SFMTA Multimodal Accessibility Advisory Committee (MAAC) > November 15, 2007, Minutes
MUNI ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (MAAC)
Minutes of November 15, 2007
Accessible Services Staff Present:
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 1:04PM.
Introductions were made in lieu of a roll call.
Reading and approval of agenda
The agenda was approved as presented.
Approval of the minutes from October MAAC meeting:
The minutes for the October 18, 2007 MAAC meeting were approved unanimously.
Comments from the Chair
Members approved cancelling the December meeting and hold a “post-holiday” party on January 17, 2008.
MAAC Member Nomination, Ursula Steck
Operator Accessibility Training Curriculum
Bob Planthold – “Are there any considerations for SFMTA staff and other city agencies to view the training video.”
Dave Longa – “Are there any training videos available through APTA that would address specific accessibility issues for public transit.”
Jean Ellis-Jones – “The language about operator maintenance should be changed to say Preop.”
Miro Kielbus – “I’ve experienced communication problems with both station agents and fare inspectors.”
Ed Evans – “Operators should pay close attention to the responsibility of filling out the defect cards. They should also be instructed not to pit riders with disabilities against non-disabled riders.”
Dave Longa – “Many times, the lift cannot be recycled in the yard because of space constraints. Also, defect cards don’t’ get always get passed between operators or picked up by maintenance.”
Ursula Steck – “If an operator says that the lift is not working, I offer to call Muni for the operator. Sometimes the lift starts working after I offer to make the call.”
John Duchene – “I get frustrated when a lift is out of service, and dispatch tells the operator to keep the bus in service.”
Jeanne Lynch – “Operators should be better trained to lower the lift for people who are not wheelchair users.”
Paul Fichera – “Muni policy is that if the lift is defective, then the vehicle should go to the end of the line and wait for a replacement coach… depending on coach availability.”
Ursula Steck – “Operators who really take charge of their bus, those are the ones who have the least problems. This sort of attitude should be emphasized in the training.”
MAAC Problem Solving Part 5: OPERATORS NOT WAITING FOR SENIORS TO SIT BEFORE MOVING FORWARD
Les Clark introduced the fifth MAAC goal priority that was identified in previous meetings. He outlined the problem that some Muni operators don’t wait for seniors to be seated before moving forward.
MAAC members and guests offered their observations about this issue:
Dave Longa – “Drivers are concerned about their schedules. I think that operator’s adherence to the schedule is the cause of many if not all of the issues that we’ve discussed.”
Ed Evans – “Operators need to get out of their seats and see what is happening in their buses.”
Barbara George – “There is no Muni policy that requires operators to wait. In instances when the rider is headstrong and independent, waiting for them to sit causes a fight.”
Jean Ellis-Jones – “There are also inconsistencies with boarding riders with strollers and shopping carts. These are difficult issues for operators. We need clarity from Muni regarding the policies with these two issues.”
Barbara George – “Why isn’t anyone screaming about the width of the coaches. There is much competition for space between seniors and wheelchair users. People have to fold up like folding chairs in order for wheelchair users to get on board.”
Bob Planthold – “Regarding strollers and carts, ADA calls for a reasonable accommodation. I think that we should pursue a regulation determination for what “Disability” means or what “Disabled” looks like.”
Miro Keilbus – “I think that shopping carts should not be allowed on the bus during morning and evening rush hours.”
Vernon Smith – “On the new green buses, I think that the aisles are too narrow. Whatever they are giving up for inches they will be paying for in bad PR.”
Annette Williams – “The low-floor vehicles make it easy to board, but the wheel wells constrict the passageways.”
Julie Kirschbaum & Elson Hao, New Accessible SFMTA Modes: Double Decker Buses
SFMTA is not currently looking at purchasing any of these vehicles. The vehicle that they are testing has not been configured to meet SFMTA’s needs. SFMTA wishes to learn more about the maneuverability, boaring times and accessibility issues inherent to double deck buses to see if they would be an appropriate addition to its fleet.
Ms. Kirschbuam and Elson Hao took questions from the committee about the demonstration.
Jeanne Lynch – “Is this bus to accommodate tourists?” [NO.]
Ed Evans – “We looked at these buses years ago. Why are we exploring a service that was previously rejected?”
Bruce Morgan – “Will the overhead wires make it difficult for double deck buses and won’t it take longer for people to climb down the stairs to get off?”
Miro Keilbus – “Double decker buses in London were very nice. However, how will riders be warned that their stop is coming up – Will there be a notification system?”
Beth Berensen – “What ADA features will be on the bus? How will riders with visual disabilities be told that they are getting on a different bus?”
Dave Longa – “I was involved on the previous trial in the late 1990s with a Greyline bus. This bus was assigned to the 38 and what is now the 47 line. I had concerns for the safety for the riders on the second floor of the bus. There was no security camera.”
Bob Planthold – “What about safety for people on the staircases? How will they be kept clear? It is Muni liability if I trip and fall. Just because these buses are being used in Las Vegas does not mean that they are legal. I believe that these vehicles are not programmatically accessible and that riders who are stuck on the lower floor should get the same view as those who can climb upstairs.”
Ursula Steck – “I rode the double deck buses in London. The staircase is in the front so that operators can monitor it. The wheelchair entry is in the middle of the vehicle – I feel that this is good for independence. I feel that the right to see the view upstairs is not an issue – That sounds a bit over the top. I take Muni to get from point A to point B.”
Arden Wheeler – “These buses are a recipe for disaster! People will get mugged, robbed and stabbed because they feel that the operator can’t see the crime. By the time you get up there it is over with!”
Hyde and Turk Bus Shelter Review
Ed Evans – “This is a crime problem – not a transit one! The Police captain said that he could not do his job. This is a big problem as the rationale they used could be used to get rid of any bus shelter in the city. We need to fight this blatant discrimination.”
ADA Complaints for July, October 2005-2007
Bruce Oka – “This is a little off topic, but I’ve been seeing more instances of operators getting ‘happy feet.’ I think that we have to add unsafe driving to the list of ADA violation codes.”
Dave Longa – “We need to also be looking at commendation data.”
Annette Williams – “Remember it is easier for people to make complaints now that 311 is taking customer complaints.”
John Duchene – “I had a hearing with three operators - None of them showed up! Why am I taking time out of my day, if no one is going to show up. 311 is not doing a good job taking complaint information.”
Muni Accessibility Advisory Recognition Award Nominations
Member’s Questions and Comments
Paul Fichera – “I suggest that you go out on our own and try the double deck bus. You will get a better picture of how it works if it is not in a controlled environment.”
Due to time constraints, the remaining items were tabled for the next meeting.
SFMTA ACCESSIBLE SERVICES
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