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PCC Executive Committee Meeting
February 13, 2013711 Eddy Street, San Francisco

PCC Executive Committee Members Present: Stu Smith, PCC Chair; Cheryl Damico, Vice Chair Laurie Graham, PCC Secretary; Roland Wong, PC&O Chair; Adrienne Humphrey; Anna Krevets; Claudia Grubler; Erma Brim; Fred Lein; Jacy Cohen; Jane Redmond; Jeanne Lynch; Joseph Flanagan; Kaye Griffin; Kevin Lee; Pam Martinez; Ruach Graffis; Sue Cauthen; Ursula McGuire

PCC Members and Guests: Joey Hogan; Troy Barnes; Annie M. Young; Diann Stevenson; Rodney Lee

PCC Executive Committee Member Excused: Genevieve Bayan; Genya Ehrlich

SF Paratransit Staff: Marc Soto; John Sanderson; Jason Quon

SFMTA: Annette Williams; Kate Toran; Jonathan Cheng;

Stu Smith, PCC Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:45 a.m.

Read and Approve Agenda

Stu Smith, PCC Chair, read the agenda. The agenda was motioned/seconded/passed.

Approve Minutes of January 9 meeting

The minutes were motioned/seconded/approved as amended.

Comments from the Chair

Stu Smith announced that Jane Bolig will be selling her medallion and leaving San Francisco, forcing her to resign from the PCC in the near future. Stu also reported that Genya Ehlrich is not feeling well and wished her a quick recovery. Stu mentioned that he is on a LGBT taskforce that will be conducting a needs assessment survey for all seniors soon. He encouraged PCC members to participate in the survey, noting that their participation is essential in ensuring their needs are heard.

5310 Grant Call for Projects

Kate Toran announced that there is a 5310 grant available through the federal government for accessible vehicles and equipment. This grant is limited to non-profit agencies or for public agencies should there not be any non-profit agencies providing service. The grant for this year provides 100 percent of funding and does not require any local matching funds. Kate mentioned that she previously held a workshop to help new and returning applicants to provide details about the process and technical assistance. She asked for PCC members to volunteer for a special meeting of the PC&O Grant Review subcommittee to review the applications and help score them before passing them onto the MTC. Kate hoped that there would be about five applications submitted.

Stu Smith asked whether or not there was a meeting date set to review the completed applications and about their complexity. Kate Toran answered that there is no meeting date set yet but that it will be after March 11. The completed applications have detailed information regarding an applicant’s transportation operations. Each completed application takes about two hours to read thoroughly and the group will meet to discuss any issues with scores.

Jane Redmond, Adrienne Humphrey, Ruach Graffis, Stu Smith, Laurie Graham, and Pam Martinez all volunteered to review the completed applications.

2012 Ramp Taxi Incentive and Enforcement Summary

Jonathan Cheng provided an update regarding ramp taxi incentives for the 4th quarter. During the 4th quarter, $11,475 worth of incentive were paid out to ramp taxi drivers, with the majority going to drivers from Luxor, Desoto, and Yellow Cab Coop. Drivers for Arrow-Checker, Town Taxi, and Royal also received incentive bonuses. For the fleet incentive, $1,000 went to Luxor and another $500 went to Yellow. Marc Soto added that the mailing of the incentive checks have been delayed due to some conflicting data regarding medallions distribution for one of the months.

For 2012, a total of $43,625 worth of incentives were paid out to ramp taxi drivers. For the fleet incentive, $5,000 went to Luxor and $500 went to Desoto and Yellow respectively. Complementing the incentives is the enforcement program. New regulations requiring all ramp medallion holders to complete eight wheelchair pickups per month, six of which must be SF Paratransit clients, were implemented and enforced started in January 2012. The first warning letters were sent out in April 2012 for service completed within the first three months of the year. The first citations were issued in May 2012. For the year, 120 citations have been issued and six ramp medallion holders have been suspended. Both of these programs have led to about a 20 percent increase in the number of wheelchair pickups in ramp taxis for SF Paratransit clients.

Ruach Graffis asked if the committee could know how many wheelchair pickups are occurring for each medallion in every color scheme. Enforcement reviews these numbers each month but was not available at the meeting. Kate Toran explained that the fleet incentives paid are determined by dividing the total number of wheelchair pickups performed for a specified period by a color scheme by the number of ramp medallions operated by that color scheme. This provides an average for the number of wheelchair pickups each ramp medallion is completing within a color scheme. Laurie Graham asked about what happened to the ramp medallion when it is suspended. Kate Toran replied that the ramp medallion can still operate within the color scheme and that any payments the color scheme would normally make to the medallion holder would instead be made to the Driver’s Fund. Fred Lein added that if the ramp medallion holder is suspended, then essentially the ramp medallion is out of service as the vehicle is no longer in service as well. Ruach Graffis asked who was responsible for monitoring the Driver’s Fund. Kate Toran made a note to ask staff at Taxi Services.

PC&O Taxi/Ramp Taxi Subcommittee Report

Fred Lein read the following report:

I. Comments from the Chair

Vice Chair Fred Lein announced that his Ramp Taxi is now officially retired, and he is now driving a Ford Escape vehicle to save on fuel costs. Everyone gave him a round of applause for his years of service as a ramp taxi driver.

II. Election of new Vice Chair

Two nominations were made for the Vice Chair position of the PC&O Taxi subcommittee. Marty Smith of Luxor Cab and Fred Lien of Yellow Cab were nominated. An election was held and Fred Lien will return as Vice Chair of the taxi subcommittee.

III. Service Quality Issues

Lots of issues were discussed by the public and PCC members about Taxi’s not picking up Paratransit patrons in many of the outer neighborhoods far from downtown such as the Bayview and the Excelsior.

IV. SF Paratransit Broker Report

Jason Quon was introduced as a new Field Monitor to help with taxi services. Yvonne Breukers-Kegge was also introduced as the new Data Analyst for SF Paratransit. She will help process all the data from the taxi debit card system and the MDCs.

The next PC&O Taxi/Ramp Taxi subcommittee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday May 1, 2013 from 10:30am to 12:30pm at the Broker’s office, 68 12th Street, San Francisco.

Paratransit Broker Report

John Sanderson primarily gave the report and Marc Soto added some information to the report:

  • SF Access Service Quality Report: On time performance is down two percent to 83 percent in January 2013 compared to the previous month. To date in February 2013, on time performance is currently at 82 percent. One potential explanation for this slight decline in on time performance was a shift bid that occurred in early January 2013 with drivers becoming accustomed to new routes. In addition, in January, the Broker conducted a maintenance inspection of all 87 SFMTA owned vehicles. MV experienced a high failure rate which led to a number of vehicles being placed out of service for serious mechanical problems or safety failures. While there were many vehicles that needed smaller repairs that were completed quickly, many vehicles were placed out of service. A high number of vehicles are still out of service, some with engine oil leaks. A corrective action plan was requested of MV and will be submitted to the broker’s staff. MV Transportation is working with SFMTA inspectors and SF Paratransit staff to get the remaining vehicles back into service.
  • Joey Hogan stated that the high failure rate was unexpected and that his staff is working hard to get the vehicles back into service. A new maintenance manager was hired and is working hard to correct gain control of MV’s maintenance program and this issue. Once all the vehicles are all cleared for service, another audit will occur to ensure that the vehicles are in the best operating condition.
  • MV is building its new facility in Brisbane and staff is expected to relocate within the next 90 days. MV will continue to maintain vehicles at its current maintenance facility which was originally expected to be temporary. This facility is located across the railroad tracks from the Brisbane operations and control facility.
  • Also, it was reported that MV expects to increase trip capacity because of planned new adjustments to scheduling and routing. Joey Hogan reported that his goal is to transform the culture at MV Transportation and to create a work environment that encourages all workers to perform to the best of their abilities.
  • SF Group Van Service Report: Several meetings have occurred over the past months with group van service providers and social service agencies regarding the increased travel time of riders due to the wider geographic area clients are emanating from. To address this issue, SF Paratransit will be looking at updating MOU rules and look at possible adjustments to characteristics and service parameters of the group van service. The Broker will be reporting back to the two groups.
  • Mobile Data Computer/IVR Implementation: The MDC devices have been installed in every SFMTA-owned vehicle and all group vans. There has been high utilization by MV Transportation and Baymed Express. The goal is get the three smaller service providers to get comfortable with the devices and begin utilizing them. Through the use of these devices by Baymed and MV, there has been better information generated. The use of temporary non-SFMTA-owned fleets by MV has hampered progress for some aspects of service. The IVR implementation process has been slowly ramping up and in the future months, they hope to have a pilot program set up to test the system. Marc Soto added that more equipment and updates to the data system must be ordered and installed before the IVR system is ready for the pilot program.
  • 2013 Customer Satisfaction Survey: A customer satisfaction survey will be conducted this year. Marc Soto and John Sanderson will have a meeting with Jon Canapary later this afternoon to discuss the survey. Kate Toran added that there will be a PC&O subcommittee that will be convened in March to garner input from the PCC about the survey instruments prior to deployment of the survey.
  • Staffing: Jason Quon was introduced as a new Field Monitor to help the Broker with taxi operations. Yvonne Breukers-Kegge was also introduced as the new Data Analyst for SF Paratransit. This position is temporary and being tested by the Broker. In this capacity, she will help process and review all the data from the taxi debit card system and the MDCs.
  • Other Issues: SFMTA and SF Paratransit will be replacing the minivan vehicles that are in operations for the SF Paratransit program. An order is expected to be placed in late March or early April. It was also reported that the FTA conducted a substance abuse program audit of both SFMTA and MV Transportation. Both organizations successfully completed the audit with very good results. Kate Toran announced that the SFMTA is looking to broaden the scope of the Shop-A-Round program to include transportation services for isolation reduction trips. Also, an emergency preparedness exercise for service providers is tentatively scheduled for later this year. SFMTA and the Broker will be having a planning meeting in late March. Annette Williams announced that there will be a hearing to create a taxi zone on Sutter Street near the Montgomery BART station elevator on February 22 at City Hall.

Laurie Graham asked how many total SF Access vehicles are in operation. Marc Soto answered that there are 87 SFMTA owned vehicles operated by MV Transportation. In addition, MV Transportation operates nineteen of their own private vehicles for peak hour demand. About 120 vehicles are in operation for both SF Access and Group Van. Laurie Graham then asked who is responsible to handling the maintenance inspection for the non SFMTA owned vehicles. Marc Soto replied that each provider such as Baymed Express and MV Transportation are responsible but that their vehicles are also subject to CHP inspection. Jane Redmond asked why the vehicles failed the inspections. Joey Hogan accepted responsibility for the maintenance failures. He did state that oil leaks are one of the biggest issues and that this problem had been overlooked previously. The new maintenance manager is aware of this issue.

Jane Redmond asked for greater details in regards to the substance abuse audit. Marc Soto replied that the FTA randomly chose SFMTA and MV Transportation to ensure that operators and transit agencies have proper drug testing policies and programs in compliance with federal requirements for their employees. Ruach Graffis asked whether those with traces of medical marijuana in their drug test are accommodated. Marc Soto stated that regardless of their medical usage, a driver cannot have any drugs in their system – not even medical marijuana.

Sue Cauthen stated that it is her belief that MV’s late pickups are due to the lack of geographic training of dispatchers and drivers. Marc Soto replied that while training is important, based on his experience, the best dispatchers, schedulers and road supervisors are former drivers. Marc stated he has been trying to get MV to have such a career ladder where the best drivers can move up to these positions. Joey Hogan answered he would like to have dispatchers ride along with drivers to get a sense of the road conditions and understand the driving experience. Ruach Graffis asked whether MV Transportation was receiving notices about street closures and public events. Marc Soto answered that his staff sends over those notices every week. Ruach Graffis also stated that as a customer, she would like to make sure that dispatchers ask whether drivers can safely answer the phone before starting any conversation. Kaye Griffin also mentioned that the GPS system in taxis is also giving out wrong directions.

Roland Wong would like to have drivers to be given sensitivity training and is willing to volunteer himself for those trainings. Jane Redmond also volunteered herself for these trainings. Joey Hogan noted this and plans on inviting his safety manager to the next PCC meeting. Kevin Lee reiterated these comments and stated that this training is important. He commented that there was an incident with a driver and the security at Clementina Towers that frightened residents.

Kaye Griffin asked for a clarification in terms of what IVR means. Kate Toran answered that for the purpose of the MDC project discussed to today’s meeting, that the IVR system refers to the Interactive Voice Response system that is being proposed to give riders reminder and update calls regarding their SF Access trips the night before and the day of service before their vehicle arrives.

Jacy Cohen was encouraged to hear the goal of changing the culture of MV Transportation. Erma Brim would like to have an open house to allow for PCC members to meet with the MV employees. Ruach Graffis mentioned that drivers often complain to passengers and would like to see some driver representatives at meetings.

Public Comments

Jane Redmond would like to see taxis and/or MV Transportation under SF Paratransit transport riders to the SF airport. Annette Williams explained that because MUNI does not go to the airport that SF Paratransit cannot travel to the SF airport. She offered, however, that Rediwheels does go to the SF airport as SamTrans goes to the airport and does pickup along the SamTrans routes in San Francisco. Roland Wong agreed with Jane’s statement. Ruach Graffis mentioned that there will be a Bridge Walk at the new eastern extension of the SF/Oakland Bay Bridge on Labor Day weekend. She would also like to see a curb cut at 16th St and Capp St. She would also like to see an accessible vehicle in the new ride share programs. Jeanne Lynch said she would like to see an attorney on the PCC. Kaye Griffin announced that many apartment buildings are being built without adequate loading zones.


Kate Toran announced that there will be a PC&O System-wide Rules subcommittee meeting that will be held on March 5. Marc Soto announced that tomorrow on KTVU that there will be a special report about the proliferation of illegal taxis in San Francisco.


The meeting adjourned at 12:30 pm.

The next PCC meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 27, 2013
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 711 Eddy Street

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