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PCC Executive Committee Meeting

January 12, 2010

711 Eddy Street, San Francisco

PCC Executive Committee Members Present: Olivia Santiago, PCC Vice Chair; Byron Yan; Cheryl Damico; Gilda Chico; Byron Yan; John Lazar; Ruach Graffis; Ruth Lawner; Joseph Flanagan; Melecio Torres; Kaye Griffin; Fred Lein; Laurie Graham (for Pam Martinez); Marty Smith; Patrick McCollum; Ursula McGuire; Sandra Fancher; Iona Lawhorn

PCC Members and Guests: Neal Patel

PCC Executive Committee Member Excused: Griff Humphrey; Jeanne Lynch; Russell Green; Roland Wong; Claudia Grubler

SF Paratransit: Marc Soto; Paul Okunewitch; John Sanderson

SFMTA: Kate Toran; Annette Williams


Cheryl Damico, PC&O Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:40 am. 


Read and Approve Agenda

Olivia Santiago, PCC Vice Chair, read the agenda. The agenda was motioned/seconded/passed as presented.

Approve Minutes of December 8, 2010 meeting

The minutes were motioned/seconded/passed with one correction: Fred Lein’s name was added to the ‘PCC Executive Committee Members Present’ section.

Election of PCC Executive Committee Officers and PC&O Chair

Cheryl Damico was elected PCC Chair, Joseph Flanagan was elected PCC Vice Chair and Marty Smith was elected PCC Secretary.  Ameur Kallel and Pam Martinez were both nominated from the floor for PC&O Chair Coordinator.  Neither Kallel nor Pam was present, so the PCC voted to continue the election of PC&O Chair Coordinator to the February meeting.

Bike Lanes and Paratransit Service Update

Kate Toran reported that SFMTA has held a number of internal meetings to discuss policy solutions to the challenges caused by separated bike lanes.  This issue was initially brought up by Ruach Graffis a number of months ago, and she drafted a letter which was approved by the PCC and sent out under the Chair’s signature.  Since receiving the letter, the SFMTA Sustainable Streets division has been discussing this matter with SFMTA Accessible Services, Taxi Division and Mayor’s Office on Disability representatives.  Guidance has also been sought from the City Attorney on the application of the state Vehicle Code law and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as they pertain to paratransit vehicles picking up and dropping off in a designated bike lane.  It is the opinion of the City Attorney that the ADA supersedes the state vehicle code, and the subsequent policy discussions have been centered on the safety of allowing paratransit vehicles to go into separated bike lanes at the beginning of the block, drop off or pick up, and then proceed to the end of the block in the bike lane.  There had been some discussion of a mid-block entry/exit point, but it has been decided that that design would have more potential for confusion.  The working group has also discussed including a marking or legend on the street.  This idea may work as a longer term solution, but Sustainable Streets staff indicated that it is a very long and complicated process to get State approval for street markings.  A bumper sticker that would be affixed to paratransit vehicles (taxis and vans) was proposed as an alternative solution, which would be quicker and easier to implement. 

SFMTA has included the SF Bike Coalition in some of its meetings.  Neal Patel stated that the SF Bike Coalition is working with the SFMTA toward a solution on this matter and that they are excited to work on outreach in the bike community regarding this matter.

Marty Smith stated that taxis need to be able to drop off exactly where the passenger requests, even if it’s in a bike lane, otherwise it becomes a ‘failure to convey.’  Marty added that bikes should be licensed.  Laurie Graham stated that this matter has been a topic of discussion at the Taxi Advisory Council.  Ruach Graffis stated that taxi drivers should be represented at those meetings.  The PCC selected John Lazar as their representative to attend the next meeting.

PC&O SF Access Report, December 15, 2010

Kate Toran read the following report:

  • The PC&O ADA SF Access Committee meeting was held on December 15, 2010. The agenda was approved. The minutes from the September 1, 2010 meeting were approved as read.
  • Dialysis issues & Other service issues:  The committee discussed complaints and other issues surrounding service to and from the dialysis centers. The committee also discussed fleet capacity, driver recruitment, and best-practices for communicating passenger cancellations and no-shows.
  • During the Service Provider Report, Ameur Kallel reported that MPT has hired a new Safety and Training Manager; MPT has also increased its driver ranks, and that there are additional training classes underway.
  • During the Broker Report, Marc Soto reported that SF Paratransit has begun the Request for Proposals process for its Group Van and SF Access services. The SF Paratransit office is also preparing for the upcoming procurement of Mobile Data Computers, which will help with dispatching, navigation and data collection for the SF Access & Group Van programs. Mr. Soto also updated the group on the status of the Debit Card project. He also announced that the consumer satisfaction survey was completed recently and the results will be disseminated shortly. 
  • Announcements: Kate Toran announced that the SFMTA and the Bicycle Coalition have met and continue to meet to address concerns of the disability community regarding accessibility and safety. Kate added that the Muni Fast Pass/Paratransit ticket discount process has changed. Finally, Marc Soto announced that the use of Taxi Scrip for the SF Paratransit taxi program will come to an end very shortly.
  • The next PC&O ADA SF Access meeting will be on March 2, 2011. Happy New Year, everyone!

PC&O Group Van Report, January 5, 2011

Kate Toran read the following report:

  • The PC&O Group Van Committee Meeting was held on January 5, 2011.  The agenda and the minutes were approved as read.
  • During the Service Quality Update from the Group Van Agencies, Tracy McCloud reported that service has generally been very smooth.
  • During the Service Providers Update, Scott Blum of Medsam reported that it has been a quiet quarter; Medsam and its sister company, BayMed Express will soon become one organization.  Sharita Allen of Mobility Plus introduced herself to the group; she is the new Group Van coordinator for Mobility Plus. She reported that there have been some issues raised by Self-Help for the Elderly regarding driver manifests but that those issues have been resolved.
  • During the Broker Report Paul Okunewitch updated the Committee on the status of the Group Agency Debit Card pilot program. He also updated the group on the status of the consumer satisfaction survey; the survey has been completed and that the results will be available at the February 2011, PCC Executive Committee Meeting. Finally, SF Paratransit has begun the Request for Proposals process for Group Van and SF Access service; deadline for submission of proposals is January 14, 2011.  
  • The next meeting will be on April 6, 2011, at the broker’s office.    

Paratransit Broker Report

Marc Soto provided the following report:

Taxi Scrip: After January 31, 2011, the SF Paratransit office will not accept taxi scrip for redemption.  With very few exceptions, the SF Paratransit office has not sold any taxi scrip since December 2009, and there is almost no scrip currently being redeemed.  Taxi companies have been informed of this deadline.

Debit Card: There was a debit card system failure at the data center on the day of New Year’s Eve.  This failure was due to problems at the data center.  The DCCS contractor (CabConnect) will upgrade to a more robust data center in January and Veolia will conduct an on-site audit of the data center in February.  The SF Paratransit office reimbursed patrons if they paid for valid paratransit taxi trips with cash during this system failure.  Marc stressed the importance of helping SF Paratransit to enforce rules regarding accepting the debit card by all 8000 drivers by simply having patrons notify the SF Paratransit each time a patron experiences any kind of difficulty or refusal by a driver.  All that is needed is date, time and cab number.

Provider RFP: Veolia issued the RFP for van services (both SF Access and Group Van).  All materials pertaining to the competitive solicitation are available on the SF Paratransit website (  The deadline for submittal is Friday, January 14, 2011. 

Customer Satisfaction Survey: The independent customer satisfaction survey conducted by Corey, Canapary and Galanis Research has been completed and the results are being tabulated.  Jon Canapary will be invited to the January PCC meeting to discuss the survey results.

Marc then introduced new MPT staff.  Fred Williams is the new Chief of Safety and Training and Kevin Hayes is the new Operations Manager.  Both Mr. Williams and Mr. Hayes have many years of experience in the paratransit industry and will support Kallel in his effort to gain better control over MPT’s operations.  Marc also introduced Barbara Perry, a consultant to Tectrans, who is on site advising Tectrans on how to improve their service. 

Marc next introduced Roxana Lara, the new Shopping Shuttle Coordinator for Veolia working at the SF Paratransit office.


Sandra Fancher stated that she has a compliment for MPT and that they have provided good service over the last month.

Kate Toran announced that the federal 5310 grant process is about to start and that at the next meeting she will be calling for PCC volunteers to participate on the Grant Review Subcommittee, which scores the 5310 grant applications.

Robin Krop stated that she has been having a better experience with cabs accepting the debit card and now she is dealing with the tipping function.  She stated that many drivers don’t understand that they can get a tip.  Marc responded that he would reach out to the taxi industry to make sure that the drivers know about how to accept a tip.

The next PCC meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 16, 2011

10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 711 Eddy Street

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