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PCC Executive Committee Meeting
March 31, 2010
711 Eddy Street, San Francisco

PCC Executive Committee Members Present: Stu Smith, Chair; Olivia Santiago, Vice-Chair; Marian Gan, SecretaryAmeur Kallel; Byron Yan; Cheryl Damico; Erma Brim; Genya Ehrlich; Griff Humphrey; Iona Lawhorn; John Lazar; Kaye Griffin; Melecio Torres;; Pam Martinez; Roland Wong; Ruach Graffis; Ruth Lawner; Sandra Fancher; Scott Blum; Yetta Miller

PCC Members and Guests: Jane Bolig, DeSoto; Sharon Atkins; John Busskohl, Tectrans/MPT; Valerie Flores, Tectrans/MPT; Martin Smith, Luxor; Naran Laneve;

PCC Executive Committee Member Excused: Jeanne Lynch; Joseph Flanagan; Claudia Grubler; Gilda Chico; Jacy Cohen; Laurie Graham; Patrick McCollum;

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

SFMTA: Jeffrey Banks

Read and Approve Agenda

Stu Smith called the meeting to order at 10:35 am. Marian Gan read the agenda. 

John Lazar asked for a taxi item to be added to the agenda.

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

Approve minutes of February 24, 2010 meeting


The minutes were motioned/seconded/passed (M/S/P) as presented.

Paratransit Broker Report

Marc Soto provided the following report:

Debit Card Update

The Broker’s office is in the final phase of completing the Debit Card implementation. At this juncture, the Broker’s office reports that the most common problems are that people forget to add value to their card, and the noticeably large number of manual transactions being conducted by some drivers. With the new system, the Broker can track all manual transactions. Often the same drivers are running manual transactions. The customer Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system has been updated and is now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for customers to check balances, check their next purchase date or report a lost or stolen card. Marc Soto reminded people that when people call to report a lost or stolen card, their card will automatically be deactivated until they receive a new card. This week the Broker will launch a special IVR for activation of new debit cards issued as replacement cards for recertified customers or lost/stolen cards. When a customer is recertified, they will receive a new card in the mail and they will have to activate the new card. Everyone will get a letter with the new card. There were some trademark problems with the name SF TaxiCard so the debit card will be called SF Paratransit Debit Card. This change is being made in all materials where the card is described or informational materials are available.

Cheryl Damico asked whether customer will have to pay $5 for a replacement card if lost or stolen. Marc responded that everyone is allowed one free replacement. Kaye Griffin stated that when using her debit card, the ITE says she has no money on the card. Marc stated that every time a card is swiped with a zero balance, the Broker sees that transaction. He added that he would look into Kaye’s concern. Marty Smith stated that Luxor has been receiving a lot of cards from customers that are not working and drivers are being directed to the IVR. Marty stated that the computer transaction requires 45 seconds to approve a card. Marc responded that the Broker would sit down with Luxor to talk about specific drivers who are manually running the transactions. Marc Soto stated that the Broker had issued a Rider Alert to paratransit taxi customers with instructions on using the debit card. Pam Martinez stated that the Broker has worked closely with Yellow to fix problems that come up and train drivers. Yetta Miller stated that though she sometimes requested the tip, her receipt would read zero in the tip line. Marc stated that drivers have to hit the correct key to have the tip added. Melecio Torres stated that he had taken a taxi ride and when the driver card swiped his card, the receipt said there was no cash in his account, and so he paid with scrip. Genya Ehrlich stated that she had experienced very good service from Luxor over the last two weeks. Jane Bolig stated that DeSoto had two experiences where the passenger said there was money on their cards but the debit card machine would say there wasn’t any. Marc responded that the Broker could look at any issue with any customer to resolve discrepancies or problems. Jane expressed concern about the time involved in running a manual transaction when drivers are in a bus zone. Ruach Graffis asked if the SFMTA could try to get a taxi zone with a curb cut in bus zones at every BART station, hospital and medical office. Stu Smith suggested that the PCC draft a letter to sent to the SFMTA. Ruach stated that she would draft a letter. Marc Soto stated that he would write an email to bring the issue to the city’s attention.

Trapeze Software Implementation Update

The Broker has transitioned to the Trapeze PASS software for routing, scheduling and data management. The Broker has issued a conditional acceptance of their product. There are six or seven open items that need to be resolved before full system acceptance can occur. There were major transitional changes for some customers, mostly with trip scheduling, and the Broker is working with MPT to address them. The issues for customers included trip time negotiation and concerns about the routing and long trip times. The Broker is working with Olivia Santiago to address some concerns with patrons at City College. A special meeting will be set up.  Marc Soto stated that all in all, the transition to Trapeze PASS has not been as bad as other transitions he had experienced.

Olivia Santiago stated that there were several trips that were cancelled after they had been reserved.

Shopping Shuttle Implementation Update

The name of the Shopping Shuttle service also faced a trademark concern and so the name was changed to “Shop-A-Round.”  The service will start with the targeted public housing sites and neighborhoods around mid-April to early May. In the meantime, outreach is being conducted to generate interest and register clients. Centro Latino and MPT were selected through a competitive process to provide the shopping trips. Marian Gan asked how many bags clients of the shopping shuttle would be allowed. Marc responded that drivers would be required to help with up to three bags belonging to clients.

Emergency Planning Update

Willdan Homeland Solutions was contracted to create the Paratransit Emergency Preparedness Plan. Drafts of all plans have been provided including the Systems Security and Preparedness Plan, the Emergency Operations Plan and Standard Operating Procedures, the System and Security Management Plan and a Passenger Excerpt. The SFMTA, Broker, Providers and a subcommittee of the PCC have provided feedback on the plans which will be compiled and forwarded to Willdan on Friday. Final edits will be submitted to SF Paratransit by the end of next week so that final comments can be sent by mid-April. The finalized plan is expected from Willdan by the end of April. 

Marc Soto reported that Kevin McNay, who had worked as Manager of Passenger Relations at SF Paratransit since the start of Veolia’s contract to manage SF Paratransit, would be leaving. Marc offered everyone’s heartiest thanks to Kevin’s for his help in being a liaison to and building relationships with the community and doing so much outreach to passengers. A new position called Director of Operations has been created with more responsibility and Veolia is hoping to hire someone very experienced in paratransit operations. Another Field Monitor position has been created to focus exclusively on taxi issues.

Marc introduced John Busskohl, Chief Operating Officer of Tectrans. John Busskohl stated that Matt Yamashita had left MPT and Ameur Kallel will take over as General Manager at MPT. John also stated that Val Flores would be the regional vice-president and to whom Kallel will report.

Kaye Griffin stated that since the debit card was implemented, the wait at the Paratransit broker office is always at least 30 minutes. Byron Yan asked if PCC members could see the plan for the Shopping Shuttle in order to communicate with others. Marc Soto responded that they would see what materials they could send Byron immediately. Byron also commented that since the Trapeze transition he has had difficulty getting picked up at his requested times because of trip time negotiation and has also experienced excessively long trips because of the routing of the vans. Marc Soto stated that trip time negotiation was here to stay but that they would be monitoring it and are willing to consider opening up the offerings to three options instead of just two if it was necessary.  Roland Wong stated that he had experienced much better service from Mobility Plus in the last week.

Election to PCC Executive Committee caucus vacancies

Naran Laneve was nominated by Marian Gan to run for a vacancy in the Unaffiliated Disabled caucus. Naran Laneve was elected to the PCC Executive Committee in the Unaffiliated Disabled caucus.

Report from the March 3, 2010 PC&O SF Access Subcommittee

Roland Wong read the following report.  

  • Roland Wong won the election of PC&O SF Access Subcommittee Vice Chair.
  • Dialysis service was discussed. During the beginning of the Trapeze transition there were problems with standing orders which effected dialysis patients. These issues are being worked on and almost all issues have been resolved. The transition has been a learning experience not only for drivers, schedulers, and customer service staff but also passengers. SF Paratransit and MPT had a special meeting March 9, to go over all complaints and to identify Trapeze-related complaints versus general service complaints.
  • During the service provider report, Matt stated that MPT is continuing to see improvements and expect all Trapeze-related issues to be resolved by April, 1, 2010.  Ameur Kallel added information about how MPT analyzes drivers’ feedback regarding their routes.
  • Marc stated that about the Trapeze transition, SF Paratransit underestimated the changes that would occur and has issued a notice to riders to help explain what these changes mean in terms of scheduling. He also apologized for not handling the transition more smoothly, and that both SF Paratransit and MPT are working very hard to address any issues the transition has caused. Marc also stated that changes are being made to the debit card IVR hotline as well as a new IVR phone line is being added for debit card activations. He also stated that the Emergency Preparedness plan continues to be developed and Kent Hinton is doing a great job spearheading the project. Finally he explained that the SFMTA will be having their FTA triennial review and explained what that means and how SF Paratransit is going to help with the process.
  • The group discussed particular rider experiences with Trapeze scheduling, suggested more simplified notices be sent to customers regarding changes like the Trapeze transition, and asked follow-up questions about debit card procedures. 
  • The next PC&O SF Access Subcommittee meeting will be on June 2, 2010 at the Broker’s office.    

Public Comment

  • Genya Erhlich asked for people to speak more loudly so that hearing impaired members of the PCC could hear.
  • Iona Lawhorn complemented Luxor for taxi service she received on February 23, when it was raining and the driver got out of the car, rang the doorbell and assisted her to the car. John Lazar stated that the driver Patrick Helen was a great guy.
  • Cheryl Damico stated that she had spoke to the Safety Committee of the SF Access service and noticed that the structure had improved. These safety meetings are now taking place all in one group on Saturdays which Cheryl thought created more and camaraderie among drivers.
  • Griff Humphrey stated if it was possible to duplicate copies of PC&O subcommittee reports for PCC members that have trouble hearing at PCC meetings. Griff also asked Marc Soto about the status of having on-board computers on vans. Marc Soto responded that the Mobile Data Terminals (MDT)’s are a deliverable within the new paratransit broker contract, starting April 1. The broker will begin a competitive procurement process for the purchase and installation of Mobile Data Terminals for 120 vans.
  • Marian Gan stated that she would like it noted that the PCC Executive Committee convey to Kevin McNay “Thank You” and “Farewell” and to welcome Ameur Kallel to his new position at MPT.

Ruach Graffis stated that new pilot bicycle lane on Market Street between 9th and 10th Streets makes it impossible for taxis to pull into the north curbside of Market. Ruach stated that people with disabilities have to walk across an entire lane of traffic to the second lane of traffic to get a taxi.  Stu Smith recommended that the PCC write a letter to the SFMTA Board of Directors and Department of Parking and Traffic, and put on the agenda for the next meeting of the PCC.  Ruach agreed to draft the letter for the next PC&O Taxi Ramp Taxi subcommittee meeting.



Ruach Graffis announced the Cesar Chavez parade on Saturday, April 10.

Jeffrey Banks made the following announcements:

  • The PC&O Group Van subcommittee meeting would occur Wednesday, April 7.
  • Assistive listening devices are available at every PCC meeting for anyone that needs them.
  • The office of the Regional Transit Connection (RTC) Discount ID card had moved from Masonic Ave. and Geary Blvd. to 1 South Van Ness and is on the 6th Floor.
  • Mayor Newsom is soliciting applications for a new appointee to the SFMTA Board of Directors. The new member must be a transit user in San Francisco which included paratransit.
  • The California Senior Legislature is holding a caucus at the San Francisco Public Library to elect one seat on the Senior Senate and two seats on the Senior Assembly.
  • CalACT will meet April 20 – 22 at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco. PCC Executive Committee members have been invited to attend their Bus Show and EXPO which will take place April 20, 5:00 – 7:30 PM and April 21, 3:00 – 6:00 PM.

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

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