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PCC Executive Committee Meeting
December 10, 2008
711 Eddy Street, San Francisco

PCC Executive Committee Members Present: Cheryl Damico, Chair; Stu Smith, Vice Chair; Jeanne Lynch, Secretary; Matthew Yamashita; Erma Brim; Genya Ehrlich; Melecio Torres; Dee Ann Hendrix; Griff Humphrey; Ruth Lawner; Claudia Grubler; Ruach Graffis; Sandra Fancher; Jacy Cohen; Abby Lamb; Scott Blum; Laurie Graham; John Lazar; Olivia Santiago; Paul Gillespie; Jacy Cohen; Kaye Griffin

Guests: Marty Smith, Luxor; Troy Barnes, MPT; Charles Rathbone, Luxor; Nelu Zia, Adult Day Services Network; Hal Mellegard, Yellow Cab; Lizzi Dierken, Green Cab; Joseph Flanagan, Bay Area People First; Bruce Oka, SFMTA; Russell Green; Gratchia Makarian, B&W Checker; Tom Stanghellini, Luxor; Jesus Portillo, National Cab; Miguel Flamenco

Paratransit Broker: Marc Soto; Kevin McNay

Muni: Annette Williams; Kate Toran; Jeff Banks;

Read and Approve Agenda

Cheryl Damico called the meeting to order at 10:40 am.  Jeanne Lynch read the agenda.  Stu Smith requested that the PCC have time at the end of meeting to view photos from 30th anniversary event. The agenda was motioned/seconded/passed (M/S/P) as amended.

Approve minutes of October 29, 2008 meeting

The minutes were M/S/P as presented.

Report from the PCC 30th Anniversary Celebration

• Dee Ann commented that the catering was not good though people had fun. Jeanne agreed and said that the caterers only came by once and didn’t give enough to eat.

• Laurie Graham commented that Jane Bolig did a good job as MC.

• Marty Smith said that the presentation of driver’s awards went too fast. John Lazar agreed and said it was too bad as many drivers had their families there and had prepared speeches.

• Cheryl mentioned that it had been important to keep the time frame because of parameters of the rental space. Dee Ann repeated that there were time constraints and said that two hours for the annual meeting is not enough time.

• Kate Toran agreed that the driver awards went too fast, and so she suggested putting together a special newsletter to honor the drivers.

PCC Executive Committee Elections

Kate stated that the typically, the PCC Executive Committee elections take place at the PCC Annual meeting, but because this year was special, the PCC voted to hold the elections at the December Executive Committee meeting.  Kate explained the voting procedures, and the PCC divided into caucuses.  Each caucus had a point person, and accepted nominations from the floor. Those running for a seat had a few minutes to state their qualifications and their reasons for wanting to be a PCC Executive Committee member.  The votes were cast by a secret ballot.  The following individuals were elected:

Affiliated Elderly: Benny Wong, North and South of Market ADHC and Nelu Zia, SF Adult Services Network

Unaffiliated Elderly: Stu Smith, Griff Humphrey and Erma Brim

Affiliated Disabled: Joseph Flanagan, Bay Area People First

Unaffiliated Disabled: Russell Green and Cheryl Damico

For Profit Provider: John Lazar, Luxor Cab Company; Laurie Graham, Ramp Taxi Driver; Gratchia Makarian, Black & White Checker Cab Company; Scott Blum, Medsam Transportation

Kate welcomed all new and returning PCC Executive Committee members.

Report from the November 5, 2008 PC&O Taxi & Ramp Taxi Subcommittee

Transition of the Taxi Commission to SFMTA:  President Paul Gillespie stated that the Taxi Advisory Group completed its task and prepared a recommendation.  

Debit Card Project:  Kate Toran reported that Cabconnect has been selected to design and develop the debit card central system or DCCS, the software that will process all debit card transactions.  SFMTA, the Paratransit Broker and Booz Allen Hamilton (SFMTA’s technical consultant) have been working very closely with Cabconnect on the preliminary software design. 

After a competitive bidding process, Gleike Taxi Meters has been selected as the preferred supplier of In Taxi Equipment (ITE).  VeriFone, Wireless Edge and Mobile Knowledge are approved as the alternate suppliers.  The taxi companies can choose among these vendors to get the equipment.  Muni will pay the ITE cost of the preferred vendor.  If the taxi company chooses the preferred vendor, the entire cost of the ITE will be paid for by Muni.  If the taxi company chooses one of the alternate qualified suppliers, Muni will pay the amount per unit of the preferred vendor and the taxi company will pay for the incremental cost.

The Broker is developing training materials for both passengers and drivers and outreach material to solicit volunteers to participate in the debit card pilot program.  At least one hundred volunteers will participate in the pilot program.

Taxi driver incentive program:  Kate Toran reported that Muni has been working for a number of months to develop and test an implementation plan for the taxi driver incentive program.  The MTA developed the plan, with input from the Broker’s Office and some taxi industry representatives. There are many challenges with implementing the incentive program, particularly collecting good data. The MTA is trying to establish a data collection method that does not increase the work for taxi companies, drivers or the Paratransit staff.  As part of the test implementation, the MTA has asked the Yellow and Luxor to separate ramp taxi scrip from the regular taxi scrip. Then the Paratransit staff will go through a monthly process to review the taxi scrip and determine which drivers are delivering ramp trips and how many trips are completed per day by driver.  If this process works with Yellow and Luxor, then the rest of the companies that provide ramp taxi service will be asked to follow the same procedure.

Broker Report: Marc reported that an agreement has been executed with the Trapeze Software Group to transition the entire Broker’s management software system to Trapeze over the next 12 months. The first part of this transition will be an operational review, which will be conducted onsite at the Paratransit office and onsite with Mobility Plus.

• Marc also reported that he had met with the three Taxi Driver Training Schools to update them on the status of the debit card project.

Report on Emergency Preparedness Planning

Annette reported on the effort to create a more robust emergency preparedness plan for paratransit. A region-wide workshop took place recently in Oakland to address various issues and strategies of emergency preparedness for paratransit. Emergency experts say that the public should be educated that there may be no services for 3-4 days or a week. In San Francisco we are most concerned about planning for earthquakes. Accessible Services is currently working with the Broker to develop a scope of work, with the goal of hiring a consultant to draft the emergency plan, and then bring the plan to the PCC for review in about 3 months. We also anticipate developing a brochure so riders know what to anticipate. Communications is the key during an emergency.  Matt Yamashita has worked with drivers at MPT to establish four locations throughout the city to be emergency staging areas in the event there is no communication with the base. Other providers have been active as well.

  • Charles Rathbone, who also attended the meeting in Oakland, said the workshop was sobering and included graphic presentations of the San Diego wildfires. Rathbone noted that transceiver and antenna on site will allow Luxor to stay in touch with fleet. Yellow also has such a system in place.
  • John Lazar said there is a need to put antennas on some city buildings in case Sutro Towers go down.
  • Kaye Griffin said that in the East Bay during the ’89 earthquake there was a failure of services to the disabled community.
  • Jacy suggested that the antennas could be put on the 3 ARC sites.
  • Karen Rosen said you also need a database with some to flag vulnerable riders

Broker Report

Marc Soto reported that with regard to emergency planning, rider information is limited by ADA regulations and the confidentiality registry. The idea of a more comprehensive database needs to be taken more seriously. The Broker is working regionally to better understand the region and put together a very robust outline.

Regarding the debit card, the Broker is working hard on preliminary design of Debit Card Central System (DCCS) with a good contractor. The Preliminary Design Review (PDR) aspects have been approved in conjunction with MTA’s consultant (Booz Allen). The Paratransit Broker is now dealing with legal matters, drafting agreements between National/DeSoto and Yellow and Luxor. National and DeSoto have chosen their ITE suppliers already and now are getting contracts signed.  Once the contracts are signed, they can place their orders for ITE.  The Broker is also developing an outreach plan, and driver instructions. They have lined up contractor to mass produce debit cards and they expect a 3 week turn-around. 106 people have signed up for the pilot and they are accepting more applications.

Regarding vehicle procurement, the MTA purchased 29 cutaway vans, including 24 Type II’s and 5 Type III from Bus West. MPT is phasing out the 300 series. So far, 14 Type II’s are at the MPT site waiting for paperwork to be completed and will be released into service next week.

The Broker has finally executed an agreement with Trapeze so IT can migrate away from Mobility Master to a Trapeze product. An Operational Review is scheduled to start on November 15th.

Public Comment

Stu Smith thanked Jeanne Lynch for years of dedication and commitment to the PCC and said it was an honor to work with her.

Marty Smith said the Luxor does over 50% of ramp pick-ups and that should be taken into consideration in the distribution of ramp taxi medallions.

Griff asked what effect the current financial crisis will have on paratransit.  Annette responded that it’s trickling down but there are no official changes. If the subject comes up, she is clear that paratransit is a civil right. The State Transportation Authority is one source of funding which the state is looking at taking away – it represents about $700,000. The real impacts of the crisis may be felt in the next year’s budget. Annette further stated that if the current expenditures continue at the same rate, we will be over-budget. 

Bruce said that the economy is not in good shape. Bruce said that he will continue to be an advocate for paratransit at the MTA board of directors and will fight to keep paratransit funding stable.

Annette said that the program is in better shape because of Prop E, which provides the MTA more budgetary autonomy.  The paratransit fares are low, and this may be looked at in the future.

Genya said that lately she had noticed a positive change in taxi drivers. There has been less talking on the cell phone and more attention given to the passenger.

Annette said that BART will be rehabilitating elevators at all Market Street stations, starting with Civic Center on January 5, 2009 which will be out of service for four months.

The next PCC meeting will be held on
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 
10:30 am – 12:30 pm at 711 Eddy Street. 

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