Paratransit Coordinating Council (PCC) > Oct. 29, 2008, minutes
PCC Executive Committee Meeting
PCC Executive Committee Members Present: Cheryl Damico, Chair; Stu Smith, Vice Chair; Jeanne Lynch, Secretary; Matthew Yamashita; Erma Brim; Genya Ehrlich; Yetta Miller; Gilda Chico; Melecio Torres; Dee Ann Hendrix; Griff Humphrey; Ruth Lawner; Karen Rosen; Claudia Grubler; ; Ruach Graffis; Sandra Fancher; Jacy Cohen; Genya Erlich; Abby Lamb; Scott Blum; Cynthia Petersen
Guests: Jane Bolig, DeSoto; Benny Wong, North and South of Market ADHC; Marty Smith, Luxor; Patty Clement; Troy Barnes, MPT; Jeff Bills, Semax; Helen Baasan, Semax; Charles Rathbone, Luxor; Scott Leon, SF Taxi Commission
Paratransit Broker: Marc Soto; Kevin McNay
Muni: Annette Williams; Kate Toran, Jeff Banks
Read and Approve Agenda
Cheryl Damico called the meeting to order at 10:40 am. Jeanne Lynch read the agenda. Marc Soto requested that the SF Paratransit Broker Report be moved to the early part of the agenda as he had a scheduling conflict and explained he would have to depart early as he had another meeting to attend. The agenda was motioned/seconded/passed (M/S/P) as amended.
Approve minutes of September 24, 2008 meeting
Olivia Santiago should have been marked present. The minutes were M/S/P as amended to include Olivia as present.
Marc Soto reported that the debit card pilot was currently scheduled to begin not earlier than November 18th but he conceded that this was a very aggressive timeline. He announced that National, Desoto, Yellow and Luxor have agreed to participate in the pilot program. National and DeSoto will choose which In Taxi Equipment (ITE) to install of the options available after the completion of Veolia’s bid process. Since Yellow and Luxor already have in taxi equipment, they will have to modify their software and ITE firmware so that they can achieve the necessary connectivity to the debit card system software. All the participating companies must also sign agreements with Veolia before participating in the pilot.
As of this meeting, 67 paratransit taxi users had volunteered for the pilot, and the goal is to recruit 100 or more pilot participants. The debit card project team is working with Cabconnect, the debit card system software contractor selected by Veolia, on the debit card software customization. Veolia, in conjunction with SFMTA, has undertaken a process of selecting a list of qualified and approved vendors for the in-taxi equipment. The project team is working on preliminary design review for the debit card software.
Marc also reported that the SFMTA is in the process of purchasing 24 Type II lift vans and 5 larger Type III lift vans from Bus West. The first 14 Type II vans have been received and will soon be deployed. Additionally, the SFMTA has purchased 5 minivans from El Dorado. Marc commented that the Type II vans from Bus West have a great floor plan. There were however some issues with the color of the stripe outside the van and with the back-up sensors. The back up sensor matter is being resolved.
Veolia has come to an agreement with the software firm, Trapeze Software Group for the migration from the existing paratransit management software, Mobility Master, to a more robust and modern paratransit management software package including routing/scheduling and which will support on-board computers for paratransit vehicles. The license agreement and long term support agreement are to be signed by the SFMTA as part of executing this agreement. The operational review, which is the first phase of the project, will be scheduled shortly after the agreement is finalized. The operational review will analyze existing software functionality and assess current and future needs so the best Trapeze product can be selected.
Benny Wong raised a concern that paratransit patrons with memory problems may have challenges with the new debit card program. Marc responded that they are trying to mirror the taxi scrip system in as many ways as possible to minimize confusion to riders. Paratransit taxi patrons will be able to check the balance by swiping the card. Patrons will be trained to present their card at the beginning of a taxi trip and driver will swipe the card to check balance. The balance will be printed on receipt, up to $75. As a security measure, if a patron has less than $75 in their account, the exact balance will print. If a patron has more than $75 in their account, the receipt will show $75+. Patrons will be able to check their exact balance by calling an established toll-free number or log onto the SF Paratransit website to access this information.
Jane Bolig asked if it would be possible to have automatic withdrawals go to the debit card. Marc explained that there will be a reserve account which would allow patrons to pre-pay up to a year and allow for auto-loading (or adding value) in the future with minimal interface by the passenger.
Report from the October 1, 2008 PC&O Group Van Subcommittee
Abby Lamb provided the following report:
• Cheryl Damico presented Likisha Burton from MPT an award for Group Van Driver of the Quarter. Included with the award was an American Express card for $50. She was selected for her exceptional service to the Laguna Honda ADHC.
• The group had a long discussion about clients that have severe dementia and that need a higher level of care on the van. Some clients have been unfastening their seatbelts while on the van and causing a safety hazard. The safety of the passengers is critical. Some agency staff has indicated that they would like MPT to restrain the clients while on board, but MPT has responded that this is not safe and goes against MPT’s policies. Another option would be to have an attendant ride with the clients. Marc suggested that the ADHC staff set up a meeting with SF Paratransit staff to discuss further.
• Darren Fanelli from North and South of Market stated that Medsam’s service is very good and that the issues that come up are worked out.
• Lydia Tsung from Self Help for the Elderly ADHC stated that they are having some issues with clients with severe dementia also. She suggested advocating to the Community Living Fund for funds to pay an attendant to ride on the van.
• Abby Lamb from the Institute on Aging stated that service has been fine. Some issues arise when family members are not at home to receive the client and that they appreciate the go-backs. IOA is putting on a special lunch to demonstrate their appreciation of the drivers.
• Matt Yamashita stated that there have been no formal group van complaints for September and that as issues come up they work them out.
• Scott Blum stated that Medsam is installing GPS on all their vehicles to help them monitor safety and speed.
• Tracy McCloud stated that there are very strict ADHC eligibility requirements and she brought copies of the medical necessity criteria which have become stricter in the recent past. The group discussed the possibility of using the documentation from the ADHC eligibility process to establish group van paratransit eligibility. A meeting will be set up with Tracy to discuss this further and draft a recommendation.
Report from the October 6, 2008 Planning and Review Subcommittee meeting
Dee Ann Hendrix read the following report:
After she read the report, Dee Ann added that she went to City Hall to check out the accessibility of the South Light Court. She suggested that people enter on the Van Ness side, using the ramp, because the lift on the Carlton B. Goodlett side does not work very well. Dee Ann recounted that the guard had to kick the lift to get it to work. Dee Ann stated that there is a rug in the South Light Court, but she was able to traverse the space fairly well, although there was a bit of a musty smell. The restrooms were accessible, including the stall area and sinks.
Ruach Graffis added that the entrance on Grove Street is also accessible.
Lifeline Transportation Grant Update
Annette Williams reported that the New Freedom grant application that SFMTA submitted to fund a Shopping Shuttle service was successful. The New Freedom grant is for programs that go beyond the requirements of the ADA, and requires a 50% local match.
The SFMTA was successful in its Lifeline Transportation grant to fund an expanded Shopping Shuttle service. The Lifeline Transportation grant is targeted for low income individuals, and requires a 20% local match. Of the applications from SF County to the Lifeline Grant, the Muni Accessible Services Shopping Shuttle grant application was rated the highest. The Lifeline is a three-year program while New Freedom is only one-year. The funds are not available yet. SFMTA is still waiting final approval. Annette said the program will get started once the funds are available.
Annette said that Muni is trying to come up with a unique name for the shopping shuttle. The shuttle will be geared toward seniors and people with disabilities and designed to meeting the gap between paratransit and Muni services.
Report on October 21 Emergency Preparedness Drill
Jeff Banks introduced himself as the new transit planner in Accessible Services and said he is honored to be working with SF Paratransit.
Jeff reported that he prepared a list of primary, secondary and tertiary contact names, phone numbers and email addresses for dialysis centers in SF. Then, working with Broker staff, he made random phone calls to centers in order to test the emergency contacts. This project also involved surveying dialysis centers as to their ability to continue to operate in the event of a major disaster and where they planned to send their clients in the event of a power outage. Additionally, Jeff also reported that, working with Provider staff from MPT, they called drivers to test: 1) ability to make contact; 2) whether drivers were familiar with emergency procedures.
Matt Yamashita said that MPT is undertaking a major push for disaster training and have emergency information cards in every vehicle. Cheryl said sometimes it’s hard to get a hold of dispatch. Matt reported that the plan is to proceed with clients on the van if dispatch cannot be reached, then to proceed to one of 4 staging areas in the city where a manager would be on-site. Dee Ann said the last time we had a black out the van didn’t come. Matt responded that MPT has an emergency generator and would continue to do pick-ups. Marty Smith recommended that extra supplies be available. Jane asked what if there are no homes to return to. Annette responded that the City will be looking at libraries to become used as community hubs. Kate said there was a big effort with Mayor’s Office on Disability to address public health during a disaster with issues such as medications. There is a planning effort with the SFMTA and SF Paratransit to create a more robust Emergency Preparedness Plan. Annette said that there is a program to purchase “carry” chairs to traverse many floors of stairs for city office buildings. She also said emergency preparedness trainers encourage the pulic to be prepared for at least 72 hours on their own.
Jane Bolig recommended Thomas Friedman’s book, “Hot, Flat & Crowded.” Dee Ann announced that Jane Bolig would be the emcee at the 30th Anniversary Party. Jane requested comments from PCC member: what were you doing 30 years ago.
Cynthia Petersen stated that Golden Gate Transit is going through the service review process. Cynthia said they are looking at redesigning route 80 and route 101 with the goal of improving service. Regional service should take less time and needs better regional connections. Service changes to the fixed route system would impact the paratransit services. There will be a public hearing on November 6th from 3:00-6:00 pm at Golden Gate Toll Plaza and another public hearing on November 21st at 9:30 am in the Board Room of Toll Plaza. Cynthia referred people to the website www.goldengate.org for more information. Also Cynthia said that she is retiring after 21 years. She is hoping to come to the PCC’s celebration on November 14th.
Karen Rosen announced she was working on LGBT Community Partnership and they are looking for panelists.
Jeanne Lynch stated that Senior Action Network (SAN) had their annual meeting and it was very successful. They hard a good turn-out.
The next PCC meeting will be held on
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