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1.  Call to Order

Chairman Nolan called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.

2.  Roll Call


  • Leona Bridges
  • Cheryl Brinkman
  • Malcolm Heinicke – absent at Roll Call
  • Jerry Lee
  • Tom Nolan
  • Bruce Oka
  • Joél Ramos

3.  Announcement of prohibition of sound producing devices during the meeting.

Chairman Nolan 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.  Approval of Minutes

On motion to approve the minutes of the June 28, 2011 Special Meeting and the July 19, 2011 Regular Meeting: unanimously approved (Heinicke-absent).

5.  Communications

Chairman Nolan announced that today’s meeting would be adjourned in memory of Dee Huey.

6.  Introduction of New or Unfinished Business by Board Members


Chairman Nolan stated that Items 11 and 12 would be called together.

7. Executive Director’s Report (For discussion only)

  • Special Recognition Awards
  • Nx Judah Express Update
  • Operational Plan for Church and Duboce
  • Ongoing Activities

Acting Exec. Director/CEO Johnson presented special recognition awards to Lawrence Manu, parking control officer, Safety, Training, Security and Enforcement; Maggie Onderdonk, hearing officer, Administration, Taxis and Accessible Services; Walter Argumedo, transit car cleaner, Flynn Division, Transit Services and Carlton Perrilliant, transit operator, Woods Division, Transit Services. 

Director Heinicke arrived.

Ms. Johnson also discussed changes to the 5-Fulton; Church and Duboce operational plan; transit service for football games; participation in District 10 Neighborhood Clean up to clear trash from around the Woods Division; the Great Race for Clean Air competition and the American Heart Association HeartWalk

John Haley, director, Transit Services, provided an update on the Nx Express service. 

John Haley, director, Transit Services, discussed recent delays in the subway. 

Chairman Nolan thanked Debra Johnson for serving as acting Exec. Director/CEO.

Director Brinkman asked if there was a way to use technology such as text messaging to alert customers to service issues.

Director Ramos suggested dedicated lanes for the Nx to make service faster for customers.


Ed Healy stated that taxi cabs are part of the plan to transport people to and from ballgames.  He was told he was creating a hazard and received a ticket at a ballgame for picking up a passenger. Most cab drivers he spoke with said they don’t pick up people at ballgames because they don’t want to risk getting a ticket. 

Mark Gruberg stated that credit card fees were scheduled to be discussed as part of this report.  This issue can’t be buried and needs to be brought to the Board.

8. Citizens’ Advisory Council Report

No report.

9.  Public Comment

Robert Cesano stated that the Board skirts some issues that affect buses and taxis.  The Board spends money on priority lanes but doesn’t police them.  The SFMTA could increase the speed of buses by 50% by eliminating bus stops.  He stated that the Board doesn’t realize that these same things affect taxi cabs.  Every year drivers get a lament about how people can’t get a taxi.  A few years ago, a taxi could pick up four different customers in one hour but now it’s only one.

Bill Mounsey stated that nobody is doing anything about illegal limousines.  This issue needs to be dealt with.  Every city has a taxi shortage during rush hour.  Peak time taxis never work.

Christopher Fulkerson expressed frustration that the Board is overestimating its power.  The Board has been conducting an education campaign to make the public think that more cabs will mean better service.  More cabs are unreasonable.  A sunshine violation brought against the Taxi Advisory Council was approved by the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force.  Open taxi access is needed.

Roland Wong, MAAC, addressed a concern about the danger that passengers face when boarding and exiting an LRV.  Vehicles to the side of the LRV don’t pay attention and don’t yield. A blind person almost got hit while trying to board.  He suggested that operators use their red flashers to alert drivers. This requires drivers to stop and it will improve safety. 

Mark Gruberg discussed taxi credit card fees.  Cab companies have been given permission to pass these fees to drivers with the condition that there be a back seat terminal in a cab.  He read from a memorandum that stated there may be a place for taxi advertising but it would have to be done in cooperation with taxi companies.  The SFMTA can benefit monetarily from back seat terminals but only if cab companies can pass on fees to the drivers. 

Charles Rathbone, Luxor Cab, stated that he’s delighted that a Luxor cab driver helped a robbery victim.  The driver will receive an award from the San Francisco Police Department.  The cameras inside the vehicle captured the crime in progress and will aid in the conviction.   

Dave Schneider discussed the need for a centralized taxi dispatch in addition to those dispatch services that cab companies already have.  He stated that he raised the need for centralized dispatch 14 years ago.  The SFMTA needs to revisit a true centralized taxi dispatch. 

Maria Villafuerte, Arrow Cab, stated that the modest increase will offset the demand for cab drivers to pay credit card fees.  Arrow and Checker companies have been subjected to unfair treatment.  The SFMTA transferred all medallions out of Arrow.  She asked for a response before the city finalizes their investigation of their complaint. 

Mary McGuire addressed the structure of the Taxi Advisory Council, which was formed to evaluate the medallion pilot program.  It now seems to be composed of a majority of members who are determined to undermine the pilot program.  This will give lenders cold feet and they will stop lending. She asked if the SFMTA will stop the sales if the program fails and the lenders stop lending.  Item 12 places a burden on elderly drivers.

Tone Lee discussed the construction on Stockton Street which forces cab drivers to use Mason Street which causes delays.  He asked that it be removed.  A bike lane is only for young people.  Older families and kids can’t use the lanes because it’s not safe.  The SFMTA has to create a family lane. 

Emil Lawrence stated that there are many cab companies that operate with funds from taxi drivers.  When the driver leaves their employer they don’t get their money back.  A deposit of $500 is placed against claims and the company gets to determine the claims.  If the Board approves a meter increase without an economic impact study on income, you are doing a disservice to the public. He suggested the Board increase the meter by $1 and put that money into a fund for taxi drivers to give them the same rights that everyone else has.

Tariq Mehmood expressed appreciation for the taxi meter increase.  Staff promised that installation of the back seat terminals would be stopped and a study would be made regarding whether to continue them.  That has not occurred.  He asked the Board to look into this matter.  Staff distributed fliers that violate people’s first amendment rights.  This is propaganda and should not be distributed. 

Dan Hinds, National Cab, provided his assessment of the status of the pilot program.  It has more than met its’ goals.  Opportunities for drivers have opened up.  Seniors have been taken care of and the city has benefited substantially.  He asked the Board to ask the Taxi Advisory Council for a recommendation on how to most efficiently transition to permanent sales.  This should be a priority.  There should be a representative on the TAC that has purchased a medallion.

Hansu Kim stated that the taxi system is flawed.  We have cab companies that have a major dispatch system with half of the medallions. The SFMTA has to make sure that all 1500 medallions are serving the neighborhoods.  DeSoto can’t fill hundreds of orders but will be out of business soon because there are low standards.  He stated he has never seen such a level of cab driver exploitation.  The city must create standards and enforce them.

Naeem Malik stated that medallions should be returned and given to people who are on the waiting list.  The SFMTA is only getting $37,500.  He asked if it is fair that retirees get $200K and only $12,500 goes to the cab driver fund.  He asked when the SFMTA would give medallions to those on the waiting list and urged the SFMTA to reserve 1500 medallions for people on the wait list. 

Barry Korengold stated that he took issue that the new constitution of the Taxi Advisory Council is such that people are trying to kill the pilot program.  People on the pilot program have tried to thwart discussion of a fair distribution.  Drivers on the list would like to discuss a fair program.  This program was to evaluate the effect on drivers.  The TAC is supposed to find problems and suggest a fair way to continue and not trying to kill that program.  He stated that fliers aren’t propaganda but an explanation to clear up misinformation.



10.  All matters listed hereunder constitute a Consent Calendar, are considered to be routine by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors and will be acted upon by a single vote.  There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a member of the Board of Directors or the public so requests, in which event the matter shall be removed from the Consent Calendar and considered as a separate item.

(10.1) Requesting the Controller to allot funds and to draw warrants against such funds available or will be available in payment of the following claims against the SFMTA:

A. Francisco Munoz vs. CCSF, Superior Ct. #CGC09492448 filed on 9/11/09 for $500

B. Annunciata Moore vs. CCSF, Superior Ct. #CGC10496628 filed on 2/4/10 for $655.01

C. Virginia Abalos vs. CCSF, Superior Ct. #CGC10499979 filed on 5/17/10 for $2,000

D.  Mitchell Marquez vs. CCSF, Superior Ct. #CGC10499265 filed on 1/26/10 for $14,000

E.  Kelly Lawrence vs. CCSF, Superior Ct., #CGC10496754 filed on 2/8/10 for $300,000


(10.2) Approving the following traffic modifications:

  1. ESTABLISH – BLUE ZONE – 500 Townsend Street, north side, from 0 feet to 20 feet west of 6th Street.
  2. REVOKE – (NON-COMPLIANT) BLUE ZONE – 318 Divisadero Street, east side, from 90.5 feet to 110.5 feet north of Page Street.
  3. ESTABLISH – BLUE ZONE – 300 Divisadero Street, east side, from 22 feet to 42 feet north of Page Street at meter #304.
  4. ESTABLISH – 15 MILES PER HOUR SPEED LIMIT WHEN CHILDREN PRESENT –  6th Avenue between Anza and Fulton streets; 6th Avenue between Lake Street and Geary Boulevard; 7th Avenue between Anza and Fulton streets; 7th Avenue between Lake Street and Geary Boulevard; 8th Avenue between Anza and California streets; 9th Avenue between Balboa and California streets; 14th Avenue between Anza and Fulton streets; 17th Avenue between Balboa and Fulton streets; 18th Avenue between Balboa and Fulton streets; 25th Avenue between El Camino del Mar and California Street;   29th Avenue between California Street and Geary Boulevard; 30th Avenue between California Street and Geary Boulevard; 30th Avenue between Clement and Cabrillo streets; 32nd Avenue between Clement and Cabrillo streets; 32nd Avenue between El Camino del Mar and Marvel Court; 36th Avenue between Geary Boulevard and Balboa Street; 37th Avenue between Geary Boulevard and Balboa Street; Anza Street between 10th and 7th avenues; Anza Street between 29th and 30th avenues; Anza Street between 33rd and 32nd avenues; Anza Street between 38th and 35th avenues; Balboa Street between 33rd and 29th avenues; Cabrillo Street between 19th and 16th streets;  California Street between cul-de-sac and 31st Avenue; Clement Street between 31st and 28th avenues; Lake Street between 26th and 23rd avenues; Beach Street between Broderick and Scott streets; Broderick Street between Sacramento and Bush streets;  Chestnut Street between Buchanan Street and Mallorca Way; Clay Street between Maple Street and Arguello Boulevard; Divisadero Street between Bay and Jefferson streets;  Fillmore Street between North Point and Lombard streets; Francisco between Franklin and Larkin streets; Green Street between Scott and Fillmore streets; North Point Street between Broderick and Scott streets; Polk between Chestnut and North Point streets;  Sacramento Street between Maple Street and Arguello Boulevard; Vallejo Street between Fillmore and Laguna streets; Webster Street between Green and Pacific streets; Broadway Frontage Road from 220 feet west of Powell to Mason streets; Chestnut between Mason and Grant streets; Filbert between Mason and Kearny streets; Francisco between Grant and Mason streets; Frank Norris Street between Larkin and Polk streets; Jackson between Leavenworth and Polk streets; Jones between Chestnut and Greenwich streets; Jones between Pleasant and California streets; Kearny between Filbert and Union streets;  Lombard between Taylor and Leavenworth streets; Merchant Street between Montgomery & Kearny streets; Powell between Bay and Lombard streets; Sacramento between Lyette Street and Sproule Lane; Taylor between Pleasant and Pine streets; Washington between Polk and Leavenworth streets; 20th Avenue between Pacheco and Noriega streets; 22nd Avenue between Taraval and Pacheco streets; 24th Avenue between Taraval and Pacheco streets; 24th Avenue between Wawona and Taraval streets; 25th Avenue between Wawona and Taraval streets; 30th Avenue between Moraga and Judah streets; 31st Avenue between Moraga and Judah streets; 34th Avenue between Ortega and Rivera streets;35th Avenue between Ortega and Rivera streets; 37th Avenue between Noreiga and Lawton streets; 37th Avenue between Santiago and Noriega streets; 39th Avenue between Rivera and Quintara streets; 40th Avenue between Kirkham and Moraga streets; 40th Avenue between Vicente and Taraval streets; 41st Avenue between Quintara and Noriega streets; 41st Avenue between Rivera and Taraval streets; 41st Avenue between Vicente and Taraval streets; 41st Avenue between Yorba and Wawona streets; 42nd Avenue between Judah and Lawton streets; 42nd Avenue between Rivera and Taraval streets; 42nd Avenue between Sloat Boulevard and Ulloa Street; 43rd Avenue between Judah and Lawton streets; Kirkham between 42nd & 44th avenues; Lawton between 29th and 32nd avenues; Lawton between 39th and 41st avenues; Moraga between 37th and 38th avenues; Ortega between 37th and 42nd avenues; Pacheco between 33rd and 36th avenues; Quintara between 20th and 25th avenues; Quintara between 33rd and 36th avenues; Rivera between 37th and 39th avenues; Santiago between 22nd and 25th avenues; Santiago between 40th and 43rd avenues; Ulloa Street between 39th and 42nd avenues; Vicente between 40th and 43rd avenues; Vicente Street between 22nd and 26th avenues; Wawona between 40th and 43rd avenues; Alma Street between Belvedere and Stanyan streets; Eddy Street between Steiner and Divisadero streets; Ellis Street between Steiner and Divisadero streets; Grattan Street between Belvedere and Stanyan streets; Hayes Street between Fillmore and Steiner streets; O’Farrell Street between Divisadero and Pierce streets; Pierce Street between Eddy and McAllister streets; Pierce Street between Hayes and Fell streets; Scott Street between Post and Ellis streets; Shrader Street between Parnassus Avenue and Rivoli Street; andTurk Street between Steiner and Scott streets.     
  5. ESTABLISH – PARKING METER AREA 3, 1 HOUR PARKING, 9AM - 6PM MONDAY TO SATURDAY – 25th Avenue, west side, from Geary Boulevard to 106 feet southerly.
  6. ESTABLISH – STOP SIGN – Stopping Alpine Terrace at Waller Street.
  7. REVOKE – NO PARKING ANYTIME – Varney Place, both sides, from Third Street to 70 feet west of Jack London Alley.
  8. ESTABLISH – TOW-AWAY, NO PARKING ANYTIME – Varney Place, both sides, from Third Street to Jack London Alley.
  9. ESTABLISH – TOW AWAY, NO STOPPING ANYTIME – Taraval Street, south side, from 15th Avenue to 60-feet westerly.
  10. ESTABLISH – 45-DEGREE PARKING – Madrid Street, east side, from Russia Avenue to approximately 364' northerly.
  11. ESTABLISH – STOP SIGNS – Stopping Ocean Avenue at Otsego Ave.
  12. REMOVE – BUS ZONE – Ocean Avenue, north side, from 0 feet to 100 feet west of Otsego Avenue.
  13. ESTABLISH – BUS ZONE – Ocean Avenue, north side, from 0 feet to 120 feet east of Otsego Avenue.
  14. ESTABLISH – NO RIGHT TURN ON RED – Cargo Way, eastbound, turning onto Mendell Street; and Mendell Street, northbound, turning onto Cargo Way.
  15. ESTABLISH – CROSSWALK – Market Street, north side at 14th and Church Street.
  16. ESTABLISH – NO LEFT TURN – 14th Street, eastbound at Church Street.
  17. ESTABLISH – TOW-AWAY NO STOPPING ANYTIME – 14th Street, south side, from Church Street to 108 feet westerly; and Church Street, east side, from 14th Street to 20 feet northerly.
  18. RESCIND – BUS ZONE – 14th Street, south side, from Church Street to 60 feet westerly.
  19. RESCIND – YELLOW ZONE – 14th Street, south side, from 60 feet to 108 feet westerly.
  20. ESTABLISH – YELLOW ZONE – 14th Street, south side, from 146 feet to 194 feet westerly. 
  21. ESTABLISH – FLAG STOP – 14th Street, south side, from Church Street to 60 feet west of Church Street.
  22. ESTABLISH – TOW-AWAY NO STOPPING EXCEPT PERMITTED CAR SHARE VEHICLES – Taylor Street, west side, from Pacific Ave, 7 feet to 26 feet northerly; Polk Street, west side, from Greenwich Street, to 17 feet southerly; Clay Street, north side, from Fillmore Street, 10 feet to 19 feet easterly; Valencia Street, west side, from 17th Street, 18 feet to 37 feet northerly; and Harriet Street, west side, from Howard Street, 227 feet to 245 feet southerly. (Explanatory documents include a staff report and resolution.)

Item 10.2 L was severed from the Consent Calendar at the request of a member of the public:


Lynn Joseph stated that the homes in front of the proposed bus zone on Ocean Avenue do not want a bus stop. The current stop is needed but it shouldn’t take away their parking.  Ms. Joseph presented three letters from neighbors who oppose this action.   

Victor Solorzano expressed opposition to moving the bus stop because it will affect business.  A four way stop sign is needed at that location.  Parking is tough.

Bond Yee provided the staff report.


On motion to approve the Item 10.2L:

ADOPTED:  AYES – Bridges, Brinkman, Heinicke, Lee, Nolan, Oka and Ramos

(10.3) Authorizing the Executive Director/CEO to rescind $978,408 in Regional Measure 2 funds from the New Jersey Transit PCC Project and reallocate those funds to a new project known as the “Historic Car Rehabilitation –16 ex-SEPTA PCCs and 3 MUNI PCCs Project". (Explanatory documents include a staff report and resolution.)


(10.4) Authorizing the Executive Director/CEO to execute Contract No. 1241, Muni Metro Subway Fire Alarm and Detection System Upgrade, to US Electric Technologies as the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, in an amount not to exceed $572,000, and for a term not to exceed 210 calendar days. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and financial plan.)


(10.5) Approving the proposed Phelan Plaza Lease Agreement with the San Francisco Community College District for a term of 75 years for the real property located near the intersection of Phelan Avenue and Ocean Avenue; and authorizing the Executive Director/CEO approve the execution of the Phelan Plaza Lease Agreement, pending approval by the Board of Supervisors and Mayor. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution, agreement and exhibits.)


(10.6) Approving amendments to  Transportation Code, Division II, by adding Section 911 to establish an On-Street Car Share Vehicle Parking Permit program, and amending Sections 201, 302, 901, and 902 to require approval to designate on-street Car Share Vehicle Parking Spaces, add a fine amount for unauthorized vehicles to Park in a designated car share Parking Space in violation of Section 7.2.52, add a definition for "Car Share Organization", "Car Share Vehicle," and "Car Share Vehicle Parking Permit" to the Transportation Code, and establish a fee for the issuance of a Car Share Vehicle Parking Permit.  (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and amendments.)


(10.7) Approving amendments to Transportation Code, Division II, Section 302 to establish an off-street parking meter time limit penalty; establish a separate transit violation for fare evasion or fraudulent use of a Clipper card;  add Section 7.2.104 to regulate the use of Clipper cards on Transit Vehicles or in Proof of Payment zones; and recommend approval by the Board of Supervisors to amend the Police Code Sections 939 through 939.7 to repeal the Chief of Police’s authority to issue or regulate vehicle press cards. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and amendments.)


(10.8) Authorizing the Department of Public Works to award DPW Contract No. 1812J:  Contract 60 New Traffic Signals, to Bay Area Lightworks for the installation of new traffic signals and a red light camera, for a total contract amount not to exceed $1,293,084 and for a term not to exceed 270 calendar days. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and financial plan.)


On motion to approve the Consent Calendar (Item 10.2L severed):

ADOPTED:  AYES – Bridges, Brinkman, Heinicke, Lee, Nolan, Oka and Ramos

Following Chairman Nolan’s request for public comment and adoption of the Consent Calendar a member of the public asked to address the Board.


Ralph Jacobson spoke about Item 10.2 P and inquired why it was being implemented or deleted. 


11.  Amending San Francisco Transportation Code, Division II, by amending Section 1122(b) to increase the taximeter flag drop rate by $0.40, for a flag drop rate of $3.50 for the first fifth of a mile. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and amendment.)

Items 11 and 12 were called together.


Robert Cesana stated that medallion holders appreciate that the SFMTA recognizes the need to raise the taxi meter. The SFMTA has taken two years to recognize there’s a problem.  He urged the Board to review taxi fares at the same time as they review bus fares.  The City is getting into trouble because the Board has to look at what is being imposed on the taxi industry.  There are cabs that aren’t suitable because they are either too small or too low and don’t have lifts. 

Bill Mounsey stated that cab drivers are treated like second class citizens.  He asked who will get part time medallions because cab companies don’t want them.  He wondered who would buy them, what they are for, if they are for sale or if they will go to people on the list.  He stated that he has been on the list for 16 years and is still number 197.  There used to be a 15 year maximum wait time.  More medallions should be issued to people on the list.

Rebecca Lytle stated that Item 12 raises significant concerns. The pilot program for 50 peak time medallions seems inconsistent with the Boards’ prior actions. The current pilot was just completed and provided nearly 20 million to older medallion holders.  But there’s been no permanent plan.  This new proposal lacks substantive analysis or information about a PC&N hearing.   She urged the Board to delay approval of item 12.

Christopher Fulkerson stated that neither cab companies nor bankers like Item 12 and that the SFMTA shouldn’t be selling medallions because it will lead to lawsuits.  He urged the Board not to approve Item 12.  Single operator permits aren’t of interest to cab companies.  He urged approval of regular full time medallions.  Toronto has 1300 medallions of that type and drivers aren’t able to keep up payments and vehicles are trashed.  The flag drop is a good thing but drivers feel generally that the Board is just restoring the drivers’ earning power to the level they were eight years ago.  Unless there are regular reviews of fares, drivers don’t feel like they’ve gotten anywhere.

Mark Gruberg objected to combining the two items and stated that the Board should proceed with issuing new medallions. The proposed single-operator medallions are a trial but 50 are too many.  It should be 25.  This will have a tremendous effect on saving drivers from hurtful competition.    He expressed opposition to issuing 10 medallions for sale to cab drivers who can afford $250,000. The City hasn’t sold new medallions before.  He urged the Board to look into open taxi access and to take action on illegal limousines

Phil Ward stated that he sent a letter to the Chairman regarding an error in the staff report for Item 12. There wasn’t sufficient time to review the staff report and he objected to the Board moving forward   He received a response from the City Attorneys’ office acknowledging the error.  The City Attorney provided the City Planning environmental analysis for Item 12.  He stated that he doesn’t disagree with the conclusion of City Planning but hasn’t had enough time to consider the correct environmental analysis.  Notice has to be provided to the public in advance.  He stated that it is better to table or continue the item so the public has adequate notice.

John Lazar, Luxor Cab, discussed Item 12 and asked how staff arrived at the numbers. Outdated information was used that has little relevance.  Luxor got over 200,000 calls that they couldn’t respond to because they don’t have enough cabs.   Cab companies will have little ability to manage these permits. This pilot program doesn’t make sense and the SFMTA needs to determine the operational impacts. 

Charles Rathbone, Luxor Cab, stated that this matter should be conducted after a full PC&N hearing which will show that far more permits are needed.  He urged the Board to postpone the vote until there is an opportunity to present evidence about the correct number of cabs needed.  The current evidence is from 2000-20001. He stated he doesn’t appreciate this piecemeal approach.  He asked why the proposal he presented last year isn’t before the Board.  The industry is in the middle of a pilot program that’s working well. 

Carl Macmurdo, Medallion Holders Association, stated that there used to be biennial hearings to consider whether drivers deserved an increase.  The Board of Supervisors had the prerogative to increase it but they ignored it.  He expressed his appreciation to the Board for moving this forward.  He suggested the Board put out 35 medallions.  There is a greater need for peak time medallions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. The Association is opposed to a leasing scheme where the SFMTA takes money. 

Jim Gillespie, Yellow Cab, stated that he agrees that taxi service is unreliable. There is an RFP in process for use of cabs and it’s to be fast tracked   There is supposed to be a PCN hearing.  The SFMTA has now come up with these 50 medallions.  A single-operator medallion has not been discussed.  He suggested the Board wait for the current RFP and for a PCN hearing.

Dan Hinds, National Veterans Cab, expressed his support for this approach to the single user permit.  It offers the advantage of choosing peak demand times.  He stated that the SFMTA could provide additional ownership opportunities.  He expressed concern for leasing the permits.  The SFMTA shouldn’t insert the city between companies and drivers. 

Ed Healy stated that it’s interesting that owners are interested in legal niceties and it’s a joke that they’re calling for a PC&N hearing now.  There have been extensive discussions at town hall meetings and at the TAC but the owners don’t want a compromise.  This is a good plan.  The SFMTA would be out of their minds to want to take over the taxi business.   A meter increase of 22 percent is approximately the cost of living increase since SFMTA took over.  Drivers want a regular increase.

Murai stated that she is concerned about driver’s income.  She supports Item 11 and whatever can help drivers including reducing the five percent credit card fee.  She urged the Board to issue medallions to people on the list ASAP. The process is slower now that some are sold. More cabs are needed during peak time.  She supports the single user idea as long as they’re issued based on a seniority list. It might be better if drivers can buy it rather than leasing it through the city.  She urged the Board to let 10 permits go to long time drivers.

Dave Schneider welcomed Director Ramos and expressed his appreciation of the Boards good will and recognition of the need for driver income.  He supports the Wilkerson proposal that these be done more regularly, connected with a PC&N hearing and a review of consumer price index.  He urged the Board to consider the livable wage ordinance. 

Tara Housman urged the Board to sever Items 11 and 12.  She urged passage of Item 11.  The outright sale of medallions muddies the waters since the Board will be raising money off of these.  She urged passage of Item 12 and likes that the monthly fee can be mitigated through the driver showing that they’re taking regular calls.  The message being sent to cab drivers is “don’t bother coming to meetings if the SFMTA continues to change the recommendation after discussion at public meetings”. 

Tone Lee stated that he picked up someone at 5:30 pm who said that it’s hard to get a cab. Cab drivers want to make more money but peak time is a very good direction. If business slows down after three years, these permits should be returned to the office.  Single operator cabs will be good for the economy and the public. 

Athan Reblos, DeSoto Cab, stated that the SFMTA has taken a crash course on the taxi industry and he expressed appreciation for the Board’s patience and cooperation.  He stated that he is neutral on Item 11. As a consumer, people don’t want to pay more money.  As a driver, he understands the need for a raise.  He expressed his support for additional medallions but is concerned about the distribution of single operator cabs.  He wants more research done and to see regulatory costs.   

Peter Witt stated that he’d like the Board to operate in good faith and that Items 11 and 12 shouldn’t be combined.   The CEQA report is dated May 11.  A PC&N hearing should be done.  He wants to see the Controller report from 2006 and 2007.  He also asked for the customer complaints and the dispatch data    Peak time is needed on rainy days, New Years’ eve, morning rush hour, the opera, and summer tourist season.  If the SFMTA operates more efficiently and green, it won’t waste taxpayer time and money.

Frank Fahey expressed appreciation for a city in China where cab drivers went on strike.  Peak time is an opportunity for the city to start employee cab drivers.  If the Board employs cab drivers then the Board can take all the information the Board wants.  Drivers feel like lab rats because every day there is something new and they have to figure out how it will affect them.  He stated that there have never been enough cabs.

Richard Weiner, Yellow Cab, expressed opposition to the issuance of peak time, single operator medallions. He stated he is in favor of full time taxis.  He wondered if the public had spoken.  During non prime time weekends, they can’t fill about 100 calls.  On the slowest nights, they can’t fill between 400-600 calls. Over the course of a week, they can’t fill about 9,000 calls.  He estimates that 100-300 more full time cabs are needed. 

John Han stated that he has pushed for a single operator medallion.  Company representatives oppose it because it’s a question of company controlled or driver controlled medallions.  Companies are vehicle leasing firms.  This doesn’t address the issue of taxi service.  A single operator taxi gives an ownership stake to drivers.  He suggested that the Board go forward with a three year lease plan and give drivers the option to purchase the medallion. 

Hansu Kim, DeSoto Cab, expressed support for Item 11 but wished it were more modest.  If rates get too high, cabs will lose ridership.  He expressed concern about the single user medallion although he liked the idea of experimenting.  The City issues medallions to taxi drivers but this is a fundamental change.  The City becomes a “landlord” and leases medallions directly to cab drivers. This is putting a burden on a driver who has to buy a vehicle.  He urged the Board to reconsider this and to provide more development. 

Paul Harting expressed appreciation for the pilot program. He indicated that Chris Hayashi has done phenomenal job of bringing together different factions and works hard to make things fair.  He stated that he supports a fare increase and is conflicted about Item 12. 

Barry Korengold, SF Cab Drivers Association, expressed support for Item 11. He stated that he is against medallions being sold directly by the SFMTA. He stated his support for single operator medallions but doesn’t agree with renting it out as a pilot.  He urged the Board to explore John Han’s suggestion about the driver’s eventual ability to purchase the medallion. Since drivers went to using computers they have lost all downtown business. Yellow Cab is making it appear that more cabs are needed.

Mary McGuire stated that it is unfair to call the single user permits “designer permits”.   The people chosen to receive these are senior drivers and they already have the best shifts.  This will be hard to micromanage.  She asked why the Board won’t just give the medallions if the Board is so concerned about getting income or providing service.  This didn’t work in Toronto and it is not financially feasible.  She urged the Board to continue the item. 

Tariq Mehmood stated that people have rushed to the Mayor’s and the ED/CEO’s offices to kill this single driver shift.  Drivers delayed the strike to see what the Board could do.  Medallion holders and taxi companies are opposed to this because they aren’t making money and want to continue their corrupt manners.  They are continuously lying to the Board.  He requested changes to the single operator medallion: get them out of cab companies and set a specific time for them to operate.  Drivers desperately need a fare increase.

Naeem Malik stated that centralized dispatching is the answer and that there will be chaos in the cab industry under this proposal.  Peak time or single operator medallions should only be issued to people already on the wait list.  He urged the Board not to approve this item but to move forward with the meter increase.  The Board is adding more cabs and drivers are already paying a high gate fee, tips to dispatchers, and the gas attendant. He urged an increase in the flag drop rate to $4.10 rather than $3.50.


On motion to approve:

ADOPTED:  AYES – Bridges, Brinkman, Heinicke, Lee, Nolan, Oka and Ramos

12. Authorizing the Executive Director/CEO to issue up to  50 new single operator part-time taxi medallion permits, 35 new full-time taxi medallion permits, and two full-time, temporary electric vehicle taxi medallion permits, and amending the Transportation Code, Division II, Article 1100 to reflect the issuance of such permits. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution, reports and amendment.)


On motion to approve:

ADOPTED:  AYES – Bridges, Brinkman, Heinicke, Lee, Nolan and Ramos


13. Appointing Edward Reiskin to the position of Director of Transportation, effective August 15, 2011 through August 14, 2014 and approving the execution of an employment agreement with Mr. Reiskin in the amount of $294,000 per year. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and agreement.)


Christopher Fulkerson stated that Mr. Reiskin has experience with security issues.  Homeland security has created problems with regard to security for taxi drivers and that could be a problem. He advised the Board to be certain that some of his connections are not continued.

Ralph Jacobson stated that all people have felt the result of someone put in a position without prior experience.  He inquired why someone with experience from within the SFMTA wasn’t appointed to the position.

Emile Lawrence stated that the new director comes with good credentials but that the salary is out of line. Salaries and pensions are the biggest problem in the city.   Paying him $300,000 per year when the SFMTA is selling medallions to benefit their bottom line is wrong.  The medallion money pays for his salary and other pensions and liabilities.


On motion to approve:

ADOPTED:  AYES – Bridges, Brinkman, Heinicke, Lee, Nolan, Oka and Ramos

14. Discussion and vote pursuant to Administrative Code Section 67.10(d) as to whether to conduct a closed session.

On motion to invoke the attorney-client privilege: unanimously approved.



1.  Call to Order

Chairman Nolan called the closed session to order at 4:05 p.m.

2.  Roll Call


  • Leona Bridges
  • Cheryl Brinkman
  • Malcolm Heinicke  
  • Jerry Lee
  • Tom Nolan
  • Bruce Oka
  • Joél Ramos

Also present: 

  • Debra A. Johnson, acting executive director/CEO
  • Roberta Boomer, board secretary
  • Julia Friedlander, deputy city attorney
  • John Haley, director, Transit Services
  • Sonali Bose, director, Finance and Information Technology
  • Reggie Mason, director, Safety, Training, Security and Enforcement

3.  Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 and the Administrative Code Section 67.8 (a) (3), the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors will meet in Closed Session to discuss and take action on attorney‑client matters in the following case:


Existing Litigation:  

  1. Bertha Lathrop vs. CCSF, Unlitigated Claim, CGC#10503317, filed on 9/8/10 for $127,000


On motion to approve:

ADOPTED:  AYES – Bridges, Brinkman, Heinicke, Lee, Nolan, Oka and Ramos

  1. Patricia DeLeon vs. CCSF, Superior Ct., CGC#09494399, filed on 11/12/09 for $150,000


On motion to approve:

ADOPTED:  AYES – Bridges, Brinkman, Heinicke, Lee, Nolan, Oka and Ramos

4. Pursuant to Government Code Sections 54956.9 (b), and Administrative Code Section 67.10 (b) (2), the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors will meet in closed session to discuss attorney‑client matters in the following case(s):


Anticipated Litigation:

__X__ As defendant or __X__ As plaintiff

ADJOURN CLOSED SESSION AND RECONVENE OPEN SESSION - The closed session was adjourned at 4:08 p.m.

15. Announcement of Closed Session.

Chairman Nolan announced that the SFMTA Board of Directors met in closed session to discuss the Lathrop and DeLeon cases with the City Attorney.  The Board of Directors voted unanimously to settle the cases.   There was no discussion of anticipated litigation.

16. Motion to disclose or not disclose the information discussed in closed session.

On motion to not disclose the information discussed: unanimously approved.

ADJOURN   - The meeting was adjourned at 4:09 p.m. in memory of Dee Huey.

A tape of the meeting is on file in the office of the Secretary to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors.

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 Avenue, Suite 220, SF, CA 94102-6027 or the web site:

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