SFMTA Taxi Services
Taxi Advisory Council
One South Van Ness Avenue
2nd Floor, Atrium Conference Room
September 13, 2010
PRESENT: T. Ajaegbu; J. Bolig; J. Gillespie; L. Graham; J. Han; D. Hinds; D. Khan; B.
Korengold; J. Lazar; C. Macmurdo; W. Minikel; W. Mounsey; D. Nazarov; A. Rebelos; C. Sweis
1. Call to order: CSweis called the meeting to order at 1:06 p.m.
2. Roll Call – The Roll Call showed a quorum was present. NEED TO LIST THE NAMES OF THOSE PRESENT/ABSENT
3. Announcement of prohibition of sound producing devices during the meeting – CSweis made the announcement.
4. Approval of Minutes
On motion to approve the August 18, 2010 Minutes: unanimously adopted.
CSweis continued consideration of the August 30, 2010 Minutes to the next meeting.
5. Public Comment
MFahy asked for an enforcement report. He wants to see what has been done with illegal cabs.
TLee stated that those who received a medallion through the sales program seem to be happy and asked that the TAC invite them to a meeting.
EHattan reported that a new company called Uber Cab has opened. He read a newspaper article regarding the company and questioned the legality of it.
CSweis closed public comment.
6. Report of the Council Liaison (Discussion only)
Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program Update
CHayashi presented information regarding the Monthly Operating Expenses per Taxicab Vehicle..
MHarris presented an update on the medallion sales pilot program.
Report on Regulatory Reform Project
CHayashi presented information on the Regulatory Reform Project and the Long Term Lease Report from the Controller’s Office.
MFahy feels that the salvage car program is useless.
TLee supports the Taxi Services in updating all the regulations. He urges Council to use this chance to write up better regulations.
MGruberg stated that the statistics are useful but he would like to see more information. He feels the same process that is used for the regular medallion issuance should be used for the Medallion Sales Program.
7. Taxi Industry Credit Card Processing Options (Discussion only)
MFahy said that a small banner from advertisers would pay for the credit card fees and feels that advertising in taxicabs is a benefit.
TLee stated that drivers should pay credit card fees because they would get more tips if they pay for it.
MSpain stated that all of his drivers try to take credit cards whenever they can.
HKim stated that some companies are charging more fees and informed everyone that electronic waybills are coming. He does not feel there should be a concern about the IRS and said that electronic waybills and credit cards will put us in the forefront.
MGruberg stated that a credit card charge on a driver costs the driver $5 - $6 more per shift and it does not make any sense because companies get cheaper rates. It is more cost effective to have the companies pay the fees.
BTaranto stated that he is in favor of an extra fee for credit card use. The driver should be in charge of the transaction to reduce the amount of fraud and so the driver will know how much was processed. He suggested that cabs advertise that there is a fee if passengers use a credit card.
FSpiegelman commented that if you think in terms of by month and by year then the driver will be paying more fees. She stated that people will start charging a flat fee when going to the airport. Drivers are paranoid that they will be reported to the IRS.
EHealy wants to see proof that drivers will make more money if they accept credit cards. He is mainly concerned that the drivers will be paying more in fees and they are not compensated for it.
8. Structure and Content of December 2010 Taxi Advisory Council Report (Discussion only)
TLee stated that this Council should be open-minded and not make bumpy policy. He said that all sellers should be qualified to sell without any conditions and suggests that drivers be allowed to partner up to buy a medallion.
MSpain stated that those who have held an A-Card over a year should be allowed to buy. He said that there are not enough sellers because there are too many restrictions and suggests that the price be moved up and in the future, it should be sold at market price rather than a fixed price.
HKim commented that Los Angeles is surprised that we are only selling medallions to qualified individuals. He said this quality is unique and other cities are interested in this system. He is concerned about the hearing officers scrutinizing real drivers and states that this is inappropriate. He said hearing officers should be given guidance. He said that now that medallions are being bought, he fears they will only be used as owner operated medallions.
BTaranto stated that the list of drivers who were approved to purchase the medallion is on the web but he wants more details about the purchase. He also wants to know what the arrangement was with the new medallion holder and the company. He feels that it is good to have an age threshold.
EHealy stated that no one has had a chance to study this program. He feels that an auction is a bad idea at this time and agrees with HKim regarding long term leasing.
CSweis closed public comment.
Following discussion ofthe structure and content of the report, CSweis commented that the report will include an Introduction, a Summary of Discussion, Facts/Data and Recommendation: Majority/Minority.
9. Use of Driver Fund (Discussion only)
TLee stated that if he was near the San Bruno explosion then maybe they would have had to use the driver fund toward him but luckily that is not the case. He stated that the TAC should address this topic because a lot of drivers do not have life insurance.
HKim suggested that the TAC to put together a self insurance group for liability insurance. He stated that there is a 100% success rate and risk is minimized.
MGruberg said he does not want to see this item pushed to the next meeting. He feels that this driver fund is the one thing that will provide for the drivers who cannot afford or qualify for a medallion.
BTaranto stated that the money has been stolen. He wants to see the document to prove that the driver fund is not stolen.
FSpiegelman feels that since the list has been closed, the drivers are left with nothing so this would be a good financial support for them.
EHealy wants to have a discussion on who should benefit from the driver fund. He feels the fund would not exist if it did not go to non-medallion drivers.
CSweis closed public comment.
On motion to move Item 9: Use of Driver Fund to the next meeting.
AYES: TAjaegbu; JBolig; JGillespie; LGraham; JHan; DHinds; DKhan; BKorengold; JLazar; CMacmurdo; WMinikel; DNazarov; CSweis; ARebelos
10. Council Member requests for information (Discussion only)
WMinikel requested the numbers broken down from the lending company of the various loans available for the medallion sales program.
BKorengold requested information regarding potential revenue from advertising and asked how much companies get for taxi wraps and where does that money go. He also wants to know how many gas and gate drivers are no longer driving because they no longer have a shift.
DKhan wants to see a list of medallion holders broken down by age and Pre-K and Post-K.
No public comment.
11. Schedule upcoming calendar items
DHinds wants the TAC to consider a list to help drivers qualify for a medallion.
CMacmurdo wants to establish a system for drivers to come forward and state how much they are being charged in terms of credit card fees. He also wants to keep the deadline open to file an application for sellers who later find out that they are disabled.
JLazar would like to discuss the management exemption for prepaid.
CSweis requests to add the driver fund to the next agenda.
CSweis requests to add on the agenda the impact the medallion sale has on the color schemes and gas and gate drivers.
No public comment.
12. Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 4:20 p.m.