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PCC Executive Committee Meeting

December 5, 2012

711 Eddy Street, San Francisco

PCC Executive Committee Members Present: Stu Smith, PCC Chair; Marty Smith, PCC Secretary; Cheryl Damico, PC&O Chair; Adrienne Humphrey; Anna Krevets; Erma Brim; Fred Lein; Genya Ehrlich; Jane Redmond; Jeanne Lynch; John Lazar; Joseph Flanagan; Kaye Griffin; Kevin Lee; Olivia Santiago; Pam Martinez; Roland Wong; Ruach Graffis; Sandra Fancher; Sue Cauthen

PCC Members and Guests: Supervisor David Chiu; Drennen Shelton; Sam Alicia Duke; Max Lazar; Joey Hogan; Troy Barnes; Genevieve Bayan; Kathryn Simpson; Samuel Simpson, Robin Krop; Peter Jacobs; Athan Rebelos

PCC Executive Committee Member Excused: Ruach Graffis, Gilda Chico; Jacy Cohen

SF Paratransit Staff: Marc Soto; John Sanderson

SFMTA: Annette Williams; Kate Toran; Jonathan Cheng; Luis Montoya; Ellen Robinson

Stu Smith, PCC Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:45 a.m.

Read and Approve Agenda

Marty Smith, PCC Secretary, read the agenda. The agenda was motioned/seconded/passed.

Approve Minutes of September 19 meeting

Jeanne Lynch noted that the incorrect date was announced for Supervisors Chiu’s appearance at the next PCC meeting. The minutes were motioned/seconded/approved as amended.

Comments from the Chair

Stu Smith thanked everyone for the productive year as there were many changes that occurred. He was also enthusiastic about today’s appearance by Supervisor Chiu as well as future visits from his colleagues to listen and address issues that face the paratransit consumers and service providers.

Report on the PCC Annual Meeting

Kate Toran reported on the PCC Annual Meeting held on November 3rd. Although the format of the program slightly changed this year, Kate heard only positive comments from the event. Once again, the deviled eggs were a big hit among the attendees. Kate also commented on how surprised the award recipients were when their names were announced.

At the annual meeting, elections were held for the PCC executive committee. Most members were re-elected along with Kevin Lee, who was newly elected and will join the Unaffiliated Disabled caucus. Laurie Graham was also elected into the For-Profit caucus, leaving a vacancy in the Non-Profit caucus. Kate announced that there are two vacancies: one in the Affiliated Disabled caucus and one in the Affiliated Elderly caucus. She asked if there were any nominations for fill these vacant seats. Given that there were none, Kate asked that the election be tabled until there are candidates. An updated copy of the PCC executive committee and contact information was made available as well as a list of calendar dates for the 2013 PCC executive committee meeting and the PC&O subcommittee meetings.

MTC Presentation

Drennen Shelton, a representative from the Metropolitan Transportation Council, presented on the 2012 update of the Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan Update that was first established in 2007. She is particularly interested in comments regarding gaps in transportation services that seniors and persons with disabilities encounter as they use the transportation services provided to them. During her presentation, Ms. Shelton went through each category asked the members for feedback in terms of where they believe there are service gaps. Kate Toran mentioned that funding for certain programs, such as Shop-A-Round, was due to the service gaps identified in the last update and stressed that members provide as much feedback as possible.

In terms of transit service, there were several areas of concern for members. Sue Cauthen thinks that there should be more driver training programs. Kevin Lee mentioned that Baylink has infrequent service with incorrect real-time data. Marty Smith would like to see additional funding dedicated for wheelchair accessible vehicles for the SF taxi industry, particularly MV-1 vehicles. Kate Toran commented that she would like a greater emphasis on providing transportation services to programs for seniors and person with disabilities who are dealing with social isolation.

Among the gaps in transit amenities, Annette Williams brought up the lack of curbside access to load and unload passengers near elevators. Marty Smith reiterated this point, stating that there should be more taxi stands and passenger loading zones in front of transit stations. Kate Toran raised the need for space to load and unload paratransit passengers, especially near BART stations. Marc Soto stated that he would like there to be better paratransit trip coordination at transfer points and that amenities as defined by the MTC’s Bay Area Partnership Accessibility Coordination Committee be prioritized.

There were many improvements that could be made in terms of bicycle and pedestrian issues, Marty Smith would like to see more bike education classes Joseph Flanagan repeated the same remarks. Stu Smith suggested that bicycles be licensed. Annette Williams would like there to be more bicycle signage. Kevin Lee repeated this comment, stating that bicyclist ride wherever they want as there are no signs reminding them that they can’t ride on the sidewalk. Sam Alicia Duke had a complaint against bicyclists who ride along the sidewalk without regards to the safety of pedestrians.

Members brought up issues regarding several other topics including public information about transportation services and affordability. Kaye Griffin stated that the 511 website is unusable and confusing. Marc Soto commented that he would like to see a single source for all information regarding regional transportation options for seniors and persons with disabilities and that website development for all bus & paratransit operators in the region be better coordinated. Roland Wong said that he would like any fare increases to be based in one’s income level.

Discussion with Supervisor David Chiu

Supervisor David Chiu, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, introduced himself to the PCC. He wanted to thank the advocates here to who have worked hard to improve transportation services for seniors and persons with disabilities. Supervisor Chiu mentioned some of the work he has done related to seniors and persons with disabilities. Among them include drafting legislation to assist small businesses in making their stores more accessible. He also addressed the retirement of Jose Luis Moscovich. Supervisor Chiu then stated that he would like to open the floor to the PCC members in order for them to comment on current issues facing seniors and persons with disabilities.

John Lazar stated the need for more taxis in the city. This shortage has affected the ability of taxi companies to adequately meet the demand of consumers. This has resulted in an increase in rogue taxis in San Francisco. Supervisor Chiu agreed with these comments. As an individual who does not own a vehicle, he understands the difficulties of a consumer to get a taxi in the city. He mentioned that there is a need to reform the byzantine regulations in order to allow taxis to operate more efficiently. Athan Rebelos reiterated these comments, stating that Desoto Cab has been working actively in the ramp taxi program to ensure that the transportation needs of wheelchair users are met. He stated that there is a need to take advantage of modern technology in order to meet the demands of today’s technologically evolving society.

Marty Smith commented that bicyclists often display bad behavior and disregard existing traffic regulations. This has made it more difficult for taxi and paratransit van drivers to co-exist with bicycles. Supervisor Chiu stated that he would like there to be greater enforcement such as bicyclists receiving citations. However, in lieu of paying these fines, he would like them to have the option of attending a bike traffic education class. Pam Martinez questioned how these programs will be funded and wondered if requiring bicyclists to be required to register their bikes would be a feasible option. Supervisor Chiu stated that these bike education classes could be funded with the revenue raised from the citations issued to bicyclists. As for licensing bicycles in the city, there is a logistics issue. Should an individual be cited and have their bicycle removed, it would be easy for them to attain another bicycle, making enforcement nearly impossible. Supervisor Chiu cited the need for better infrastructure for bicycles. He referenced the strong bicycling culture of European cities where there is a greater percentage of individuals who bike yet demonstrate good behavior. However, such educational and cultural projects have been severely underfunded in San Francisco.

Joseph Flanagan said that when he is on a MUNI bus, often younger individuals do not vacate their seats if there is a senior or person with disabilities boarding the vehicle. Erma Brim reiterated these comments, stating that she has encountered such behaviors on several occasions. Supervisor Chiu stated that there is a need for greater enforcement of existing regulations.

2nd Street Redesign

Luis Montoya presented on the 2nd Street redesign. He stated that SOMA carries thousands of vehicles each day with commuters utilizing these streets to get onto the freeway. There has been a great need to transform 2nd Street into a complete street in order to make it friendlier to local residents and visitors. Among the proposed changes are a “road diet,” essentially reducing from two lanes in each direction to one as well as restricting left turns and adding a bicycle track. These proposed changes are intended to encourage drivers who intend to access the freeway to use an alternative route.

Generally, this suggestion was not well received by a number of committee members. John Lazar stated that any intention to divert traffic would only increase gridlock and congestion, resulting in more delays. Luis replied that he has previously encountered the same concerns from the public. However, 2nd Street is currently undergoing a transformation and there is a greater demand among local residents and businesses to create a walkable environment. Anna Krevets stated that congestion is already bad on 2nd Street and these proposed changes will only make it harder for paratransit service providers to deliver their passengers on time to their final destinations as one more popular thoroughfare is eliminated. Luis stated that changes will be made to the traffic operations and signals in order to ensure that any possible delays are mitigated. Marty Smith commented that restricting left turns on 2nd Street will create even more traffic further south where these same restrictions will not be implemented and would like to see designated left turn lanes. Luis answered that given the proposed “road diet” change, there would be no additional room to accommodate for designated left turn lanes.

PC&O Group Van Subcommittee

Kate Toran read the following report:

I. Service Quality Issues

  • Report from Group Van Agencies
    • ARC Bay Street: The new vans are higher, making it harder for seniors to go up the stairs, Marc Soto stated that 700-series vans instead of 800 series vans should be prioritized for the Group Van Centers.
  • Report from Group Van Operators
    • BayMed: Most of the MDC’s have been installed and we are currently training the drivers
    • SF Paratransit Brokers Office: One MDC left to be installed at Baymed. With MV, Mentor is wrapping up installs, Centro Latino needs one more MDC installed
    • MV Transportation: Lea McKeenan is MV’s new Group Van Coordinator helping to relieve Troy. She will be dealing with anything Group Van related for MV.
    • SFMTA: With the MDC project wrapping up, SF Paratransit is going to begin working on the new IVR (Phone) aspects of the Project.

II. SF Paratransit Broker’s Report

  • MDC’s give Broker a vast amount of data in a quicker amount of time for everyone to work with including dispatchers; final installs are being finalized.
  • Taxi enforcement programs in full swing, incentive program is helping; Average WC per ramp taxi was 11 per month, now up to 13 per month.
  • MOU’s are also being updated to reflect group van service changes over time.

PC&O Taxi and Ramp Taxi Subcommittee

Fred Lein read the following report:

I. Fred Lein announced that he will be switching to a SUV taxi within the next day or two.

II. Service Quality Issues

  • The group had a discussion the new development of Uber dispatch into taxi service industry. Several members expressed concerns about rude drivers as well as a refusal to accept Paratransit debit card
  • There were three comments from drivers of taxi companies. Athans Rebelos announced that Desoto has doubled its count of ramp taxi medallions since the most recent report.

Paratransit Broker Report

John Sanderson read the following report:

  • SF Access Quality Report: On time performance has been improving with MV Transportation achieving an 80 percent on time rate in September, up from the mid-70’s. Formal complaints are trending downward, with only 38 formal complaints for SF Access service and meeting the service goal standard with regard to complaints. Shop-A-Round service has expanded to include the Alemany Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. MV Transportation has been helping to expand this program. A driver survey sponsored by MV regarding existing operations is currently being conducted by a third party consulting group. Surveys have been sent out to drivers and responses are expected to trickle in within the next several weeks. MV expects to report back to the PCC.
  • Mobile Data Computer (MDC) project update: Nearly all MDC devices have been installed in SFMTA-owned vehicles. Currently the goal is to get MDCs installed in all vehicles that may be utilized by MV Transportation for paratransit service, including vehicles that primarily serve other parties. Moving forward, there is a need for greater utilization of the MDC device. Currently, two daily reports are generated which show the usage statistics of the MDC devices and a list of routes in which the MDC devices were not used.
  • Naming of New Paratransit Vehicles: Kate Toran mentioned that there are six new vehicles that have not been named after paratransit advocates. She announced that there are several new names that are being newly considered. These names will be announced and discussed at the following meeting.
  • Staff Change: With the departure of Avelino Miseray from SF Paratransit, one field monitor position is currently vacant. Veolia is actively recruiting.

Robin Krop stated that while she has experience a greater improvement with the Paratransit debit card system, she still has to deal with drivers who will not accept the card. In addition, she has encountered drivers who fail to have the back-up IVR slips and do not know how to properly fill out the form. Kathryn Simpson stated that MV dispatchers are not properly responding to drivers, particularly when there is a medical emergency. Kevin Lee stated that some taxi drivers are accepting orders and then are returning orders, increasing the wait time for their customers.


Sam Alicia Duke announced that two organizations, Planning for the Elders and Senior Action Network, have merged to form the new Senior and Disabled Action Network.


The chair adjourned the meeting at 12:34 pm.

The next PCC meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 9, 2013

10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 711 Eddy Street

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