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PCC Executive Committee Meeting
January 20, 2010
711 Eddy Street, San Francisco

PCC Executive Committee Members Present: Stu Smith, Chair; Cheryl Damico; Genya Ehrlich; Sandra Fancher; Byron Yan; Scott Blum; Joseph Flanagan; Melecio Torres; Olivia Santiago; Kaye Griffin; Russell Green; Marian Gan; Ameur Kallel; John Lazar; Ruth Lawner; Jeanne Lynch; Harvey Katz; Claudia Grubler; Roland Wong;

PCC Members and Guests: Troy Barnes, MPT; Martin Smith, Luxor Cab; Jane Bolig, DeSoto; Bruce Neal; Annie Young; Darren Fanelli, Steppingstone;

PCC Executive Committee Member Excused: Griff Humphrey; Gilda Chico; Laurie Graham; Jacy Cohen

Paratransit Broker: Marc Soto; Kevin McNay; Aaron Bonfilio; Tulay Atalay

SFMTA: Kate Toran;

Quorum for PCC Officer Election

Cheryl Damico asked for a count-off to reach quorum for the election of PCC Executive Committee officers. Thirteen (13) PCC Executive Committee members were counted as present which reached the quorum.

Read and Approve Agenda

Cheryl Damico called the meeting to order at 10:40 am.  Cheryl Damico read the agenda. 

Kate Toran announced that long time PCC Executive Committee member Dee Ann Hendrix had passed away. Kate moved to add to the agenda a moment of silence to honor the life of Dee Ann.

The agenda was motioned/seconded/passed (M/S/P) as amended.

Approve minutes of December 9, 2009 meeting

Marian Gan asked to correct a misspelling in her name. Kate Toran stated that Robin Krop had asked for a bulletin to be issued to riders not to drivers. Jeanne Lynch stated that her name had been left off members present.

The minutes were M/S/P as corrected.

Comments from the Chair

Cheryl Damico announced that Darren Fanelli would be representing Steppingstone in place of Benny Wong.

Cheryl read the memorial program in honor of death of Dee Ann Hendrix. Marty Smith recommended naming an award after Dee Ann in appreciation of her dedication to the PCC. Jeanne Lynch stated that Dee Ann was a fighter who had major concerns about what was and was not being done. Jeanne stated that Dee Ann never complained about her conditions. Cheryl Damico stated that she and Dee Ann had lived together in the seventies and Dee Ann had many pet birds. Cheryl stated that Dee Ann’s respiratory condition had deteriorated greatly. Kate Toran stated that she had tried to contact family members and to locate Dee Ann’s dog.

Election of PCC Executive Committee Officers and Paratransit Coordination and Operations (PC&O) Committee Chair Coordinator

Kate Toran announced that, in accordance with the PCC Bylaws, the elections occur in the first meeting of the new year. Kate Toran stated that there are four positions open: PCC Chair, PCC Vice chair, Secretary and PC&O Chair. Kate explained the election process.

Joseph Flanagan and Stu Smith were nominated to be Chair. Stu Smith was elected Chair.

Olivia Santiago, Joseph Flanagan and Melecio Torres were nominated for Vice Chair. Olivia Santiago was elected Vice Chair.

Cheryl Damico and Marian Gan were nominated for Secretary. Marian Gan was elected Secretary. For Paratransit Coordination and Operations Committee (PC&O) Chair Coordinator, Cheryl Damico and Joseph Flanagan were nominated. Cheryl Damico was elected PC&O Chair Coordinator.

SFMTA Updates

Shopping Shuttle Invitation for Bid

Kate Toran reported that the SFMTA had written two successful grant applications, New Freedom and Lifeline and the funding is becoming available. Over the last 1 ½ years the SFMTA has been conducting community outreach and working with the broker to develop a competitive solicitation for shopping shuttle services. The Paratransit Broker issued an invitation for bid (IFB) for shopping shuttle providers and three submittals were received. The next step is to review the submittals and then, once providers have been selected, to get them under contract. To begin, the service will target public housing buildings and underserved neighborhoods. If the service has capacity, it will expand into other areas.

Paratransit Broker RFP

Kate Toran stated that the new paratransit broker contract was unanimously approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors and will now go to the Board of Supervisors (BoS). The BoS Budget and Finance Committee will hear the item today. The new contract, if approved by the BoS, will start on April 1, 2010. Tasks that will bridge the two contract periods include the Taxi Debit Card and the transition to Trapeze, the new scheduling and routing software. New features within the new contract include shopping shuttle implementation; a new a part time position at the broker will be hired to work with the shopping shuttle. The broker will also hire a new taxi field monitor. The broker will undertake the procurement and implementation of new on board computers on paratransit vans. On board computers will greatly improve communication between drivers, the broker’s office and the SF Access customers.

Jane Bolig asked about the job function of the new taxi monitor. Jane suggested a meeting with the new taxi monitor to make sure they know about the industry. Kate Toran responded that the duties of the taxi monitor would be to monitor the service quality in the paratransit taxi service.

Report from the January 6, 2010 PC&O Group Van Subcommittee

Cheryl Damico read the following report.

Update from agencies and providers on paratransit service quality:

  • Darren Fanelli reported that transportation services are running very smoothly at Stepping Stone (formerly known as North and South of Market ADHC).  Darren spoke with all the center directors and they indicated that there is good communication with Medsam and good service.
  • Tracy McCloud also reported that Institute on Aging is receiving great service from Medsam and that there are no complaints or problems.
  • Scott Blum reported that Medsam has hired three new drivers to work on the Steppingstone routes and they are being trained on the routes.
  • Jacy Cohen reported that the ARC is experiencing good service quality.  There are not a lot of problems.  A couple of months ago a few issues came up but they were dealt with very responsibly.  There are steady drivers, which is really good for group van.  Aaron Bonfilio, the Paratransit Broker field monitor, has visited and made some helpful suggestions to staff.  Natalie has grown into the position of group van coordinator at MPT.  A driver went and visited a sick rider at the hospital on her own time.  Aaron added that he has seen the drivers becoming ambassadors out in the field and they are well-informed about air quality control measures and double parking.
  • Ameur Kallel reported that MPT is preparing for the new Trapeze software system by readjusting all their subscription trips.  This should improve all group van routes and schedules and help MPT achieve better on time reliability.  Marc noted that Kallel used PASS down in San Jose so that will help MPT acclimate to the new software.
  • Tracy McCloud reported that due to new State requirements regarding ADHC eligibility, approximately 40-60% of current ADHC clients could be discharged.  Disability Rights California is working on a lawsuit to challenge the new eligibility requirements.  If the new requirements do go into effect, ADHC’s could start discharging clients as soon as March 1st.  Both Tracy and LeNay Eastman will keep us posted.

Report from the Paratransit Broker Report at the PC&O Group Van meeting

Marc Soto updated the group:

  • Debit Card: The debit card is in the process of a gradual roll-out for full implementation.  94% of all debit card transactions are being processed by the In Taxi Equipment (ITE).  There are some cabs that haven’t been equipped with the ITE, due to equipment supply problems, but the drivers have been trained to use the back up system.  Yellow Cab Cooperative is making a training video for drivers which will be posted on YouTube.  Annette Williams thanked the Broker staff for all of their hard work related to the implementation of the debit card system. Annette also added the emergency taxi service to group agencies is vulnerable to potential budget cuts.  The SFMTA is in a very difficult budget situation and is undergoing lay-offs, recently enacted sweeping service changes and raised the fares on the fixed route system.  Annette will keep the group posted.
  • Paratransit Management Software: The Broker is in the process of transitioning from Mobility Master customer management software to Trapeze PASS.  Paratransit Broker staff and the provider staff members have been trained on the new system, and the go live date will occur in January.  The new software system has a robust routing and scheduling component that will be a benefit to MPT and Medsam.
  • The current Paratransit Broker contract is set to expire on March 31, 2010, and the new contract will begin on April 1, 2010.  Veolia was the successful bidder, and the SFMTA board has approved the new contract and the next step will be for the item to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

The next PC&O Group Van meeting is scheduled for April 7, 2010  

Report from the December 15, 2009 PC&O SF Access Subcommittee

Joseph Flanagan read the following report:

Dialysis Issues and Other Service Issues

Kevin McNay said that no issues were raised by the dialysis centers for discussion.

Marc Soto explained that this item was added to the agenda because in the past special dialysis meetings were held to problem solve some major service issues but now that those had pretty well been resolved it was decided that this item would be added to the agenda  in case the centers had issues that needed discussion.

Marian Gan added that operation of the dialysis unit at 2333 Buchanan (CPMC) is changing hands, and DaVita Inc. is in the process of completing due diligence before taking over as the contractor operating the unit  Aaron Bonfilio added that DaVita has an additional unit opening soon in the Daly City Westlake neighborhood, which will be within the SF Access service area. 

Other Service Issues – Marc Soto

  • Driver availability

SF Access (MPT) driver availability was raised at last PCC meeting. Marc asked Ameur Kallel to explain MPT’s current “extra-board” procedure. Extraboard is term used to describe the extra staff needed to “protect the work,” ensure service runs on-time.

  • Equipment issues

In addition to staffing issues, issues were raised regarding MPT’s spare vehicle availability and maintenance performance. Of the entire MPT fleet, 60 of those vehicles are owned by the SF MTA. SFPT conducts regular inspections of the MTA-owned vehicles.  Last major inspections were conducted August & September and recently follow-up inspection was conducted. The follow-up inspection confirmed that issues have been addressed, while some new issues were reported. 

  • Proper No-Show Procedure

Marc Soto explained what is considered the adequate no-show procedure for SFPT services.  He added that complaints have been received regarding no-shows, and that SFPT is in the process of reviewing MPT’s documented no-show procedure.

  • Baggage Policy Review

A recent incident was explained where a passenger attempted to move large sums of baggage on SF Access trip and was told that the trip couldn’t be provided.  He reiterates that Paratransit policies are generally meant to be similar to the local public transit agency’s policies.  He asked the Subcommittee add comments on acceptable baggage policy. 

Service Provider Reports – Mobility Plus Transportation

Ameur Kallel stated that Trapeze is going to be implemented next month and explained what that should mean.           

Broker Report - Marc Soto

Marc Soto provided a brief update about debit card usage and performance by providers. The subcommittee responded regarding experience with the card.  Members asked when the “PCC meeting value” gets added to their accounts.  SFPT will discuss this issue offline.  Marc Soto updated the subcommittee that Veolia has been selected to remain as the SF Paratransit broker and the decision has been put before the SF Board of Supervisors.

Public Comment

Roland Wong updates on Laguna Honda shuttle service. 

Paratransit Broker Report

Tulay Atalay provided the following report:

Debit Card Update

The broker continues monitoring full implementation of the Debit Card, including monitoring debit card transactions and complaints, training drivers, creating a training video, working with taxi companies so manual transaction payments are posted on a web portal. The broker is working with local Weights and Measures and the State Department of Agriculture on acceptance testing for the In Taxi Equipment (ITE) and associated firmware. Weights and Measures has issued a temporary operating authority for the Verifone ITE while the testing continues. There are approximately 200 vehicles that still need to be equipped with ITE, although all drivers are trained to accept a manual transaction. The broker is working on revising the paratransit Rider’s Guide, Volume 3, with specific information about using the SF TaxiCard.

Paratransit Information and Technology Update

The transition to Trapeze software will begin on January 24. The transition will be complete by February 12. The goal of the new software is to improve reservation, dispatching, routing, scheduling as well as eligibility and complaints handling.

Emergency Planning

The broker is holding two workshops with providers this week with the emergency planning contractor Willdan Homeland Solutions.  A draft Paratransit Emergency Preparedness Plan is expected by April 2010.

Marty Smith stated that customers were requesting round trips and therefore paratransit taxi service should allow drivers to do round trips. Kate Toran answered that drivers were welcome to wait but are required to turn off there meters as stated in the rider’s rules. To the drivers’ advantage, those who wait do get an extra flag drop. Jane Bolig stated that savings earned from the SF TaxiCard should allow paratransit to consider funding round trip paratransit taxi rides.

Marty Smith stated that Luxor was experiencing resistance from passengers who didn’t want to show their SF TaxiCard upon entering the cab. Kate Toran responded that drivers can accept the card at the end of the trip. Marty Smith had experienced many passengers at the end of the trip that had no value on their card. Genya asked what a person without a cell phone can do when the cab driver refuses to accept the SF TaxiCard. Jane Bolig responded that people should tell the driver that they have to accept the card and if the problem persists, report the complaint to the broker. Tulay Atalay stated that it’s very important for people to report any problems people have with the card with specific information about the cab or the driver so the broker can follow up. Marian Gan asked what to do when the driver puts the tip without asking. Tulay answered that Marian should report the problem to the broker.

Public Comment

Marian Gan stated that she had talked with CPMC social workers Attea Koon and Elizabeth Wong about the dialysis patient transportation. They both were unhappy with the standing orders for dialysis patients and had voiced complaints.  Cheryl Damico stated that the broker would follow up with this complaint.


Jeanne Lynch stated that the California Alliance for Retired Americans is zeroing in on the proposed cuts to ADHC and they want the PCC to come on-board.

Stu Smith moved that the PCC Executive Committee send a letter to California politicians in support of funding for ADHCs. Motion was seconded and approved.

Meeting adjourned at 12:30 PM

The next PCC meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 24, 2010
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 711 Eddy Street.

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