Les Clark thanked members for reelecting him to the chair position. He reported that the T-Line celebration was a big success. To keep the meeting moving forward, he requested members to hold their questions until they are acknowledged by the chair. He indicated that paper and pens were provided so that members could write their questions down.
Jeannette Cross, MAAC Access Recognition Award Presentation
Muni operator, Jeannette Cross, received an award for her exemplary service to senior and disabled riders. Beth Berenson of the Lighthouse for the Blind and visually impaired nominated Ms. Cross. Ms. Berenson reported that she often rides with Ms. Cross on the 49-Van Ness line in the mornings on her way to work. Whenever Ms. Cross sees someone with a disability get on the bus, she is very patient and courteous with riders. Ms. Cross also consistently asks passengers to yield the front seats to riders with disabilities. Ms. Cross thanked the committee for recognizing her service.
Kenneth Anderson, SFMTA Office of Health and Safety, Muni rail rider boarding safety
Kenneth Anderson presented to the committee about his work in rail safety. He described safety issues of platform and street-level boarding for light rail trains. He also noted the outreach work that he does presenting to groups about transit safety.
He addresssed MAAC members’ comments and inquiries.
Arden Wheeler – “Every time I get off the cable car at Hyde and California, I am taking my life in my hands. Automobiles do not stop for passengers who are exiting the vehicle. What can be done to increase the visibility of traffic signage and the enforcement of city vehicle codes prohibiting this sort of behavior?”
Bruce Morgan – “When I catch streetcars at night, I have lots of problems with lighting. Is there anything that we can do to provide a brightly lit, flashing warning sign to deter car drivers from attempting to pass streetcars that are unloading passengers?”
Ed Evans – “In the underground system, I am concerned that more audible information is not given about arriving trains and their destinations.”
David Longa – “Could you talk to the cable car division to determine if the conductor at the back of the car could assist exiting passengers by warning oncoming traffic?”
Barbara George – “Instead of asking the operators to put themselves at risk, maybe an automatic warning flag or sign could be attached to the back of the car that would help?”
Jamie Osborne – “How can we better identify the numbers of accidents that are resulting from these streetcar boarding situations and what can MAAC do to encourage the SFPD to enforce the related vehicle codes?”
Sonali Bose, Director of Finance/CFO, SFMTA Financial / Budget Update
SFMTA’s new Director of Finance/CFO, Sonali Bose, discussed her experiences in the first 6 months on the job. She distributed a package of information to members outlining the agency’s financial health. She indicated that SFMTA’s ability to provide a desired level of transit service is severely hampered by its historic structural financial deficit. She is working with the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors to enhance SFMTA’s incoming revenues.
She gave members a brief history of Muni’s finances, noting that because contractual obligations leave very little room for cost-cutting, Muni is unable to spend appropriately on services. She requested assistance from MAAC members in increasing advertising revenues. SFMTA wants to increase the wrap advertising on buses and rolling stock.
Ms. Bose indicated that increasing the allowable number of fully wrapped vehicles to 50 buses, 10 times a year for a two week period will bring in several additional million dollars to the agency. She asked the committee, what is acceptable regarding bus wrap and accessibility?
MAAC members indicated that bus wrapping was acceptable as long as the vehicles wrapped were equipped with functional Digital Voice Announcement Systems (DVAS). Ms. Bose indicated that she would share MAAC’s decision with the SFMTA board.
Ms. Bose was asked to address the financial implications of making the transit system or specific routes free to the public. She indicated that “if free fare system could work anywhere, it could work in San Francisco;” However she noted that for it to work successfully, it would have to have several key things in place. The increased ridership would require additional infrastructure, such as more vehicles, and operations, maintenance and security staff. SFMTA would need significant additional resources to cover the increased operating costs. She felt that a three-year window where the City would fund necessary improvements to the infrastructure may help accomplish this. Ms. Bose also noted that in successful free-transit systems, a transit only corridor is a necessity. Prohibiting automotive traffic and creating such a corridor on a major thoroughfare such as Market Street would be a tall task.
She took questions and listened to comments from members and guests.
David Longa – “Who pays for the wrapping or maintenance of wrapped vehicles?”
Arden Wheeler – “I think that a big luau party as a fundraiser for Muni. I would pay $20!”
Ed Evans – “Would television screens and programming in vehicles and Muni facilities provide additional add revenue?”
David Longa – “A card reader system onboard Muni vehicles would help reduce the printing costs of Muni transfers.”
Jean Ellis-Jones – “What is being done to increase revenue by fighting counterfeit transfers and passes?”
Ms. Bose indicated that SFMTA was doing everything it could to raise revenues and that no options were off the table (Except luaus).
Melvin Galloway, Presentation birthday cake
Melvin Galloway recently celebrated his 50th birthday. MAAC members shared his celebration with cake and song.
Les Clark, Presentation of MAAC goals for 2007
Les Clark reviewed the process of determining MAAC goals for 2007. The issues as reported by committee members were collected and prioritized. Mr. Clark read through the goals and discussed the process by which the committee will systematically address each one.
T-Third Progress Update
Jamie Osborne reported that the T-Third line was officially open and operating. The official opening ceremony was on April 14th. He noted that Muni has experienced problems with number of trained LRV operators, vehicle scheduling and routing (specifically at 4th and King and at the Embarcadero Metro station). He noted that he had not heard any complaints regarding the accessibility of the new transit facilities. Pat Henry indicated that she received several complaints regarding the lack of seating for seniors and people with mobility disabililities during the packed riding conditions.
Annette Williams indicated that over course of the last 20 years, MAAC has had a huge impact on the design of the new T-Third line. She thanked committee members for their input and support. They took questions and comments about the new line:
Bruce Morgan – “Last night I was dreaming of killing Muni service planning. Their removal of the 15 line greatly impacted the bus service on Columbus Street and made my trip from the grocery store very difficult. Last night I had to carry sacks of groceries three and a half blocks (from Stockton and Columbus to Kearny and Broadway).”
Letter to Driver’s Union
Les Clark, indicated that he was deeply concerned about the lack of union representation at previous MAAC meetings. He requested that a letter be written to Irwin Lum, the union president. He read the letter that was sent to Mr. Lum to the committee.
Jean Ellis-Jones apologized that she has been unable to be at meetings over the past year. She has been busy with other responsibilities. She noted that Barbara George was also able to share information from MAAC meetings with union.
Pat Henry, ADA Complaints for March 2005-2007
Pat Henry has been sending a copy of every single ADA complaint that she receives to Accessible Services. The passenger services department has been receiving 200 or 300 complaints per day related to the recent service changes. The complaints are being forwarded to Muni Service Planning. Of the recent reports, she has seen many ADA complaints focusing primarily on the ellimination of the line 15 bus north of Market.
Ms. Henry shared the complaint numbers for March 2005-2007 with the committee. She also answered questions about ADA violation complaints.
Nominations for Muni Accessibility Advisory Recognition Award
MAAC Recognition Awards were received for the staff at the RTC Discount ID office.
Jamie Osborne, Tactile Map Review
Jamie Osborne talked to MAAC about new tactile maps that will be going into the subway stations. He showed members a demonstration version of the map and described the features. MAAC members provided comments and feedback on the sign’s content and mounting.
At 3:10PM, the meeting was adjourned. The Committee will address the remaining agenda items (Member’s Questions and Comments; Public Comment; Items for Next Agenda; Announcements) at the next regularly scheduled meeting, Thursday, May 17, 2007, at 1:00PM.
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