Paratransit Coordinating Council (PCC) > February 27, 2008,
711 Eddy Street, San Francisco
PCC Executive Committee Members Present: Cheryl Damico, Chair; Jeanne Lynch; Melecio Torres; Claudia Grubler; Olivia Santiago; Ruth Lawner; Griff Humphrey; Byron Yan; Erma Brim; Jacy Cohen; Michael Kwok; Matthew Yamashita; Scott Blum; Mauro Saldanha; Erica Hamilton; Betsy Eddy; Laurie Graham; Pam Martinez; Iona Lawhorn; John Lazar
PCC Executive Committee Members Excused: Stu Smith; Genya Ehrlich
Guests: John Murphy, MV Transportation; Annie McMillian Young; Wannee Ratanasanguan; Troy Barnes, Mobility Plus Transportation; Janet Copriviza; Gratchia Makarian; Sandra Fancher; Joseph Flanagan
Paratransit Broker: Marc Soto; Kevin McNay
Muni: Annette Williams; Kate Toran
Read and Approve Agenda
Cheryl Damico called the meeting to order at 10:40 am. Jeanne Lynch read the agenda. Two items were added – a report from the Department of Aging and Adult Services and a brief update about the Paratransit Eligibility Appeals training session. The agenda was motioned/seconded/passed (M/S/P) as amended.
Approve minutes of January 23, 2008 meeting
The minutes were M/S/P as presented.
Comments from the Chair:
Cheryl thanked the PCC members of giving her the opportunity to serve as the chair.
Election of PCC Vice Chair and Secretary
Kate explained that at the last meeting, Jeanne Lynch was voted as the Vice Chair, but that she had already served two consecutive terms, and therefore she was not eligible to serve a third consecutive term. Kate prepared a list of the prior PCC officers so that the issue would not come up again in the future.
In order to deal with the situation, a new election must be held. Stu Smith, who was voted in as the Secretary at the January meeting, stated that he was willing to step down so that Jeanne could run for that seat, and that he would run for Vice Chair.
Both Laurie Graham and Stu Smith were nominated from the floor for Vice Chair, and Stu won the vote.
Both Laurie Graham and Jeanne Lynch were nominated from the floor for Secretary, and Jeanne won the vote.
Elections: one Affiliated Disabled, one Unaffiliated Disabled and one Non Profit Provider
Sandra Fancher was voted in by acclamation for the Affiliated Disabled vacancy, representing the Lighthouse for the Blind. Silas Telfor was voted in by acclamation for the Unaffiliated Disabled vacancy. There were no nominations for the Non-profit Provider caucus. Iona Lawhorn asked about the definition of a non-profit provider. Kate responded that initially the caucus was for non-profit providers of paratransit service. Over the years, the definition became broader and that caucus now includes a representative from the United Taxicab Workers (UTW) and the Taxi Driver Institute. Kate added that there was a long discussion about this topic at the last Planning and Review Subcommittee meeting, and the group decided to leave the status quo. Pat Lovelock stated that the non-profits should be required to show proof of their non-profit status. Annette responded that that would be a new procedure and should be discussed at the Planning and Review Subcommittee before it is implemented.
Report from the February 6, 2008, 2008 PC&O Taxi/Ramp Taxi Meeting
Pat Lovelock gave the following report:
• Kate Toran reported that San Francisco Paratransit’s New Freedom Funds Grant application was not selected for funding by MTC. SFMTA applied for this grant to help fund the ramp taxi driver incentive program. As part of the grant application, SFMTA has committed to funding 50% of the program, and the grant would have covered the other 50%. Since the grant was not funded, SFMTA management is reviewing whether SFMTA can provide the full funding.
• Bruce Oka stated that Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed him to the SFMTA Board. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors Rules Committee will review his appointment on Thursday, February 7th.
• Heidi Machen stated that the ramp taxi survey that was collectively conducted by Muni, SF Taxi Commission and the SF Paratransit Broker was helpful in providing feedback on each ramp taxi company. Based on the results of this survey, Heidi presented her recommendations to the Taxi Commission for taking away the ramp taxi medallions from the non-performing ramp taxi companies. Kate Toran suggested that PCC write a letter to support the recommendation of Heidi Machen, the Executive Director of the SF Taxi Commission.
• Patricia Lovelock was elected as the new Vice Chair of the Subcommittee by acclamation.
• Kate Toran reported that there was a kickoff meeting last Monday with the Trapeze project manager. She explained that the first step of the project is transitioning the Paratransit Broker’s software from Mobility Master to Trapeze Novus. The Novus software will interface with the debit card software.
• Kate Toran stated that to complete the Debit Card project, the contract with Veolia Transportation will be extended for two years. Kate explained that the contract extension had been approved by the SFMTA board and will next go to the Board of Supervisors for approval.
• Ruach Graffis from Green Cab commented that Green Cab started to provide taxi service in San Francisco with four vehicles. Green Cab only works with hybrid cars. Its phone number is 626-GREEN.
• The next meeting will be on May 7, 2008, at 10:30 am at the San Francisco Paratransit Office.
After Pat’s report, Kate stated that the group had also discussed the concept of “coordinated” dispatch, which would be a system whereby ramp drivers for companies with fewer ramp taxis would provide their cell phone numbers to the dispatch services that have more calls for ramp taxi service. This would create a pool of ramp taxi drivers to provide more resources to dispatchers when trying to fulfill requests for ramp taxi service. Kate suggested that the PCC vote on the recommendation that the PCC support Heidi Machen’s recommendations regarding under-performing ramp taxi companies. Pat Lovelock recommended that the group hold off on writing a letter until the issue could be discussed more. Pat added that there are some complicating factors and that some companies help finance the ramp taxi vehicles. Laurie Graham agreed that the letter should be postponed until the issue is further discussed. The issue will be heard at the next Taxi Commission meeting.
Report from the Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS)
Betsy Eddy explained that the Aging and Disability Coalition worked very hard to in the last budget cycle to get $300,000 add-back funding earmarked for the taxi program. Due to the current budget crisis DAAS was required by the Mayor to cut $1.5M. In response the Commission on Aging and Adult Services voted to cut $110,000 worth of supplemental funding for the taxi scrip program.
The positive news is that 154 SF Access riders who hadn’t previously been taxi customers and had taken at least 12 SF Access trips in a one-year period were added to the taxi scrip program. The cut won’t affect those individuals, the service will simply not be expanded to the full 300 individuals that was originally anticipated.
Erica Hamilton stated that the Aging and Disability Coalition has developed a proposal for each DAAS service that has been proposed to be cut, including the taxi scrip program. Information will be given to the Supervisors and the Mayor’s office to educate the decision-makers about the impacts of the proposed cuts.
Paratransit Appeals Panel Training
Kate Toran announced that there will be a Paratransit Eligibility Appeals training held on March 18th from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm at the Broker’s office. The training is open to all PCC members, although only consumers may actually serve on the Appeals Panel.
Paratransit Broker Report
Marc Soto reported that contract negotiations with Trapeze regarding the software transition from Mobility Master to Trapeze Novus has taken longer than expected. Therefore, the migration will take place at the end of the full debit card deployment instead of at the beginning, as originally anticipated. The work with Trapeze will continue, the operational review, which is the first step of the migration will continue as anticipated. Then the Broker will conduct two competitive solicitations – one for the debit card software and another for the in taxi equipment (ITE). Then the full transition to Trapeze Novus will take place.
Muni is in the process of procuring 40 new paratransit vehicles. The first six have been ordered from El Dorado and are in the process of being manufactured. 24 Type II and 5 Type III vehicles will be ordered from Bus West. Five ramped minivans will also be procured from El Dorado.
The annual Customer Satisfaction Survey will be conducted in May. The Broker is working on updating Riders’ Guide #3, and it will be re-printed with current information.
The Broker is also working on updating the current emergency plan and making it more robust. CalTrans and NTI sponsored an emergency response workshop that Muni and Broker staff attended.
Marc is working with MPT to further improve their service quality. MPT recently had a CHP inspection that had a very good outcome. Vehicle Technical Consultants (VTC) did a bumper-to-bumper inspection on behalf of the Paratransit Broker that also went very well. MPT has a new maintenance manager, and their maintenance program has improved. They have a new satellite facility for parking which is one block away, and that has helped reduce body damage. MPT’s non-SF Paratransit vehicles are parked in the satellite facility. MPT has also hired a new operations manager.
Matt Yamashita added that MPT has spent a lot of time and capital to improve the maintenance program. They purchased new equipment (a vehicle hoist), added more mechanics to the staff and hired a new manager. The new operations manager will spend time monitoring the phone system. MPT has also doubled the number of safety meetings in the past few months because of all the rain.
Griff Humphrey stated that when he cancels his rides in a timely manner the driver still shows up. Matt responded that it is the responsibility of the dispatch to follow up and communicate with the driver. Olivia Santiago stated that City College has noticed improvements in the service. Olivia added that the phone message refers to a no show policy, and she questioned whether the consumers have been informed about this policy. Marc responded that the policy is not new, and it’s included in the Riders’ Guide. The policy has not been strictly enforced, but in order to help improve on time reliability, it will need to be enforced. Cancelling a ride with less than two hours notice is considered a no-show. Olivia stated that she can send a letter to City College students informing them of the policy. Marc stated that he will work with Olivia to get the word out. Olivia will send Marc a draft letter for his review before sending out.
Debit Card Update
Kate Toran reported that a Request for Information was issued to help solicit input regarding development of the technical specifications for the debit card software system and the in taxi equipment (ITE). The technical specifications for the debit card software system and the in taxi equipment (ITE) have been developed by Booz Allen Hamilton in conjunction with the MTA and the Paratransit Broker.
The Paratransit Broker’s contract is in the process of being extended for two years to allow enough time for the Broker to complete the debit card project implementation. The extension was approved by the MTA board in January, and will next be heard by the Budget and Finance Committee of the Board of Supervisors, and then by the full Board.
Iona Lawhorn stated that National Cab drivers need sensitivity training, and that she is never let off in the right place. Marc stated that he will follow up with Dan Hines.
Kevin McNay stated that the SF Access meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 5th at the Broker’s office at 10:30 am.
Jeanne Lynch stated that a group called HandiCapables meets once a month at St. Mary’s, and that she is a new Board member. The group’s meeting is held every third Saturday.
The next PCC meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 9, 2008
10:30 am – 12:30 pm at 711 Eddy Street.
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