SFMTA Board > May 6, 2008, minutes
ORDER OF BUSINESS
1. Call to Order
Chairman McCray called the meeting to order at 2:03 p.m.
2. Roll Call
Absent: Jerry Lee – with notification.
3. Announcement of prohibition of sound producing devices during the meeting.
Chairman McCray announced that the ringing of and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at the meeting. He advised that any person responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic devices might be removed from the meeting. He also advised that cell phones that are set on “vibrate” cause microphone interference and requested that they be placed in the “off” position.
4. Approval of Minutes
On motion to approve the minutes of the April 15, 2008 Regular Meeting: unanimously approved (Heinicke, Lee-absent).
Board Secretary Boomer announced that Item 14 was removed from the agenda at the request of staff.
6. Introduction of New or Unfinished Business by Board Members
Chairman McCray requested that staff respond to the letter regarding fumes from trucks in the southeast corridor.
Director Heinicke arrived at the meeting.
7. Executive Director’s Report (For discussion only)
Executive Director/CEO Ford presented the Special Recognition Awards to the March Madness winners. The winning team’s presentation was on the Third Street Transit Priority Project. The awards were given to Lauren Green, Manager, DPT Traffic Signal Shop; Eddie Tsui, DPT Traffic Engineering; Dan Rosen, Transit Manger, Muni; Matthew Reeves, IT Integration; and James Waggoner, DPT Signal Division.
ED/CEO Ford announced Bike to Work Day on May 15, 2008. Group rides are being coordinated and will culminate with a press conference at City Hall. The SFMTA is sponsoring adult bike education courses and repainting key bike lanes and “Sharrows”.
ED/CEO Ford announced that the 46th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Competition will be held on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 12 Noon in Union Square. Preliminaries will be held at the Cable Car Barn on May 14.
Ken McDonald, Chief Operations Officer presented a report on the West Portal Rail Upgrade and Station Rehabilitation Program.
Director Heinicke requested that staff provide information regarding how the SFMTA is going to keep people from driving into the subway.
Debra Johnson, Chief of Staff/Director of External Affairs provided a status report regarding the BART-Muni Senior and Disabled Fast Pass.
Chairman McCray requested that staff prepare a letter to the BART Board expressing support for the BART-Muni Senior and Disable Fast Pass.
8. Citizen’s Advisory Council Report
9. Public Comment
Herbert Weiner stated that he understands the rational for the TEP proposals but the trade offs are human sacrifices. The elderly, sick, and handicapped will have to walk further and uphill. He cited the deletion of 39 and 66 as examples. The Board needs to consider the possible catastrophic results of this proposal.
Susan King, Walk San Francisco, thanked the Board for their leadership regarding the Fell and Masonic intersection. The judge ruled in favor of allowing changes to the intersection in advance of the entire environmental review. People are concerned about the individual changes proposed in the TEP, but it is a big step forward. Ms. King also expressed appreciation for a budget which addressed the needs of the transportation riding community. With autos using 47% of greenhouse gas, public transit is the obvious choice.
Barry Taranto suggested a change in the wording of the taxi integration plan. Mr. Taranto questioned the appropriateness of a westbound 33-line bus that was parked mid-street. The operator had left the bus to get coffee. On Howard Street between 11th and 12th Streets the event sponsor was supposed to create a taxi stand but there were only miniature signs and cars were blocking the stand. Muni didn’t receive orders about establishing a cab stand. The PCO threatened to write a ticket for asking for his badge number.
THE FOLLOWING MATTERS BEFORE THE SAN FRANCISCO MUNICIPAL TRANSPORTATION AGENCY BOARD OF DIRECTORS ARE RECOMMENDED FOR ACTION AS STATED BY THE SFMTA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/CEO OR CITY ATTORNEY WHERE APPLICABLE. EXPLANATORY DOCUMENTS FOR ALL CALENDAR ITEMS ARE AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW AT 1 SOUTH VAN NESS AVE. 7th FLOOR.
10. All matters listed hereunder constitute a Consent Calendar, are considered to be routine by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board and will be acted upon by a single vote. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a member of the Board 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) Approving the following traffic modifications:
(10.2) Authorizing the Executive Director/CEO to accept and expend $7.1 million in FY07-08 Proposition 1B-6061-002 California Transit Security Grant Program funds plus any subsequent interest earned in the account, to procure and install security equipment. (Explanatory documents include a staff report and resolution.) (Sonali Bose)
(10.3) Approving a Lease between the City and County of San Francisco, on behalf of the SFMTA, and Thomas F. Murphy, Martina Murphy and Christopher J. Harney for the two buildings known as 505 - 7th Street (aka 899 Bryant Street), and the adjacent parking area. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and lease.) (Sonali Bose)
No public comment.
On motion to approve the Consent Calendar:
ADOPTED: AYES – Beach, Black, Heinicke, McCray, Nolan and Oka
ABSENT - Lee
11. Adopting the FY2009 Service Standards and Milestones for the SFMTA. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and proposed service standards and milestones.) (Debra Johnson)
Travis Fox, Manager, Service Performance and Standards, presented the staff report.
Director Heinicke requested that staff provide an estimate of the percentage of riders who received on-time service.
No public comment.
On motion to approve:
ADOPTED: AYES – Beach, Black, Heinicke, McCray, Nolan and Oka
ABSENT - Lee
12. Presentation and Discussion regarding the Taxi Industry and the proposed merger of the Taxicab Commission and the SFMTA. (Explanatory documents include a staff report.) (Debra Johnson)
Executive Director/CEO Ford stated that the proposed merger is an opportunity for enhanced coordination of traffic management. The Board of Supervisors Government Audit & Oversight Committee rescheduled their hearing on the merger to May 12. The SFMTA is committed to a smooth transition and establishing a taxi advisory body.
Wade Crowfoot, Mayor’s Office, outlined the intent behind the merger.
Debra Johnson, Chief of Staff/Director of External Affairs, provided an update regarding the Implementation Plan for the Taxi Commission functions including benefits, challenges and timeline.
Jordanna Thigpen, acting Director, Taxi Commission, presented a review of the Taxicab industry.
Barry Taranto stated that the Advisory Committee needs to have more stakeholders. The President of the Taxi Commission is a taxi driver but has failed to represent drivers. Drivers make maybe $110-120 per shift and don’t get vacation, health care, or sick pay. Cab drivers are taking a pay cut with the recent increases in fuel costs. If you don’t make sure drivers get enough money, you can’t insure good customer service.
Carl MacMurdo, Medallion Holders Association, expressed appreciation to the Executive Director and Wade Crowfoot and stated that he likes the idea of a Taxi Advisory Board. He hopes that limos and taxis will be combined. It is logical that DPT could have an enforcement division for limos and taxis. Mr. MacMurdo stated that the overriding concern is who will be the Director of the Taxi Division. Mr. Ford has committed to a nationwide search and hiring a qualified individual.
Bud Hazelkorn, United Taxicab Workers, stated that there are important aspects to the merger. Drivers are considered independent operators and not employees. He is happy to join with the SFMTA as a member of a mass transit agency. Taxi drivers should make a viable reasonable living commensurate with the cost of living in San Francisco. Users should be able to find a cab easily and for a reasonable price. Taxicab drivers make an untenable wage.
Mark Gruberg, United Taxicab Workers, stated that Prop. E gave the Board of Supervisors the authority to transfer the Taxi Commission to the SFMTA. Prop. A stated that the SFMTA Board would have the power to override current taxi rules and ordinances. Prop. K provided significant benefits for cab drivers and allowed a cab driver to get a medallion without having to pay a fortune. The SFMTA Board could wipe that law off the books. He expressed hope that the Board treads cautiously.
Dave Schneider, United Taxicab Workers, stated that he is looking forward to the integration of cab drivers with Muni drivers since all drivers are doing the same job. Muni drivers get real benefits. The Court of Appeals compared cab driver to sharecroppers. It is an illusion that drivers are independent. Mr. Schneider expressed hope that taxicabs are better integrated with Muni, drivers will get benefits and there will be an integrated dispatch service.
13. Presentation and Discussion regarding the Paratransit Ramped Taxi Driver Incentive Program. (Explanatory documents include a staff report.) (Debra Johnson)
Barry Taranto expressed appreciation for the plan but stated it is better to provide extra money to the driver per trip. Mr. Taranto is concerned that drivers will still go to the airport rather than serve the disabled community. It is important to look at people who made a commitment to participate in the program to see if they have provided service or if they’re mainly at the airport.
Charles Rathbone, Luxor Cab, expressed appreciation for the incentive program. The best incentive is to reward individual drivers for every ramp order they pick up. It is less efficient to give incentives only to the top performers. Three-quarters of all ramped vehicle customers travel during the day. Drivers that work at night won’t get the incentive. Some people don’t like to use ramped vans so taxi drivers lose money.
Mark Gruberg stated that he doesn’t object to an incentive program but isn’t sure if this is the best way. It makes more sense to give drivers $5 more for every person they pick up. It is meaningless to give $500 to a cab company that makes thousands. Wheelchair orders should be prioritized and assigned to a driver if no driver volunteers to pick the passenger up. People have waited for more than an hour to be picked up. If you’re going to allow all companies to have ramped taxis, then you need to centralize dispatch.
14. Authorizing the Executive Director/CEO to execute Contract Amendment #3 to the Consulting Agreement for Workers’ Compensation Bill Review with David Donn Consulting for an amount not to exceed $250,000 per year, retroactive to July 1, 2007. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and amendment.) (Vicki Rambo)
Item 14 was removed from the agenda at the request of staff.
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 (Lee-absent).
RECESS REGULAR MEETING AND CONVENE CLOSED SESSION
1. Call to Order
Chairman McCray called the closed session to order at 4:45 p.m.
2. Roll Call
Absent: Jerry Lee – with notification
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:
CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL
ADJOURN CLOSED SESSION AND RECONVENE OPEN SESSION – The closed session was adjourned at 5:07 p.m.
16. Announcement of Closed Session.
Chairman McCray announced that the SFMTA Board of Directors met in closed session to discuss the Coalition for Adequate Review case with the city attorney. 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 (Lee-absent).
ADJOURN – The meeting was adjourned at 5:09 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.
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