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Minutes of February 15, 2007

Members Present:

Rae Chamberlain, Les Clark (Vice-Chair), Janet Copriviza, Ed Evans (Chair), Melvin Galloway, Ed Harley (Secretary), Dave Longa, Jeanne Lynch, Bruce Morgan, Bruce Oka, Vernon Smith, Arden Wheeler


Jean Ellis-Jones, Paul Fichera, Barbara George, Jewel McGinnis (Excused)

Accessible Services Staff Present:

Jamie Osborne, Annette Williams, Virginia Rathke


Flo Chiu, Sally Allen (SF Office ), Miro Kielbus, Julie Kirschbaum (SFMTA), Jessie Lorenz (Lighthouse for the Blind), Ursula McGuire (SAN), Cristina Olea (SFMTA),

Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 1:05PM.


Introductions were made in lieu of a roll call.

Reading and approval of agenda:

The agenda was approved as presented.

Approval of the minutes from January MAAC meeting:

Members approved the adoption of the January minutes.

Comments from the Chair:

MAAC Chair Ed Evans reported that he has had some problems with mechanical defects on some of the coaches. He has seen coaches without the proper signage reserving the front seats for seniors and people with disabilities. He hopes that MAAC can continue to work with Muni staff to identify vehicles where the signage needs to be replaced or repaired.

He attended the Senior Action Network (SAN) meeting on Thursday February 8th where SFMTA executive director Nathaniel Ford presented. He was very pleased with Mr. Ford’s presentation and felt that he provided “very credible” answers to questions from SAN members and guests.

Hugh Chan, MAAC Access Recognition Award Presentation

Muni 38-Line operator, Hugh Chan received an award for his exemplary service to senior and disabled riders. MAAC member, Jeanne Lynch, presented Mr. Chan with the award and thanked him for his work.

Cristina Olea, SFMTA Planning, Accessible Pedestrian Signals

Cristina Calderon Olea is the Pedestrian Program Manager with SFMTA’s transportation planning and development division. She shared information with the group regarding the audible pedestrian signal (APS) program that SFMTA is currently pursuing.

Ms. Olea introduced the APS technology and discussed the criteria and procedures in place to identify possible APS locations. She also provided the committee with a list of the currently installed APS units.

Ms. Olea indicated that after extensive demonstration and analysis with different makes and models of APS equipment, the city had decided to go with the Polara Navigator. She indicated that the units are approximately $1000, but with labor and design costs installation charges vary between $14,000 and $25,000. SFMTA’s standard for speaker volume is that the signal should be audible from 12 feet away. The units automatically adjust their volume levels to compensate for the amount of ambient environmental noise.

Ms. Olea indicated that she was available to answer any questions about SFMTA’s APS program. She shared her contact information with group:

Cristina Calderon Olea

Pedestrian Program Manager

MTA - Dept. of Parking & Traffic

1 South Van Ness Ave, 7th Floor

San Francisco, CA 94103-5417

Phone: 415-701-4579

Fax: 415-701-4343


Julie Kirschbaum, Transit Effectiveness Project Update

Julie Kirschbaum is the new program manager for the SFMTA’s Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP). Ms. Kirschbaum previously talked to MAAC while coordinating SFCTA’s BRT projects.

The TEP is an 18-month, $2.4 Million effort to look at all aspects of the Muni system with the particular focus on service planning and operations. It is a joint effort between SFMTA and the San Francisco Controller’s Office. The TEP’s goal is to develop a set of recommendations with community support and a formal review process with the SFMTA board of directors and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Ms. Kirschbaum described the two main objectives of the project:

1.) Improve overall performance

2.) Promote long-term financial stability

Ms. Kirschbaum spoke briefly about Muni’s planning history and current routes and schedules. She noted how the TEP will help SFMTA learn more about its system. It will help SFMTA make a case for requesting additional resources and will provide a more accurate method for prioritizing program funding when service resource changes are necessary. The study will ultimately result in faster and convenient service to existing transit users and will also attract new riders on to the system.

Ms. Kirschbaum described the various advisory committees and methods that the public can participate and provide input to the TEP. She reported that a feedback survey was available in large print and multilingual formats. She also suggested that members visit TEP’s website ( and fill out an online survey about their public transit needs and preferences. She handed out large print paper feedback surveys for MAAC members to complete and return at the close of the meeting.

She indicated that the TEP has a community advisory committee. Previously, Bruce Oka had been unofficially invited to attend TEP events; however, she requested that MAAC nominate an official member. Ms. Kirschbaum also indicated that TEP would be reaching out to senior and disability focused organizations and were looking for assistance identifying groups to include in the outreach.

Ms. Kirschbaum took questions from committee members and guests about the project. She shared the following contact information:

Julie B. Kirschbaum

Program Manager for the Transit Effectiveness Project

Municipal Transportation Agency

Phone: 415-701-4304


MAAC Election Official TEP Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) representative

Ms. Kirschbaum discussed the responsibilities of MAAC’s official TEP – CAC representative. The TEP – CAC meets on the second Thursday of the month from 5:00PM to 7:00PM in the Mission Conference Room (#3075) on the third floor of One South Van Ness. The monthly meetings will last for the next 12 months.

She indicated that the MAAC representative will be responsible for the following:

• providing the TEP with feedback about its impact on senior and disabled transit riders

• sharing TEP progress and related information with MAAC.

Les Clark was nominated to represent MAAC on the TEP – CAC. He was accepted by acclimation.

MAAC Member Nomination, David Longa

In the January meeting, David Longa was nominated to join MAAC. MAAC member, Jeanne Lynch suggested that Jean Kempf should also be considered as a MAAC member. After a short discussion, the committee decided to make an exemption in the bylaw procedure on action items and include Ms. Kempf in the MAAC voting.

Both David Longa and Jean Kempf were unanimously voted to become MAAC members.

Virginia Rathke, MAAC 2007 Goal Planning

Virginia Rathke, Accessible Services, introduced and handed out a goal-setting worksheet for MAAC members. She requested that the members take the worksheet home and use it to identify their top three concerns about Muni accessibility. She also asked members to use the worksheet to write down possible solutions for their concerns.

Ms. Rathke indicated that she would collect the completed forms during the March meeting and would compile a list of MAAC member's top concerns.

Pat Henry, ADA Complaints for December 2005-2006, January 2006-2007

Pat Henry was unable to attend the February MAAC meeting. However, Jamie Osborne shared the complaint numbers from December 2005-2006 and January 2006-2007 with the committee.

Nominations for Muni Accessibility Advisory Recognition Award

No nominations for MAAC Recognition Awards were received.

Member’s Questions and Comments

1.) David Longa gave insight into vehicle repair procedures and described why the Daughters of Charity (not to be confused with the Sisters of Mercy) are able to ride for free on Muni.

2.) Arden Wheeler indicated that on the buses he rides, the signs reserving seats for people with disabilities are often obscured or missing.

3.) Bruce Morgan noted that he had recently crossed paths with former MAAC member Jewell McGinnis. He indicated that she was feeling better.

4.) Jeanne Lynch wondered if the PA system on buses could include a message reminding passengers waiting to board to allow people to disembark before boarding.

Public Comment: The public may comment on any issue affecting Muni that is not on today’s agenda.

Miro Kielbus had three points that he wanted to make about access on Muni:

1.) The public address system does not give people who are deaf access to emergency announcements. He requested written captioned announcements regarding any changes to service.

2.) In San Francisco, there is not good access for people who use video relay service. This new technology should be utilized instead of TTY to allow Muni customer services to better communicate with people who are deaf.

3.) The Muni disable monthly fast pass should give people access to BART similar to the non-disabled monthly pass.

Items for Next Agenda:

1.) Ed Evans – I would like someone from the Mayor’s office talk about video relay service.

2.) Ed Evans- I would like someone to address the emergency message system that is available now, which uses text over cell phones to advise you in case of a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

3.) Arden Wheeler – I would like to hear a status update on no smoking legislation at bus shelters.


1.) Rae Chamberlain – I wanted to thank Miro for coming to the meeting.

2.) Miro Kielbus – I wanted people to know about a festival that is happening June 9th at Justin Herman Plaza. It is a free event celebrating American Sign Language (ASL) and deaf culture. All MAAC members are invited.

3.) Jeanne Lynch – The next Senior Action Network Transportation committee meeting is Wednesday February 21st at 10:00AM at 965 Mission Street on the 7th floor.

4.) Bruce Oka – The elections for MAAC officers are next month.


At 3:15PM, the meeting was adjourned. The next regularly scheduled meeting is Thursday, March 15, 2007, at 1:00PM.


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