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


Taxi Committee


Thursday, January 28, 2010, at 4:30 p.m.
1 South Van Ness Avenue, Conference Room 3074
San Francisco, California

1. Call to Order / Roll Call  
Chairman Steve Ferrario called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m. 

Taxi Committee Members present at Roll Call:  Mary Burns, Steve Ferrario and Ruth Wheeler

Taxi Committee Members absent:  Griffith Humphrey

2. Adopt Minutes of January 11, 2010: 
On motion to adopt the minutes of January 11: Adopted
Ayes – Burns, Ferrario and Wheeler
Absent - Humphrey

3. Report of the Chairman:  Steve Ferrario

No report.

4. Report on Taxi Industry Reform Options (Discussion/Action) Chris Hayashi

Chris Hayashi, deputy director of Taxis Services, stated that amendments to Article 1100 of the Transportation Code mimic elements of regulations practiced in jurisdictions, such as New York, Chicago, Boston and San Diego.  Her presentation and handout entitled, “Proposed Amendments to Transportation Code Article 1100,” addressed terms and conditions for the Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program, medallion sale pricing, sale transfer fee, the purchase and sale statements of interest, financing, qualifications of medallion buyers, purchase regulations, Ramp Taxi Medallions, the driver fund and default and lien procedures.  Ms. Hayashi will write procedures for the transfer of medallions.  She stated that, under the pilot program, approximately 246 medallion holders qualify to sell their medallions based on age.  Medallions would first be offered to people on the waiting list before being offered to drivers who are not on the list in the order of A-card seniority.  A 20% transfer fee from the medallion sale proceeds will be paid by sellers, with a portion of that fee used to subsidize the Driver Fund.  Ms. Hayashi will be asking the Board of Directors to establish a Taxi Advisory Council, with representatives from medallion holders, non-medallion holders and customers, including Paratransit users.  The advisory group would monitor the taxi industry reform process and make long-term recommendations.

Ruth Wheeler asked about the purpose of the Driver Fund.  Ms. Hayashi stated that discussions as to the purpose of the fund are ongoing.  However, the fund would not be adequate to cover health or retirement benefits. 

Regarding the Taxi Advisory Council, Mary Burns stated that the taxi legislation should include a date by when the body should be established, set a limit on the number of members and establish categories for members to insure that all aspects of the industry are represented. 

Griffith Humphrey arrived at 5:35 p.m.

Chairman Ferrario moved the following recommendation:

Motion 100126.04

The SFMTA CAC recommends that the SFMTA Board of Directors approve the Taxi Medallions Sales Pilot Program as presented by the SFMTA staff.

Public Comment:
See Item #5 

On motion that the SFMTA Board of Directors approve the Taxi Medallions Sales Pilot Program:

Ayes – Burns, Ferrario and Wheeler
Nayes – Humphrey

Chairman Ferrario moved the following recommendation:

Motion 100126.05

The SFMTA CAC recommends that the SFMTA Board of Directors request that the SFMTA immediately reopen the medallion list to new applicants.  The SFMTA CAC further recommends that, for future closures the SFMTA provide at least 30 days advance notice to the public.

Mary Burns stated that people should have been given notice.  She asked about the repercussions to reopen the medallion waiting list.  Ms. Hayashi stated that the list is questionable; she wants to replace the list with an A-card seniority-based system.  The Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program will work with the current medallion waiting list during the transition to the A-card seniority system. 

Chairman Ferrario asked for the number of people on the list.  Ms. Hayashi stated that there were 3200 people on the list.

Public Comment:
See Item #5

On motion to reopen the medallion list:  The motion failed adoption
Ayes – None
Nayes – Burns, Ferrario, Humphrey and Wheeler

5. Public Comment

Laurie Graham stated that the medallion list has become an elephant that no one wants to deal with.  If A-cards were used, many who are not on the list would have medallions.

Mark Gruberg stated that there is no way out of this pilot program.  You will have 500 people eligible off the bat.  The SFMTA will spend millions to get medallions back if they don’t like it. 

Joe Mirable stated that the SFMTA is unnecessarily infusing costs and interests rates into the cab industry.  Increasing meter rates and driving experienced drivers out of the industry will result in poor cab service.  He stated that there was no mention of public convenience and necessity hearings to determine if the city needs cabs. 

Ed Healy stated that people would be cheated because of the list.  Incorporating A-card seniority is a better system. 

Martin Smith stated that the requirement of fulltime drivers is from Proposition K.  Proposition A trumps Proposition K.  He expressed concern that the full time driving requirement for medallion holders was included in the amendment.  It is a law that everybody hated.

Jane Bolig stated that everything in Ms. Hayashi’s presentation is in accordance with the consensus plan that we signed on to.  There are interests outside of the consensus who tried to interject other interests.  Our position is that as long as we do things in consensus, the taxi coalition is in full support. 

Athan Rebelos stated that he was against the pilot program.  He expressed concern about the method of determining the medallion value, lender ethics, the transfer fee being on the seller and equal opportunity for getting other things. 

Frank Fahey stated that there is no enforcement of limos and out-of-town taxis. 

Carl Macmurdo stated that a year ago that the taxi advisory group discussed the makeup of a taxi advisory council.  While the model for the financing scenario is for 5, 7 and 10 years, most people would opt for 15 or 30 year loans so that there would be more income after loan payments.  Regarding loan assistance, cab drivers would struggle to get $50,000 for a down payment.

Michael Spain stated that the Feb 11 SFMTA Board of Directors’ meeting went well.  Members were in agreement with the presentation made by Ms. Hayashi.  Director Heinicke had concerns about whether $250,000 is a reasonable price.  Mr. Spain stated that he thinks the price should be higher to boost proceeds distributed to the city and to the Driver Fund.  A $300,000 to $400,000 loan could be supported by a cab. 

Dan Hinds stated that he supports the plan.  Reopening the waiting list to get ahead of others does not make sense.  He favored the A-card seniority system over any list.  People on the list should not be excluded from the opportunity to purchase a medallion.  

Tariq Mehmood stated that Ms. Hayashi was unfair to the industry.  He stated that Ms. Hayashi closed list without notice.  The message is that people have no future in the industry.  There are 3600 people waiting outside. 

John Han stated that he was in favor of the A-card list.  He feels that the proposal is on the right track.

Mr. Khagendra stated that it was reasonable to be provided an opportunity to get on the list.

Ruach Graffis stated that the police department discouraged people from getting on the list.  People are in favor of selling medallions. 

6. Committee Members’ Questions/Information Requests (Discussion) 

7. Schedule Upcoming Meetings and Agenda Items (Discussion/Action)

The next meeting is scheduled for April 26, 2010.

8. Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at 5:46 p.m.

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

Accessible meeting policy – One South Van Ness Avenue

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