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Minutes of July 19, 2007

Members Present:

Rae Chamberlain, Les Clark (Chair), Paul Fichera (Secretary), Melvin Galloway (ARC), Barbara George (JLMB), Ed Harley, Jean Kempf, Dave Longa, Jeanne Lynch (via speakerphone), Bruce Morgan, Vernon Smith (Vice-Chair), Arden Wheeler


Janet Copriviza, Jean Ellis-Jones (TWU250A), Edward Evans (Excused), Bruce Oka (Excused)

Accessible Services Staff Present:

Jamie Osborne, Virginia Rathke, Annette Williams


Ryan Glock, Miro Kielbus (ASL Community), Bob Planthold (TEP-CAC), Roger Rose (SFILRC), Joe Speaks (SFMTA Planning), Ursula Steck

Orion 30-Foot Hybrid Bus Demonstration

At 1:00PM, MAAC members met to demonstrate the accessibility features of the Low-Floor hybrid vehicle. The 30-foot vehicle was not available for the meeting, so a 40-foot vehicle was sent instead. Muni operations and maintenance staff promised that a 30-foot low-floor vehicle would be available at the next meeting.

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 1:21PM.


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 June MAAC meeting:

The minutes for the June 21, 2007 MAAC meetings were approved with some corrections.

Comments from the Chair

MAAC Chair, Les Clark, suggested that the members rethink the approach to the MAAC recognition awards. He’d like members to share their nominations with Jamie Osborne and review each nomination with the committee. With these changes, he wants to make the award process more professional.

Mr. Clark made a motion to cancel the August MAAC meeting and move the next meeting to September 20, 2007. The motion was seconded and supported by Committee Members.

MAAC Access Recognition Award Presentation
The Muni operator who was previously nominated for an award presentation was unable to attend the meeting.

MAAC Member Nomination, Miro Kielbus
The committee unanimously voted to extend MAAC membership to Miro Kielbus.


Les Clark introduced the third MAAC goal priority that was identified in previous meetings. He described the issue of the front seats of the vehicle being used by people who are not seniors or disabled. He noted that it is sometimes difficult for people to get assistance in finding a seat from Muni operators.

MAAC members and guests offered their observations about this issue:

Bob Planthold – “Jeanne Lynch and I made a video 10 years ago that helped educate school children about the need to share seats at the front of the vehicle with seniors and people with disabilities. We were disappointed that Muni did not provide paid time for operators to come with us to present the video. There have been previous efforts that I feel have been hindered by Muni. Also, there is a problem with vehicles lacking the required signage alerting riders to the need to yield seats.”

Jeanne Lynch – “I do have a copy of the “Muni Manners” video that we did. I’d be happy to share this with the committee.”

Barbara George – “As the JLMB representative, I will see what we can do to assist in making sure that the “yielding seats” signage is immediately replaced when damaged… I also think that the signage should be more visible. When people sit down, their backs are to the signs.”

Roger Rose – “Even when the signage exists, drivers have a difficult time policing this issue. How can we make this more effective”

Paul Fichera – “If you find a vehicle without the signage, it is very important that you report it. Most times, the signage is not replaced when a window is broken.”

Miro Kielbus –“Maybe the signs can be made longer on the bigger buses.”

Ursula Steck –“In the buses, there are two different sections: one for wheelchair users and one for people who have a difficult time standing/walking. My observation is that the drivers readily assist wheelchair users, while they don’t pay much attention to people who have difficulty walking. A conflict is created on the new buses where these two groups of people share the same seats. Can this issue be addressed in training?”

Jeanne Lynch – “I have said it several times before. I think that the best outreach is by using the PA system.”

Bob Planthold – “Previous Muni contacts regarding replacing the signage were not effective. I suggest that Accessible Services develop both a procedure for reporting these ongoing maintenance issues and a timeline for Muni in responding.”

Barbara George – “I think that issues regarding poor operator behavior are related in to the unrealistic schedules that the operators are required to stick to.”

Vernon Smith – “Is there a possibility that the external announcement system include information about yielding seats? Also, could these announcements be added to the voice announcement system on the light rail vehicles?”

Paul Fichera – “Requiring signage on the vehicles for yielding seats is not technically the law. Signage is great, but it is really common courtesy.”

Ryan Glock – “Honestly, I don’t think that people are going to move from their seats regardless of the signage.”

David Longa – “I’ve been a Muni operator and I know that there are a lot of people with hidden disabilities. You have to talk to the people the best that you can, but you can’t assume that they aren’t disabled simply because they don’t look it. I think that the yield seats signs need to be positioned higher up on the window so that they are more visible.”

SFMTA/MTC Translink Accessibility Update

Joe Speaks, the Translink Implementation Manager, spoke to MAAC about his role and the history of the Translink “smartcard” fare payment system. He reminded the Committee of the role that they previously played in 2001-2002 to help shape the project and determining the location of the Translink card readers.

The Translink card readers that have been installed on the Light rail vehicles have now been installed on 25% of the rubber tire fleet. The card readers are currently not active. The project should be completely rolled out by the end of 2007. Mr. Speaks described the processes that lie ahead and the approximate schedule for the Translink program roll-out and launch.

He also reviewed with MAAC members the location of the Translink card readers on LRVS, diesel, hybrid and trolley buses. He took questions from MAAC members and guests.

Bob Planthold – “I feel that there is an inconsistency in the placement of the card readers on the rubber tire fleet. I feel that the placement creates an unsafe situation for people who need to use the railing and grab bars to board.”

Miro Kielbus – “This is a very helpful program. Why has Translink taken so long in San Francisco? Also, why do we allow people to board from the back door?”

Pat Henry, ADA Complaints for June 2005-2007

Pat Henry was unable to attend the July MAAC meeting. In her place, Jamie Osborne shared the complaint numbers for June 2005-2007 and answered ADA compliant and Muni passenger service questions with the Committee.

Nominations for Muni Accessibility Advisory Recognition Award

The committee approved Pat Henry for an Accessibility Recognition Award. Miro Kielbus nominated J-Church operator number 1822 (John Conklin). Mr. Kielbus reported that Mr. Conklin was a good driver and that whenever he has approached him, Mr. Conklin “goes out of his way to write messages to me.” The Committee approved the nomination.

Member’s Questions and Comments

1. David Longa – “Does Accessible Services get commendations or recommendations for operator awards from Muni Passenger Services?”

2. Miro Kielbus – “I’m concerned that the 311 service is not accessible for people who are deaf. Less and less people who are deaf are using TTYs. Is there a 7-digit number to give the Video Relay Service operator when people who are deaf want to get information, but don’t wish to use TTY?”

3. Arden Wheeler – “I was riding on the 12 line heading to Chinatown. There are no street signs at Grant and Pacific.”

4. Jeanne Lynch – “Several members on this Committee have given time to Muni, at one point we were given a certification of thanks. I want to request that you recognize the MAAC members for our work.”

5. Rae Chamberlain – “Where are we with the installation of no smoking signs at the bus shelters?”

6. Vernon Smith – “I’d like to make a comment about the bus we saw earlier. Where was there room for a service animal to sit? There were no front seats for people who are Blind to sit. I think that the aisles of the vehicle were a little narrow.”

Public Comment:

1. Ursula Steck – “My partner and I take the F-Market & Wharves line every day. We’ve run into some problems with the stop call buttons. There are many trains that do not have these stop call buttons and on some trains the call button is hard to reach. Quite often, the operator misses our stop and we are forced to wait for the next location for us to get off.”

2. Ryan Glock – “The new 30 and 40 foot hybrid buses don’t have enough room on the inside. They get crowded very easily.”

Items for Next Agenda:

Miro Kielbus – “Can we invite BART to discuss the problems with the Muni FastPass?”

Dave Longa – “The 2007 Bus Roadeo is happening on August 11 at Pier 96 (off of Cargo Way). Lunch (and possibly breakfast) will be provided.”


At 2:55PM, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 20, 2007, at 1:00PM.


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