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1.  Call to Order

Chairman Nolan called the meeting to order at 9:07 a.m.

2.  Roll Call


  • Cameron Beach
  • Shirley Breyer Black
  • Malcolm Heinicke   
  • Jerry Lee
  • James McCray, Jr. – absent at Roll Call
  • Tom Nolan
  • Bruce Oka

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

Vice Chairman McCray arrived.

On motion to approve the minutes of the February 26, 2010 Special Meeting: unanimously approved.

Chairman Nolan stated that at the February 26, 2010 meeting, the Board had intended to approve a motion to suspend its Rules of Order regarding public notice prior to approving Items 12 and 13 but that motion and vote did not take place.  To remedy the omission, Chairman Nolan moved that the Board retroactively suspend their Rules of Order.

PUBLIC COMMENT on the motion to suspend the Rules of Order:

David Pilpel stated that the motion is not related to an agenda item and therefore it’s not proper to take a procedural motion at this meeting.  This action has legal effect because the resolutions refer to an action that didn’t occur.   This is not properly before the Board and is a violation of the Sunshine and Brown acts.

Teresa Sheehan expressed agreement with Mr. Pilpel.  This meeting doesn’t have to deal with legal ramifications.

Mark Norton requested information from legal counsel if there is any evidence of other retroactive approvals by any other city and county entity.

DCA Friedlander stated that any defect in approvals was not a legal defect related to public meeting laws and therefore, the Board was free to move forward with the motion. 

On motion to retroactively suspend Article 4, Section 10 of the SFMTA Board of Directors Rules of Order regarding published notice: unanimously approved.

PUBLIC COMMENT on approval of the February 26 and March 2 minutes:

Peter Witt asked the Board if the minutes had been corrected and if not, why not.  He expressed concern regarding the Board’s lack of integrity, facts and direction for taxis.   For ten years, the former Taxi Commission suppressed his testimony and materials he submitted.  The public is not allowed timely access to meeting minutes.  He demanded materials from the 2008 or 2009 Public Convenience and Necessity hearing.

On motion to approve the minutes of the February 26, 2010 Special Meeting: unanimously approved.

On motion to approve the minutes of the March 2, 2010 Regular Meeting: unanimously approved.

5.  Communications


6.  Introduction of New or Unfinished Business by Board Members


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

  • Special Recognition Award
  • Ongoing Activities

Exec. Director/CEO Ford presented Special Recognition Awards to Derek Kim, manager, Human Resources, Administration, Taxis and Accessible Services; Deborah Saltzman, Transit Supervisor, Training Instructor, Transportation Training, Safety, Security & Enforcement; Conrad Cantrell; Electrical Transit System Mechanic, Metro East, Transit Operations; and Michael Henry, Assistant Supervisor, Potrero Maintenance Division, Transit Operations.

Exec. Director/CEO Ford discussed the departure of Chief Safety Officer Jim Dougherty and reviewed his accomplishments.  He also discussed the status of the Proof of Payment and Governance audits.


Richard Clark, California Public Utilities Commission, expressed appreciation to Mr. Dougherty. 

Julie Darbellay stated that sometimes she had lost her transfer which has caused problems.  She noted that a paper transfer can get torn and asked if transfers could be made better so they’re more secure.

Peter Witt stated that he had no idea that he needed to keep a transfer.  He inquired why taxis weren’t included in the discussion regarding fare evasions.   People call for three cabs at a time and two of them don’t get the fare.  This is a disservice to the industry.  There is a serious problem with calling a cab during peak times.  The City needs to have better service during those times rather than more taxis.  Tourists don’t complain about taxi service.  

Michael Leutziner, Operator, stated that he tells his riders to take a transfer but it’s “edgier” when people pay a partial fare.  He would like to know if people who pay a partial fare should get a transfer.  Often arguments with a passenger occur as a result which always comes back on the operator.

David Pilpel stated that there needs to be more training for operators and more display cards.  Issues related to Translink and transfer policies need more in-depth discussion. He asked when the scope of the BOS audit would be published.  When it is published, it should be made available to the Board and to the public.

Jude Wideman stated that paid fares had increased in the system and were almost certainly due to the number of people who can’t afford to drive cars. 

Forrest Schmidt, Answer Coalition, stated that cost of the saturation enforcement, which is an increase in attacks on people, in the amount of $3.6 million only brought in $900,000.  There is no proof for the assertion that increased ridership is the result. People don’t understand that they’re being cited so they don’t pull out their proof of payment.  It’s wrong for the Board to not look for other revenue than from riders. 

Irwin Lum, TWU, Local 250-A stated that there are not enough notices regarding Proof of Payment. People feel that there’s selective and inconsistent enforcement.  Some people are allowed to pay their fare while others are escorted off the bus.  When people do have transfers, people are told that transfers that expire prior to when they get to their destination aren’t valid.

James Bryant, SEIU 1021, stated that the public has to recognize that the subway has to be taken seriously.  On many occasions, there aren’t enough personnel to open the doors or cover for lunch breaks.  After the 1989 earthquake, station agents corralled people out of the trains to save havens.  We are creating our own liability by not ensuring that we have enough people to cover Metro stations and operate in safe manner.

8. Citizens’ Advisory Council Report

No report.

9.  Public Comment

Hansu Kim expressed concern that influential agents for one of the losing bidders had had undue influence on the process to award contracts for the management of parking garages.  It’s not too late to do the right thing.  He urged the Board to execute the staff recommendation that was achieved via a process that was a model for how contracts should be awarded. 

Fred Bekele stated that he has been pleading with the Board to proceed with the award of the contract. That was supposed to happen on February 1st but nothing has happened.  This is a discrimination issue.  His company won the contract fair and square.  He stated that Mr. Ford had said that he didn’t want the contract to be rejected.  Staff recommended it.  He asked the Board to do the right thing and award the contract.  A lawsuit will be bad for the Agency. 

Peter Witt asked if the Board knew what a customer satisfaction survey was.  It’s a tool to collect data.  When the Board sees one that has been done consistently over the past ten years, the Board should know that they don’t come any better.  The Board shouldn’t mind data to be better informed

Christopher Fulkerson stated that businesses rise and fall.  If you take good taxi shifts away there will be no profitability.  If there are peak-time medallions there will be a terrible safety problem as drivers will try to take out spare cabs.  There will be pressure put on maintenance shops and nothing but problems on the road. 

David Pilpel remembered three individuals, Joe Rance, Joe Dominguez, and Harold Geisenheimer, who had recently passed away. He added that there are a lot of people leaving that will leave big holes in the agency and encouraged the Board to hold a hearing on succession planning. He noted that the Executive Director/CEO was out of the office for 22 out of 30 days in March.

Arthur Lembke stated that accidents caused by people driving medallions when they shouldn’t will be remedied.  Having part-time medallions is a way to go and he would rather see part-time medallions when they’re needed rather than flooding streets with taxicabs when they’re not needed. 

Vice Chairman McCray requested a status report regarding the contract for management of public garages at the next meeting.



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:

  1. Mid Century Insurance vs. CCSF, Superior Ct. #489940 filed on 6/30/09 for $1,850
  2. Carolyn Cook vs. CCSF, Superior Ct. #8482966 filed on 12/15/08 for $3,000
  3. Cheryl Garrison vs. CCSF, Superior Ct. #CGC7460460 filed on 2/14/07 for $7,500
  4. Golfo Gega, Panagiotis and Demitrios Merkouris and Vasiliki Mavromatis vs. CCSF, Superior Ct. #CGC9483861 filed on 1/6/09 for $65,000

Director Heinicke requested that Item 10.1B be removed from the Consent Calendar.  He noted that the report is lacking in information. 


On motion to approve Item 10.1B:

ADOPTED:  AYES – Beach, Black, Heinicke, Lee, McCray, Nolan and Oka

(10.2) Approving the following traffic modifications:

  1. ESTABLISH – BLUE ZONE – 2 Cameron Way, east side, from 0 feet to 20 feet north of the bottom of the handicap ramp.
  2. ESTABLISH – 2-HOUR PARKING, 9 AM TO 6 PM, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY – 115-117 Wisconsin Street, east side, from 45 feet to 102 feet south of 16th Street.
  3. ESTABLISH – RESIDENTIAL PERMIT PARKING AREA S, 2-HOUR PARKING, 8 AM TO 9 PM, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY – 300 Block of Liberty Street, both sides, between Church and Sanchez Streets.
  4. ESTABLISH – TOW-AWAY NO PARKING ANYTIME EXCEPT MARKED POLICE VEHICLES – Newhall Street, west side, from 28 to 200 feet south of Williams Avenue.
  5. ESTABLISH – ANGLED PARKING AT 60 DEGREES; BACK-IN – Newhall Street, west side, from 28 to 200 feet south of Williams Avenue.
  6. REVOKE – 90-DEGREE PARKING – Newhall Street, west side, from 28 to 200 feet south of Williams Avenue.
  7. ESTABLISH – ANGLED PARKING AT 60 DEGREES; BACK-IN – Williams Avenue, south side, from Newhall Street to 205 feet westerly.
  8. REVOKE – 90-DEGREE PARKING – Williams Avenue, south side, from Newhall Street to 205 feet westerly.
  9. ESTABLISH – TOW-AWAY, NO STOPPING ANYTIME – Child Street, east side, between Greenwich Street and Telegraph Place.
  10. ESTABLISH – TOW-AWAY, NO PARKING ANYTIME – 20th Street, north side, between Minnesota and Indiana Streets.
  11. ESTABLISH – BUS ZONE EXTENSION – Bayshore Boulevard, east side, from 70 to 80 feet north of Visitacion Avenue.
  12. ESTABLISH – TOW-AWAY NO STOPPING ANYTIME – Winding Way, east side, from Prague Street to 60 feet southerly. 
  13. ESTABLISH – TOW-AWAY NO STOPPING ANYTIME – Winding Way, north side, from approximately 170 feet to 240 feet west of Drake Street.
  14. ESTABLISH – STOP SIGN – STOP sign stopping Forest Side Avenue at Vicente Street.
  15. ESTABLISH – UNMETERED MOTORCYCLE PARKING – 1442-1456 Sacramento Street, north side, approximately 240 feet to 251 feet west of Leavenworth Street.
  16. RESCIND – BUS ZONE – 17th Street, north side, between De Haro and Carolina Streets.
  17. ESTABLISH – BUS ZONE – 17th Street, north side, from De Haro Street to 80 feet westerly. (Explanatory documents include a staff report and resolution.) (Bond Yee)

Item 10.2 N was removed from the Consent Calendar at the request of a member of the public.


David Pilpel questioned environmental review for the items and expressed the belief these are exempt from environmental review.  He suggested that future calendar items include that information.  He also stated that one Board member may live in close proximity to 10.2N and wondered what the process was to determine if there is a conflict. 

DCA Friedlander stated that it is up to Board members to identify conflicts.


On motion to approve Item 10.2 N:

ADOPTED:  AYES – Beach, Black, Heinicke, Lee, McCray, Nolan and Oka

(10.3) Authorizing the Executive Director/CEO to accept and expend $168,000 of Regional Measure 2 funds for a Safe Routes to Transit project to promote and encourage safe bicycling to and from the Glen Park BART Station.  (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution, application and opinion of legal counsel.) (Sonali Bose)


(10.4) Adopting traffic calming projects for the Buena Vista Avenue – Roosevelt Way – 17th Street, Crestlake, Fillmore, St. Francis Wood, and Sunnyside neighborhoods (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and maps.) (Bond Yee)

Item 10.4 was removed from the Consent Calendar at the request of a member of the public.

PUBLIC COMMENT on Item 10.4:

David Pilpel expressed concern about environmental review and potential conflicts.   Calendar items should include the environmental review document or the case number. The detail on the particular traffic calming projects is small, hard to read and not easy to understand.  He asked for the opportunity to discuss this further with Mr. Yee and staff.


On motion to approve Item 10.4:

ADOPTED:  AYES – Beach, Black, Heinicke, Lee, McCray, Nolan and Oka

On motion to approve the Consent Calendar (Items 10.1B, 10.2N and 10.4 severed):

ADOPTED:  AYES – Beach, Black, Heinicke, Lee, McCray, Nolan and Oka


11.  Presentation and discussion of the SFMTA’s Operating Budget for FY11 and FY12 and public hearing regarding possible increases to various fares, fees, fines, rates and charges, transit service modifications and expenditure reductions. (Explanatory documents include a staff report.) (Sonali Bose)

Chairman Nolan stated that the recent announcement regarding state funds for transit has provided the SFMTA with a little breathing room.  He suggested that the SFMTA be prudent with the money but suggested that, due to Board member opposition at the last meeting to the establishment of a premium pass for express vehicles and cable cars, that the Board rescind their action on those two items.  He also asked staff to return to the Board with a series of options with regards to the planned service cuts.

Exec. Director/CEO Ford stated that staff would bring a resolution to the Board that would rescind, for FY10, increases to the express and cable car premium pass and would present opportunities to defray or delay the current 10% cut in service.  He noted that the State money may not arrive prior to the end of the fiscal year but that staff is working with various entities to see if the money could be advanced to help resolve the FY10 budget deficit.

Sonali Bose, chief financial officer, presented the staff report.


Teresa Sheehan stated that money from the State should keep fares at current rates or at rolled back rates.  Driver and staff salaries should be maintained.   The SFMTA shouldn’t count on taxi medallion sales.  Service should be cut back on some lines but certain buses are overcrowded. 

Omar Ali expressed opposition to cuts in public service and demanded an end to police harassment. The budget crisis is due to ineffective bodies.  He stated that cuts to OWL service will cause delays for students. He condemned attacks on drivers and stated that they should get fair pay.  The State money should be used to restore public service.

Tan Chow stated that budget deficit will disproportionately hit Chinatown residents.   In Chinatown public transportation is a necessity not a choice.  The public deserves to know where the money is going.  State funds should go to operating costs.  The SFMTA should reduce unnecessary work orders, create a pass for youth and provide affordable public transit.  Don’t balance the budget on backs on those who are most dependent on transit.

Wong Hoi Chung expressed concern about the SFMTA budget.  Many who ride Muni are low income and Muni is the only way to get around.  He requested transparency with regard to the State funds and would like to see the service cuts rescinded.

Wing Hoo Leung expressed concern about Muni services.  90% of seniors and students rely on public transit.  They face deeper service cuts and irregular schedules.  Accidents are due mismanagement.  He encouraged SFMTA officials to come to Chinatown to see what it’s really like.  Chinatown needs better service.  Every time the elderly come to hearings, they arrive before the start of the meeting but they have to go to an overflow room.  They are treated like second class citizens.

Rosa Penate stated that there is money.  This is a war of the ruling class against the working class.  The war in Iraq and Afghanistan isn’t her war and she wasn’t consulted.  Funding to Israel should be cut. No more hikes and no more cuts in services. 

Paul Greenberg stated that corporations have wealth.  This is a city whose wealth comes from the workers.  He stated that he doesn’t appreciate union bashing or blaming them for problems created by management.  Drivers and workers are united.

Irwin Lum, TWU 250-A stated that service cuts and fare increases are the wrong way to go.  Further cuts and increases will place an undue burden on seniors, youth, disabled and working families especially at a time when more people are unemployed.  Muni has to be reliable and affordable.  Further cuts will mean buses will be overcrowded and people will be passed up.  Operators will experience the frustration of the public.  The SFMTA needs to look work orders and reduce the money that goes to other departments.    The May 1 service modifications should be cut back.

Forrest Schmidt stated that there was an effort to demonize and penalize the workers in the press.  The Chronicle and Examiner didn’t list manager salaries.  At the last town hall meeting, people were told they would have to use their cars.  Poor people don’t have cars. A coalition of riders and drivers have come together to oppose cuts.  Rich people have money.

Richard Becker stated that every proposal presented tries to squeeze the last dollar out of the working poor.  The Board doesn’t talk about the war or the AIG bailout.  The “feds” should be asked to bailout transit.  The rich, who created this crisis, should be taxed.  This is political cowardice.  It’s easier to attack the poor rather than take on the rich.

Sarah Carlson congratulated the SFMTA for maintaining some semblance of service.  A fiscal emergency exists because of the extensive misuse of funds.  The SFMTA wants people to believe that the only way for the Agency to survive is to take from the poor but people know that’s not true. People wait for overcrowded buses and are harassed by police.  No cuts. No hikes.

Steph Feiring stated that she knows something needs to be done about the huge budget deficit but service cuts hurt riders. People who don’t pay their fare should be stopped from boarding through the rear doors.  Broken fare boxes should be fixed.    The decision makers need to take pay cuts and admit that they made mistakes.

John Hunt stated that the proposed premium fare for express buses and cable cars are a slap in the face to working people who already pay more for passes.     He expressed appreciation for the interest shown by the Board to rescind the premium passes. He uses cable cars to connect with the Market St. and Van Ness corridors.

Marlene Tran stated that she collected over 4,000 signatures in opposition to Muni and the fare hikes.  The administration should be more fiscally responsible and shouldn’t dream up needless things such as renumbering bus lines.  High salaried board members and staff should take a salary cuts.  San Francisco needs more transit, not less.  Allocating only $500 for translation is disrespectful.   

Donaji Lona, POWER, stated that hikes and cuts make it impossible for families to use public transportation.  The Board doesn’t have any idea what it feels like for someone who can’t afford $2 to ride a bus and the remedies don’t make sense.  People will have to pay more for because of budget mismanagement.  These policies have a high human cost and a high discrimination in the community.  It is shameful that a youth is taken off a bus in handcuffs when he doesn’t have the money to pay his fare.  POWER is united with the drivers and is against the declaration of fiscal emergency.

Beatriz Herrera demanded that the Board not declare a fiscal emergency.  A fiscal emergency is not necessary.  Criminalizing fare evaders is wrong and unfair.  The Board should stop targeting young, old, and regular people of color to hide its’ mismanagement.

David Delgado expressed opposition to raising fares and to the declaration of fiscal emergency.  Poor neighborhoods are being targeted.  We don’t need to have police on Muni to collect transfer fees. 

Patricia Fernandez stated that the police should stop harassing and ticketing people.  They should ticket skate boarders on Van Ness.  We want to be a “green” city and encourage people to take public transportation.  The Board is working with the automotive industry.  The changes will affect the poorest, most vulnerable people.  The 14 and 49 lines are ugly and dirty and don’t have accessible stops for people with disabilities.  The declaration of fiscal emergency must be stopped.

Frank Lara stated that it is disrespectful to the public to cut service and have meetings at 9 am.  The fiscal emergency should be stopped.  People are frustrated and want to see the solutions put on the rich.   

Pat Hendricks wondered if the Board understands that Muni is a service.  The platform was filled with people this morning and three vehicles went by that were packed.  She was able to board the fourth vehicle.  This is common at 9 am.  Besides looking at the needs of seniors, students and disabled, the Board needs to look at the needs of working people.  The J-Church is jammed.

Herbert Weiner stated that the Board and management don’t see passengers as humans, especially seniors and disabled. The TEP has been the foundation of all cuts.  Cuts will destroy Muni service.  With the influx of State funds no increases to fares or cuts to service should be contemplated.   The management salaries should be cut and used for buses and drivers.  It’s time to declare a management crisis not fiscal one.

Vera Haile expressed concern about language access as it hasn’t been happening .  Ms. Haile stated that she was glad to hear that the SFMTA got additional money but wants to hear a commitment that senior, disabled and youth fares won’t increase.  People are unanimously against fare increases.

Donna Willmott stated that extending parking hours is unpopular but there is also tremendous unpopularity for raising the discount fare.  There is a common voice against balancing the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable.  She expressed appreciation for the brief reprieve and requested that the Board freeze the discount pass.  It’s too punishing for those who cannot afford it.  Another top priority is to minimize the service cuts which disproportionately affect people.

PJ Williams, Transit Operator, stated that he understands that the budget has to be fixed but operators move the people. Operators are not there to be liked.  They have a job to do.  Operators are united with the public.  Drivers haven’t had a raise in the last 18 months.  He is appalled to hear the media say that drivers aren’t giving back anything. 

Karen Van Dine expressed concern about increased fares and less service.  People on SSI have very little money to spend on basic needs.  Students who kicked off Muni vehicles are just trying to get to school or to a part-time job. 

Ellen Murray stated that the major issue that is not being addressed is revenue.  Staff has put forth a false choice between fare increases and operator wages.  In reality, there are areas of revenue collection that the SFMTA has failed to go after such as the transit impact development fee or an assessment district that have been gutted by big business. Big business has avoided paying for transportation service.

Bruce Allison suggested that since 511 is the official number is free and 311 charges the Agency money, then people should use the free service.

Mark Joseph Soderman stated that the Board has to take the public’s interest into consideration because they voted for the Board.  It’s not easy to pay rent or bus fares.  The City should consider having a day pass similar to the one in Los Angeles.

Tiffany Konyen stated that middle school students will get creative and use their bikes to make their way around the city.  The Board should get creative and make problems as less painful as possible. The hikes and decreases to service should be reconsidered and the Agency should stop making drivers its’ attack dogs. 

Jazzie Collins stated that you found $3m and got another $38m.  The Agency has $70m in federal transportation money.  There is no fiscal emergency.  There is nothing but corruption. Riders want to public transportation all day.  Gender profiling should be stopped.  It’s unnecessary to ask for identification when people are asked for their proof of payment.  Salaries should be decreased.

Jude Widman wondered why San Francisco couldn’t have quality public transportation like other large cities.  London has a fee zone downtown which impacts the rich.  San Francisco should charge $12 to get downtown and apply it to Muni.  It’s cheaper to drive across the bridge than to take BART.  We need to reduce the number of parking spaces in SF.  This will decrease car use and increase space for pedestrians.  We need to tax gas stations.  People are hassled for not being able to pay their fares.  Board member salaries are too high.

Howard Grayson asked the Board to stop raising prices because the public can’t afford it.  It’s time for the Board to take its’ cut and stop pitting drivers against riders.  There should be more buses and more drivers.

Julio Hernandez stated that difficult decisions have to be made.  Everyone knows how much money the Board makes and those salaries should be cut. He received a $75 ticket because his transfer had expired.   People will be protesting until the police are moved out of Muni.

Mitch Park stated that a majority of workers can’t make these meetings.  They  don’t know what a fiscal emergency is.  It’s safer to take BART rather than take the 14 Mission.  A fiscal emergency isn’t an option in this situation as there is plenty of money.  Mr. Park expressed opposition to service cuts and increased fees.

Tatiana Kostanian stated that she has many disabilities and is on SSI.  The N-Judah isn’t accessible from 19th to Sunset.  She urged the SFMTA to make bus lines inclusive and accessible.

Mario Yedidia, SF Youth Commission, stated that even with state money, the SFMTA is still facing a deficit.  The Youth Commission has thought about how to prioritize the most vulnerable people and protect them from fares and they ask the SFMTA Board to consider implementing a youth lifeline pass to be sold at half the cost of a youth discount pass.  He has heard many anecdotes about aggressive fare evasion.

Kim Malcheski stated that the 26 Valencia was terminated so now he pays extra to ride the 14-Mission which is a filthy bus.  He has never ridden on a bus system that has as much trash or where there are armed police that board a bus to check for transfers.  This is an artificial financial crisis because the SFMTA pays out millions in overtime.   The Board isn’t managing the system.  Paying for work orders is money out of our pocket and is a violation of the “Transit First” policy.  CEQA requires the Agency to conduct environmental impact reports. 

Bobby Bogan stated that there is too much money.  The nation is in an economic crisis and everyone has to make things happen, especially the Board.  Sacrifice has to be spread around and it should start with the Board.  The culture has got to change otherwise the nation won’t get better.

Eva Chrysanthe expressed support for Muni drivers who put up with abuse.   There is little respect for them.  The public transit system in New York is excellent.  The more that is invested in a public good, the stronger that city is.  She stated that it’s wonderful to be on a system that is democratizing but that is lacking in San Francisco.  The public has no sense of what a city is because people are driving their cars. 

Dave Schneider would like to know if there is a plaque in City Hall that honors the workers who built this building.   There are statues of the big guys but nothing for workers. 

David Fischer commended Muni for doing a good job for the most part.  He stated that he has been liberated from his automobile.  The problem in an urban environment is people who drive short distances.  He inquired as to how many Board members took Muni to the meeting.  People who have cars should face a syntax on their internal combustion machines.  He stated that he doesn’t buy the argument that people won’t be able to get to work because of a licensing fee.  Muni drivers should have badges.

Edgar Maddrey spoke about the cuts to service.  His punctuality has been challenged when he uses public transit.  Late evening service cuts will be hard.  He implored the SFMTA to run buses often enough especially late in the evening so they’re useful. 

Gloria stated that their opinion doesn’t count because youth are still facing the atrocities made by the Board.  This is helping people to organize so they can fight back.  For a long time, buses have provided a half-service.  Buses break down frequently.  The news that workers are being fired is incredible and unfair.  The Board needs to ride the bus so it can experience what riders do.   

Peter Witt stated that he doesn’t envy the Board its job. It’s difficult but the Board is being paid big bucks but is not being accountable.  He stated that he is happy that Muni is failing because taxi drivers get more rides.  They can use the business.   Taxi drivers aren’t being treated fairly.  There’s no mention of increasing meter rates.  They want a “fair raise” in order to keep up with inflation. 

Tina Landis stated that the SFMTA wants to declare a fiscal emergency rather than study the impact on the city.  People don’t want to pay for mismanagement.  More public transit is needed.   It’s a lie that there is no money.  The Board’s bloated salaries should be cut.  Public transit can be free if cuts are made from the top.

David Pilpel stated that it appears that the proposals don’t add up to the amount of the projected deficit.  It’s difficult to compare the staff report for Item 11 with the presentation.  There were significant changes that are difficult to reconcile.  It’s not clear that there is a comprehensive plan to address the deficit.   He stated that he had previously requested background information and a comprehensive list of the assumptions used for this budget.  It’s important to have those details so the public can review the information and the Board can have better informed public comment.  The automatic indexing plan wouldn’t increase fares in FY11 but would result in decreased fares.  The Translink fare is unfair. 

Ann Dufrane stated that drivers are very courteous and that she rarely encounters one who is having a bad day.  The Board must seriously consider the issue with overtime as it is very inflated.  The proposal for residential parking permits is to raise them by $20 per year but the raise to discount passes would be $60 per year.  The fee for parking permits should be raised.  They are the best deal around.

Chairman Nolan closed the public hearing.  The Board recessed the meeting in order to take a short break.

Exec. Director/CEO Ford stated that there has been consistent misinformation presented regarding salaries paid to members of the Board.  Board members are volunteers and receive a stipend for attending Board meetings.  The actual compensation is $2,400 per year.

Director Beach asked about the number of wrapped vehicles on city streets has increased and expressed concern that the advertising contract was being violated. He also requested additional information regarding rental of SFMTA vehicles and an update regarding the Cubic contract.

Chairman Nolan stated that the consensus of the Board is to eliminate the fee for express lines and to direct staff to come back with proposals to reduce cuts to Muni service. 

12. Declaring that a continuing fiscal emergency exists caused by the failure of agency revenues to adequately fund agency programs, facilities, and operations pursuant to the California Public Resources Code and California Environmental Quality Act.  (Explanatory documents include a staff report and resolution.) (Sonali Bose)

Sonali Bose, chief financial officer, presented the staff report.


David Pilpel stated that he received written responses to his comments this morning and he has not had sufficient time to review the responses and determine if they are responsive.  He stated that he did provide written comments before 5:00 pm on March 12.  This is a special meeting.  The law discusses responding at a regular meeting.  He questioned why the Agency would invoke this action if there were no service cuts planned.  There was no detail about fares. The public comment at the last meeting doesn’t seem to be fully responded to.  His previously submitted comments weren’t responded to.  He urged the Board not to adopt the item.

Donaji Lona stated that declaring this fiscal emergency will impact the community without measuring what that impact would be.  Many people who commented previously are opposed to declaring the fiscal emergency.  Nobody has been happy with the changes already implemented and the community needs to study it with good attention.   San Francisco needs to have a sustainable transportation system.

Frank Lara said that these statistics allow people to be terrorized in certain districts.  People are seeing that tax increases are being proposed.  Instead of going for large amounts of money that can sustain Muni for years, the Board is going for little things.  Instead it should mobilize people to go for the large amounts of money. 

Paul Greenberg inquired into what this “so-called” fiscal emergency was.  There is a capitalist crisis.  There haven’t been any natural disasters.  This was a decision made by wealthy bankers and is on the backs of the workers.  It’s time for the banks to pay. 

Francisco Da Costa stated that the Board has adversely impacted the community, especially the physically challenged, the elderly and the poor.  The Board represents the community and it knew what was coming down the pipeline.  The Board had no vision.   80% of this dire emergency is due to poor leadership.

Sue Vaughan stated that she knows the crisis is real and huge and not all your fault but this situation is not going to get fixed in two years.  It will require thinking really big and making some politically hard decisions.  The Agency has to expand the hours of parking meter operation.  People will get used to it.  The Agency has to put a revenue generating measure on the ballot.  She expressed doubt that everything possible has been done.

Forrest Schmidt stated that people were at the meeting earlier to oppose the fiscal emergency.  It’s crazy to think it’s a good idea to spend $3.4m to collect $900,000.  The Board has worked against the will of the crowds and continues to discredit itself.  The Agency has dug a hole for itself and has no credibility left. 

Dave Schneider stated that there’s no plaque in the building dedicated to the workers.  As far as the fiscal emergency is concerned, Abraham Lincoln said that labor is superior to capital because it came first. 

Barbara Lopez expressed concern with calling this a fiscal emergency.  Attendance at schools is mandatory and Muni is essential for children to attend schools.  The price increase really affected working families.  This affects the life of a family in many different ways. 

Christopher Fulkerson stated that the way to get out of the economic problem is two-fold.  Tax the rich and raise the income of the poor.  You can tax the rich immediately.  The problem you’re being presented with is not yours to solve but it’s a good idea.


On motion to approve:

ADOPTED:  AYES – Beach, Heinicke, Lee, Nolan and Oka

NAYES – Black and McCray

13. Presentation and Discussion of the SFMTA’s Capital Budget for FY11 and FY12.  (Explanatory documents include a slide presentation.) (Bond Yee)

Timothy Papandreou, deputy director, Sustainable Streets, presented the staff report.

In response to a question by Director Beach, acting ED/CEO Debra Johnson stated that staff would provide a memo to the Board that outlines the expenditure of funds for all projects related to fare collection.


David Pilpel stated that the cash flow in the program is unclear and it’s also unclear if these are prior encumbrances or future dollars.  He suggested that the list of projects include a description of the project, the funds and whether the project is intended to reduce or expand operating costs.   Mr. Pilpel is in favor of prioritizing those projects that reduce operating costs.  It isn’t clear what the unfunded need is.  Vehicles and transit facilities are at issue.

Peter Witt wondered why taxis weren’t included.  Cab drivers are slowed down from picking up customers because they have to make change for a $20.  Taking payment by credit cards also slows cab drivers down.  Nobody seems to have thought of cab stands. 

Christopher Fulkerson stated that the issue of universal dispatch will soon become obsolete due to applications available on I-phones.  Throwing money at universal dispatch isn’t something that merits immediate action.

14. Approving and adopting amendments to Article 1100 of Division II of the Transportation Code, regulating Motor Vehicles for Hire to establish a Taxi Advisory Council.  (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and amendment) (Debra Johnson)


David Barlow, UTW, stated that the Board shouldn’t amend the Code. The Board doesn’t want to undermine its’ regulatory authority.  Medallion sales will do that.  A majority vote on that panel will go to the interests of medallion holders.  The Board shouldn’t approve this amendment.

David Pilpel stated that the proposed council would not be a passive advisory body.  If the Board creates it, it will be a policy body pursuant to the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force.  He would like to know what the staffing costs would be.   The amendment is not approved as to form and there are no public members serving on the body.  He questioned whether the Board was provided the correct resolution. 

Ms. Hayashi stated that Mr. Pilpel was correct regarding.  This body would not be a passive meeting body and the resolution was in error.

DCA Friedlander stated that the calendar item and actual legislation before the Board was correct and therefore, the Board could move forward. 

David Schneider stated that he was disturbed by the vote by Directors Black and McCray as it divided workers against workers.  At the last meeting there was a petition of 600 drivers who didn’t want this medallion plan to go forward.

Ruach Graffis stated that in last 30 years, taxi industry has endured the demise of the union, political neglect and decades of corruption.  The Taxi Commission ignored the huge issues facing the industry.  The industry had hoped that with the Board’s knowledge of union rules this would improve but the Board’s vote took away the one shining hope for medallions.  There are only three people to represent 6500 drivers who will serve on the structure of the group that will oversee this industry.

Peter Witt stated that he thought we were talking about dissolving the pilot program.  Companies have been ruling for a long time.  Drivers have no say and the public has no voice.  There is no permanency to this group and it strikes him as being corrupt.  Payoffs are standard and are part of the culture.  This is a small group of nobodies to represent cab drivers who have no benefits. 

Christopher Fulkerson stated that medallions are not city property.  Drivers create their value.  They are a license and not a commodity.  A lot of human suffering has occurred due to the passage of Prop K. 

Mary McGuire stated that this body is a good idea if they will deal with other issues.  Making it a policy body is good because it will have to follow Sunshine Rules.  It would also be good to televise meetings to reach out to the industry.   There are issues other than the sales of medallions that need to be dealt with. 

Carl Macmurdo expressed appreciation for the advisory council.  It’s well balanced and will give a lot of input to complex problems. 

Barry Korengold expressed support for the idea of an advisory council.  It includes representation from various parts of a complex industry.  This is a good start towards finding workable, practical solutions.    He assumes that the town hall meetings will continue. 

Bill Mounsy says that this just sets up a new taxi commission.  The last one didn’t work and this one won’t either.  Somebody has to make decisions for the industry.  The public should be represented. 

John Han stated that the concepts of an advisory council are a good idea if there were a few changes. The 15 member council appears to be well balanced but there are nine medallion holders versus six non-medallion holders.  

Paul Goodfader expressed hope that medallions aren’t sold.   A lot of people would be hurt.  Drivers live day to day.

Ed Healy stated that this is a simple advisory committee that will make non-binding decisions.  The SFMTA has a Citizen’s Advisory Council that this council will work in coordination with.  Mr. Healy supports the establishment of the advisory council.

Arthur Lembke expressed appreciation to the SFMTA for their accomplishments.  This vote will allow the spirit of transferability and allow older medallion holders to retire with dignity.  It’s a win-win situation for all concerned.  Part-time taxi medallions should be put out for times of great need. 

Hansu Kim, SF Taxicab Coalition, stated that the coalition fully supports the formation of the council.  He stated that he has never seen the level of transparency and inclusion that exists within the SFMTA.  This council is a good first step towards an integrated taxi policy.

Yossede Desta stated that he had submitted document to Ms. Hayashi at prior taxi meetings to add more taxis and had suggested to her that the taxi industry is a feudal system.  Each taxi driver should submit $1,000 which will be a prize for the person who submits the best ideas. 

Mike Spain expressed support for the organization of this advisory board.  It may look to be in favor of permit holders but there are six seats for cab companies.  He cautioned the SFMTA about the interest of the city to take back permits from people who appear to have violated the procedures. 

Jane Bolig noted that there are several bodies at which the public can speak.  She welcomes the establishment of a body of people that knows what the taxi industry is.  Companies welcomed the pilot program but are cautious about possible pitfalls. 

Chris Hayashi read into the record the revised resolution for consideration by the Board related to the establishment of a temporary Taxi Advisory Counsel. 


On motion to approve the resolution as revised:

ADOPTED:  AYES – Beach, Black, Heinicke, Lee, McCray, Nolan and Oka

15. Discussion and vote pursuant to Administrative Code Section 67.10(d) as to whether to conduct a closed session and invoke the attorney‑client privilege.

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



1.  Call to Order

Chairman Nolan called the closed session to order at 3:48 p.m.

2.  Roll Call


  • Cameron Beach
  • Shirley Breyer Black
  • Malcolm Heinicke   
  • Jerry Lee
  • James McCray, Jr.
  • Tom Nolan
  • Bruce Oka

Also present:

  • Nathaniel Ford, executive director/CEO
  • Roberta Boomer, board secretary
  • Julia Friedlander, deputy city attorney
  • Debra A. Johnson, chief of staff/director, Administration
  • John Haley, chief operating officer
  • Sonali Bose, chief financial officer

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


Anticipated Litigation:

__X__ As defendant or __X__ As plaintiff

4. Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6(a) and Administrative Code Section 67.8, the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors shall meet in closed session for:


            CCSF Representative: Debra Johnson and/or her designees

            Employee Organizations:

            IAM Local 1414, IBEW Local 6, SEIU Local 1021, TWU Local 200, TWU Local 250A, and MEA

            To discuss:

            _X_  Wages

            _X__ Hours

            _X__ Benefits

            _X__ Working Conditions

            _X__ Other    

ADJOURN CLOSED SESSION AND RECONVENE OPEN SESSION - The closed session was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.

16. Announcement of Closed Session.

Chairman Nolan announced that the SFMTA Board of Directors met in closed session for a conference with their labor negotiator.  There was no discussion of anticipated litigation.  There was no action taken.

17. 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 4:17 p.m.

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:

MATERIAL SUPPLIED BY A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC FOR INCLUSION IN THE MTA’s MINUTES OF MARCH 30, 2010.  To ensure that the comments are accessible, this material is reproduced exactly as presented below.  A PDF of the comments will be added to the printed meeting minutes.

Item (4#) Approval of the minutes –

  • Did you correct the minutes I asked for?
  • Are you going to correct them?
  • And why not?

I’m troubled by these facts which suggest this Board is lacking…

  • Direction
  • Integrity
  • and Information

with regards to…”Taxi-Service”.

I’m not talking about Tourists or Bay-Area visitors.

 “For the record” and for “Ten years” … “The Taxi Commission” …had been… “suppressing my public comment” and the relevant evidence I’ve submitted.  There by, manipulating “anecdotal-testimoney” … for political personal, and/ or financial gain.

Let the record show …”Your minute approval process denies a timely public-review…thus making any corrections impossible.

(AND) Let the record show…Due to the absence of a 2008 or 2009 P.C. & N. hearing… I demand “The data” I’ve collected from 2,000 customers be included in the 2010 P.C. & N. process.

Combined with the 2010 survey I’m (currently) conducting.

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