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Tuesday, February 10, 2009
1 South Van Ness Ave. 7th Floor
Union Square Conference Room

9:00 A.M.

Cameron Beach, Chairman
Shirley Breyer Black
Jerry Lee

Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr.

Roberta Boomer


1.  Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Beach at 9:07 a.m.

2.  Roll Call


  • Cameron Beach
  • Shirley Breyer Black
  • Jerry Lee

3. Approval of Minutes

On motion to approve the minutes of the January 13, 2008 Regular Meeting: unanimously approved.

4. Public Comment


5. Discussion of upcoming SFMTA Board/Parking Authority Commission items. (No explanatory documents.)

  • Increase to parking citations

Sonali Bose, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Finance and Information Technology, presented a verbal report.

No public comment.

  • Advertising contract

Sonali Bose, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Finance and Information Technology, presented a verbal report

No public comment.

  • Automatic Train Control System

Patty DeVlieg, Project Manager, Automatic Train Control System presented the staff report.

No public comment.

  • Fleet Plan

Ken McDonald, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Muni Operations, presented a verbal report.

No public comment.

  • Process for Economic Stimulus projects

Debra Johnson, Chief of Staff/Director, Administration, presented a verbal report.


Jim Kennedy stated that he read an article about work orders. San Francisco General Hospital and the Police Department are trying to bill the SFMTA for expenses,

Martin Smith stated that he was hoping the cab industry would weigh in on how to generate funds for the SFMTA.  They want to help.

  • Taxi drug testing

Christiane Hayashi, Director, Taxi and Accessible Services presented the staff report.


Jim Kennedy wanted to know who would pay for the drug test and whether Muni drivers are tested. 

Michael Spain stated that the law has been in existence for 10 years and the Taxi Commission didn’t implement it.  He stated that most jurisdictions don’t comply with this obscure state law. 

Carl Macmurdo stated that cab drivers are different from Muni operators because they are contractors.  He suggested annual rather than random testing.  If testing is random, it will wipe out a certain percent of the work force.  Some people have medicinal marijuana cards and should be exempt for a positive test.

Mark Gruberg, United Taxi Workers, stated that testing for drugs that don’t affect job performance is a violation of civil liberties and suggested the SFMTA go to the State legislature and change the law.  Mr. Gruberg commented that pre-employment testing and the requirement that drivers pay for the testing is burdensome.

Kagendra Singh stated that drivers must inhale the same air as the passengers.     

Tariq Mehmood stated that drivers haven’t been tested and suggested issuing a letter to drivers before testing begins.  He suggested limiting testing to either random testing or to post-accident or permit issues. 

  • Sale of taxi medallions

Chris Hayashi, Director, Taxi & Accessible Services, provided the staff report.


Jim Kennedy stated that the sale of medallions doesn’t make any sense. He is happy with the status quo. He is not in favor of the transfer. 

Tariq Mehmood stated that there are 3,000 people on the waiting list and that there is fraud in the system. Something needs to be done.

Barry Korengold stated that it’s good that drivers can earn a medallion.  He is opposed to the buying and selling of medallions.   The industry had received assurances that Prop. K would be kept but that’s being changed. 

Michael Spain stated that he is in favor of transferability. He reviewed the history of Prop. K and suggested using New York as a template.

Jim Templeton stated that he waited 13 years for a medallion.  The city took away a drivers ability to buy medallions in 1978.  Having a medallion allows a cab driver to become a part owner in the industry. 

Carl Macmurdo suggested the SFMTA hold meetings to allow drivers to discuss the sale of taxi medallions. It would be good to know if Prop. A allows the SFMTA sell medallions without going back to the voters. 

Charles Rathbone, Luxor Cab, stated that Luxor Cab has a proposal to revise the system.  They will present it to the Taxi Commission.  The proposal will generate revenue for the city and address the interests of all stakeholders.

Bud Hazelkorn stated that the sale of medallions is limited in scope and only serves to fill the budget deficit.  It is a distinct disadvantage to taxi drivers.  It removes the incentive to stay in the business.    Mayor Newsom has directed the SFMTA to look at the problem but that doesn’t mean you have to comply with his solution.  It’s not a workable idea because it leads to corruption and is opposed by a large percent of drivers. 

Mark Gruberg quoted from a letter written by Mayor Newsom and Aaron Peskin in 2007.  Prop. A’s intent was to put all public transit in the hands of professionals and to protect Prop. K.  UTW was opposed to Prop. A. but got assurances from Newsom and Peskin and on that basis, UTW suspended their opposition.  This is a double-cross.  He asked the committee to separate the questions of an exit strategy for medallion holders from the question of revenues.  Voters have reaffirmed Prop. K many times.

Jack Tran stated that medallions are a governmental privilege not a private trust.  Voters approved Prop. K not because of driving requirement which was later added to the Police Code.  What people voted on was about the number of cabs on the streets.   We need every cab in San Francisco to have radio dispatch and drivers need to have an opportunity to become permit holders. 

John Rahway stated that if you want to change Prop K, you must go to the voters.  Anything short of that contradicts the kind of transparency in government that voters demand.

Kagendra Singh stated that he is opposed to the sale of medallions.   

Martin Smith stated that Prop. A trumps Prop. K.  The Luxor proposal is a good place to start. 

Future meetings with Chris Hayashi will iron out a lot of issues over the next few years. 

  • Garage RFP and Regulations

Amit Kothari, Director, Off-Street Parking, presented the staff report.

No public comment.

ADJOURN– The meeting adjourned at 11:05 a.m.

Roberta Boomer
Board Secretary

The Ethics Commission of the City and County of San Francisco has asked us to remind individuals and entities that influence or attempt to influence local legislative or administrative action may be required by the San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance [S.F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 2.100 et seq.] to register and report lobbying activity.  For more information about the Lobbyist Ordinance, please contact the Ethics Commission at 415-581-2300; fax: 415-581-2317; 25 Van Ness Ave., Suite 220,, SF, CA 94102-6027 or the web site:

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