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SFMTA Taxi Services
Taxi Advisory Council


Monday, May 9, 2011
2nd Floor Atrium Conference Room
One South Van Ness Avenue

PRESENT:      Timothy Ajaegbu; Jim Gillespie; Laurie Graham; John Han; Dan Hinds; David Khan; Barry Korengold; John Lazar; Carl MacMurdo; William Minikel; William Mounsey; Dmitry Nazarov; Athan Rebelos; Chris Sweis

ABSENT:         David Khan, Carl Mac

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE:  Christiane Hayashi-Deputy Director Taxi Services

1. Call to order:  Chris Sweis called the meeting to order at x:xx 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:  April 25, 2011       

Public Comment:

Mr. Fulkerson said name was spelled incorrectly in minutes.

Mychael Monroe said name was spelled incorrectly in minutes.

Mr. Gruberg said name was spelled incorrectly in minutes.

Minutes approved as corrected.

5. Public Comment

Mr. Mehmood said that there is an issue at the taxi cab company where taxi cab drivers are being charged five dollars to take a cab out.  He wants to know where this money is going.

            Mr. Lee said that he would like to support the pilot program.

            Mr. Gruberg said that town hall meeting are a charade and that it’s just set up             to allow cab drivers to let out some steam.

Mr. Fulkerson said that this council has no objectivity. 

Ms. Mychael Monroe said that these issues are affecting everyone.  She said that the drivers should be getting something in return in exchange for what is being taken from them. 

Mr. Spain said that he congratulates the committee for taking last weeks vote.  He said its time for this committee to allow the program to be permanent with some changes. 

Mr. Marcoux said that pre-k medallion holders should not be allowed to sell.  He said the 5% is not that big of a deal compared to other fees that cab drivers face.

Mr. Rathbone said he feels uncomfortable having a driver swiping his card on a smart phone.

Mr. Healy said the fact that some people are opposing the town hall meetings is ridiculous.  He said if you are trying to have a compromise you have to come to a meeting and pose other ideas.  He said he thinks town hall meetings have worked great in the past.

Mr. Robert said that the math on how much drivers are paying is more like 9% percent.  He said there is a lot of room for compromise to make the fee more reasonable.

Ms. Lytel from SFFCU announced Thursday may 12th information session for purchasers of medallions.  She said there is a handout with information.

Public Comment Closed

6. Report of the Council Liaison (Discussion and Possible Action)

    a. Staff Update- Christian Hayashi updated

      Sunshine Ordinance Refresher

Ms. Hayashi gave a refresher on the sunshine ordinance.  She said votes that are taken need to be taken under agenda items that reflect that there will be a vote.  The votes taken at April 11th meeting were taken under council liaison report that said open for discussion only.  She said that the board will hear the meter increase matter on May 17th at 2pm.  She also announced town hall invitations.  She said that DPT will be issued a memo regarding the rights of taxis.  She said she wanted to clarify that no buyer who has less than 50,000 down has been bypassed in time by any buyer who has the full down payment.  She proposed that the buyer subside be mandatory and that if the seller refuses to sell over a long period of time we get that medallion back to regular use and not allow them to be in the program.  

    b. Regulatory Reform Update

      Proposed Meter Increase

Ms. Hayashi updated. (see part a )

    c. Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program Update

Michael Harris- Investigator Taxi Services updated with handout.

Ms. Hayashi broke down the meter rate memo.  She said that if the board has any input or changes to this memo they should discuss it today. 

Mr. Sweis said they would discuss the meter increase memo between item 7 and 8 to give people a chance to view the memo. 

Mr. Han said the process he experienced over the weekend at the farmers market was a positive change compared to when the PCO where handling that. 

Mr. Hybels asked if there still was one medallion that was being leased by the SFMTA.

Ms. Hayashi said there is one that is in the process of being sold.

Mr. Korengold said he wanted to know whether the safety of credit card info was being addressed from a previous request for information.

Ms. Hayashi said a report is being compiled. 

Mr. Hybels said when reading the meter increase memo its difficult to tell how that impact a specific fare. 

Mr. Hayashi said she agreed and that is why this council’s input is necessary.  She said that she regrets having the council vote on the proposed meter increase without enough time to analyze this information.

Mr. Sweis asked if maybe having a special meeting set up aside for this topic is possible. 

Ms. Hayashi said they can find a special date and time to have this special meeting. 

Mr. Sweis asked about the specifics of the PCO memo.

Ms. Hayashi explained the details of the memo.

Public Comment:

Mr. Mehmood said he didn’t think the meter rate increase was good enough. 

Mr. Lee said that the meter increase will be covered in town hall meetings.  He said that the meter rate increase is too high and that business maybe lost.

Mr. Gruberg said he ran some numbers on the meter increase.  (Inaudible)

Mr. Son said that as a resident of the Richmond it is not right to charge a surcharge for the outer areas and not the visitors here from the airport.

Mr. Spain said that the taxi rates can not be compared to other cities because being a taxi driver in San Francisco requires a higher cost of living.

Mr. Marcoux said the meter increase needs to be discussed before any vote. 

Mr. Rathbone said that dispatch surcharge should not be allowed. (Inaudible)

Ms. Tara said the general consensus by disabled people was that they are willing to pay a surcharge if it meant that it would be more reliable that a  cab would show up.

Mr. Healy said that open taxi access should be put on the next agenda.

Ms. Graffis said that as regular taxis move to hybrid that is moving in the right direction.  However ramp taxis are not made into hybrids and that hurts the driver.

Public Comment Closed.


7. Rough Draft of TAC Pilot Program Report Continue (Discussion and Possible Action)


Chris Sweis went over rough draft report taking out items that did not pertain to the pilot program.  Eliminated items 4b, 6c and all of item 7 exempt for 7e.

The council discussed the first item on rough draft report. 

Dan Hinds motioned to extend the ability to sell to anyone over age 60 and above.

Mr. Rebelos seconded.

The Council debated on whether to lower the age of medallion sales and reopen the possibility for those that want to sell.  The Council continued discussion on this topic.

Mr. Rebelos suggested on a better method of going through this report without going back and fourth.  He recommended going through the report motion by motion then piling them up to make up a report.

Mr. Hinds reread his motion.

Mr. Sweis read the draft report and did not want to continue to go item by item with this draft report.

Mr. Sweis called a five minute break.

After discussion on this current draft report

Mr. Sweis said that he would rather review a revised copy of the original draft report and discuss it at the next TAC meeting on May 23.

Public Comment:

Mr. Lee said that allowing those age 60 to sell their medallion is a good idea.  He said people working for Muni have an option to retire at age 55 years old.

Mr. ? said by reopening up the list to disabled people and people over 70 the 300 medallion sale mark would be reached quicker.

Ms. Monroe said that section A&E should be together on the handout. 

Mr. Healy said that he would like to remind the people on the board that they can come up with a minority report if they don’t like the report the majority creates.

Mr. Kim said many people want to get out of this industry and we should give them an opportunity to do so by selling.  People who are far down on the list should be given the opportunity to buy one and build equity. 

Public Comment Closed:

Mr. Sweis said he would like to set a date on when to finalize the report.


8. Council Members requests for information [Discussion only]

Mr. Sweis would like to set a date for a special TAC meeting to discuss the meter increase.  May 16th will be the date for this meeting.  Staff will send out the times and locations.

Public Comment:

Mr. Lee said meter increase meeting is good so drivers can come and represent themselves.

Public Comment Closed:

Mr. Sweis asked for a vote on special meeting on meter rate increase. 

Vote unanimously passed.

Mr. Sweis wanted clarification whether its 10cents per mile or per 1/5 mile.

He said he also wants stats on how other cities counteracted fuel increase.

Public Comment:


9. Schedule upcoming calendar items [Discussion and Action]

Mr. Sweis said he will bring a revision to the report he wrote previously to the May 23rd TAC meeting.

            Public Comment:

            Mr. Healy said they should add to the agenda a discussion on Cabulus.

            Public Comment Closed.

ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting was adjourned by standing vote at 4:11 p.m.


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