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SFMTA Taxi Services
Taxi Advisory Council

Monday, December 12, 2011
2nd Floor Atrium Conference Room
One South Van Ness Avenue

PRESENT: Ruach Graffis; Dan Hinds; Tara Housman; Richard Hybels; David Khan; Barry Korengold; Timothy Lapp; John Lazar; Tone Lee; Carl Macmurdo ; Athan Rebelos; Chris Sweis

ABSENT: John Han; David Khan; William Minikel; William Mounsey

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Christiane Hayashi Taxi Services


1. Call to order: Chris Sweis called the meeting to order at 1:08 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: November 14, 2011

Mr. Korengold said he wants to change the wording on paragraph two to say “

He said he wanted to make a correction to item 7 paragraph 4 to say long term driver.

Public Comment

Mr. Rathbone said the minutes are done well and wanted to commend the secretary.

Public Comment Closed

Mr. Healy wanted to move to approve minutes.

Minutes are approved as amended.

5. Public Comment

Mr. Rathbone said that this TAC needs to come up with (inaudible.)

Public Comment Closed

6. Report of the Council Liaison (Discussion only)

a. Staff Update- Chris Hayashi and Michael Harris updated

b. Regulatory Reform Update

c. Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program Update

Public Comment:

Mr. Rathbone said Luxor is very supportive of the ramp taxi program changes. He said will it still be necessary to keep dispatch records on the ramp pick ups.

Ms. Graham said she wanted to clarify the paratransit card.

Ms. Villafuerte wanted to ask a question.

Mr. Sweis said they can answer questions after the meeting.

Mr. Healy said that the prohibition from the public asking questions is ridiculous. He said that the Council has failed to ask questions that need to be asked. He asked why they didn’t ask the question to get statistics on how many ramp pick ups are actually made with new program.


7. Should Taxis have their own division at SFMTA [Discussion and Action only]

Ms. Hayashi gave a brief background of SFMTA taxi services.

Mr. Han said that previously Ms. Hayashi said that SFMTA has given the taxi division 2 Million dollars over 5 years. He wanted to know whether this was because they were under the finance division.

Ms. Hayashi said it probably has been because we are under finance.

Mr. Macmurdo said that Chris should report directly to Ed Risken. He thinks everyone could agree on that.

Mr. Korengold said that it makes sense to have Ms. Hayashi report directly to Ed Risken because this industry is so complex

Mr. Lee said that in 1989 he was in New York trying to apply for taxi license. He said they had 300 employees. He said that Taxis should have their own division because it is a big industry.

Mr. Sweis said that instead of having all the justification for the motion in writing he said he has been giving permission to go directly to the board to explain the motion and present it. He said a simple motion with his explanation would probably be good enough.

Ms. Hayashi explained the difference with being separate or not.

Ms. Sweis said that if Taxi services is fine where it is maybe it should not be changed.

Mr. Korengold asked if it would make it easier to hire more people if Taxi services had their own division.

Ms. Hayashi said that the staffing needs have already been accepted by the agency and we are just waiting to fill them.

Mr. Rebelos asked where in the agency does the priority of public service fall or is revenue generation a priority.

Ms. Hayashi said public services is of the highest importance.

Best fit would be within safety training and enforcement.

Mr. Korengold said if we can’t have our own division we should be put under safety training section.

Mr. Lee said that Taxi’s are very important in San Francisco. He would like to support having their own division.

Public Comment

Mr. Rathbone said this sounds like a solution in search of problem. He said times are tough and they should just leave things the way they are.

Mr. Moles said they should have their own division.

Ms. Graham said taxi services should have been their own division from the very beginning.

Mr. Healy said that some of the decisions being made are being made by the wrong people. If you want power and respect you have to have your own division.

Mr. Lamb said that Taxi’s are part of the San Francisco Transportation system and they should have their own division.

Mr. Macmurdo motion to recommend that Taxi Services have its own division within it the SFMTA

Mr. Sweis said he would present to the board all the comments and justifications on why they should be have its own division. He will verbalize that to the board then submit documentation.

The motion is to recommend that taxi services have its own division within the SFMTA’s organizational structure.

Ayes: Ruach Graffis; John Han; Dan Hinds; Tara Housman; Barry Korengold; Timothy Lapp; John Lazar; Tone Lee; Carl Macmurdo; Athan Rebelos; Chris Sweis

Nayes: Richard Hybels

Motion passed 11-1

8. Discussion of alternative plans to medallion pilot program continue. [discussion only]

Mr. Moles made his presentation (attachment)

Public Comment

Mr. Rathbone asked what the affect would be to the people on the waiting list especially those far down.

Mr. Lamb said that he likes the idea of giving people a discount. He said the second proposal is better.

Mr. Rathbone said is the second proposal likely to stop the jumping of the list phenomenon.

Mr. Moles said this is directly meant for the medallions sold by the MTA.

Public Comment Closed

Mr. Han asked at what point do you cut of variable pricing. He asked if 15 years from now he was eligible to buy a medallion would it be at a fraction of the cost?

Mr. Moles said the variable cost should stay on until the list goes away. He said there could be a combination of changes. Your position is determined by where you are on the list.

Mr. Lee said that this proposal looks like a good plan. He said that some folks choose to buy already.

Mr. Korengold said he understands the incentive part of his plan. He said that even selling every other one will keep the earned medallion list from moving.

Mr. Moles said that if he could have it his way it would go on A-card seniority. He said maybe he should have clarified that if they are going to sell medallions this should be a way to do it.

Mr. Rebelos said that he sees problems with both proposals. He asked how you would finance this. He said there are a lot of unsolved questions. He said the idea is good but not workable.

Mr. Moles said that if you buy a medallion you buy it at full price. He said that depending on where you are on the list you would pay prorated.

Mr. Healy said that when you talk about this issue they should discuss the actual rate of a medallion. He said that the people at the top of the list must somehow make a decision to wait for a medallion or buy one.

Mr. Lapp said the variable price was addressed well in Carl’s proposal. He said he sees Mr. Moles proposal is more feasible.

Mr. Moles said the main thing that is that you should maintain your place on the list.

Ms. Housman said she likes proposal one. She said proposal two is good to keep in mind.

9. Council Member request for information. (Discussion only)

Mr. Lapp asked have we received revenue from citations yet.

Ms. Hayashi said she has and they are being passed to hearing officer. She said they are trying to push legislation to not allow payment plans be made by hearing officer. He said the hearing office has a lot of inclination towards settling the fines.

Mr. Korengold wants to know about any new state legislative proposal changes.

Ms. Hayashi said yes there are state requirements in the code. She said she would like to improve the drug testing portion, A-card section.

Mr. Lee said Stockton street has reopened. He asked if they can send an investigator to the Hyatt for parking in all the white zones.

Ms. Graffs said she went to health and occupational hazards meeting. She said that she knows accessible services are setting up a way to helping disabled folks out in an emergency. She wanted to know if anything was in place for evacuation and helping of drivers.

Ms. Hayashi said No but its something she has on her plate.

10. Schedule upcoming calendar items (Discussion and Action)

TAC discussion of alternative proposals and recommendation for medallion distribution program (discussion and action)

Public Comment:

Mr. Rathbone said he would like to lock everyone in a room until they come up with a solution.

11. General Discussion regarding Taxi Industry (Discussion only)

Mr. Korengold said this item should go earlier in the agenda. He also said that he was harassed the other day by a parking control officer. He said that DPT should be educated.

Mr. Lee said that they should raise some money and set up a video team to take video of doorman taking bribes. He said they can put it on youtube or something. He said cab companies should help fund something to help eliminate illegal cabs.

Mr. Rebelos said Happy Holidays and Happy New Years. He said that Desoto will have a holiday party on Thursday.

Mr. Han said that yellow still does not have bike lane stickers. He said the recent town hall meetings Mr. Murray said that has been less complaints on Hwy 101 possibly because of the meter increase. He said if that’s the case he says it indicates driver’s income and working condition go hand in hand with customer service.

Mr. Hybels said that there was a medallion revoked that was being fought for over 8 years and that the director now finally has the medallion.

Ms. Housman said that Ms. Graffs got an award

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned by standing vote at 4:07p.m.

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