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City and County of San Francisco
Municipal Transportation Agency
Citizens’ Advisory Council

Regular Meeting Minutes

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

1. Call to Order / Roll Call
Chairman Daniel Murphy called the meeting to order at 5:38 p.m. 

SFMTA CAC members present at Roll Call:  Mary Burns, Steve Ferrario, Griffith Humphrey, Daniel Murphy, Cesar Perez, Greg Riessen, Norman Rolfe, Janel Sterbentz, Susan Vaughan, Daniel Weaver and Jamison Wieser

SFMTA CAC members absent:  Art Cimento, Joan Downey, Dorris Vincent and Ruth Wheeler

2. Adopt minutes of August 6, 2009: 

On motion to adopt the minutes of August 6: Adopted
Ayes – Burns, Ferrario, Humphrey, Murphy, Perez, Riessen, Rolfe, Sterbentz, Vaughan, Weaver and Wieser
Absent – Cimento, Downey, Vincent and Wheeler

3. Public Comment: 


4. Report of the Chairman: Daniel Murphy

Chairman Murphy welcomed Susan Vaughan as a new CAC member, appointed by Supervisor Eric Mar.  

There has been a lawsuit between California transit providers and the State of California regarding funds provided through the State Transit Assistance program.  The SFMTA’s allotment was $170 million.  The California Supreme Court upheld the lower court ruling that funds approved by voters for public transit have been illegally diverted for other uses by the State of California. 

Members of the SFMTA CAC attended the August 27 retirement farewell for Peter Straus in recognition of his years of service. 

The landscaping along the Green Maintenance Facility will be restored when the Department of Public Works repairs broken plumbing at the Balboa Park Station. 

The CAC will continue to pursue changes to the SFMTA’s policy on baby strollers.  The CAC recommended a revised policy that would put the responsibility for decision-making on caregivers. 

An additional CAC meeting will be scheduled in October to discuss the Fare Evasion study and the Capital budget. 

Passenger counts for June and July have revealed no decline in ridership since the fare increase went into affect.   

5. Staff Report (Discussion/Action)

The staff report was provided.   

6. Service Changes (Discussion/Action) Julie Kirschbaum

Julie Kirschbaum, service planning manager, Transit, stated that the SFMTA will implement Muni service changes to help the budget.  The service changes are scheduled for December 5.  Service changes are based on Transit Effectiveness Project data analyses and feedback from employees and communities.  The changes are a combination of service reductions and enhancements.  Service reductions include discontinuing routes or segments of routes with low ridership; decreasing frequency on less crowded routes and ending some routes earlier.  Service enhancements include adjusting running times, reducing crowding on busy routes, expanding limited-stop service and restructuring routes.

The SFMTA will launch an informational campaign utilizing various means of communication.

7. Taxi Medallions (Discussion/Action)  Jarvis Murray

Jarvis Murray, manager, Administration, Taxis and Accessible Services, stated that taxi staff’s goals are to create a medallion plan that will be affordable to drivers, addresses issues related to older medallion holders and is good for public service.  The preliminary plan was not well received.  Several town hall meetings have been planned for October to discuss options with the industry.  The proposed plan did not address medallion sales.  Steve Ferrario stated that the town hall meeting times should be staggered to gather more input from drivers. 

Chairman Murphy expressed disappointment that Ms. Chris Hayashi confirmed her attendance, but sent a representative who was not informed about the proposed plan.  An edified presentation from staff would aid the CAC’s understanding of stakeholders’ concerns.

Public Comment

Hansu Kim stated that people are concerned about how the SFMTA will regulate the taxi industry and apply Proposition K.  The proposed plan was offensive.  The five issues are: creating a way for elderly and disabled medallion holders to retire; better opportunities for working drivers to obtain medallions; enforcement against illegal taxis and limos; how many taxis should operate in the city; and representation.  The industry can raise revenue for the City.      

Mark Gruberg stated that the fact that medallions have been in the hands of working drivers has been a tremendous benefit to drivers and the public for 30 years.  Some changes could be made, but Proposition K should stay intact.  People want to do away with Proposition K because of their economic interests.  It has been more than six months since taxis were inducted into the SFMTA.  Discussions about improvements to taxi service have been pushed aside while the industry argues over the structure of the medallion system. 

Tariq Mehmoud stated that evening town hall meetings are needed because he works during the day.  Proposition K failed the drivers because it creates medallion holders who exploit drivers for money.  A law that would ensure the equitable sale and purchase of medallions is what taxi drivers, the City and the public want.

Carl Macmurdo stated that he followed all the rules and waited 14 years for his medallion.  Only individuals should have medallions.  The proposed plan states that medallions, over time, would become the property of the SFMTA.  SFMTA would lease medallions to the highest bidder.  This would tear the heart out of the industry.  We need to keep the same principles as Proposition K; however, with 3200 names on the list, the wait for a medallion has become too long. 

Jane Bolig stated that the former Taxi Commission had some good ideas.  Let’s give the SFMTA time to learn and understand the taxi industry.  The CAC is a rational counterbalance to the urge to do things overnight.  There is a lot of contention within the taxi group.  The CAC can provide to the SFMTA Board knowledge of what the industry is about.  The CAC is the taxi industry’s best hope for thoughtful and progressive change. 

Greg Riessen departed at 8 p.m.

Dan Weaver moved that town hall meetings be held during evenings and weekends to maximize input from drivers.

The SFMTA CAC recommends that some of the town hall meetings to discuss the Taxicab Medallion Policy be scheduled during evenings and weekends in order to receive the maximum possible input from stakeholders and the public at large.

On motion regarding town hall meeting schedules: Adopted
Ayes – Burns, Ferrario, Humphrey, Murphy, Perez, Rolfe, Sterbentz, Vaughan, Weaver and Wieser
Absent – Cimento, Downey, Riessen, Vincent and Wheeler

8. Taxicab Committee and Council Committee Structure (Discussion/Action)

Chairman Murphy stated that there are two things to discuss:  creating a Taxi Committee and establishing an ad hoc committee to review and consider revisions to the CAC Rules of Order. 

Public Comment

Hansu Kim stated that a CAC Taxi Committee is another example of the industry stakeholders being on the outside.  There needs to be someone with taxi experience at the table.  Taxi drivers should be included.  Chairman Murphy stated that the City Charter specifies how members of the Council are appointed.  The CAC will make recommendations that are good public policy without favoring one interest over another.

Jane Bolig stated that a CAC Taxi Committee is an important first step toward developing meaningful policy for the taxi industry. 

Tariq Mehmoud stated that a Taxi Committee is another layer to stall the taxi industry from moving forward.  Chairman Murphy stated that the Council wants to move forward, but reasonable people can disagree about what is good for the City.  The function of the new Taxi Committee is not to slow the process, but to add information to the process in order to better inform the SFMTA Board about policies for consideration.  The CAC’s role is to be constructive. 

Mark Gruberg stated that in the regulatory environment for private industry, there is a tendency and a danger that discussions center on internal issues rather than on what is important to the City and to the public. 

Dan Weaver moved that the CAC establish a Taxi Committee. 

On motion to establish a Taxicab Committee: Adopted
Ayes – Burns, Ferrario, Humphrey, Murphy, Perez, Rolfe, Sterbentz, Vaughan, Weaver and Wieser
Absent – Cimento, Downey, Riessen, Vincent and Wheeler

Chairman Murphy appointed Steve Ferrario to serve as chairman of the Taxi Committee and Griffith Humphrey and Mary Burns as members. 

Steve Ferrario moved to form an ad hoc committee to review and consider revisions to the Rules of Order. 

On motion to establish an ad hoc committee: Adopted
Ayes – Burns, Ferrario, Humphrey, Murphy, Perez, Rolfe, Sterbentz, Vaughan, Weaver and Wieser
Absent – Cimento, Downey, Riessen, Vincent and Wheeler

Chairman Murphy volunteered to act as chairman of the committee and appointed Steve Ferrario and Jamison Wieser as members.  Mr. Ferrario suggested meeting in December.  

Chairman Murphy appointed Susan Vaughan to the FAC.

Chairman Murphy suggested consolidating some of the CAC committees.  Jamison Wieser stated that it was premature.  Chairman Murphy deferred the question until January 2010. 

Steve Ferrario and Cesar Perez departed at 8:10 p.m.

9. Committee Reports: 

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

Dan Weaver requested information on the proper protocol when diesel buses are idling while in lay over.  He requested that staff provide him with a copy of Exhibit F of the SFMTA Transit Shelter Advertisement Agreement.

Mary Burns requested a report on the number of citations issued at intersections outfitted with red-light cameras that are along transit routes.

Norm Rolfe commented that when announcements of temporary changes to bus routes or stops are made, the announcement should also include transfer points and stops that have been affected by the change.

Jamison Wieser asked why the SFMTA was providing schedules instead of providing real-time arrival information in the Google Transit Feed Specification (GTFS).  The format specifies arrival times.  Applications using GTFS are giving inaccurate information. 

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

Chairman Murphy will schedule a special meeting in October.

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

12. Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

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

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