SFMTA Taxi Services
Taxi Advisory Council
Monday, April 11, 2011
2nd Floor Atrium Conference Room
One South Van Ness Avenue
PRESENT: Timothy Ajaegbu, Laurie Graham, John Han, Dan Hinds, Richard Hybels, David Khan, Barry Korengold, John Lazar, Carl Macmurdo, William Minikel, William Mounsey, Dmitry Nazarov,
ABSENT: Jim Gillespie, Athan Rebelos, Chris Sweis
STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Michael Harris-Investigator for Taxi Services
1. Call to order: Barry Korengold called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m.
2. Roll Call – The Roll Call showed a quorum was present.
3. Announcement of prohibition of sound producing devices during the meeting.
4. Approval of Minutes: March 28, 2011
Mr. Korengold motioned to approve the minutes for March 28, 2011. Ms. Graham seconded.
On motion to approve the March 28, 2011 minutes.
Ayes: Timothy Ajaegbu, Laurie Graham, John Han, Dan Hinds, Richard Hybels, David Khan, Barry Korengold, John Lazar, Carl Macmurdo, William Minikel, William Mounsey, Dmitry Nazarov
Absent: Jim Gillespie, Athan Rebelos, Chris Sweis
5. Public Comment
Mr. Mamut said his concern with electronic way bills and how it compromises his secure information such as credit card information.
He is afraid of the radiation associated with the machine. He also stated that we are heading into a city wide strike over this.
Mr. Lee said he wants MTA to guarantee driver’s health will not be compromised when using the electronic way bill machines.
Mr. Faulkerson said there have been a number of breaches in his computer security in the past week since the credit card business took place.
Mr. Aria said that cab drivers have been told they are not employees of the city then why are they being forced to use specific equipment (credit card machines). He said with all these fees drivers will not be able to afford medallions.
Mr. Marcue said that he doesn’t understand why pre-k medallions are being part of this program. He asked why do they get to sell they’re medallions for 250,000 dollars when they purchased for so much less.
Ms. Dwyer wanted to know if it’s mandated to have backseat units and electronic way bills. She heard the director say it's not mandated that there is an opt out clause. She asked which is it mandated or not. Drivers are furious over the backseat units.
Mr. Healy said the way the law works is if anyone wants to charge drivers 5% for using credit card machines the backseat units had to be installed. He said the idea of having a backseat unit was accepted by the director because it was assumed the driver would be getting more money out of having them. He said he understand the protest when companies are charging drivers up to 10-20 percent worth of bogus charges.
Mr. Clark wants to know where the 5% percent is going. He said he has heard a lot of rumors of where this money is going and he would like a break down. If in fact some stories hold true he wants to know if there can be further prosecution or get the Federal Government involved. Why do the Taxi Cab companies need this info he said I’m sure the SFMTA wants this info for rider ship purposes. He said he doesn’t want someone at the cab company to access his credit card transactions and delete them out.
Ms. Mariah said that the credit card issue is so convoluted. She said she opposes the electronic way bill request and the backseat credit card machine.
Mr. Rathbone said he is wondering where everyone has been these last few months. He said that back in October all these issues were spelled out by Ms. Hayashi. He said the memorandum back in October states clearly where the 5 percent is going. He hopes there are not rumors spreading on where this money is going.
Mr. Gashan said he has a credit card where the bank and credit card company charge him when he uses it. He said he doesn’t know why the taxi cab driver is being stuck with the extra charge.
Mr. Amjad said the government is targeting the driver for a 1099g
6. Report of the Council Liaison (Discussion only)
Mr. Michael Harris on behalf of Ms. Hayashi updated
Para transit Presentation by John Hanson and Roxy
Shop-a-round Taxi Service refer to handout
Public Comment: on Para transit presentation
Mr. Healy said what happens if the shop around card doesn’t work.
Presenter said it’s the same steps as Para transit cards.
Mr. Macou said if shop around clients in the outlined areas of the city identify themselves they may receive faster and better service.
Mr. Rathbone said he’s thankful for the shop around program. He suggested off peak times to use the shop around card in order to maximize service.
Mr. Faulkerson said he wanted to specify the curb to curb service requirement. Safety is an issue on the reasons why you don’t carry bags into someone’s home. Daytime would be the best time to use shop around card with less problems.
Mr. Lee said he thinks this shop around program should use they’re own vehicles.
Mr. Tarik said cab drivers are not servants. He said when the programs such as shop around develop they should keep in mind the drivers.
Mr. Clark asked where the money is coming from to do a program such as shop around.
Ms. Toran answered that they applied for federal grants to receive funding for the program.
Mr. Amjabu asked is there going to be a special company used for the program.
Mr. Halas asked if tips with shop around program are the same as Para transit.
Presenter said tips work the same as Para transit.
Mr. Hinds said that DPT officers should be informed of new service because drivers are being ticketed for providing service to the elderly community.
Mr. Minikel said that cab drivers face issues with tickets given to them for providing these services.
Mr. Han said he understood the value of his job when he started to help the seniors in this community. He said he gets pleasure from helping elderly but feels that DPT needs to be aware of what taxis are doing.
Ms. Toran replied by saying she does understand drivers are receiving tickets and she said her department works on helping drivers when tickets go out unfairly.
Mr. Lazar said he wants some resolution to the ticket issue. He said he wants both Para transit and taxi services to develop as solution to fix the ticket issuance problem.
Mr. Khan said everyone in San Francisco relies on Taxis. He said San Francisco should adopt a program such as San Jose has regarding the elderly.
Mr. Graham said she is disappointed on how the taxi council members are dealing with Para transit program.
Mr. Clark asked what the phone number for Ms. Toran at Para transit.
Ms. Toran said 415 701-4440
Public Comment Closed
Mr. Harris updated
Mr. Harris said there were a few issues to address that arose two weeks ago at the SFMTA board meeting during public comment. He said 5% charges, electronic way bills and lack of meter increase were the three items of focus after public comment. He said the Board and Mr. Ford are addressing these issues and do want the TAC’s input therefore after discussion at that level they will go back to the TAC for input. He said there is a calendar item that is going before the board regarding meter increase. He said the RFP out for open taxi was pulled.
Mr. Minikel said he does not understand why we can not pass along credit card fee to the public he is frustrated with that option not being discussed.
Mr. Lazar said TAC wants a meter increase a gate increase a fuel surcharge increase and even residential surcharges increase. Action by MTA board needs to be taken immediately. He said there has been research done to have increase every two years bases on CPI.
Mr. Mounsey asked if people are willing to pay more to Uber for illegal cabs then they are willing to pay extra for taxis.
Mr. Nazarov asked what kind of enforcement is going to be done about illegal limos.
Mr. Khan asked how long are they going to wait for a meter increase. Gas prices keep going up.
Mr. Harris answered May 5 it will be seen by the board again.
Mr. Minikel said that since the last meter increase the Muni bus drivers have received 8 raises. If there is going to be a strike it’s going to be more than just over 5% credit card fees. He said that taxis get no respect from SFMTA. They get tickets from DPT for bike lanes and Muni lane drop offs.
Mr. Lazar said there are a lot of increases that need to take place.
Mr. Macmurdo motions to urge MTA board immediately hold a hearing required under section 1122a of transportation code without the proper rates of fair and cap and gate fee.
Motion seconded by Mr. Han.
Mr. Clark said it’s a great idea for a meter increase the idea of a gate increase
does not sit right with him.
Mr. Tarik said the electronic way bill is what’s important not gas gate increase.
Mr. Lee said lots of cab drivers are against electronic way bills.
Mr. Vitka said there is a market out there for people to spend more money during
Peak time. He said surcharges for peak time and serving outlined areas are in order and should be a part of a meter increase.
Mr. Bob said he is happy to hear the TAC is finally taking a stand on meter increase.
Mr. Faulkerson said he agrees that this motion is an actually piece of business that has finally been touched on at this meeting.
Ms.?(inaudible) said she is very glad to hear how mad people are regarding electronic way bills. She also said she is upset to hear the board supports illegal cabs.
Ms. Mary said that this industry is being buried by MTA. He said she is confused on what the Council is supposed to do. Its always about the medallions it overrides any other issue and no other issues are being addressed. She said talk to John Martin and how the airport got shut down.
Mr. Rathbone said that everything that comes to MTA board that is important they kick over to the Taxi advisory board. He said this board should send it right back to MTA board.
Mr. Healy said he is 100% behind getting a meter increase and hopes people focus on one thing at a time.
Public Comment Closed
Mr. Macmurdo asked when electronic way bills will take affect.
Mr. Harris answered July 1st.
Mr. Macmurdo asked given that when they lumped all 3 items when will these items be
Mr. Harris said the board did not create a memo the board in open session on the record after public comments stated they wanted SFMTA to address those issues to bring back to the board to be placed on a calendar item to be discussed by the board.
Mr. Mounsey said he was always against electronic way bills because there is not one cab driver in this room that pays full taxes and that there will be a bunch of cab drivers audited.
Mr. Korengold said that you can’t use that as a reason you’re not going to get much sympathy from public.
Mr. Minikel asked Michael regarding electronic way bills has there been any studies regarding radiation.
Mr. Harris said no these studies have not been done. He said we are to do the research and provide documentation back to MTA board by May.
Mr. Han discussed security issues with data stored by electronic way bills.
Mr. Harris said the board was concerned about data how secure it was where is it being stored we have to compile this information and give it back to the Board.
Mr. Korengold would like to take a vote on motion.
Mr. Minikel Amended to urge the board to comply with there own regulations.
Mr. Minikel withdrew amendment.
On the motion to urge the SFMTA board to immediately hold public hearings to 1122a as it pertains to meter rate increase and cap on gates fees.
AYES: Timothy Ajaegbu, Laurie Graham, John Han, Dan Hinds, Richard Hybels, David Khan, Barry Korengold, John Lazar, Carl Macmurdo, William Minikel, William Mounsey, Dmitry Nazarov
ABSENT: Jim Gillespie, Athan Rebelos, Chris Sweis
Mr. Korengold motioned to delay implementation of electronic way bills until health and safety issues can be addressed and the safety of the data being stored addressed.
Mr. Hans seconds.
Mr. Mounsey said if they are trying to implement electronic way bills should be stopped right now. He proposed an amendment to stop all together.
Mr. Korengold said that this will not be seconded because we should have further research.
Mr. Hinds wants clarification on motion.
Mr. Korengold said the motion is to delay implementation until there is further research on the health affects and safety of data being collected.
Mr. Lazar said that surrendering credit cards to the front seat or doing it from the back seat is one thing. Login in and login out is another electronic way bills meter on or meter off is a different thing. He said he would rather do the backseat thing. The other info is local regulatory request. Login in and off is checking up on medallion holders. He isn’t saying its happing but it’s going on.
The machine in the backseat is a good thing for the driver accusation of stolen cc #’s is gone tips go up.
Mr. Macmurdo wanted to amend motion to electronic way bill should be mandated.
Mr. ? said it should be SFMTA who pays for the study.
Mr. Tarik said the electronic way bill is not about evading taxes it’s about people being possibly exposed to something harmful or unsafe.
Mr. Lee said that electronic way bill affect privacy.
Mr. Lutsin said he finds paper way bills effective. The problem is people don’t take the time to fill out correctly and that’s how they get in trouble.
Ms. Mcguire asked who is going to conduct the study on the way bill machines. She spoke of her personal exposure to radiation.
Mr. Rathbone said he wants to remind people that this is nothing new. This has been in the works since October by Ms. Hayashi. He said it’s a little late to throw a wrench Also suggests there not be a vote on this today since it’s not on the agenda. He said you can’t vote on something so important without giving notice.
Mr. Healy said if you’re concerned about your identity being stolen it is already being stored. He also said the IRS is not interested in going through way bills to get you. The fact that just because somebody doesn’t want to pay taxes doesn’t mean they should stop the progress of electronic way bills.
Ms. Victoria said that the professional driver is 20 times more likely to get skin cancer. Radiation is not safe regardless of how far away it is.
Public Comment Closed.
Mr. Korengold said reason why they used the word mandate is because certain companies are already doing it.
Mr. Minikel said he wants to know what the legality on being able to make a motion on electronic way bills.
Mr. Korengold said it is part of the liaison’s report.
Mr. Harris responded to public comment by Charles that this is a none binding advisory statement to the board any member can bring a motion the idea is to get it seconded on a matter being discussed by the TAC.
Mr. Mousey said electronic way bills are unimportant and only used by government agencies.
Mr. Minikel said that electronic way bills will help move the list along if medallion holders are caught not meeting the driving requirements.
Mr. Korengold called for vote.
Mr. Harris read the motion made by Mr. Korengold and second by Mr. Han.
On motion No mandated electronic way bills until safety studies have been completed and studies regarding the storage of the data.
Mr. Korengold has a possible amendment instead of storage more like access to the data.
Mr. Han seconded.
Motion with amendment No mandated electronic ways bills until safety studies on radiation have been completed and safety and security storage and access of the data have been addressed.
AYES: Timothy Ajaegbu, John Han, Dan Hinds, Richard Hybels, David Khan, Barry Korengold, Carl Macmurdo, William Minikel,
NAYES: Laurie Graham, William Mounsey
ABSENT: Jim Gillespie, Athan Rebelos, Chris Sweis, John Lazar, Dmitry Nazarov
Motion passed 8 AYES 2 NAYES.
c. Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program Update
Mr. Harris updated. No report on this item
7. Rough Draft of TAC Pilot Program Report Continue (Discussion and Possible Action)
Mr. Korengold motioned to carry it over to next meetings agenda.
Mr. Minikel second.
Mr. Hinds said there needs to be a report generated. He said that this TAC is supposed to have a report in December we are now in April and no report. He said at the next meeting we should take a vote.
Mr. Han said in his opinion 300 medallions were suppose to be sold by December and he says they are no where near that.
Mr. Korengold said the reason they extended the deadline was because they didn’t have enough time to explore all these issues. We can’t motion if we haven’t discussed.
Mr. Graham said that public comment must be taken on calendar item.
Mr. Lee said they should take another six months to discuss this item.
Mr. Faulkerson said that other issues are not being e
Mr. Healey said this should be continued for another six months you should deal with it next time.
Public Comment Closed
Mr. Macmurdo said it’s important to know when the report is due.
Mr. Korengold said he motions to ask for a six months extension to write report.
Mr. Hinds said he wants clarification on the language.
Mr. Harris said he wants to clarify there is no end date for the pilot sales program. The June end date being thrown around is the end of fiscal year.
Mr. Khan said the agenda item keeps getting pushed. He wants to discuss what’s on the list and what is of more importance.
Mr. Korengold said he feels this is important decision that affects 7000 drivers and should not be rushed. He said this report should be more of a progress report.
Mr. Hinds said there should be a resolution for the next meeting on something they will be voting on.
Mr. Han said that they need to asses after 20% of sold medallions and make recommendations based on that.
Mr. Hybels asked why they go through the 200 people that agreed to sell their medallions then make an assessment on that.
Mr. Minikel motioned Ms. Graham seconded.
On Motion to move this agenda to next weeks calendar item.
AYES: John Han, Dan Hinds, Richard Hybels, David Khan, Barry Korengold, Carl Macmurdo, William Minikel, Laurie Graham, William Mounsey
ABSENT: Jim Gillespie, Athan Rebelos, Chris Sweis, John Lazar, Dmitry Nazarov, Timothy Ajaegbu
Motioned passed unanimously
8. Council Members requests for information [Discussion only]
Mr. Minikel wants a better understanding of the needs for electronic way bills.
Mr. Korengold wants to know how many people have been turned down for down payment assistant. He withdrew.
Mr. Mounsey said he wants to ask the bank representative about the background check on balloon payments.
Mr. Harris said he tracks the money for sales going directly through MTA starting six months ago.
Bank Rep said they do the same type of background on where the money comes from.
Mr. Khan said people wonder who is selling they’re medallions.
Mr. Harris said it’s posted online. Or can go to manager of color scheme.
9. Schedule upcoming calendar items [Discussion and Action]
Discussion continues on item that was already voted on previously. (See item 7)
Mr. Minikel said that TAC has dealt with many issues and the process has been slowed down. He doesn’t see the rush behind making a decision.
Mr. Han said agenda item should be to continue item 7.
Mr. Hybels said he doesn’t just want to vote to carry on without know what its going to look like.
Mr. Hinds said the TAC council had one responsibility and that is to come up with a preliminary report at end of year. We need to address whether this is a good program or bad program.
Mr. Minikel said that by sticking to calendar item for next week we can find out where we are before committing to a vote.
Mr. Korengold said they will not get through all these medallion sales this month.
So there is not a reason to vote on extension of program.
Mr. Hinds said that making suggestions to improve this program doesn’t make sense unless you endorse it.
Mr. Han said every thing they have discussed is what they already discussed will be on the agenda item for next week.
Mr. Lee said he wants to support the report being finished. They need to make some suggestions.
Mr. Harris point of order. The motion was to set item 7 to calendar item there is no public comment to set over. Then a discussion occurred. This item is over.
Meeting adjourned by standing vote 5:10