Paratransit Coordinating Council (PCC) > Oct. 28, 2009, minutes
PCC Executive Committee Members Present: Cheryl Damico, Chair; Genya Ehrlich; Griff Humphrey; Ruth Lawner; Yetta Miller; Russell Green; Abby Lamb; Gilda Chico; Sandra Fancher; Byron Yan; Ruach Graffis; Stu Smith; Scott Blum; Joseph Flanagan; Melecio Torres; Michael Kwok; Olivia Santiago; Benny Wong; Silas Telfor; Kaye Griffin; Pam Martinez; Erma Brim; Patrick McCollum;
PCC Members and Guests: Jeanne Lynch; Senior Action Network; Roland Wong, MAAC Member;; Troy Barnes, MPT; Marian Gan; Jane Bolig, Desoto Cab; Ameur Kallel, MPT; John Kaufman, Solem & Associates; Silverio Sanchez, MV Transportation; Ron Bushman, Veolia Transportation;; Lurilla Harris; Martin Smith, Luxor Cab
PCC Executive Committee Member Excused: Jacy Cohen;
Paratransit Broker: Marc Soto; Kevin McNay; Kent Hinton
SFMTA: Kate Toran; Jeffrey Banks; Annette Williams; Julie Kirschbaum; Bruce Oka; Lulu Feliciano,
Read and Approve Agenda
Cheryl Damico called the meeting to order at 10:35 am. Pam Martinez read the agenda.
Kate Toran stated that Lulu Feliciano had come from SFMTA to discuss the upcoming Service Changes and asked that Lulu be added to the agenda.
The agenda was motioned/seconded/passed (M/S/P) as amended.
Approve minutes of September 23, 2009 meeting
Jeanne Lynch stated that she had requested a special mention for Joseph Flanagan and Roland Wong for their work. This was not recorded in the minutes. Kate Toran responded that this would be added to the minutes.
The minutes were M/S/P as amended.
Silas Telfor asked what was the time frame for the new San Francisco Paratransit Broker and Annette Williams answered that the new contract would start on April 1, 2010.
Low Income Representative
Kate Toran added that those running in an affiliated position would need a letter from an agency attesting to the fact that they would be representing that agency. Jeanne Lynch asked if she could run in two caucuses and Kate responded that you can only run in one caucus.
Report from the October 7, 2009 PC&O Group Van Subcommittee
Jeffrey Banks stated that the PC&O Group Van subcommittee met on October 7. There was no group van driver of the quarter. During the Service Quality Updates the IOA stated that the 3-day cap had been lifted and they were back to 5-day service. Medsam reported adding a short run to Golden Gate Regional Center. Matt Yamashita of MPT reported that they were working on improving communication with Self Help for the Elderly. Matt also introduced Ameur Kallel the new Manager of Operations.
Paratransit Broker Report
Marc Soto introduced Ron Bushman from Veolia Transportation.
Debit Card Update
The SF Paratransit Broker’s office is preparing to go live with the Debit Card in November. The Broker will be sending out the new debit cards to all active Taxi, Ramp Taxi and Paratransit Plus consumers including those in the pilot program. Marc stated that consumers would receive a cover letter explaining the process and a tip sheet letting people know what to expect when using the taxi debit card, called the SF TaxiCard.
The SF Paratransit Broker will be meeting with all the taxi companies to advise them about training and communicating with drivers about upcoming transition. The large taxi companies, National, DeSoto, Yellow and Veterans are up and running. There are still a few items to resolve with Weights and Measures, relating to the In Taxi Equipment (ITE). The companies with Wireless Edge are waiting for equipment to arrive in mid-November. Marc stated that cab drivers without ITE will be asked to run the manual knuckle buster. The SF TaxiCards are in mass production and will be mailed out before the full roll out. Once full debit card roll out occurs, the SF Paratransit office will not longer sell scrip, although for those individuals that still have scrip, they can still use it until further notice.
Gilda Chico asked if she will be asked to come in to take a picture and Marc responded that she would not need to come in for a photo unless you were re-certifying. Ruach Graffis stated that in her experience Yellow drivers were not well trained in use of the debit card. Pam Martinez responded that Yellow, which has more drivers than any other company, is aware of the problem and is coordinating with Marc for better training, and is also placing cue cards in all cabs. Marc stated that the Wireless Edge equipment is not as intuitive as the VeriFone equipment. Silas Telfor stated that the debit card was a long time coming. Byron Yan asked if Chinese consumers that did not understand the debit card would be able to get information in Chinese by calling 311. Marc responded that operators at 311 would refer the caller to a Chinese-speaking person at the SF Paratransit Broker’s office. Cheryl Damico noted that the new Taxi Debit Card would also serve as the ADA identification card and could be used when traveling out of the area.
Paratransit Information and Technology Update
The new Trapeze software system is expected to “go live” in December. The SF Paratransit Broker is excited that the SFMTA won funding for the Mobile Data Terminals (MDT’s) as this will provide an opportunity to bring the vans into the same modern environment as the taxis. The MDT’s will allow predictive dialing which will allow the Broker to call the passenger ahead of time to tell them the van is on time or is running late. The MDT’s will allow automatic capturing of data related to on-time performance and help with dispatching in a much more efficient way.
Paratransit Emergency Preparedness Plan
Kent Hinton reported that the contractor for paratransit emergency planning services, Willdan Homeland Solutions, had provided two of the five contract deliverables. Willdan provided a project plan which outlines the timeline and had also reviewed existing emergency operations plans and provided feedback on those documents. Three contract deliverables are still to be delivered including the updated emergency operations plan which is called the System Security Emergency Plan which will suggest Standard Operating Procedures not already in the existing plan. The Safety and Security Management Plan will help plan any future changes to the existing documents. Willdan will also provide a passenger excerpt to be included in the Rider’s Guide which will be a summary of the information in the Emergency Preparedness Plan. These documents are due by February 10.
Marc Soto stated that feedback from the PCC Executive Committee would be solicited on the plan as it develops. Marc also reported that he and Annette Williams had participated in a regional tabletop exercise related to emergency response and the information gathered in this exercise was provided to the consultant. Annette added that she had been working with Susie Gallagher at BART to bring attention to the issue of transportation for people with disabilities to the emergency planning process. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has responded by requiring that each transit property have a paratransit representative assigned to their emergency operations center. Annette further stated that the tabletop exercise focused on the federal definition of persons with special needs which includes seniors as well as youth and persons for whom English is not their first language. Annette stated that another focus of the table top was planning for transportation for disaster service workers. Annette urged everyone to be personally prepared for 72 hours in the event of a catastrophic emergency. Circumstances may not allow paratransit service to be available during an emergency. Additionally, it’s likely that paratransit during a disaster would be prioritized for life sustaining services such as dialysis.
Kent Hinton also reported on the emergency preparedness exercise. Staff from the SF Paratransit Broker, the SFMTA and van providers role played a scenario in which they had received a request from the SF Department of Emergency Management (SFDEM) for vehicles to respond to a staging area. Van providers were required to quickly assess how many vans they could assign to the staging area.
Lurilla Harris recommended that all paratransit vans carry a large jug of water available for passengers in the event of an emergency. Lurilla also advised of the classes offered by NERT for anyone interested in emergency preparedness. Jane Bolig asked if taxis were part of the emergency preparedness plan and, if so, at what point would they become involved with the process. Cheryl Damico suggested the issue be discussed with taxi industry representatives at the upcoming Taxi Ramp Taxi PC&O meeting and Jane agreed. Kent answered that the purpose of a new emergency preparedness planning process is to structure a regular pattern of exercises to which every stakeholder would be invited to participate. Annette Williams stated that there was very little that existed anywhere in the way of paratransit emergency preparedness planning and the process being undertaken by Willdan had only just begun. Marc stated that the planning process would also seek to learn what emergency plans the taxi industry has in place. Jeanne Lynch pointed out the urgency of this issue and encouraged the SF Paratransit Broker to get moving because of the people that would be affected in the event of a disaster are the same as those attending the PCC meeting.
Ruth Lawner expressed concern about a taxi never showing up for a time call she had made for a doctor’s appointment. Ruth asked if the problem was not enough ramp taxis on the street. Marty Smith responded that Luxor did get Ruth to the appointment and it was a particularly busy day in San Francisco as the President was in town. Ruth also stated that the Secret Service would not allow her to enter her apartment because of the location of the President. She said someone needs to support the needs of the elderly and disabled communities when the President is visiting San Francisco. Byron Yan stated that he had experienced Mobility Plus (MPT) van service running later than usual this month. Byron also expressed concern that vans don’t have safety and shoulder belts which are required. Byron said that twice when he called “Where’s My Ride” he was unable to reach a person. Ameur Kallel responded that the phone system had recently been re-adjusted and MPT has a time limit to respond to calls. Ruach Graffis stated that she also had experienced difficulty in reaching MPT. Ameur stated that, in order to prevent calls from getting dropped, MPT had changed the system to direct calls to another line when the operator was unavailable.
Cheryl Damico announced that a few PCC Executive Committee members had attended the Taxi Subgroup of the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council (CAC). Jane Bolig stated that the Citizens Advisory Council was created by City Charter to be the principal advisory group to the SFMTA Board of Directors. When the taxi industry was absorbed into the SFMTA, they found their representation by the Taxi Commission had been reduced to none. The members of the CAC have recognized this and they created a Taxi and Accessible Services committee which met for the first time on Monday, October 26. Jane Bolig encouraged to visit the SFMTA website and attend these meetings. Jane stated that there was a deficit of public participation in the Taxi Town Hall Meetings with Christiane Hayashi and she encouraged everyone to attend these meetings and provide their input on the reform of the law guiding the taxi cab industry, Proposition K.
Ameur Kallel congratulated Matthew Yamashita for being one of the “Top 40 Under Forty” in Mass Transit magazine.
Cheryl Damico announced that the PC&O Taxi Ramp Taxi would be at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, November 4.
Jeffrey Banks announced the launch of the Senior Disabled Pilot Pass Program. There will be a lottery to select 2000 participants for the first round of 6 months. You can register for the lottery by going to the website or calling 311.
The next PCC meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 9, 2009
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