SFMTA Taxi Services
Taxi Advisory Council
Monday, February 14, 2011
2nd Floor Atrium Conference Room
One South Van Ness Avenue
PRESENT: T. Ajaegbu; J. Bolig; J. Gillespie; L. Graham; J. Han; D. Hinds; B. Korengold; J. Lazar; C.Macmurdo; W.Mounsey; A. Rebelos; C. Sweis
ABSENT; D. Khan; W. Minikel; D. Nazarov
STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Christiane Hayashi – Deputy Director/Council Liaison
1. Call to order: C. Sweis called the meeting to order at 1:12 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: January 24, 2011
J. Han said he did not ask for the DPT lease agreement asked for the DPT training bulletin.
C. Folkerson said point he tried to make not recognizable in Jan 24 minutes. Strikes whether it’s good to the end of sentence and said testimonial from buyers are insufficient to establish its recommendations.
E. Healy said the minutes are a bad summary of last weeks meeting. What he meant to say was cabs getting no goes because people were calling multiple companies.
M. Spain said that he understood the minutes to be a synopsis of what was said not meant to be a verbatim record
J. Bolig motioned to approve Jan 24 minutes with amendments Second L. Graham
Motion passes minutes approved.
5. Public Comment
M. Spain said free medallions should be eliminated he thinks it’s unfair. He said the expansion program should lower age and set higher price. Recommends they abandon free medallions all medallions in hands of city be sold under the pilot program with min set price.
T. Lee said he would like to support M. Spain. Should lower down age of medallion seller.
M. Gruberg said that the point of a pilot program is to see how it goes then draw a conclusion he thinks we should see how it comes out and feels premature about making any fundamental decisions. He said there is a need to address the driver fund. Driver Fund needs some flesh and bone to it.
C. Fulkerson said he wants to make a procedural observation there really isn’t a reason to state your name across the table if the minutes include your name anyway. Said he wanted to point out MTA far exceeding mandate from public absorbing Taxi industry using it as an income stream. It may be thought that’s merely depriving companies from they’re profits but reminds everyone it is the poorest drivers without medallions that pay into that money.
B. Taranto said everyone should catch a radio show on kcvs. The email list from tax commission was thorough and now the email list is not. He said he used to get email notices on hearing of applicants of medallions now he doesn't. He didn’t get notice of meetings or any other information.
E. Healy said he disputes pilot program is unfair. Felt it was a unique idea to give everyone in the business something. He feels disastrous to put an end to any part of the program. Difficulty on how fast medallions get out to people on list. Maybe find a way to get them out quickly.
D. Schneider said he has not had a problem getting emails or notices from MTA of meetings or applicants. He said taxi driver safety raises a question about communication within city and notifying entire fleet. He said it's really important for SFMTA and SFPD to coordinate. Everybody should be notified in real time of any crime.
H. Kim said he sees a real threat to taxi industry being pushed by one of the directors on the board. The idea that the city becomes the landlord of the medallions, instead of the driver or working with the color scheme. Great strength of industry is the medallions staying in working hands of drivers. If city gets the revenue and not the liability we (taxi industry) are in a dangerous situation warns to keep alert on ways city is getting revenue. Wants to say his firm has come to agreement with Desoto Cab. He said it should be finalized by end of month.
S Cadese said one way to make medallion list go faster is to share ownership between 2 or 3 people. The list would move faster.
C. Sweis closed public comment.
6. Report of the Council Liaison (Discussion only)
a. Staff Update
C. Hayashi-Deputy Director, SFMTA Taxi Services
Commented on minutes. Calendar items March 1st going to board proposal peak time medallion permits, Open Taxi Access and revising penalty schedule section 310. Hiring of two more Taxi investigators very soon. FYI board of supervisor’s safety sub committee Thursday Feb 17.
b. Regulatory Reform Update
C. Hayashi also covered.
c. Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program Update
Michael Harris absent.
C. Hayashi also covered. Refer to handout.
J. Bolig said the websites documents are in pdf format. The emailed ones were Word please do the same with online postings. Public should have access to word documents as well.
J. Han said if we can’t come to meeting Tuesday how do we participate
C. Hayashi said affective to write email straight to SFMTA board.
B. Mounsey asked what happen with presentation of illegal taxis to board.
C Hayashi said presentation was lengthy a lot of folks new to this. Question came up was the fact that residents said Taxis don’t come to where we are and that’s why illegal taxis are used. Question was if we give you authority to take away illegal taxis to places where taxis don’t come how are we going to get service there? Brought forward initiatives such as open taxi. Proposal is to talk about Cab stands. Implement cab share on Geary blvd. Outreach to public on how to take taxis.
D. Hinds asked about the 2 new investigators and what they would be doing.
C. Hayashi said many things such as cleaning up waiting list. Depending on they’re talents.
D. Hinds asked about policy of cabs being in bus lanes. What is the current policy?
C. Hayashi said the policy today is that the policy has been forgotten. We need to refresh it. Nobody knows that taxis are supposed to unload and load in bus zones.
B. Korengold asked is DPT able to issue $5,000 tickets now or not.
C. Hayashi there is no longer DPT its parking enforcement. said it is not their job description, it would be herself Jarvis Murray and taxi investigators.
T. Ajaegbu said he didn’t hear too much about the safety of cab drivers.
C. Hayashi said that’s a lengthy answer. We are trying to write a memo to MTA board describing the chain of communication. There is no mechanism to communicate a crime that happened on a driver.
C. Macmurdo said the Public Safety committee meeting (Thursday) SFMTA is recommending to the board that violations that involve frauds be deemed misdemeanors and be fined 5,000 also that investigators be allowed to enforce new rules. Said a lot of people are asking him about the status of the meter increase?
C. Hayashi said in peak time proposal you should see staff will be putting out request for proposals sent out to taxi consultants. RFP should be done in short term. Recommendations should hopefully come out towards end of year just a matter of timing when meter increases should be applied.
C. Macmurdo said to put it off for another year would be upsetting, there’s been a few years (8-9) since there’s been a meter increase.
C. Hayashi said she heard from folks they do not want it during holidays. It looks like it could get done during this calendar year but was afraid people asking for meter increases will probably not want it when it comes during peak time. This is first time SFMTA handles meter rate increase and we want to do it the correctly.
A. Rebelos said he wanted to follow up with previous comments, he noticed There has been an increase on crime on drivers not just in San Francisco but nationally feels it’s directly tied into service. He gave an example of a crime in the Excelsior and the police driver just said you shouldn’t take customers out there. Said Cab drivers taking fares to Excelsior or Bay View had problems with being robbed or not getting paid. He’s not looking for a solution at the meeting just wanted to bring to light. Because there are problems of communication with SFPD and MTA . Are there any formal liaison between both agency or could there be?
C. Hayashi said Yes deputy chief John Murphy individual she requested a still
photo the csi multi media unit is still waiting for that request to filter through. She said she is drafting a memo to educate board about driver safety issues want to contribute she appreciates input. One of the solutions she see for service to Bayview is Open Taxi Access.
J. Bolig said do we think it would be helpful to write a letter to the police,
coupled by chairman of TAC to move things along.
C. Hayashi said that would be helpful to put this on the next meeting agenda.
B. Korengold said for the safety issue, why can’t things be broadcasted that
C. Hayashi said that depends on the reporting police officer communicating
that information to someone who will report it to the mailing list.
J. Lazar asked why meter increases can’t be talked about faster. They have been waiting since 2004 for an increase.
C. Hayashi said when decision was made by MTA they chose RFP and they want to make sure its done right and not just repeating what they have done before. Assures they will move quickly.
J. Gillespie said PCN is supposed to be done on a regular basis and it hasn’t. Holding off this process for when it’s a good time is not how its suppose to be done it’s a process that should occur on a regular basis just schedule it and do it.
D. Hayashi said once conclusion on what a meter increase should be people
say its not a good time to increase meters because of holidays. If that happens we will consider industry’s suggestions.
T. Lee said Taxi cab safety is important. Public should be educated on illegal taxis by SFMTA.
F. Fahey said incident in Hunters Point in which he drives people around safe and unsafe trips. Are these stories worth presenting as safety issues
S. Kadis said he has little problem in the outside neighborhoods.
M. Gruberg said he is concerned with the meter increase timeframe. Meter increase not getting attention it deserves. Peak time permits seems on a faster track.
M. Spain said problem with meter increase on RFP it’s going to be two years before addressed. RFP is fine for peak time cabs but not for meter increase because it affect 5-6000 drivers immediately.
Fulkerson said that it’s difficult to believe that meter increases would not be welcome after 9 years of waiting.
B. Taranto said the SFMTA website is very difficult to follow. Just wants to be provided the links through email.
E. Healy said one problem people getting service in certain area is proper training to cab drivers. He said the police are ignorant on how dangerous certain neighborhoods are. Maybe more police presence and communication is the solution.
D. Sneider back up comment on necessity to move faster with meter
C. Rathbone said dangers in Bayview are not something you want to bring up to the board of supervisors. Feels that board is concerned with citizens in Bayview not getting service. Said building relationships with residents in neighborhood are how you solve the service problem in those areas.
H. Kim said wants to point out something that has not been put into a formal proposal yet but in his system drivers can negotiate they’re own fare beyond the meter rate. Way to combat illegal cabs is to have taxi cabs act as limousines by negotiating your fare.
C. Sweis closed public comment
7. Universal medallion Lease Draft (Discussion and Possible Action)
J. Gillispie said that the need of different lease agreements for Gate and Gas Drivers and other drivers.
C. Hayashi probably good to discuss different versions of lease agreements. Then have a few lease agreements to discuss at a different time.
C. Sweis asked for a show of hands on how many people read the lease agreement. Said there is a need to change the lease agreement to include other parties in industry in mind. Move forward with that in mind maybe have a discussion later in the meeting what are the other arrangements that have to be put together.
C. Hayashi said it may be helpful to say what the different varieties are we need. Gas and gate lease, long term lease and affiliate lease.
J. Han seems like there is a four layer system.
TAC members and C. Hayashi discussed what lease arrangements need to be drafted. How many agreements need to be drafted? The people involved in the agreements.
J. Gillespie said he is having troubles with whole process. Doesn’t know if Staff has looked at existing leases? If existing leases are around why don’t we look at existing leases and find out what we need to change? Feels this is huge waste of time.
A. Rebelos said he sees a need of universal lease agreement. However thinks this is the wrong way to go about it. This should be developed in town hall meetings like pilot program was discussed.
C. Hayashi said this room is available Feb. 22nd for town hall meeting topic to be determined we can use that meeting to discuss this.
C. Sweis said would everyone rather discuss this in town hall and come to us
J. Gillespie said is happy to bring copies of leases and maybe we can adjust
those. Better option than starting off with fresh piece of paper.
D. Hinds said this is not a waste of time.
J. Han brought a standard lease from yellow cab and says it’s a pretty good lease agreement that can be tweaked for they’re use.
J. Gillespie said he would rather work off an existing template. Feels there is a shorter route to goal line this way.
B. Hayashi said staff would like to solicit any companies that would like to share they’re lease agreements so we can take examples from all companies and make new draft split up by lease type.
C. Sweis said he wants to keep in mind and make sure next time they talk about subject that everyone is okay to review and approve as lease. Want to agree on incorporating current leases and making new leases. Hopes they can agree to review and approve at next meeting.
J. Bolig said lease agreements that come from town hall should be what we hold our discussions on.
C. Hayashi says that whatever lease agreements sent to her she will create different forms of leases as a draft to town hall meeting for discussion on Feb 22nd.
T. Lee said long term leases are very useful to San Francisco. Gas and gate drivers’ high turnover rate. Said they should lower the medallion sales age.
C. Padis said he said there has to be a limit on liability to drivers regarding insurance.
B. Micdao said some changes need to occur on current lease agreement handed out.
M. Gruberg said Athens suggesting of Town Hall is good. This subject does not need to be rushed. Every lease is written by Taxi Cab companies and they’re lawyers. Does not think you should just approve a lease provided by a company.
B. Toronto said he doesn’t feel Gas and Gate lease needs to be handed to MTA. Reasons to have these leases are because some companies don’t have leases. Good to have standardized lease for those reasons.
R. Hybels said many people don’t realize that as a property owner. If a guy goes out and hires drivers and that driver gets hurt he may not be covered under workers comp.
A. Healy said Town hall meetings are excellent to examine documents such
as this. Drafting something for the protection of drivers is essential.
C. Rathbone of the five arrangements four of them are well documents. One that is missing is the one C. Hayashi has drafted relationship between medallion holder and the person managing they’re cab.
H. Kim said that what Chris was trying to do is exactly correct. She was trying to figure out what was going on and with whom on these leases. This industry should not be supporting broker operations. Suggests one universal lease that defines who are the individuals involved running a taxi business and what particular arrangement it is and what responsible comes with those arrangements. Should only be three people in running a medallion color scheme, medallion holder and driver.
C. Hayashi announced Town Hall meeting February 22nd. Leasing and sub leasing can be topic of that meeting.
C. Sweis closed public comment. Item continued later agenda
8. Council Member requests for information. (Discussion and Possible Action)
J. Gillespie asked staff if they made arrangements with controller’s office about RFP can there be a discussion on that.
C. Hayashi said MTA is not trying to hold off results when she talks to folks about raising meters she hears from the industry not to do it during holidays. This can be put on fast track doesn’t want anyone to think this is being held back.
W. Mounsey asked can anything be done about the movement of waiting list.
C. Hayashi said one problem is as medallions have been sold the waiting list has not been refreshed. We are working on readjusting this list.
T. Lee he said should add more cabs instead of meter raise.
C. Sweis closed public comment
9. Schedule upcoming calendar items. [Discussion only]
C. Sweis said one suggesting is to put together a letter to address limo enforcement and meter increase. Discuss open taxi access and recommendations. One thing in next meeting is Chair and Vice Chair vote. Bill suggested quick motion to continue chair and vice chair for next 6 months.
J. Lazar asked about management exemption vote? (Inaudible?)
J. Bolig requested information on vote need an update.
C. Hayashi said that was a recommendation from the taxi advisory council yet to be translated into regulation. Instead of trying to finalize legislation and take it to the board and complete it she is going to work on ongoing regulatory amendment one big blockbuster regulatory amendment that will continue to be discussed meeting by meeting town hall by town hall so that by summer it’s finished and taken to the board.
C. Sweis asked if C. Hayashi would no longer be sending regulations to board for approval.
C. Hayashi said not to board will see them come through in TAC and town hall meetings on varies topics.
C. Sweis asked about agenda items for next meeting.
J. Bolig said we should draft a letter regarding taxi driver safety issues.
J. Han said you can tie that in with cameras and how come they don’t meet state laws.
C. Hayashi said the MTA board can pass a resolution urging state legislature to do something about that.
C. Sweis asked would we be urging the board Chris’s need for additional inspectors.
C. Hayashi said you may want to write something to board of supervisors regarding support of illegal vehicle ordinance. You may want to write something to the legislature regarding cameras. Write something to MTA board regarding illegal vehicle enforcement better SFPD communication regarding driver safety fast meter pc&n review if you think it’s a good idea to support OTA. OTA will need some political support. Don’t know if there are other things you want to include or not include.
C. Sweis said we may not need to write letter he can go to board with concerns.
C. Hayashi said she thinks a letter is a stronger message.
C. Sweis asked if you all want one letter and which is most important.
J. Gillespie said he has pushed for PC & N is one big issue.
B, Korengold said ordinance about illegal taxis most important. Dealing with a whole other fleet of taxis and nobody is doing anything about it.
C. Sweis said two major things to discuss which is pc & n and illegal vehicle enforcement.
C. Hayashi said that if this industry is not heard regarding OTA concept that idea will die.
B. Korengold said recommends illegal taxis and OTA should be discussed.
J. Bolig said illegal enforcement, OTA and letter to SFPD regarding safety. She thinks that a draft of a letter that we discuss shouldn’t take to long. Illegal enforcement shouldn’t take to much time only thing is OTA contract support that may take longer.
C. Sweis said pc & n, illegal activity enforcement should be a brief letter. OTA should be discussed whether or not to support.
A. Rebelos said he agrees that letter to MTA board regarding enforcement issues is good timing its almost peak season for illegal vehicles. Pc & n agrees with that and write letter to SFPD commission regarding communication regarding cab drivers.
C. Sweis said that it seems like we are all on the same page regarding urgency of pc & n, illegal vehicles. He said it was just a matter of drafting letters and briefly talking about it at next meeting.
T. Ajaegbu said OTA is worth discussing but needs to be tied with other things.
J. Han said letters about things we agree on is a good idea and discussion of OTA sounds good.
C. Sweis said next agenda item 1 vote of Chair and Vice Chair. Item 2 approval of
letters regarding the pc & n study, illegal activity enforcement and safety. Item 3 discussion and recommendations about OTA.
A. Rebelos asked if someone else should chair the meeting during the vote of the chair and vice chair?
C. Sweis said if we actually vote yes. It seems like everyone agrees with Bill’s suggestion to just motion same chair and vice chair we may not need someone else to chair meeting. Said we will see next meeting.
Majority approved Ayes.
T. Lee lower age of medallion sellers 68-69.
C. Healy said board is capably of drafting letters.
A. Rathport said illegal enforcement should not have a letter written about it
its of high importance. Board of Supervisors will be discussing soon. Said he urges folks to go to the meeting on Thursday.
C. Sweis closed public comment
The meeting was adjourned by standing vote at 4:18 p.m.
David Khan, William Minikel, Dmitry Nazarov