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City and County of San Francisco
Municipal Transportation Agency
Citizens’ Advisory Council (SFMTA CAC)

Regular Meeting Minutes

Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 5:30 p.m.
1 South Van Ness Avenue, Conference Room 3074
San Francisco, California

1. Call to Order / Roll Call
Chairman Daniel Murphy called the meeting to order at 5:37 p.m. 

SFMTA CAC members present at Roll Call:  Joan Downey, Emily Drennen, Steve Ferrario, Griffith Humphrey, Daniel Murphy, Greg Riessen, Norman Rolfe, Dorris Vincent, Daniel Weaver, Ruth Wheeler and Jamison Wieser. 

SFMTA CAC members absent:  Mary Burns, Art Cimento and Cesar Perez.

2. Adopt minutes of February 5, 2009: 

On motion to adopt the minutes of February 5, 2009: Adopted
Ayes – Downey, Drennen, Ferrario, Humphrey, Murphy, Riessen, Rolfe, Vincent, Weaver, Wheeler and Wieser
(Absent – Burns, Cimento and Perez)

3. Public Comment concerning any issue within the jurisdiction of the Council and not noted on the agenda: 

Diane Ehrlich, Lake Merced Hill, asked if there had been any updates regarding the 18-46th Avenue line.  Chairman Murphy stated that the Planning and Marketing Committee will have a Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP) discussion on March 19, 2009. 

4. Report of the Chairman: Daniel Murphy

Chairman Murphy stated that he wanted to discuss interdepartmental work orders and the consolidation of functions between the SFMTA and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority at the March Finance and Administration Committee meeting.  Sonali Bose, CFO/Director, Finance and Information Technology, stated that the budget deficit FY10 is $128 million.  The SFMTA Board of Directors will be discussing the FY10 budget, which is due to be submitted to the Board of Supervisors on May 1, 2009. 

Public Comment

Jane Bolig asked if the taxi budget would be siphoned and the taxi industry ties in with the budget situation. 

5. Staff Report (Discussion/Action)

The staff report was presented. 

Norman Rolfe requested information about the decision not to renew the management agreement for the Polk/Bush garage.  Chairman Murphy assigned the matter to the Finance and Administration Committee.

Emily Drennen requested information about policies of other cities regarding strollers on transit.  Chairman Murphy assigned the matter to Engineering, Maintenance and Safety Committee.

6. Lifeline Pass (Discussion/Action) Jason Lee

Jason Lee, Manager, Fare Systems Development, stated that the SFMTA pays $250,000 annually to the Human Services Agency (HSA) to administer the Lifeline Pass program.  The SFMTA Customer Service Center sells 3500 Lifeline Passes per month, plus HSA purchases another 3000 for distribution.  Growth in sales has resulted in an annual revenue loss, estimated at $3,500,000.  Joan Downey suggested that rather than paying for administration costs, the SFMTA should give the passes to the HSA.  Steve Ferrario stated that the expense of producing a different fare instrument could be saved by selling regular adult passes at a discount.  

7. Taxi Medallion System (Discussion/Action) Christiane Hayashi

Christiane Hayashi, Director, Taxi and Accessible Services, stated that a medallion is a permit issued to an individual to operate a particular vehicle.  In 1990 Proposition K imposed an annual 800 hour driving quota.  Medallion holders lease their vehicles to businesses and drivers.  Drivers keep fares and tips, minus the cost of gas.  Jane Bolig, Desoto Cab, stated that companies own cabs and medallion holders own permits to drive them.  A common arrangement is that a medallion holder pays a monthly lease fee for the car, also known as a gate fee, but the medallion holder also gets a monthly lease payout from the cab company.

Ms. Hayashi stated that Mayor Gavin Newsom is interested in channeling all calls for taxi service through a single telephone number for a centralized dispatch arrangement to improve service.  Callers can specify a cab company.

Steve Ferrario asked about transferring or selling medallions.  Ms. Hayashi stated that Proposition K dealt with medallion transferability.  When a medallion becomes available, the next person on the waiting list must meet certain requirements and pay the $1200 fee.   A town hall meeting is scheduled for May 5, 2009 at 1 South Van Ness to review medallion regulations, and look at the possibility of making changes.

Greg Riessen departed at 7:47 pm

Chairman Murphy asked about peak-time medallions.  Ms. Bolig stated that she had concerns about a system that could satisfy peaks without imposing a hardship on drivers. 

Public Comment

Bud Hazelkorn stated that medallions are a source of retirement income.  A retirement/pension plan needs to be established in order to free up medallions.  CAC Councilman Dorris Vincent recalled that taxi drivers had a pension fund through their union.  Jane Bolig stated that the union has a dwindling membership. 

Griffith Humphrey and Emily Drennen departed at 8:10 pm

Mark Gruberg stated that it’s hard earning a living.  Issuing more medallions would make it difficult.  He would like to see more taxis, but without imposing hardships on drivers. 

Jane Bolig stated that she would like to see the SFMTA look at the array of service needs provided by taxis, such as, Para transit service, low income, and servicing hotels and remote areas.

8. Committee Reports: 


9. Recommendation from a CAC Committee (Discussion/Action)
Operations and Customer Service Committee (OCSC)

Motion 090223.02:  The SFMTA CAC recommends that the SFMTA consider selling one-day temporary/visitor parking permits in Residential Parking Permit areas that do not require a purchaser to go to the Customer Service Center for each permit nor require the license number at the time of purchase.  The SFMTA CAC further recommends that sales be limited to residents of the RPP zones for which the permit is purchased.

On motion 090223.02: Adopted
Ayes – Downey, Ferrario, Murphy, Rolfe, Vincent, Weaver, Wheeler and Wieser
(Absent – Burns, Cimento, Drennen, Humphrey, Perez and Riessen)

10. Recommendation from a CAC Committee (Discussion/Action)
Finance and Administration Committee (FAC)

No recommendations

11. Committee Members’ Questions/Information Requests: (Discussion)

12. Agenda Planning for the Next Regular Meeting Tentatively Scheduled:

Next regular meeting:  April 2, 2009 at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, Conference Room 3074, at 5:30 p.m.

  • Daniel Weaver stated that the Quarterly Reports are vague on project information.     Chairman Murphy assigned the matter to the Engineering, Maintenance and Safety Committee.

13. Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at 8:38 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Debra J. Reed
SFMTA CAC - Secretary

Accessible meeting policy – One South Van Ness Avenue

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