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

Finance and Administration Committee

Wednesday, March 16, 2011, at 3:00 p.m.
1 South Van Ness Avenue, Conference Room 3075
San Francisco, California


  • Call to Order: 
    Chairman Murphy called the meeting to order at 3:13 p.m. 
  • Roll Call:

FAC Members present at Roll Call:  Daniel Murphy and Susan Vaughan

FAC Members absent:  Griffith Humphrey

CAC members, not on this committee, but also present:  Steve Ferrario

  • Announcement of prohibition of sound producing devices during the meeting:

The CAC Secretary made the announcement.

  • Adopt Minutes of January 19, 2011 and February 16, 2011: 

On motion to approve the minutes of January 19, 2011: Adopted
Ayes – Murphy and Vaughan

            Absent – Humphrey

On motion to approve the minutes of February 16, 2011: Amended
Ayes – Murphy and Vaughan

            Absent – Humphrey

Steve Ferrario stated that the minutes be amended to reflect Daniel Murphy was absent for the February 16, 2011 meeting.

Public comment:


  • Report of the Chairman (For discussion only):

Chairman Murphy apologized for not being present at the last meeting.

  • Public Comment: 

Roland Wong, Muni Accessibility Advisory Committee (MAAC) member, described a friend’s encounter of paying the $5.00 cable car fare and wanted to know why there is a time factor during peak hours for passengers with RPC cards who would normally pay $2.00.  Mr. Wong stated that in the past, disabled persons were not allowed to ride the cable cars during peak periods, but this was abolished by the ADA. 

Diana Hammons, Senior Manager, Revenue Collection and Sales, replied that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requires transit agencies to provide off-peak half-price fares for senior and disabled passengers.  Ms. Hammons stated that the SFMTA provides more than a 50% fare discount for these passengers.  This is only available during off-peak on cable car service due to the significant cost to run this service.  Regular Muni riders in the discount fare categories may, however, use their monthly pass to access cable car service for no additional charge.

  • Presentation, discussion and possible action regarding Clipper implementation.  (Sonali Bose, CFO/Director, Finance and Information Technology)

Neil Poling, Clipper Program Coordinator, Communications and Marketing, stated that the next transition to the Clipper card will be the M pass (adult fare without BART).  March will be the last month for the M paper pass.  After March, passengers will need to have the Clipper card.  Mr. Poling stated that as of February, 60% of customers have switched to the Clipper card.  26,000 seniors have signed up for Clipper.  May will be the last month that paper passes for seniors will be issued.  There has been ongoing outreach.  The Youth Pass is slated for transition in May.

Mr. Poling commented that staff is upgrading the handheld units for Proof of Payment inspectors and cable car personnel, which will enable staff to do actual transactions and deduct value from Clipper cards.  At this time, handheld units only have the capability of reading Clipper transactions.  Cable cars will not have mounted card readers installed for historical reasons.

Mr. Poling stated the biggest problem with Card Interface Devices (CIDs) is reliability.  The CIDs were installed five years ago when only 5% of passengers were using TransLink cards.  Wireless system technology has been placed at Muni bus facilities to connect with CIDs on vehicles to transmit passenger Clipper card validation, but some card readers have been malfunctioning.  Staff is taking steps to replace or upgrade software technology to fix this issue.

Public Comment:

Roland Wong commented that there is a stand-alone meter on the street to allow for elevator access at Powell Street.  He would like to know how the meter would know if a passenger was using Muni or BART.  Mr. Wong inquired how wheelchair passengers can access card readers on crowded trains or buses.

Motion 110316.01

The SFMTA CAC recommends that Proof-of-Payment (POP) inspectors be instructed not to issue citations to Clipper card holders on vehicles where one or more card readers is malfunctioning.

On motion to approve Motion 110316.01: Adopted
Ayes – Murphy and Vaughan
Absent – Humphrey

  • Presentation, discussion and possible action regarding proposal for student discount tickets. (Sonali Bose, CFO/Director, Finance and Information Technology)

Sonali Bose stated that the charge for student discount passes is $20 per month.  During the FY2011/12 budget cycle, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to distribute  12,000 passes to low-income students.  Supervisor Campos is working with staff to distribute the passes for free for April, May and June of 2011.  The SFMTA is still waiting for SFUSD to identify low-income students.

Chairman Murphy stated that there may be two problems in distributing the passes.  First, the determination of which students are eligible and second, what if a student is homeless.  Chairman Murphy stated that even private school students can be low-income.

Susan Vaughan inquired if the SFMTA could distribute these passes for free.  Diana Hammons stated that there would be a loss in revenue and impact to service.  While the policy sounds good, this unknown factor could lead to crowded vehicles, graffiti and safety issues.

Public comment:


  • Committee Member requests for information (For discussion only) 
  • Susan Vaughan would like to know if the SFMTA Board of Directors is contemplating putting any measures on the November ballot to raise funds for Muni.
  • Susan Vaughan stated that a Blue Ribbon panel was convened to come up with ways

to raise revenue for Muni, but heard none of their recommendations were adopted.  Ms. Vaughan would like to see the report.

  • Steve Ferrario would like to know why the seniors need to have both a Senior Clipper card and RTC card.  This seems to duplicate service.
  • Schedule upcoming calendar items.  (For discussion only)
    Next regular meeting: Wednesday, April 20, 2011, at 3:00 p.m.

1 South Van Ness Avenue, 3rd Floor, Conference Room 3075

ADJOURN:  The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Yvette Torres
SFMTA CAC - Secretary



Accessible meeting policy – One South Van Ness Avenue

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