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Minutes of June 17, 2010

Members Present:

Les Clark (Vice-Chair), Edward Evans, Paul Fichera, Randall Glock, Marc Grossman (phone), Jean Kempf, Miro Kielbus, David Longa (Muni Ret.), Jeanne Lynch (Secretary), Bruce Morgan, Felton Peterson (JLMB), Vernon Smith (phone), Roland Wong, Byron Yan (ILRC)

Members Absent:

Jan Copriviza (excused), Elizabeth Dawson (excused), Melvin Galloway, Roger Rose (excused), F. Ross Woodall (excused)

Accessible Services Staff Present

Jamie Osborne, Virginia Rathke, Annette Williams


Mark Chambers, Joseph Flanagan, Michele Friedner, Charlotte Hubbard, Griff Humphrey (SFMTA CAC), John Katz (SFMTA Planning), Neil Poling (SFMTA Communications), Ledya Restrepa, Kurt Scott, Francis Smith (Muni Operator)

Call to Order

Meeting was called to order at 1:00 p.m.


Introductions were made in lieu of a roll call.

Reading and approval of agenda

The agenda was approved.

Approval of the May 2010 Minutes

May minutes were accepted with modifications.

SFMTA Access Recognition Award – Francis Smith

SFMTA customer Michele Friedner nominated Ms. Smith for an Access Recognition Award for her exemplary customer service. Instead of simply driving away from the customer who was unable to board in a timely fashion, Ms. Smith was great help to Ms. Friedner when she accidentally dropped her cochlear implant / hearing aid on the bus – Stopping the vehicle, getting up from her seat, looking for and ultimately finding the device. Ms. Smith thanked the committee for the award and noted that she “shocked” to hear that she would be receiving it.

Approval of SFMTA MAAC bylaws amendment

Jamie Osborne reviewed with the committee the proposed change in the Bylaws to modify the responsibilities of membership. Members unanimously voted to approve the modified description from “riders of the San Francisco Municipal Railways” to “users of SFMTA Services (Public Transit, Streets, Parking, Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs).”

Clipper Card RTC / ID Update

Neil Poling spoke to the committee regarding the transition from Translink to Clipper and the upcoming discontinuation of the Disabled Monthly Sticker and Senior Monthly Fastpass.

He reported that while he understood that many were not supportive of the changed name, MTC had many reasons to rebrand their regional transit smartcard. The chief difference between Translink and Clipper is the technology used. Smartcards have advanced so that the vending machines, fare gates and cards are easier to use and more durable.

All SFMTA buses, streetcars and trains have been equipped with Clipper card readers. Fare inspector staff and cable car conductors will carry portable card readers. If a Clipper card is presented to a cable car conductor without a card reader, then they should give feedback to 3-1-1.

A plastic Clipper card and a paper limited-use card will soon replace all Muni fare methods. The Senior, Youth and Lifeline passes are currently on paper / magnetic cards; they will be moved to the Clipper card. The prices on the passes will not change. Senior and youth customers will have until January 2011 to request a free clipper card. Lifeline customers will ultimately be transitioned to clipper, but the final schedule to do so has not been established.

The RTC cards will also changed to clipper cards. All RTC cards already utilize smartcard technology, so there will be no need for customers to replace them.

Mr. Poling noted that customers who are limited use transit customers will use the paper clipper card that will be assigned either a one-way trip ($2.00) or a two way trip ($4.00) value. These tickets will be sold through vending machines. These tickets will have a $0.25 surcharge fee and will be good for 90 days. Mr. Poling indicated that customers who wish to be eligible for any sort of discount (such as disabled, senior, Medicare or youth) will have to obtain the plastic Clipper card.

SFMTA transfer policy will not change. Transfers are will be free and will be available for 90 minutes. A parallel clipper card and paper system will be available to allow customers to get used to the new system.

Per existing transfer policy:

  • Transfers from the Golden Gate Ferry will get a free trip.
  • Transfers from Golden Gate Transit will receive a $0.50 discount.
  • Transfers from BART will receive a $0.25 discount.

There is currently an extensive outreach effort to inform the transit using public about the changes. Many presentations at various community organizations all across the city have been delivered and more are scheduled. Printed materials are available in English, Chinese, Spanish and Russian. Clipper card information is available via 3-1-1 or online at

The tentative schedule for discontinuing the Monthly Disabled Sticker and the Senior Fastpass is as follows:

  • September 2010 – Last month for Monthly Disabled Sticker
  • January 2011 – Last month for Senior Fastpass

Because of these upcoming dates, Mr. Poling emphasized that SFMTA needs to “Blanket the city” and make sure that all customers are card users. He noted that while the fares were not increasing, eventually Clipper cards will cost $5. He asked that MAAC members and guests help with the marketing and tell their friends about the new cards.

MAAC members were concerned about specifics of checking their balance and refilling the value on their cards. Both tasks are possible at Walgreen’s and participating clipper card vendors. Ticket vending and add-fare machines will also allow customers to check their balance and refill cards at Muni Metro stations. There is an online method to request the card balance that is up and running. Members’ comments and feedback will help improve the online system.

Members were also concerned about the process for replacing the card. Card replacements should take approximately one week. A procedure is being developed to allow Paratransit users to automatically add a disabled monthly pass to their RTC card.

Temporary Transbay Terminal Update

SFMTA’s John Katz spoke to the committee about the upcoming closure of the Transbay bus terminal at First and Mission St. and the transition to a temporary terminal while the Transbay Transit Center is being constructed.

The existing terminal, which has been a regional transit hub for over 60 years, will be closed later this year and then demolished to make way for a new world-class transit center that will rise at the same site. The new transit center will connect not only AC Transit buses from the East Bay , Golden Gate Transit, and Samtrans with Muni, but include an underground rail station for Caltrain  from the Peninsula and will be the northern terminus for the California High Speed Rail Line from Los Angeles.

During the 6-year period when the old terminal is being demolished and the new Transit Center is under construction, AC Transit and Muni operations will be relocated to a temporary facility bounded by Howard, Beale, Main, and Folsom Streets. AC Transit (the main tenant of the facility) will operate on the interior of that block with Muni on the perimeter. Effected Muni lines are the 38/38L- Geary, the 71/71 L Noriega, the 5-Fulton, and the 108 Treasure Island. These routes will be extended to service the interim terminal. The 41-Union and 82 X will also serve the interim terminal but on their existing routes.

A paratransit drop-off/ pick-up and transfer area will be located on Howard St. near Beale St. during operations at the temporary terminal.

The relocation of the effected Muni and AC bus lines bus lines to the temporary transbay terminal will occur tentatively on August 7, 2010 (phase 1). Approximately 7 weeks after that there will be some adjustments to the location of these lines around the temporary terminal (phase2). The phase 2 locations will stay in place for about 6 years, while the new Transit Center and train box will be constructed on Mission St. between First and Beale St.

MAAC members expressed concern about an accessible path of travel for customers who need to transfer from the 14 Mission to the lines served by the temporary terminal. Customers will be provided detailed outreach materials, way finding signage and an accessible path of travel to reach the new terminal. They can also transfer to an SFMTA bus line that is headed to the new terminal such as the 38 Geary, 71 Haight / Noriega or 5 Fulton.

Members were also concerned about the design and width of the boarding islands that will be implemented in phase 2. The islands associated with the temporary terminals include railings and have a minimum width of 8 feet.

Mr. Katz requested any additional comments or feedback via email or phone:

John Katz, SFMTA Planning | (415) 701-4229

Transit Literacy: TRANSED 2010

Jamie Osborne discussed his recent attendance of the 12th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (TRANSED 2010) in Hong Kong, China on June 2nd through 4th.

The Conference and Exposition were subtitled: Sustainable Transport and Travel for All. TRANSED 2010 focused on the following themes:

  • Affordability and Accessibility
  • Environmental Concerns and New Technological Development in Accessible Transport
  • Accessibility Concerns and Solutions for those with Cognitive and Sensory Impairment
  • Accessible Tourism

In Hong Kong, he was presenting a poster about accessible public transit in India based on his field research in 2009. He described his research and shared observations of the basics of transit accessibility in Hong Kong’s Metrorail and bus systems with the committee.

Sub-Committee Development

This item was tabled for the July 2010 meeting.

SFMTA Customer Service Report

This item was tabled for the July 2010 meeting.

Members Questions and Comments

Ed Evans: Thank you for removing the sign that blocked the view of the wayside boarding platform at Hyde and Market St. The F-Line operators can now see you as you are trying to board. Also, I would like to say that the operators on the 31 – Balboa line are improving with their service.

Jeanne Lynch: Last month we had a wonderful presentation from a deputy chief at SFPD who spoke at great detail about the problems related to theft aboard transit vehicles. I would like to propose that we have announcements on the buses that remind people to watch their belongings.

The Digital Voice Announcement System (DVAS) was implemented to announce stops for people with visual disabilities. We are concerned about overloading the system with information that may make it more difficult to understand and hear the next stop announcements. We will take the suggestion under consideration.

Miro Kielbus: My FastPass was intercepted at BART. They said that I couldn’t use it. What is the problem?

We will give you a replacement P-Pass for the month. Occasionally the magnetic strip on these paper passes becomes demagnetized. Other members who have this problem should contact us immediately.

Randall Glock: I assisted with a training for the Muni Transit Assistance Program (MTAP) staff at the Muni Metro East facility. I think that they should be much better at addressing the needs of customers with disabilities.

Dave Longa: Where are you all with replacing the Fixed-Route Accessibility Coordinator?

We are in the middle of finding an appropriate candidate. We have received many applicants (more than 50), but few are sufficiently qualified to give a second look. We will continue to update the committee as the search progresses.

Public Comment

Mark Chambers: Sometimes I cannot get up on the bus because of the heavy crowds. Certain drivers on certain lines will not let me board.

When the buses are too crowded to fit a wheelchair a pass-up is authorized. The operator must contact Central Control to pass the message on to the next bus that a wheelchair user is waiting. This sort of crowding is why we ask that operators board wheelchair users first.

Kurt Scott: I am a frequent Muni user and a student at SF State who is visually impaired. I have a problem with the access to the Balboa Park station. The train stops in the middle of the street. It is especially difficult to exit M Oceanview LRVs and walk to the station. For wheelchair users it is impossible to exit the train at this location.

SFMTA currently has several ongoing projects to address access at Balboa Park Station for all transit users. There is equipment for wheelchair users to access the M that is currently being repaired. There are alternative procedures in place to allow wheelchair users to exit vehicles at this location. Also, for the next six months there will be different access as the rail service is replaced with bus shuttles.

Ledya Restrepa: I wanted to make a comment about the kneeling buses. There are particular lines and drivers who do not deploy the kneeler because it is broken. How is this being addressed?

All of the kneelers on in-service coaches should be operational, as prior to a bus leaving the yard, the operator must test the kneeler and the lift. If a kneeler has problems when the coach is in service then the operator must fill out a defect card so that the broken equipment can be fixed.


At 3:00 p.m. the meeting was adjourned. The next scheduled meeting will be July 15 at 1:00 p.m.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dear MAAC members and guests - Thanks for your participation and for sharing ideas and information with the agency. It is because of your dedication and hard work that SFMTA is able to provide such accessible and usable public transit services. This is the last set of minutes that I will compile for SFMTA. Over the past five years, I have been lucky to be able to document the work of the Accessible Services department and MAAC through these meetings’ minutes. Thanks for reading


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