SFMTA Board > November 3, 2006, minutes
ORDER OF BUSINESS
1. Call to Order
Chairman McCray called the meeting to order at 10:13 a.m.
2. Roll Call
3. Announcement of prohibition of sound producing devices during the meeting.
Chairman McCray announced that the ringing of and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at the meeting. He advised that any person responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic devices might be removed from the meeting. He also advised that cell phones that are set on “vibrate” cause microphone interference and requested that they be placed in the “off” position.
4. Discussion of strategic planning process including structure, vision, and timeline for the process.
Tim Johnson, Booz, Allen & Hamilton, presented an overview of the workshop including the role of the board in establishing a structure for strategic planning; benefits of strategic planning; timeline; what San Francisco may look like five years from now; key assumptions and strategic priorities and the development of an MTA vision that will guide the strategic planning process.
Director Shahum stated that a recurring comment from the TEP interviews is that folks want to see stronger Board leadership and that the development of the strategic plan is an opportunity for the board to take ownership. She requested that the Board be involved every step of the way.
Exec. Director Ford stated that the timeline was tight in order to provide guidance to staff for the FY08 budget process which begins in January.
William Lieberman, Director of Planning, presented the TEP Visioning process.
Director Mezey stated that he would like to see the issue of safety included in the TEP Vision.
The Board discussed key opportunities and threats for the Agency including demographics, customer trends, stakeholder issues, employee issues and financial issues. Issues identified include:
Bob Planthold stated that this is high concept material. The Board and management are stewards for the system. There are buses now that don’t have the appropriate working accessible material on it such as pull cords. People aren’t doing jobs now. The stewards aren’t paying attention.
Norm Rolfe stated that as the population increases the number of cars will also increase. He suggested that we find a way to accommodate the population increase without accommodating an increase to the number of vehicles. He urged that the city develop a better “streets process” to make city streets friendlier for pedestrians.
Irwin Lum, TWU-250A, expressed concern that when the MTA cuts service to balance the budget, the result is that the agency takes two steps back. We need to look for dedicated funding.
Edward Mason stated that the Third St. project was not a transit project but was a real estate development project. He stated that Google provides transportation to employees’ homes. San Francisco is becoming a bedroom community for Silicon Valley. The Caltrain Baby Bullet stops at 22nd St. because of the great influx of people going home to lofts in that neighborhood. Given the current trends, land use will be major problem in San Francisco.
Jameson Weiser stated that the process needs to examine differing neighborhood densities and geographies and the movement of people within the city. Staff should identify where growth is changing and moving.
Allen White suggested that as the board plans for the future, they should also consider how you’re building respect from citizens today. He advised that San Francisco’s display honoring Rosa Parks was the largest display on public transit systems in the United States, however, not one letter of thanks was sent by the MTA. Signage on public streets is abysmal. If you want to do strategic planning, then how do you give people tickets when there are no signs to tell people that they can’t park there. Signs have to be legible. San Francisco auctions more cars every year than are stolen. If the board can’t build respect with the citizens, then all of this means nothing.
The board discussed what the MTA would need to look like in the future if they were going to be successful and identified several factors including:
The board discussed assumptions regarding customer trends and possible approaches to increase ridership and improve communication with customers.
Bob Planthold stated that the Senior Action Network developed a video ten years ago to educate kids regarding how to behave on Muni but they never got any cooperation from Muni or from the school district. He suggested that it’s difficult to build subsidized housing in San Francisco and that seniors won’t move into the city because it’s too costly. He stated that seniors will be moving out of the city and San Francisco would be a younger, more “yuppified” city in the future.
Bruce Oka stated that the more he looks at this city in the way it’s aging, he is more aware that more people will need accessible, usable and comfortable public transportation. Paratransit has to be in the mix now and in the future. He stated that the MTA has spoiled our paratransit users because we chose not to raises paratransit fares as much as Muni is entitled to. He added that he would like to see a Muni system that is so good and affordable that many of our frequent and high end lift van users choose to ride Muni. He would like to see free Muni for all paratransit users.
Jameson Weiser stated that the current information systems were horrible and inconsistent. He has trouble reading the Muni map and has seen handwritten signs in the booths. The agency doesn’t do enough marketing. Information design is important. The MTA is asking riders to go from their nice, comfortable car to stuffy, poorly lit, and dirty stations. We don’t do enough marketing. There are no signs on 3rd St. telling riders what’s coming.
Edward Mason stated that annual flash passes that could be converted to an electronic device such as the one that VTA sells. He encouraged the MTA to consider the Ecopass that is being used by VTA where employers pay deeply discounted rates per employee.
Director Black left the meeting.
After a short break, the board discussed assumptions regarding stakeholders, employees and finances and continued to identify key themes and things that the Agency must become if it is going to succeed. The Board also discussed key elements of a vision plan including:
Tim Johnson stated that the next step in the process will be for the Governance Committee to review the information discussed; identify key themes and draft a vision statement for the board’s consideration.
5. Citizen’s Advisory Council Report
Dan Murphy, Chairman, CAC stated that the agency will have to make some choices because they can’t be all things to all people. The agency will have to make a decision about balancing interests with regard to sidewalk parking. The CAC previously expressed concern about shutting down the Metro for wire replacement for 2 years. If you want to attract riders the agency can’t ever shut that service. In 2000, we suggested outreach around the Civic Center to promote Muni use to patrons of the arts but we were told that there wasn’t staff. When you set these goals, you need to follow through with resources.
6. Public Comment
Norman Rolfe stated that too many people in positions of power think that you can’t expect people with money to ride transit. They don’t think about public transit. You have to improve the image of public transportation and change the attitudes of people in positions of power so they see public transportation as an asset.
Jameson Weiser suggested that the Agency convey the value of Muni to downtown businesses so they consider public transportation in terms of their cost efficiency. If workers are delayed, businesses lose productivity. The MTA can’t take everyone’s needs into account but can put them in general categories to create personas that will help make the best decisions.
Irwin Lum, TWU-250A, stated that the agency has to provide training in order to build morale, and get workers enthused. Employees see themselves in a dead end job. There is a disconnect between supervisors, managers and operators. Operators are treated like kids. There are small things at the ground level that need to be done. 250-A is working in a cooperative relationship with the MTA and considers it our job to make sure the Agency moves forward; however. we want to make sure that employees are also treated fairly and equitably.
Barry Taranto stated that he is incensed that a promise was made to the Board to provide adequate cab service for Oracle World but it wasn’t kept. They were given two cabstands. He stated that he was turned away when he tried to discuss the issue with staff. DPT doesn’t care about cab drivers.
ADJOURN - The meeting was adjourned at 2:15 p.m.
A tape of the meeting is on file in the office of the Secretary to the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors.
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