Skip to content.

SFMTA Taxi Services

Taxi Advisory Council


Monday, March 14, 2011

2nd Floor Atrium Conference Room

One South Van Ness Avenue



PRESENT:      Laurie Graham; John Han; Dan Hinds; David Khan; Barry Korengold; John Lazar; Carl Macmurdo; William Minikel; William Mounsey; Dmitry Nazarov; Athan Rebelos; Chris Sweis; Jim Gillespie

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE:  Christiane Hayashi – Deputy Director/Council Liaison

1. Call to order:  Chair Sweis called the meeting to order at 1:13 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:  February 28, 2011

Ms. Graham motioned to approve the minutes fro February 28, 2011.  Mr. Kahn seconded the motion

On motion to approve the February 28, 2011.

Motion Passed Unanimously

Public Comment:

5. Public Comment

Mr. Marcoux said  peak time medallions on time.

Mr. Markarian said inaudible

Public comment closed

6. Report of the Council Liaison (Discussion only)

    a. Staff Update

Ms. Hayashi- Deputy Director updated.

    b. Regulatory Reform Update

Ms. Hayashi referred everyone to the handout.

    c. Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program Update

Ms. Hayashi referred everyone to the handout.

Mr. Han said inaudible

Ms. Hayashi said for the time being they will release the rest of the training bulletin to the PCO.  As soon as they get an official bulleting she will release that so it can be used to dispute any tickets. 

Mr. Han said inaudible

Ms. Hayashi said inaudible

Mr. Rebelos asked if the buyer’s assistance program was still available.

Ms. Hayashi answered Mr. Rebelos and said that is incorrect the buyers assistant program is still available.

Mr. Korengold said inaudible

Ms. Hayashi said inaudible

Mr. Korengold said inaudible

Mr. ? said the list is never going to move and that peak time taxi is a bad idea.  He said that the companies will be getting the medallions for the peak time taxis and that’s wrong.

Mr. Harris said that the medallion list is moving just a matter of having it posted on the website.

Mr. Khan said that there are a lot of companies charging the drivers a 10 percent fee for credit card machines.  He said he feels the city should have the companies pick up the fees.

Ms. Hayashi said the credit card memo was done before they had more experience with the credit card machines. 

Mr. Khan asked when the limo enforcement was going to begin.

Ms. Hayashi said they are hiring two more investigators.  Board has issued authority for fines we have to wait 30 days after the mayor signs.  Within 60 days field enforcement should be available.

Mr. Mounsey asked is there was a mechanism available where meter automatically increases when gas prices go up.

Ms. Hayashi said she wants to look at a sensible formula for that.

Mr. Korengold said that peak time taxi is like having a medallion that doesn’t have to play by the rules.  He asked will there ever be regulation of illegal taxis.

Ms. Hayashi said she can not regulate illegal taxis.

Mr. Minikel said he got picked up by a limo through cabulus.

Ms. Hayashi said that is incorrect.

Public Comment

Mr. Charles said looking at the Lenders handout there were 0 decline which is an interesting statistic.

Mr. Lee said the citations are good for taxi drivers.

Mr. Witt said he was promised more enforcement prior to the MTA take over.  This delay is unacceptable.  Peak time cabs are not reasonable because it’s not flexible enough.

Mr. Gruberg said that companies pay nothing and drivers pay every thing when it comes to credit card charges.  He said that the people on the board can help control the split between drivers and companies.

Mr. Kim said he wanted to talk about credit cards that the swiper machines always try to give the benefit to the drivers a higher tip calculation.  He said he will show statistics on how the backseat machines benefit the driver.  He said the council needs to look at the transfer fee when buying a medallion.    

Mr. Gartchen said he disagrees on charging drivers 5 percent.  He thinks this is illegal and refusing to pick up people is also not legal.  He said that Mr. Kim’s comment is not correct cab drivers will not get more by accepting credit cards because passengers know how much it cost to get form point a to point b.

Mr. Healey said not giving the drivers 50 percent of advertisement is not fair and doesn’t understand why a driver should be paying credit card fees.

Chair Sweis closed public comment.


7. Rough Draft of TAC Pilot Program Report (Discussion and Possible Action)

Mr. Sweis said he wants to discuss the concepts of this draft not so much the wording or grammar.  He wants to go over the problems they have identified and come up with solutions to those problems.  He said he want to review draft by sections starting with “Taxi Companies”

Board discussed and commented on current draft topic

Public Comment:

Mr. Marcoux said the idea gas and gate versus long term lease is that long term lease holders have little or no regulation.  He said he would like to see accident % between the two.

Mr. Bob said if system in not perfect now it will be vastly improved once proposed lease agreements are implemented.

Mr. Rathebone said there seems to be a consensus on those companies wants to preserve Gas and Gate.  Is the shift of leases due to sales program he said he thinks not.  The question is why.  On the affects to the companies there is a public safety aspect to have older driver sell medallions. 

Mr. Lee said the report should only be two words you spend to much time.  The lender should lend the money with zero decline rates.

Mr. Kim said that as new owner of Desoto cab he cannot afford to all medallions to move to long term lease.  He said they have allowed many individuals to be they’re own color scheme.  He said there is an exploitation through loop hole of car leases.  All medallions should be operated as gas and gate. 

Mr. Healy said that he thinks the idea to have two different price structures for medallion sales is not going to work.  Also said gates should go up. 

Mr. Frank said he suggest wait and tell them in the report that you need 6 months to see what will happen with lease agreements.   

Mr. Witt said he would like to see hard data on whether older drivers are safer or are younger drivers safer.  If cab companies are not making money maybe the cab driver is not making money. 

Mr. Gruberg said that from the discussion he hears its going a little further than what the intention of this report is suppose to be.  He said report was supposed to be a progress report.

Mr. Karian said you can’t force anyone to operate as gas and gate.  He said that individuals should have the options to operate the way they want.

Mr. ? said guys that own they’re cars have better driving records.  They are pretty safe and actually better all around.

Chair Sweis closed public comment

Chair Sweis said that from their discussion there should be a general recommendation. Monitor the situation or make the recommendation right now to have to classes of medallions.  Gas and gate and not affiliate.  He asked for a show of hands on what they should do.

 Mr. Hinds said that they should monitor the situation and that most people would support that decision. He said that accountability needs to be distributed appropriately. 

Mr. Korengold said rather than come up with a recommendation they should monitor the situation and explore other things like his plan which may solve some of the questions. 

Mr. Rebelos said most agree that we need to move forward.  He supports a recommendation to classify the medallions.

Mr. Hinds motioned to monitor the affiliate leasing arrangements and move towards greater accountability.  Non purchased medallions be Issued to the waiting list and be required to operate as GG the first three years of the life of the loan.

Mr. Ajaegbu said he would like to discuss this further before voting. 

Chair Sweis said they had a long discussion on this.  Also said you should voice your opinion through your vote.

On the motion to recommend greater monitoring of affiliate run medallions for regulatory compliance and that non purchased medallions issued to the waiting list be operated as gas and gate for the first three years of their life.

Ayes: Jim Gillespie; Laurie Graham; Dan Hinds; David Khan; John Lazar; Carl Macmurdo; William Minikel; Wiliam Mounsey; Dmitry Nazarov; Athan Rebelos; Chris Sweis

Nayes:  Timothy Ajaegbu; John Han; Barry Korengold

Motion passed

Board took a five minute recess.

Chair Sweis moved to the Drivers topic.  Two main issues he identified in the report from the past meetings were the loss of shifts for gas and gate drivers and slow movement on the medallion wait list.  He asked does everyone agree on these two issues are there other issues that need to be discussed he opened the floor for discussion on these topics.

The Board discussed the driver section of the Report.

Public Comment

Mr. Marcoux said that the list has not moved.  The movement on the list needs to be one to one or one to three whatever it is it needs to be spelled out.  He said if illegal limos are going to be taken out they need to add more medallions. 

Mr. Rothebone said that he would like to see some people in the industry to have the opportunity to move to other parts of the industry.  Opportunities open up in finance call center etc.  He also mentioned the idea of merit medallions.

Mr. Lee said that there should be a 100% reform of the industry.  Anybody should be able to sell anyone should be able to buy.

Mr. Kim said that the medallions are best in the hands of qualified drivers.  He said looking at the industry as a whole is important to acknowledge that most drivers that are not high on the list would like the opportunity to buy. 

Mr. Healey said the list doesn’t seem to be working.  He said calculations were incorrect.  He said there was a calculation about revoking medallions and apparently it’s harder to do then said. 

Ms. Houseman said that a lot of taxi hall meeting gave her the impression that medallion were going to be issued one to one.  Also she said that we need to keep in mind who’s going to read this report (SFMTA board). 

Chair Sweis closed public comment

Board continued to discussed the driver aspect of the report

Mr. Macmurdo motioned to recommend the current practice continue even if after 60 medallions are sold.

Mr. Macmurdo withdrew motion.

Chair Sweis asked to continue this discussion next meeting

8. Council Member requests for information [Discussion and Action]

Mr. Hinds would like to know if staff can come up with number of drivers that operate Gas and Gate / Long term Lease

Ms. Hayashi said that the information is stored and taken in during the A-card enrollment process.

No Public Comment

9. Schedule upcoming calendar items.  (Discussion and Action)

Chair Sweis said next calendar item to continue discussion on the TAC report.

Public Comment

Public comment closed

ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting was adjourned by standing vote at 4:47 p.m.



ABSENT:        None


telephone311 Free language assistance / 免費語言協助 / Ayuda gratuita con el idioma / Бесплатная помощь переводчиков / Trợ giúp Thông dịch Miễn phí / Assistance linguistique gratuite / 無料の言語支援 / 무료 언어 지원 / Libreng tulong para sa wikang Tagalog / คว“มช่วยเหลือท“งภ“ษ“โดยไม่เส’ยค่าใช้จ่าย


©2000-2013 San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. All rights reserved.