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SFMTA Taxi Services
Taxi Advisory Council


Monday, July 11, 2011
2nd Floor Atrium Conference Room
One South Van Ness Avenue

PRESENT:      Timothy Lapp; Richard Hybels, Tara Housman; John Han; Dan Hinds; David Khan; Barry Korengold; John Lazar; Carl MacMurdo; William Minikel; William Mounsey; Tone Lee; Athan Rebelos; Ruach Graffis, Chris Sweis,

ABSENT:         none

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE:  Christiane Hayashi Deputy Director Taxi Services

1. Call to order:  Chris Sweis called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m.

2. Roll Call – The Roll Call showed a quorum was present.

3. Announcement of prohibition of sound producing devices during the meeting.

4. Approval of Minutes:  June 27, 2011

Mr. Korengold said he nominated Chris and Mr. Lee seconded instead of the other way around.     

Ms. Graffis said Mr. Newsham’s remarks on pg. 1 should include & that would probably never happen again.

                        Mr. Sweis said the minutes are not word for word.

                        Secretary said additions will be made.

Public Comment:

Mr. Fulkerson wanted to correct the spelling of his name.

Mr. Korengold motioned to approve minutes Ms. Housman seconded minutes.

Minutes approved as amended.

5. Public Comment

            Mr. Somario said that a proposal needs to be submitted two weeks in advance             in order to have time to review material. 

Mr. Mehmood said that Ms. Hayashi is ..

Mr. Sweis interrupted and said he will not allow personal comments about anyone.

Mr. Mehmood argued his point regarding being able to make personal comments.  He said that this TAC council does not represent the Taxi Drivers.  He said this department is incapable and there needs to be a full change.

Mr. Fulkerson said he wanted to report that his complaint to the sunshine ordinance was heard by the task force.  He said they found this council of violation of article 67.7, 67.21E and brown act section 2.  He said the complaint has been referred to the education and outreach committee, which will make an assessment.

Mr. Fahi said he wanted a report at every meeting regarding enforcement activities. 

Mr. Rathbone said that customers are complaining on a device called square.  He said it’s an awkward scenario when people call to complain about multiple charges and they can’t say that Luxor cab is responsible.  He said there are questions of security. 

Mr. Newsham said that it’s indisputable that the power dynamic has changed in this industry.  He said he is very happy about that.  He said unless drivers can organize themselves the energy that has developed may dissipate or be misguided.  He said he supports the strikes.  He also said he supported Mr. Lee suggestion about the lottery system from the last meeting.  He said it’s good to have new drivers attend the TAC meetings.

6. Report of the Council Liaison (Discussion only)

    a. Staff Update- Mr. Jarvis Murray updated

Mr. Murray explained the memorandum issues by staff regarding PCO citations.  He introduced the investigators present Mr. Castillo, Mr. Leon and Mr. Harris absent is Mr. Richholt.

    b. Regulatory Reform Update

    c. Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program Update

Mr. Harris updated.

Mr. Lazar asked Mr. Castillo for and update or report on what he has seen on the field. 

Mr. Castillo explained his experience.  He said he has tried to create a positive interaction with drivers and also asking drivers to make sure they have their proper documents and ID’s in their vehicles. 

Mr. Hinds asked what the lines of authority are over illegal limousines. 

Mr. Murray said that we are allowed to cite a driver but not revoke their license.  He said they can only cite drivers that act as taxi cabs. 

Mr. Kahn asked what times are the investigators going out to do enforcements.

Mr. Murray said that at this time it’s during office hours.  He said they are trying to coordinate with SFPD regarding further enforcement. 

Mr. Minikel and Mr. Jarvis discussed the memorandum regarding PCO.

Mr. Mounsey said that illegal cabs should be towed.

Mr. Lee said the SFMTA logo should be incorporated in the badge because it makes drivers look more professional.

Mr. Han asked what is the SFMTA doing to have the piece of vehicle code in the state code exempt taxis from getting citations.

Mr. Murray said this issue is being addressed by Ms. Hayashi.  He said they agree that there needs to be a change made at a State level and that will happen at the next legislative session.

Ms. Graffis said that a short version of this memo should be sent out to all companies and taxi schools.  She said a little education would be very helpful.

Mr. Khan asked if there was a better way to limit how many id’s they are required to carry and display in their vehicles. 

Mr. Lazar made another suggestion regarding medallions and plates. 

Ms. Graffis said she doesn’t want her name or license posted in a cab.

Mr. Lapp asked what the fine structure is. 

Mr. Murray said the tickets issued from SFMTA would be 5,000 for acting as a taxi cab.

Mr. Korengold and Mr. Minikel asked if SFMTA would be able to tow or enforce illegal cabs that are parked and clearly marked as illegal.

Mr. Harris responded no a person must be actively doing something illegal such as picking up passengers in San Francisco.

Public Comment

Mr. Fulkerson said he wanted to support not using Taxi Cab driver’s names for anything that needs to be enforced. 

Mr. Fahey asked a question to staff. 

Mr. Sweis reminded him only public comment at this time.

Mr. Fahey said if the hot spot are hit by enforcement it would send a message to illegal limos. 

Mr. Rathbone said that he did not think that the commission for the sunshine ordinance had ordered anything.  He said inaudible

Public Comment Closed


7. Electronic Way bills (Discussion and possible action) (Discussion and Possible Action)

Mr. Sweis said this is a moment to discuss the pros and cons of electronic way bills.

Mr. Mounsey said that it’s wrong to make a cab driver have electronic way bills when they don’t want it.

Mr. Han asked what is the regulation regarding electronic way bills.

Mr. Sweis clarified for Mr. Han the chain of events.

Mr. Han said after further thought he does not believe in way bills period. 

Mr. Khan said he doesn’t mind electronic way bills he just doesn’t want the specific information in the way bill.

Ms. Graffis said that a system of top light information is an idea not discussed.

Ms. Housman asked what has been concluded at this point regarding way bills.

Mr. Minikel said that if the city will require a taxi cab driver have an electronic way bill then city vehicles should have electronic way bills too.   

The Council discussed the information being gathered and the purpose of electronic way bills.

Mr. Rebelos said that the idea of this being private information is incorrect.  Paratransit is already implemented electronic way bills.  He said there are individuals that are pushing against waybills to cover up people creating fraudulent way bills.

Mr. Kahn said that there could be a lot of positive things that can come up with electronic way bills.  He said medallion holders frequently driving is one.

Mr. Han said he likes Mr. Hinds comments and Mr. Macmurdo’s comments.  He said he likes the idea of only making certain drivers adhere to electronic way bills.

Mr. Minikel said electronic waybills is an expense with no real return.

Mr. Lazar said 1099k’s have not been brought up at all.  He said that he contracted out CMT to implement this service.  He said he wanted to bring this up to everyone’s attention.  He said they should move on from this discussion and look at the real picture.

Mr. Lee said inaudible.

Mr. Minikel said is this going to require more money to have this implemented.  He suggested that waybills be an opt in system.

Mr. Rebelos said if they go with an opt in process it should be color scheme by color scheme. 

Public Comment

Mr. Garcia said that you should implement the electronic way bills to everyone not just selective few.

Mr. Mehmood said that the 1099 will be a disaster.  He said electronic way bills should be thrown in the garbage. 

Mr. Johal said that Mr. Mehmood is speaking for everyone who is a driver.  He is speaking for 75 or so drivers.  He said he hates electronic way bill and wanted to support what Mr. Han said.

Mr. Fulkerson said there needs to be a way to tell city hall that we don’t need more medallions.  He said in order to have proper industry study is by having electronic way bills. 

Ms. Murai said she feel that 1099 is a federal government mandate and has nothing to do with electronic way bills.  She said she is against the back seat terminal but is in favor of electronic way bills with no monetary amount.

Mr. Sweis clarified the law on 1099k.

Mr. Markarian said that most cab drivers are upset because they are losing their independence. 

Mr. Grach said inaudible

Ms. Villafuerte said that the electronic way bill will not stop fraud from occurring.  She said that when talking about electronic way bills she asked the question who benefits from electronic way bills?

Mr. Rathbone said he suggests not calling it electronic way bills because that is inaccurate.  He said the electronic way bill subject is more about what data will be collected by SFMTA and for what purposes.

Mr. Aeri said he wanted to know what happens if he gets audited.  He said a lot of taxi drivers will be discouraged from being taxi cab drivers because of electronic waybills.

Public Comment Closed

Ms. Housman said that they should move to the next agenda item if possible.

Ms. Graffis would like to move to separate the electronic way bill requirement from the credit card fee waiver. Seconded by Mr. Lapp

Ayes: Timothy Lapp; Richard Hybels, Tara Housman; John Han; Dan Hinds; David Khan; Barry Korengold; John Lazar; Carl MacMurdo; William Minikel; Tone Lee; Ruach Graffis, Chris Sweis

Nayes: William Mounsey; Athan Rebelos;

Motion passes

Mr. Sweis said they would discuss item 9 today before item 8 for times sake.  

Moving to item 9.

8. Credit Card Waiver memorandum (Discussion and possible action)


9. MTA discontinue direct sales (Discussion and possible action)

Mr. Korengold said he said it's important that the MTA not sell more medallions after the 60 in the pilot program because of a conflict of interest.

Mr. Mounsey said they should stop this program when they said they would stop. 

The Council discussed the medallion sales and how many should be sold or given to the list.

Mr. Lazar said that medallions holders that want to sell their medallions can to someone on the list only.  He said they should have that transferability ability.

Mr. Hinds said he doesn’t think a dual system is manageable.  

Mr. Korengold said the dual system has never been discussed.  He said it was never discussed because people on the council wanted to vote to continue the pilot program. 

The Council discussed the concerns regarding the movement of the earned medallion list.  The council also discussed what medallions should and shouldn’t be sold.

Mr. Korengold asked who deserves to get money from these medallions.  He asked does the city which has not done any physical work or the hard working cab drivers. 

Mr. Hinds said he would like to have this council make a recommendation to address the people on the top of the earned list. 

Mr. Minikel suggested grandfathering people from the list creating a cut off so that the list can start being addressed.  

Mr. Rebelos said he thought the pilot program has been successful so far.  He said transferability is a good thing. 

The Council discussed different ways to improve the earned medallion list movement.

Mr. Sweis gave board member Oka the floor.

Mr. Oka took a moment to talk to the board regarding the taxi industry relationship to the board …

Ms. Graffis said she agrees with Mr. Oka regarding the need of more cabs during peak times and discussed integrated dispatch to help at other times.

Mr. Mounsey said that A-card seniority should be the way to move the list along.

Mr. Korengold went over his proposal. 

Mr. Sweis clarified the topic which is direct sales not alternatives to direct sales.

Mr. Korengold said he doesn’t want to waste his time here if the SFMTA has already made up their mind to sell all medallions.

Ms. Housman said that SFMTA decides how many cabs the city needs based on a rational bases for that decision. 

Mr. Macmurdo said this council should have a resolution soon regarding the Pcnn issuance. 

Public Comment:

Mr. Fulkerson said that he is against the sale of medallions and doesn’t know why anyone in this room would be in favor of the MTA sales of medallions.

Mr. Moles said he is a long time driver inaudible

Ms. McGurie said that there are 80 or so people who have purchased a medallion.  She said that people who purchased were told this is a good investment.  She said they are happy they have purchased.  She asked what the purpose of this body was. 

Mr. Rathbone said he urges everyone to vote No on this motion.  He said that some people would like to reverse the direction the industry is taking.

Public Comment Closed

Mr. Korengold motioned that the MTA should discontinue direct sales to buyers beyond the recommended through pilot program seconded Mr. Hybels.

Ayes: Richard Hybels, Tara Housman; David Khan; Barry Korengold; William Minikel; William Mounsey; Ruach Graffis, Chris Sweis

Nayes: Tone Lee; John Han; Dan Hinds; John Lazar; Carl Macmurdo; Athan Rebelos

Motion Passes

10. Council Members requests for information [Discussion only]

Mr. Hinds asked who stayed at Sunshine Ordinance.

Mr. Sweis said nobody stayed for the whole meeting.

Mr. Minikel said he wanted to know how much money is generated by the taxi industry to the SFMTA.  He wants to know how much the Taxi services budget is.

Public Comment: None

11. Schedule upcoming calendar items [Discussion and Action]

Item 8 credit card waiver memorandum moved to next meeting and presentation by Transbay Authority.

The Council discussed possible calendar items for next meeting.

ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting was adjourned by standing vote at 5:16 p.m.


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