Skip to content.



SFMTA Taxi Services
Taxi Advisory Council


Monday, November 8, 2010
2nd Floor Atrium Conference Room
One South Van Ness Avenue

PRESENT:      T. Ajaegbu; J. Bolig; J. Gillespie; L. Graham; J. Han; D. Hinds; D. Khan; B. Korengold; J. Lazar; C. Macmurdo; W. Minikel; D. Nazarov; A. Rebelos; C. Sweis

ABSENT:          W. Mounsey

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE:  Christiane Hayashi – Deputy Director/Council Liaison

1. Call to order:  CSweis called the meeting to order at 1:07 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:  October 25, 2010

J. Bolig motioned to approve the minutes.  A. Rebelos seconded the motion.

On motion to approve the minutes from October 25, 2010.


AYES:              J. Bolig; J. Gillespie; L. Graham; J. Han; D. Hinds; D. Khan; B. Korengold; J. Lazar; C. Macmurdo; W. Minikel; D. Nazarov; A. Rebelos; C. Sweis                  

ABSENT:         T. Ajaegbu; W. Mounsey

Public Comment

T. Lee said that the Council approved to give exceptions to the hotel and taxi managers and their families.  He thinks this exception should be extended to all the taxi drivers.  If taxi drivers have money to buy a medallion, they should be able to buy it.

5. Public Comment

R. Vitka asked if there was any determination on the taxi stand on 3rd and King Street.

M. Gruberg spoke about the Taxi Driver Fund and hoped that the Council did not forget about it.  He has ideas on how to structure the fund and expand revenues.  One idea was to set aside money from the driver fund to help taxi drivers who were not able to put a down payment amount to buy a medallion and just like a loan, they would have to pay that back.

H. Kim said this Council is here to look at the pilot program and how it can expand.  He said the vast majority of purchased medallions will be owner operators and we need to redefine the role of a color scheme and owner operator.  He said if we do not then cab companies will continue to have less gas and gates and just be services providers for owner operators.  Owner operators are acting like color schemes and companies have pressure to do whatever they can to make revenue.

CSweis closed public comment.

6. Report of the Council Liaison (Discussion only)

a. Staff Update

      1. Scope of TAC mandate report to SFMTA Board and formulation of agenda item
      2. Update on MTC EV grant

C. Hayashi, Deputy Director, Taxi Services, provided a Staff update.

b.  Regulatory Reform Update

J. Murray, Enforcement and Legal Affairs Manager, Taxi Services, provided a Regulatory Reform update and went over new regulations pertaining to the Medallion Sales Pilot Program.

c. Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program Update

M. Harris, Investigator, Taxi Services, provided an update on the Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program.

M. Wu, Investigator, Taxi Services, provided an update on the offers provided to the medallion waiting list.

Public Comment

F. Fahy said when there is an MTA meeting and the taxi office gives a brief, he asked for a copy of any material that is presented to the MTA Board.

T. Lee said he wants to end the free lifetime medallion system.  He said the Council has to lower the age of the seller and lower the buyer qualifications.

M. Gruberg said the electric vehicle project has received millions of dollars of funding but it has yet to make an appearance in any public forum.  He said we do not know how many San Francisco cabs will be involved and the program involves a lot of unproven concepts.

E. Healy asked that documents be made available earlier to the public.

C. Rathbone asked if the two documents that were handed out for peak time medallions are both from the MTA.

H. Kim said the waiting list is non-viable.  He said the number of medallions issued is very slow and if you are several hundred names down then it will be safe to assume that you will not get a medallion for several years.  He wants to reevaluate if we should continue with the waiting list system or buy and sell medallions.

CSweis closed public comment.



C. Sweis moved Item 9 up to Item 7. 

7. Discussion on the position of public comment during TAC meetings. (Discussion and Possible Action)

C. Sweis proposed to the following changes for discussing regular calendar items and public comment:

  1. Staff report
  2. Questions to the staff
  3. Council discussion
  4. Motions
  5. Public comment
  6. Vote and conclusion of discussion

Public Comment

B. Migdal said it makes sense to have public comment before a motion because the outcome may be influenced by public comment.

M. Gruberg agreed.  However, he said you could allow public comment to be made after motions have been made also.

E. Healy said it would be better to have a motion then hold public comment.

C. Rathbone said it is important to allow the Council to amend the motion after they have heard public comment.  

T. Housman asked how other departments run their meetings.

H. Kim said we have to be structured.  He said it is important to get public feedback before moving forward with any changes.

C. Sweis announced that items will be presented in the following order:

      1. Presentation
      2. Questions to presenters by Council members
      3. Council discussion
      4. Public comments
      5. Motions and votes
      6. Conclusions

8. Discuss uniform lease contracts for the taxi industry. (Discussion and Possible Action)

C. Hayashi, Deputy Director, Taxi Services, provided a report on the uniform lease contracts for the taxi industry.

J. Han motioned to define ‘uniform lease agreement’ to mean a contractual agreement between an owner affiliate and his lessees and shall exclude explicitly the relationship between a company and a gas and gate driver.  No second.  Motion failed.

C. Sweis suggested that C. Hayashi prepare standardized lease agreements based on the Boston lease and other samples and we can comment on those and include the following relationships:

  1. Color scheme and driver
  2. Owner operator and driver
  3. Color scheme and permit holders

Public Comment

F. Fahy said he found he had that he did not have too much concern about worker’s compensation.  He said a contract will not stop illegal conduct.  He said the companies should have agreements with the drivers and if you have someone that wants to manage a long term lease then his drivers should also have contracts with the color scheme.

T. Lee said we need to define the different terms of the lease to prevent drivers from being abused.  Medallion holders like to abuse the drivers.  He said some of the cab companies are giving more than one lease to drivers and this should be stopped.  He said many drivers live out in the Richmond district and they should be allowed to start their shift there.

B. Migdal said we need a uniform lease and asked that the gate fee should be bolded on the lease agreement so there is no questions about it.

M. Gruberg said there are still many unanswered questions.  He said it seems there are many blanks left in the lease that the Council is filling in and he does not believe this is how it should go.  He said this needs to be crafted in such a way where the driver is protected.  There should be a cap on the long term lease itself.

E. Healy said he agreed with M. Gruberg.  He said both the companies and drivers need protection, especially the drivers.  He wanted to know if anyone had ever tried to negotiate with the EDD. 

E. Hattan said you cannot go bankrupt over a certain criminal activity.  He said buyers of medallion holders are owners of a property and asked if a million dollars was enough if someone were to get killed.

H. Kim said the universal lease is an absolute necessity.  He said this industry does not have any documentation of who has what responsibility.  Right now we do not know who is doing what.  A universal lease is about identification, documentation and accountability and it can clear up who is responsible for buying insurance, the vehicle and workers compensation.   Then we have to redefine the color scheme, medallion holder and driver’s roles.

CSweis closed public comment.

9. Discuss the possibility of peak time medallions.  (Discussion and Possible Action)

C. Hayashi, Deputy Director, Taxi Services, provided a report on the possibility of peak time medallions.

Public Comment

T. Lee said the taxi industry is not able to add additional cabs when there is more demand like other companies can during the busy season.  He said this is a good time to add taxis otherwise the limo companies will take all the business.

M. Spain said he wrote a draft proposal for peak time medallions and if we do not take initiative then someone else will do this and control it.  He said the permits should be sold competitively and both companies and individuals should have an opportunity to buy.  He said the insurance companies would lower the payment for peak time medallions.

R. Vitka said we need more cabs during peak times.  He said if we do not act on this then other companies like Uber Cab will pop up.  He said it makes sense to have corporate medallions.

M. Gruberg said he heard time and time again that medallions should go to drivers and this peak time medallion is just another name for a corporate medallion.  He said drivers are being shut out from this and he does not see why these cannot go to drivers. 

E. Healy said the study should be done for a year, not just three months.  He said he could make money on a Monday or Tuesday night if he really tried.  He said flexibility is the main thing.  He is against the MTA taking more money.

C. Rathbone said it is imperative that we figure out a way to make peak time medallions work.  He does not think there is a lot of money in it for the MTA.  He said there is also a natural marriage here with the electric cabs, let’s make them the peak time medallions.

H. Kim said medallions should only be given to qualified working drivers.  He is open to the idea of peak time medallions but he is wary of the City becoming the landlord of the medallions.  He said he served on a committee with Malcolm Heinicke where he said he would take all the medallions back and auction them to the highest bidders and said we should all be wary of the City selling the medallions and being in control. 

C. Sweis closed public comment.

J. Bolig and B. Korengold have a problem with MTA leasing out these medallions.  J. Bolig wanted to see more proposals from others. 

C. Sweis continued this item to the next TAC meeting to hear more proposals.

10. Council Member requests for information.  (Discussion only)

J. Han said last week he requested copies of the grant applications for the all electric vehicle program and he requested it again.

No public comment.

11. Schedule upcoming calendar items [Discussion and Action]

D. Khan requested to discuss the driver income and raising the meter rate.

W. Minikel said last time they talked about exemptions to people on the list to get a medallion and requested to discuss a system of checks and balances and monitoring the process along the way to prevent abuse and fraud in that area.

C. Sweis said the MTA board has not adopted this item so we should hold off on this item.

C. Sweis requested to review the uniform lease draft.

B. Korengold requested to discuss having a qualification for drivers for long term lease or for affiliate owners to require two years of driving before you start a long term lease.

J. Bolig requested to review the peak time medallion proposals.

C. Sweis motioned to have the following items added to the next agenda:

  • Reviewing the uniform lease drafts
  • Reviewing the peak time medallion proposals

D. Hinds seconded the motion.



AYES:              J. Bolig; J. Gillespie; L. Graham; J. Han; D. Hinds; D. Khan; B. Korengold; J. Lazar; C. Macmurdo; W. Minikel; D. Nazarov; A. Rebelos; C. Sweis                  

ABSENT:         T. Ajaegbu; W. Mounsey

ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting was adjourned by standing vote at 4:42 p.m.


telephone311 Free language assistance / 免費語言協助 / Ayuda gratuita con el idioma / Бесплатная помощь переводчиков / Trợ giúp Thông dịch Miễn phí / Assistance linguistique gratuite / 無料の言語支援 / 무료 언어 지원 / Libreng tulong para sa wikang Tagalog / คว“มช่วยเหลือท“งภ“ษ“โดยไม่เส’ยค่าใช้จ่าย


©2000-2013 San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. All rights reserved.