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PCC Executive Committee Meeting
August 13, 2008
711 Eddy Street, San Francisco

PCC Executive Committee Members Present: Cheryl Damico, Chair; Stu Smith, Vice Chair; Jeanne Lynch, Secretary; Matthew Yamashita; Abby Lamb; Olivia Santiago; Griff Humphrey; Silas Telfor; Ruth Lawner; Iona Lawhorn; Scott Blum; Michael Kwok; Melecio Torres; Paul Gillespie; Pam Martinez; Laurie Graham

PCC Executive Committee Members Excused: Gilda Chico; Patricia Lovelock; Dee Ann Hendrix; Lisa Rosene; John Lazar; Cynthia Petersen

Guests: Troy Barnes, MPT; Ernesto Zamora, MPT; Ge Li, Self Help for the Elderly; Jane Bolig, DeSoto; Sergio Alunan, Public Authority; Wannee Ratanasanguan; Benny Wong, North and South of Market ADHC; Annie McMillan Young

Paratransit Broker: Marc Soto; Kevin McNay

Muni: Annette Williams; Kate Toran

Read and Approve Agenda

Cheryl Damico called the meeting to order at 10:35 am.  Jeanne Lynch read the agenda.  Silas Telfor moved that agenda item seven be moved up sooner on the agenda.  The agenda was motioned/seconded/passed (M/S/P) as amended.

Approve minutes of May 21, 2008 meeting

The minutes were M/S/P as presented.

Report from the June 4, 2008 PC&O SF Access meeting

Byron Yan provided the following report:

  • Roger Ray made a presentation about how a demand type service could replace the current SF Access service for most paratransit service and stated that he believed a demand type paratransit service could save transit agencies millions of dollars.  He stated that taxis and vans could operate as a demand service as taxis do and eliminate the need for advance reservations and expensive computer software.
  • A report was given by Cheryl Damico about the dialysis service meeting held on May 22, 2008, and this will be presented to the PCC as part of the Paratransit Broker report.
  • Service Provider Reports: Matt Yamashita stated that they have seen great improvement in service. He credited his Operations Managers (Ernesto Zamora and Troy Barnes) for their hard work in helping to achieve the improvements in performance.  Matt acknowledged that phone service has improved under Ernesto’s supervision. Matt also expressed that there has been improvement in dialysis service with new oversight and communication with the drivers and dispatchers.  Matt also mentioned that Andy Cardinale is MPT’s new IT manager.
  • Marc stated that MPT management and Paratransit have been meeting regularly to review service quality. Marc also talked about the addition of 40 new vans. He stated that Muni is in the middle of a procurement process and added that the first batch of vans will be available to operate in the next two weeks. Marc also gave an update on the Debit Card project. He said that the technical procurement of the debit card (Software) has been more than half way completed.
  • Announcements: Kate Toran mentioned that June 25th PCC meeting has been canceled. She said that instead, there will be an appreciation luncheon party. She announced two possible facilities for the party: the Asian Art Museum or the de Young Musuem. Kate said that the meeting will start at 11:15 am. The place of meeting will be announced soon.
  • Public Comments: Ruth Lawner said that MPT driver schedules are to tight
  • The next meeting will be held on September 3rd, 2008 at 10:30 am, SF Paratransit Office, 68-12th Street

Report from the July 9, 2008 PC&O Group Van meeting

Abby Lamb provided the following report:

  • The PC&O Group Van Subcommittee met on July 9.
  • Tracy Chesna McCloud was voted in as Vice Chair of the PC&O Group Van by acclimation.  The Vice Chair position was vacant because Erica Hamilton, the former Vice Chair, resigned from the PCC, and has moved to Sweden. 
  • Kate Toran reported that the SFMTA is applying for a New Freedom grant for a Shopping Shuttle.  The New Freedom fund is for transportation projects for seniors and persons with disabilities that go beyond the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Kate will work with community based organizations in the Visitation Valley and Bayview Hunters Point neighborhoods and the Services Connection Project which is providing services in public housing buildings for seniors and disabled adults on developing the project guidelines and implementation plan, if funded. 
  • Cheryl Damico presented Christian Reyes from MPT an award for Group Van Driver of the Quarter. Included with the award was an American Express card for $50.  He was selected for his exceptional service to the Self Help for the Elderly.
  • Monique El-Amin reported that MPT’s service to Laguna Honda ADHC is going fairly well.  They had some communication problems with MPT and the Paratransit office regarding a rider’s expired eligibility.  Marc responded that Yvette Fang has developed a release form for group van participants and agencies so that the Paratransit office can send a client’s eligibility expiration letter directly to the agency.
  • Kim Gilgenberg-Castello reported that the service is going well at North and South of Market ADHC.  Darren Fanelli commended Medsam for their work at Mission Creek ADHC program. 
  • Tracy McCloud reported that service is going well at the Institute on Aging. 
  • Ge Li introduced herself as the new Program Director at Self Help for the Elderly’s Adult Day Services.  She stated that they had a serious problem with a new MPT driver a few days earlier.  The driver was exceedingly late for both the morning and afternoon pick-ups and drop-offs.  Matt Yamashita apologized on behalf of MPT and stated that it was a new driver, who had been trained for two days on that specific route, but that she got lost and then felt scared to call dispatch.  Matt added that MPT is reviewing and revising their driver training to make improvements.
  • Jacy Cohen stated that the ARC’s service is going well.  MPT is handling issues as they come up and working to problem-solve instead of getting defensive.
  • Kate Toran reported that five San Francisco community based organizations applied for the 5310 grant.  The grant applications were scored by a subcommittee of the PCC and then submitted to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).  MTC is in the process of formally adopting the regional scores and sending them on to CalTrans.  Caltrans is planning on taking the program of projects to their commission this December, so contracts with the successful applicants will probably begin early next year.
  • Marc Soto reported that the group van contracts have been extended for the duration of the Paratransit Broker contract extension.  The Broker is working on group van rate adjustments for the annual cost of living adjustments.
  • The next Group Van meeting will be held on October 1, 2008.

Report from the August 6, 2008 PC&O Taxi/Ramp Taxi meeting

Cheryl Damico provided the following report:

  • SF Taxi Commission Executive Director Jordanna Thigpen introduced Nancy McMackin.  Nancy has starting working as an investigator at the SF Taxi Commission’s Office.  She will be investigating and resolving paratransit taxi issues.  She can be reached at 415-503-2115. 
  • Kate Toran distributed “secret rider” form.  PC&O Taxi/Ramp taxi Subcommittee created and the PCC adopted the “secret rider” form one and a half years ago.  At that time, several outreach efforts were done to recruit participants.  Participation was very little.  Kate explained that there are other resources to monitor the ramp taxi program.  She stated that Nancy McMackin and 311 are great additions to monitoring the ramp taxi program.  It was discussed to make the secret rider program more user-friendly. 
  • Charles Rathbone of Luxor Cab agreed to conduct testing for colleting accurate data for the ramp taxi driver incentive program.  Luxor is submitting ramp taxi scrip, which starts with Z serial numbers, separately per day per driver.  If this system works, Yellow Cab and then the other smaller cab companies will be asked to separate their ramp scrip as Luxor Cab is doing now. 
  • Marc Soto reported that the annual customer survey has been completed.  Broker will start looking for volunteers for the Debit Card pilot program soon.  Both overall trips and expenditure increased 1% during FY0708.
  • Kate announced that she is working on the 30th annual PCC meeting. 
  • The next meeting will be on November 5, 2008, at 10:30 am at the San Francisco Paratransit Office

Paratransit Broker Report

Dialysis Service: Cheryl Damico provided the following report regarding the quarterly dialysis meeting:

  • Saturday Service Report:  Kevin reported on the actions taken by SF Paratransit and MPT to improve Saturday service.  These actions included use of a new dialysis dispatch report that allows the dispatcher to better control pick-up times, the assignment of a road supervisor that is dedicated to dialysis centers on Saturdays.  SF Paratransit also conducted random surveys of dialysis passengers to assess the quality of Saturday service.  We found that passengers generally did not have any reported problems with service other than to report that sometimes they felt that their ride home from the dialysis center was to long because of the trip being a shared ride.  We checked some of these trips for comparison with the same trip on Muni and did not find them to be longer than the Muni trip.               
  • Marc presented a new form that the social workers need to have their patients sign off on that will allow us to share information with the dialysis center about patient eligibility particularly when eligibility will expire.
  • Emergency Operations:  Marc requested that the centers provide us with their emergency operation plans so that we might incorporate them into our own emergency planning.  The centers informed us that only the hospital based dialysis centers would be operational in the case of a massive power failure since the hospital based centers are the only ones with electric generators.  
  • The dialysis center social workers reported that overall service has made a great improvement and even Saturday service is much better than previously experienced.       
  • The next quarterly dialysis meeting will be held on August 21, 2008.

Debit Card: Marc reported that the debit card project has been moving forward.  Veolia is in negotiations with the highest ranking software firm.  Three companies submitted bids as part of the debit card software procurement.  One of those firms was determined by the selection committee to not meet the minimum qualifications.  The other two firms were scored and ranked.  Veolia is expecting to issue Notice to Proceed (NTP) this week.  Within 30 days of NTP, the debit card software vendor should have the interface protocol established for the In Taxi Equipment (ITE).  The Invitation for Bid (IFB) for the ITE was issued and six firms submitted bids.  The qualification committee met and conducted the pre-qualification review.  The next step will be presentations.  Each bidder will demonstrate their proposed product for the committee.  After the presentations, the committee will determine whether or not the bidders are qualified.  A list will be developed of all the qualified vendors, and the lowest price product will be the preferred solution.  Taxi companies will then have the choice of equipment.  SFMTA will provide the preferred solution at no cost to the taxi companies.  The companies may choose another qualified product, but must pay the difference in cost.  The Broker is working on equipment use agreements with the taxi companies.  The Broker is also working on the logistics of the 60-day debit card pilot program.  The target date is October 15.  The Broker will be soliciting 100 – 250 volunteers to participate in the pilot program.  Kevin will contact PCC members to ask for volunteers.

Ruach Graffis asked if the system can take credit cards.  Marc responded that it paves the way for the companies to accept credit cards.  Laurie Graham asked about the back-up system.  Marc replied that their will be an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system if the system goes down. 

Vehicle Procurement:  Marc reported that the Broker has weekly contact with El Dorado and Bus West, the two companies that are manufacturing the paratransit vehicles.  The five minivans will be coming in the next month or so, and the remaining buses will be coming from Bus West shortly thereafter.

Service Level Statistics:  Marc reviewed the FY07-08 service level statistics that were provided in the agenda packet.  He reported that overall trips and expenditures increased 1% and complaints were reduced nearly in half.  The Paratransit Customer Satisfaction Survey is nearly complete, and Jon Canapary will be invited to the next PCC meeting to report on this year’s satisfaction statistics.  The Executive Summary of the survey will be provided to PCC members.  The verbatim comments and the full report can be made available at the SFMTA office for people who want to read the entire report.

New Freedom Fund Grant Report

Kate Toran reported that there is a new federal grant program to provide money for transportation projects that go beyond the ADA requirements.  The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is administering the grant program, and the second call for projects was released.  SFMTA submitted an application to fund a shopping service for seniors and disabled adults who have difficulty using Muni for the grocery shopping needs.  The SFMTA has several community partners, including the Services Connection Project, Bayview Hunters Point Senior Center, Visitacion Valley Senior Center. 

The New Freedom application was submitted at the end of July, and Kate will keep the PCC informed of its success.

Public Comments

Ruach Graffis stated that Genya’s photo was in the newspaper because of her participating in a creative writing class.  The class will have a performance on September 12.

Iona Lawhord thanked MPT for their service.  Iona stated that she has been staying with her sister since an apartment in her building caught on fire, and she is pleased that MPT has been on-time and working very hard.

Ruth Lawner stated that there should be more training for taxi drivers regarding working with persons with disabilities.  One taxi driver wouldn’t help her put in her walker.  Ruth added that the Chairs of the Committees need to pay attention to the time and make sure to leave enough time for committee members to make comments. 

Jeanne Lynch added that sensitivity is important at PCC meetings.  Hearing is an issue, and so people should speak up, wait their turn to speak, and go through the Chair.

Laurie Graham stated that she went to one safety training at MPT and she’s wondering whether she can go to another as a surprise.  Matt responded that MPT holds monthly safety meetings and that Laurie is welcome to attend.  Michael Kwok stated that it’s a courtesy to communicate with providers if a PCC member wants to attend a training session.

Laurie asked if there is oversight of the taxi sensitivity training because she feels that the classes should be visited and monitored.  Marc responded that that is the purview of the SF Taxi Commission staff.  Jane Bolig stated that riders should call in their taxi complaints to the companies.  Training may not be the issue, it may be the follow through.


Kate announced that there will be a Ramp Taxi Medallion interview on August 18 at 10:45 am at the SF Paratransit office.  There will be one applicant.

The next PCC meeting will be held on
Wednesday, September 24, 2008 
10:30 am – 12:30 pm at 711 Eddy Street. 

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