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PCC Executive Committee Meeting

January 23, 2008

711 Eddy Street, San Francisco

PCC Executive Committee Members Present: Stu Smith (Chair); Jeanne Lynch (Vice Chair); Cheryl Damico; Bruce Oka; Genya Ehrlich; Gilda Chico; Melecio Torres; Griff Humphrey; Byron Yan; Ruth Lawner; Olivia Santiago; Claudia Grubler; Scott Blum; Erma Brim; Pam Martinez; Betsy Eddy; Erica Hamilton; Abby Lamb; Cynthia Petersen; John Lazar; Patricia Lovelock; Yetta Miller; Jacy Cohen; Paul Gillespie; Matthew Yamashita; Ruach Graffis

PCC Executive Committee Members Excused: Laurie Graham (Secretary); Dee Ann Hendrix

Guests: Semyon Portnoy, Medsam; John Murphy, MV Transportation; Annie McMillian Young; Wannee Ratanasanguan; Troy Barnes, Mobility Plus Transportation

Paratransit Broker: Marc Soto; Kevin McNay

Muni: Britt Tanner; Annette Williams; Kate Toran

Read and Approve Agenda

Stu Smith called the meeting to order at 10:40 am. Jeanne Lynch read the agenda. Betsy Eddy suggested that an agenda item regarding potential cuts in the Department of Aging and Adult Services budget be added. Stu also suggested amending the agenda to move the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP) item sooner on the agenda. The agenda was motioned/seconded/passed as amended.

Approve minutes of December 12, 2007 meeting

The minutes were M/S/P as presented.

Comments from the Chair:

Stu Smith stated that 2007 was a great year and that the PCC will face budget challenges in the new year. Stu added that the PCC will continue its proactive approach, and because the PCC has such a strong coalition with the taxi industry, the van providers, the Broker and Muni, that it will continue to have an important voice. Stu congratulated Bruce Oka, who has been nominated to service as a director on the Municipal Transportation Agency Board. Bruce has been committed for a long time to improving the transportation options for seniors and persons with disabilities, and he will be an asset to the MTA board.

Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP) Presentation

Annette Williams introduced Britt Tanner, the SFMTA staff person that is heading up the TEP. Britt stated that the SFMTA has been engaged in a comprehensive review of all Muni stops and routes. Britt explained that the TEP is a partnership between Muni and the Controller’s office to look at Muni’s overall performance. Two of the main goals of the TEP are to make Muni faster and more reliable. TEP has developed the draft framework of a 5-7 year plan, which will be presented to the SFMTA board next week. Then five workshops will be held in March. The plan will take 12-18 months to implement and will include community outreach and environmental review. The plan can be reviewed at and comments about the plan can be emailed to

PCC comments: (These are based on shorthand notes taken by Britt Tanner. These are not verbatim; rather they are intended to summarize the main points of speakers’ comments.)

· Go out to the communities to talk to people. For example, Jewish Community Center, this senior center.

· N-Judah safety – consider wider mirrors to avoid people being dragged

· Operators – I heard that there is no financial penalty if people call in sick. Work with the union on this.

· Senior population is increasing – need more public education of how to respect seniors and people with disabilities, e.g. to give up the reserved seats.

· Jitneys – buses don’t even fit in the lanes on Mission Street. Some buses are packed, some are empty. Use smaller equipment, especially on the hills. Have buses come more frequently (since smaller equipment would have less capacity)

· Whenever routes changes, things get worse for people with disabilities. Drivers don’t know that people have hidden disabilities. Some young people don’t look like they have a disability, but they do.

· Cynthia of Golden Gate – question: Will you update your schedules?

· Double Decker bus – unequal access to the view on the 2nd deck.

· Love Muni, Love Nextbus, hybrid bus is a step in the right direction. Need more far side bus stops; will work better (e.g. Fillmore). SOMA’s service is poor. Howard, Folsom, Harrison, Brannan all have more people. Use small buses in neighborhoods. Important to weave transit between neighborhoods, not just go in straight lines.

· Buses don’t stop near the curb; make it impossible for wheelchairs to get in. Also, drivers let able-bodied people board first, so there is no room for a wheelchair. Drivers should let the wheelchair on first.

· Bus shelter seats need to be better designed. They’re cold, slippery, and difficult to sit in.

· Sounds like a great plan, but implementation will be hard.

· Fare evasion – people evade fares by getting in the back door. Muni should have a driver and a conductor (to collect fares) on every bus, like in the Philippines.

· Emphasize maintenance, especially accessible equipment. Drivers tell riders that the lift is broken.

· Don’t want bikers on the sidewalk; they scare me.

· Look at escalator maintenance downtown.

· Overhead electric buses don’t come to the curb, e.g. Fillmore

· Drivers don’t like to pick up passengers with disabilities. They think it will delay them and they will have less break time. Drivers need more time; they shouldn’t be penalized if they’re delayed. Their break shouldn’t be shortened if they finish late.

· There are some nice drivers that know the names of riders and where they live and what stop they use. Example on Geary Street with a lost rider.

Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) Budget

Betsy Eddy reported that DAAS is looking at cutting funds that had been earmarked for the taxi scrip program. DAAS added $300,000 for scrip in the FY07-08 budget. It is likely that DAAS will cut $110,000 this year due to the budget situation. This topic will be considered at the February 6, 2008 Commission meeting, which will be held at 9:30 am City Hall, room 421.

John Lazar stated that the paratransit program may want to look at raising the cost of the scrip from $4.00 per book to $6.00 per book and use the extra money to provide more rides.

Stu stated that we will all have to face cutbacks due to the recession and inflation, and that the PCC will need to compromise and be the voice of collaboration.

PCC Officer Elections

Both Cheryl Damico and Jeanne Lynch were nominated from the floor for PCC Chair. Each said a few words about their experience and why they want to be chair. The vote was held, and Cheryl Damico was voted in as the new PCC Chair. Jeanne Lynch was then voted in as PCC Vice Chair, and Stu Smith was voted in as PCC Secretary. Both Jeanne and Stu were voted in by acclimation. Michael Kwok was voted in by acclimation for PC&O Chair Coordinator.

PCC Vacancy Elections

There were no individuals in attendance to run for the vacant seats, so the elections were carried over to the February 27, 2008 meeting.

Report from the December 19, 2007, PC&O SF Access meeting

Ruth Lawner read the following report:

  • The group discussed the possibility of a fare reduction for late trips. Griff Humphrey suggested that if a van arrives 30 minutes beyond the scheduled time, the fare should be reduced from $1.65 to $ 1.00 because consumers suffer from the outcome. He added that the consumer should be compensated from the late trip. Marc Soto reminded every one that Paratransit Services are designed to be compatible with the fixed route service. Muni does not offer any discount in its fair if the Muni Bus arrives late. Marc also stated that the taxi consumers suffer from the late pickups and compensating only the SF Access rides will cause an inequity. Marc commented that MTA, not PCC, makes a decision on the rate reduction. Byron and Griff disagreed as they said Taxi service is an alternative, which we have no control over but we do have control over the van services. Marc said that offering coupons for avoidable late or missed rides to the clients may help this issue. However, Marc acknowledged that MPT’s on time performance is over 93%, which is much higher than the fixed route performance. Matt Yamashita added that MPT has taken the initiative to help by adding taxi services as a back up when the vans are running behind schedule. Matt remarked that MPT reimburses the fare if the trip is too egregiously late. It was decided to include this item in the next meeting agenda for further discussion.

  • Dialysis Update of the meeting held on 11/29/2007: Kevin stated that dialysis services have improved, with the exception of minor problems on some weekends and late evenings. Matt stated that he is working constantly on improving weekend and evening services. He said that MPT has added more routes and has appointed extra staff to make sure weekend and evening services go smoothly.

  • Service Provider Report - (Union Relations): Matt stated that MPT has developed a relation with the Union, where they focus on drivers’ concerns. Matt stated that they meet with the union representatives monthly. Matt reported that MPT has mandatory driver safety meetings every month. He invited riders/public to attend these meetings. The next safety meeting will be December 27th and 28th, where the management will be talking with the drivers and consumers regarding issues that need to be resolved. All MPT drivers are expected to attend this meeting. MPT is practicing zero tolerance policy towards drivers in regards to safety issues. Byron asked if MPT drivers knew about their benefits. Matt responded that MPT has hired an HR manager, who explains the benefits to the drivers at the time of hiring and as needed. Matt was asked to bring a copy of driver benefits package to the next meeting.
  • Broker Report: Tulay Atalay reported that Muni is in the process of procuring 40 new vehicles to be used in the SF Access program. Of the 40 vehicles, there are 5 minivans and 6 diesel lift equipped vans will be ordered in February. Tulay also reported that the Broker’s office is working with Muni for the software transition from the current Mobility Master software to Trapeze Novus. She stated that the Broker’s office is anticipating to give Trapeze the notice to proceed by the end of December and that the transition will be completed May of 2008.
  • Public Comments: Byron complained that some MPT drivers drive with one hand while they are on cell phones. Cheryl added that some drivers call her and ask her how they can get to her address, while they should be prepared before they go out on the road. Matt responded that these drivers are the ones, who do not follow the procedures. They could get help from the dispatchers as well. He said that he is looking into this issue. Troy added that he always tell the drivers to read the manifest before they go out on the road. Byron complained that some MPT drivers hesitate to get out the van and look for the clients that are waiting for the van outside or in the lobby of a building. Matt responded that he is going to bring up this issue in their next driver safety meeting.
  • The next SF Access meeting will be on March 5, 2008, at 68-12th Street, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Report from the January 2, 2008 PC&O Group Van Meeting

Erica Hamilton provided the following report:

The PC&O Group Van Subcommittee met on January 2, 2008. Erica Hamilton was elected the Group Van Vice Chair.

  • Service quality had improved for all agencies, and in fact, the meeting was remarkable in that it lasted under one hour.
  • The Group Van MoU that the PCC approved at the December meeting will be finalized and Tulay work with the agency representatives to get the documents signed.
  • The next PC&O Group Van meeting is scheduled for April 2, 2008.

Report from the Taxi Advisory Committee

Pat Lovelock provided the following report:

  • The PCC Taxi Advisory Committee has been working hard to interview all of the 25 new ramp taxi medallion applicants. The group is nearly finished with the 25 interviews. There is one interview scheduled for January 31, 2008. One person will be interviewed at that time. The last interviews were held on January 11th and at that time, four applicants were interviewed and one was not recommended. This is the second applicant that was not recommended. The first applicant that was not recommended was re-trained and then re-interviewed. This applicant provided more proof of wheelchair pick-ups at the second interview, and was able to demonstrate proper tie-down procedures. The PCC expects that a similar process will be followed for the second applicant that did not pass.

After Pat provided the report, Paul Gillespie stated that the Taxi Commission takes the recommendations of the PCC very seriously. Applicants that were not fully able to demonstrate a proper wheelchair securement have been asked by the Taxi Commission to be re-trained before they can receive their medallions.

Paratransit Broker Report

Marc Soto reported that the Broker is working with the SFMTA on the van procurement. The Broker is also working with Mobility Plus Transportation (MPT) to ensure that they are properly conducting the preventive maintenance (PM) on the 20 City-owned vehicles currently in service in the MPT fleet. Overall, MPT’s maintenance has improved; they have new maintenance equipment, a candidate for the chief of maintenance position. The Broker will meet with the candidate for the maintenance position to give their in-put. The Broker is continuing to work with MPT on service quality issues. There are still some outstanding issues – such as dialysis service and weekend service that still need to be resolved.

The planning for the annual Paratransit Customer Satisfaction Survey will begin soon. Broker staff is reviewing the Riders’ Guides for any updates that may need to occur. The Broker is also working on developing an emergency plan.

Byron Yan stated that after Christmas the MPT “Where’s My Ride” line is not working very well. He is generally put on hold automatically for at least 15 minutes. Marc responded that the Broker is monitoring the phone reports and that he will follow up with MPT because the reports are not indicating long hold times.

The next PCC meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 27, 2008

10:30 am – 12:30 pm at 711 Eddy Street.

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