Paratransit Coordinating Council (PCC) > Dec. 7, 2011, minutes
PCC Executive Committee Members Present: Cheryl Damico, PCC Chair; Joseph Flanngan, PCC Vice President; Marty Smith, PCC Secretary; Adrienne Humphrey; Byron Yan; Jane Redmond; Roland Wong; Jeanne Lynch; Kaye Griffin; Olivia Santiago; Erma Brim; Genya Ehrlich; Jane Bolig; Stu Smith; John Murphy; Fred Lein; Gilda Chico; John Lazar; Pam Martinez; Claudia Grubler
PCC Members and Guests: Gratchia Makarian; Wanee Ratanasanguan; Michael Kwok, Genevieve Bayan; Neal Patel; Maria Villafuerte; Anna Krevets; Hilario Reyes
PCC Executive Committee Member Excused: Jacy Cohen
SF Paratransit Staff: Marc Soto; Paul Okunewitch; John Sanderson
SFMTA: Annette Williams; Kate Toran; Jonathan Cheng
Cheryl Damico, PC&O Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:40 a.m.
Read and Approve Agenda
Marty Smith, PCC Secretary, read the agenda. The agenda was motioned/seconded/passed.
Approve Minutes of September 21 meeting
The minutes were motioned/seconded/passed as presented.
Report from the PCC Annual Meeting
Kate Toran reported on the PCC annual meeting that was held on November 5, 2011. She mentioned that Mohammed catered the event and that once again, attendees raved about his deviled eggs. Kate then announced the new and returning PCC members. Among the new PCC members are Adrienne Humphrey, Stanley Stevens, and John Murphy.
Kate mentioned that at the end of the annual meeting, the PCC members decided to delay the election of a Low Income and Minority representative to the following meeting that is currently being held. Both Wanee Ratanasanguan and Michael Kwok were elected by acclamation by the PCC to the seat of the Low Income representative and Minority representative respectively. As there were no nominees for the vacancies in the Affiliated Elderly and Affiliated Disabled caucuses, elections for those seats was tabled until there is a nominee.
The draft of the new 2012 PCC roster was distributed. Kate said that due to recent sensitivity among PCC members about releasing their contact information that phone numbers and email addresses that those items were omitted. Kaye asked why contact information was not included as it makes it more difficult to get into contact with fellow PCC members. Kate reiterated that all contact information of a PCC member is solely for internal uses. Kate did mention that an edited copy of the 2012 PCC roster could be sent out and members who do not want their phone numbers or emails given out can decline to have it distributed.
A draft of the proposed 2012 PCC and PC&O subcommittee meetings was also distributed to members of the PCC. Kate stated that barring any objections from the PCC executive committee that these meeting dates will be voted upon by members. Kate noted that the annual Jewel McGinnis luncheon will be held on the proposed June meeting date. The meetings dates were motioned/seconded and approved unanimously with no abstentions.
Update on the design of the new Transbay Transit Center
Annette Williams introduced Joyce Osihi, a representative from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), who gave us an update on the construction of the new Transbay Transit Center, with an emphasis on paratransit and accessibility issues. Joyce gave a powerpoint presentation about the new Transbay Transit Center that is scheduled to open in 2017. Among the key paratransit and accessibility related information that was presented includes:
Marty questioned how much curbside access would be given to meet the expected high demand of taxis. Joyce replied that in addition to the 150 feet paratransit zone, there should be another 100 to 150 feet remaining on Natoma Street that would be able to made available to taxis. Marty recommended that the entire block on Natoma Street between Fremont and First Street be designated as a paratransit/taxi zone. Kaye Griffin stated that the design of the proposed four block long terminal does not accommodate people with limited mobility as they may not be able to walk the entire distance of the transit center. She mentioned that the proposed Natoma Street pedestrian mall would be inconvenient for paratransit users as taxis would not be able to drop off customers near the bus terminal. She mentioned that the design flaws in terms of accessibility to taxis in the new transit center are similar to those of the temporary Transbay Terminal. Joyce replied that there are taxi zones located on both ends of the block at the temporary Transbay Terminal. Genevieve Bayan repeated the same concerns.
Michael Kwok said that the architects should better design the facility that meets the needs of the paratransit community, particularly the sidewalk cutouts. Annette helped summarize his comments stating that there are many different types of paratransit vehicles with different ramp access points. Joyce stressed that this was not the final plan and that there is time to figure out the best way to design the sidewalks to meet the needs of paratransit customers. She mentioned that they have been working with the Mayor’s Office on Disability and the Department of Public Works’ accessibility coordinator in designing the sidewalk. Annette emphasized that the location of the paratransit drop off and pick up zone is located next to the main entrance of the new Transbay Transit Center. Roland mentioned that SFMTA is looking at using side loading ramp taxis in the future.
John Lazar questioned the proposed bike ramp to the new facility. Joyce answered that it is only an idea but unlikely to be built. John also asked for clarification as to the proximity of the taxi pick up and drop off zone to the bus drop off zone. Joyce replied that the taxis will be allowed to park at curbside drop off and pick up areas but would likely not be able to occupy the designated bus drop off areas. Pam asked who represents SFMTA on the TJPA. Annette answered that Transportation Director Ed Reiskin represents SFMTA on the TJPA but that PCC members can contact TJPA staff working on the project. Joyce added that the types of comments being made by PCC members would only require minor design changes.
Jeanne Lynch applauded the presentation and the level of detail; however, she noticed that there was not a single disabled person depicted in the sketches of the new facility. Maria asked whether there was a timeline to address the questions regarding paratransit access to the new Transbay Terminal Center. Gilda was concerned about accessibility for persons with a visual impairment. Joyce told all the PCC members that they can contact SFMTA Accessible Services with any question they may have concerning the design of the new Transbay Terminal Center and that those questions would be forwarded to her for compilation. John expressed his gratitude for the wonderful presentation.
PC&O Group Van Subcommittee Report
Kate Toran read the following report:
Kent Hinton gave an update on Contract issues.
Paul Okunewitch delivered the Broker’s Report:
The date of the next Group Van subcommittee meeting was not announced pending approval of the 2012 schedule at the PCC annual meeting on November 5.
Gilda stated that blind community is particularly concerned about the discontinued service by Delancey Street. Kate stated that those concerns will be addressed in the SF Paratranit Broker’s report.
PC&O Ramp Taxi Subcommittee Report
Marty Smith read the following report:
Kate added that new amendments regarding the ramp taxi program were approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors in December 2011. These new amendments set an enforceable standard in which all ramp medallion holders must complete eight wheelchair pickups each month and six of these trips must be SF Paratransit customers. These standards will be in effect starting January 6, 2012. Cheryl asked for further clarification about whether the current three wheelchair pickup (if available) rule would still be in effect. Kate said that these new regulations will replace that rule.
Marc asked whether concerns about PIM and rear seat devices were addressed at the last SFMTA Board of Directors meeting. Marty answered that these discussions were more about customers who use credit cards to pay for their trips. Customers are using different applications including Square, and that the SFMTA Board wants a secure, universal system. Also there were complaints about the brightness of these screens. Another issue that was raised was that SF Paratransit customers are swiping their Paratransit debit cards in these rear seat devices instead of presenting their debit card to the driver. Drivers and customers in San Francisco both like the system as it is quicker for customers and drivers are receiving more tips. Pam echoed these statements. Marc expressed concerns that some drivers are not actively attempting to use the backup manual system if the Paratransit debit card does not work at the front seat device and are demanding cash from paratransit customers.
Bike Lane/Paratransit Issues Update
Kate Toran stated that the bumper stickers and decals which inform PCO as well as bicyclists that these vehicles can occupy the bike lane to pick up/drop off a disabled customer were finalized and distributed to all the taxi color schemes. In addition to the bumper stickers and decals, training material and a bulletin highlighting when vehicles can enter a bike lane were distributed. John requested additional decals as there are many one way streets in the city and passengers may not notice the warning should they exit from the opposite side. Fred asked how drivers should drop off non-disabled passengers. Kate said that the driver should use their best judgment and if possible, drop off those who are more mobile around the corner. John stated that commercial vehicles, including taxis, are being affected by ticketing due to double parking and that it is affecting their ability to do business. Kate also mentioned that paratransit sensitivity training is being included SFMTA funded bike training programs and new bike lane training is being included in the driver training courses. Jeanne Lynch asked why the bumper stickers are not bilingual. Byron Yan asked whether taxi sedans would be able to pick up or drop off passengers in the bike lane. Kate answered that the taxi sedans have been issued bumper stickers. Annette added that paratransit vans are being issued the bumper stickers and training requirements as well.
Paratransit Broker Report
Marc Soto provided the following report.
Gilda Chico asked whether there is a new telephone number for the SF Access service. Marc stated that all active SF Access riders will be sent a letter about the transition to MV and any other changes while emphasizing that the reservation and “Where’s my Ride?” telephone number will be the same. Also included will be the direct phone numbers for MV Transportation and MPT for use in case of any kind of phone company failure. Paul stated that MPT will continue to operate in the region. He also stated that it is expected that about 32 current MPT drivers will transition over to MV Transportation. Olivia Santiago asked whether the letter will address any changes to reservations process, particularly for customers who have standing orders. Marc answered that there will be no changes in the reservation process and that it will be mentioned in the letter.
Gilda stated Delancey Street weekend group van service is very important to the blind community and a provider to cover this service gap is needed. Marc answered that Paul is working closely with Lighthouse to ensure the services are provided.
Stu Smith questioned why there is a refusal by the smaller taxi companies to accept the Paratransit debit card. Marc stated that refusal by these smaller taxi companies could be a failure of drivers to commit to the Paratransit debit card system for personal reasons such as fear of reporting and monitoring. The new ramp taxi and other regulations along with enforcement may encourage them to cooperate and commit to the paratransit taxi and ramp taxi program. Kaye Griffin mentioned that some drivers from larger taxi companies are not accepting the Paratransit debit card also. When she attempted to find the taxi number, it was not visible. Gratchia Makarian stated that all taxi drivers are contractors and that is us unfair to assume that certain color schemes are providing better paratransit services than others. Managers are not aware of drivers who do not or refuse to use the Paratransit debit card unless patrons take the time to report those incidents. Cheryl Damico suggested that he bring these issues up at the PC&O Ramp Taxi subcommittee meeting.
Stu Smith asked that PCC members who do not want to provide their contact information can decide not to do so. Kate asked the PCC members who do not want their contact information release to tell her. Jeanne asked Marc if Veolia employees go through sensitivity training. Marc replied that Veolia employees have in the past, and they will likely do so in the future. Genevieve Bayan asked whether the vacant position as the Low Income and Minority representative were filled. Kate said that they were; however, there are vacant seats available in the Affiliated caucuses. Jane Redmond stated that based on her understanding, that taxi companies are agents for the city and must adhere to regulations, particularly concerning passenger levels. Annette mentioned that Ursula McGuire was hit by a car and that a card was being passed around for anyone who wanted to express their best wishes.
The next PCC meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 11, 2011, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 711 Eddy Street
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