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SFMTA Taxi Services
Taxi Advisory Council


Monday, October 24, 2011
2nd Floor Atrium Conference Room
One South Van Ness Avenue

PRESENT: Dan Hinds; Tara Housman; Richard Hybels; Barry Korengold; Timothy Lapp; Tone Lee; Carl Macmurdo ;William Minikel; William Mounsey; Athan Rebelos; Chris Sweis

ABSENT: Ruach Graffis; David Khan; John Lazar

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Christiane Hayashi Taxi Services

1. Call to order: Chris Sweis called the meeting to order at 1:08 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: September 26, 2011

Mr. Korengold made changes to the minutes where Mr. Fulkerson’s name was not spelled correctly. Also removed the second sentence of his statement

Public Comment

Mr. Fulkerson said that it is correct he did not say the word sell just issued.

Public Comment Closed

Moved to approve minutes with correction by Dan Hinds seconded by Mr. Lapp

5. Public Comment

Mr. Fulkerson said he wanted to share an article in the New York Times. He made comparisons from the book publishing industry and the Taxi Industry.

Mr. Gruberg said he wanted to come to the last meeting but could not. He said he is concerned with recommending to lower the age to 60. He said it’s wrong to attach this recommendation to a series of non-controversial issues.

Mr. Malik said in summary that he rejects anything that comes from this council

Mr. Tarantino said having a meeting longer than 4 hours is inappropriate and these meeting should be shorter. He said most of the discussion that take place here should be taking place in town hall meetings.

Ms. Murai said that she wanted to ask about the single user permits and asked if they have moved forward. She said getting the single user permits out as soon as possible would help the need for more cabs. She said that the end user of credit cards should pay at least 2 dollars per use to cut down the fee.

Mr. Healy said he would like to recommend that the TAC replace itself with town hall meetings. He said there has been less accomplished here than at town hall meetings.

Public Comment Closed

6. Report of the Council Liaison (Discussion only)

a. Staff Update- Chris Hayashi and Eric Richolt updated

b. Regulatory Reform Update Review of proposed amendment to Transportation Code regarding Ramp Taxi Enforcement, driver permit renewal schedule, removal of jitney bus provisions, requirements for color scheme transfers, removing requirement that permit applicants demonstrate financial responsibility, removing medallion holders from the list of sellers when they decline to sell their medallion, clarifying that medallion purchasers can re-sell their medallion regardless of age or disability, and re-opening the opportunity to sell a medallion to medallion holders who have a driving requirement and have attained the age of 60 or older as of December 31, 2011 or who notify the SFMTA of a disability by February, 2012.

c. Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program Update

Mr. Hinds asked if the culture at hotels regarding doorman has changed.

Mr. Richolt said the hotels and doorman are complying on their own.

Mr. Mounsey said the investigators need to get out at night. He said the illegal limos at night are worse than in the day.

Mr. Korengold said he also agreed with the illegal limos are mostly out at night.

Mr. Richolt said that they have been out at night and have also noticed a change at hotels during the day.

Mr. Lapp asked what the amount of finance was that you get from each ticket.

Ms. Hayashi said that 100 percent of money that comes in from tickets goes back to enforcement.

Mr. Mounsey said that the fines for limousines should be higher.

Mr. Minikel asked if there is any news on how these tickets are holding up through hearings.

Ms. Hayashi said that she is not happy with the outcome of the hearing that took place recently where the hearing officer gave the illegal limo driver a payment plan over 24 months.

Mr. Minikel asked about the two million dollars that will be spent in the next two years.

Ms. Hayashi said they have been given 2 million dollars over the next 5 years from the capital budget that is supposed to fix infrastructure. Top lights and fast chargers is what they will be allocating this money towards.

The council went over the wording in the resolution hand out.

Mr. Rebelos asked how the end date for Feb 1st was arranged. He also suggested they don’t overlook the need to give people 30 days to respond to a letter sent to them.

Public Comment:

Mr. Rathbone said that the way this is drafted seems very rushed. He said that by rushing someone to put themselves on this list is a hard decision to make. He also asked to change the wording in the ramp medallion section of the resolution.

Mr. Kim said that he wanted to reinforce what Mr. Rathbone said. He said they should leave the window of opportunity open for people who meet this age requirement. He said he wanted to applaud Eric and Charles for what they are doing in the enforcement issue. He said there needs to be legislation that is more effective.

Mr. Fulkerson said regarding the enforcement with illegal taxis there should be a vice squad set to enforce these illegal limos. He said he is disappointed that the two million dollars is not being allocated to open taxi access even though this was included in the TAC recommendations.

Mr. Gruberg said that as far as the wheel chair pick ups are concerned there is not enough being done. He said the way to resolve it is to put an obligation on the dispatch service.

Ms. Maria said inaudible..

Mr. Torantino said that Mr. Richholt is very much a hero. He said he should go out at night especially during convention time.

Ms. Mcvey said she thinks that Chris is trying to be fair on a lot of different aspects. She said she thinks there has to be better enforcement in the evenings. She said she agrees with Mr. Kim that when people become disabled they should be given the option to sell on a continuous bases.

Public Comment Closed

Ms. Housman said that when it comes to Ramp taxis it would be helpful if the dispatch can get a hold of the ramp taxis on his shift.

Mr. Lapp said that he thinks that them responding to the booklet is not just limited to this meeting.

Ms. Hayashi said that she hopes to have the comments and present them to board. Ms. Hayashi said she needs to have these comments by today.

Mr. Sweis asked if this changes need to be turned in today.

Mr. Hybels asked what is the rational to exclude pre K medallion holders from selling.

Ms. Hayashi said that by limiting the number of sellers keeps this program from moving to the next phase right away.

Mr. Korengold said he would like to add that the MTA not sell anymore medallions out right.

Mr. Sweis said that is a separate subject and did not want to include that here.

Mr. Rebelos motioned to make changes to sec 1116a3 read “Any medallion holder who has attained or will attain the age of 60 as of December 31, 2012”

Mr. Lapp seconded the motion.

Mr. Korengold said that the reason medallion sales program was created was to make an exit strategy for medallion holders. He said because Pre K medallion holders don’t have a driving requirement he doesn’t see why they would need an exit strategy.

Mr. Hybels asked if Pre-k medallion holders are not allowed to sell if they die does it go to the list?

Ms. Hayashi said they would go to the MTA. If they are allowed to sell they will not go to the list. If they are not allowed to sell they could go to the list.

Mr. Hinds said that he knows of two individuals one which is pre k and one which is not. He said that it’s unfair to allow one to sell and not the other.

Ms. Housman said that she doesn’t see any real public policy in place sense they don’t have a driving requirement she doesn’t see the need to sell.

Mr. Lee said the solution to be not allowed to sell they should turn it in to MTA.

Mr. Minikel said if you don’t allow the Pre-k’s to sell they will keep them for a very long time and these medallions will not go to working drivers.

Mr. Rebelos wanted to add to the motion to change Sec 1116a2 to remove the date February 1, 2012 to read to say within 30 days of notice from the SFMTA.

Mr. Lapp understands the public policy reasoning behind separating the Pre-Ks but he said it’s not in the general interest to start separating preks and post ks.

Mr. Housman said that the people on the waiting list should be treated more fairly.

Mr. Hybels said that company stability is something else that comes into question. He said he will vote against this reluctantly.

Mr. Rebelos said a PreK medallion is one of the slowest to get into rotation because a lot of these are corporate owned. He said this will allow for the prek medallion holders to sell and it will give someone the opportunity to move forward.

Mr. Mounsey said he is against this.

Public Comment

Mr. Kim said that there is not one person who has regretted buying a medallion. He said that it’s in the public interest and private interest to get these medallions out of Prek holders and sell it to working drivers. He said any incentive to get these medallions into working hands is good policy.

Mr. Zid said he is far down on the list to buy a medallion but he said he would jump at the opportunity if it came up.

Mr. Fulkerson said he would like to urge this council to vote No. He said these people have made lots of money made through out the years. He said there is no incentive for these people to sell they can be phased out by letting them be.

Mr. Gruberg said if you vote for this what else will be left. He said he would like his views and views of others to have a chance and prevail. He said by allowing more and more medallions to be sold it is taking away from those medallions to be in other hands.

Mr. Martinez said he has gone through a long process to buy a medallion. He now has the opportunity to buy but not enough medallions to sell. He would like to know what they are going to do about this.

Mr. Serrayah said he has worked hard in this industry sense 1997. He said this is the land of opportunity. He said he got a letter a while back to be able to buy a medallion. He asked why are they closing the door of opportunity here. He said the guy who got the medallion for free has millions of dollars.

Mr. Han asked what he was advocating.

Mr. Serrayah said he wants the opportunity to buy because he will not get one for free.

Mr. Torantino said that a lot of Prek medallion holders most times had second jobs have pensions coming in as well. He said most would rather keep there medallions because they would make more. He said you wouldn’t even know how many Prek medallion holders would actually sell. He said please don’t support this today.

Mr. Healy said these people had already made more than a million bucks. He said he doesn’t feel sorry for these peoples (prek medallion holders) they had there opportunity. He said the people best served would be the ones that have been waiting 20- 25 years.

Mr. Lamb said there is a market for people who want to buy medallions. He said they should vote yes.

Mr. Sarwkr said he has been driving 20 years and been on the list 14 years he said he was very happy when he received the option to buy a medallion. He said he was disappointed because there is no medallion. He said he wants a medallion so he can feed his family he said he deserves it.

Mr. Harris said there are 30-40 people that have permits that are over the age of 60 years old.

Public Comment Closed

Vote on motion Mr. Rebelos motioned to make changes to sec 1116a3 read “Any medallion holder who has attained or will attain the age of 60 as of December 31, 2012” and amend Sec 116a2 to remove the date February 1, 2012 to read to say within 30 days of notice

Mr. Lapp seconded the motion.

Ayes: Dan Hinds, Timothy Lapp, Tone Lee, Carl Macmurdo, Athan Rebelos, Chris Sweis,

Nays: John Han, Tara Housman, Richard Hybels, Barry Korengold, William Minikel, William Mounsey,

Motion did not pass

Ms. Housman motioned Mr. Minikel seconded to change Sec 1116a2 to remove the date February 1, 2012 to read to say within 30 days of notice from the SFMTA

Ayes: John Han, Dan hinds, Tara Housman, Richard Hybels, Barry Korengold, Timothy Lapp, Tone Lee, Carl Macmurdo, William Minikel, Athan Rebelos, Chris Sweis

Nays: William Mounsey

Motion Passed


7. Discussion of alternative plans to medallion pilot program [Discussion only]

Postponed till next meeting

8. Adding a general discussion item to agenda [discussion and possible action]

Mr. Korengold wanted to motion that council members be given a two minute opportunity to talk about something that is not on the agenda. Mr. Mounsey seconded.

Mr. Rebelos said he doesn’t see the point. He said the meetings are already long enough as it is.

Ms. Housman said that the Chair should decide where in the meeting it best fit in so it doesn’t inconvenience drivers.

Mr. Korengold restated his motion to add a permanent general discussion item limiting council members to two minutes to speak about topics not on the agenda item related to taxi issues.

Public Comment

Mr. Rathbone said the council is here to discuss agenda items.

Mr. Fulkerson said it could not be a bad idea for someone to say something on that is on there mind. He says he thinks it will be good all around.

Mr. Gruberg said this would be a good idea. He said he doesn’t know how he feels about the word discussion.

Mr. Toronto said that other bodies have adopted such topics like commissions communications. He said there are some important things going on in the industry where there is no place to talk about them.

Mr. Healy said it seems like a good idea.

Public Comment Closed

Mr. Sweis recommends to amend motion to say To add a permanent discussion only agenda item allowing council members to make general statements about items under the TAC purviews that are not on the agenda.

Ms. Housman wanted to know if he could word it a little loosely.

Mr. Sweis restated the motion to say To add an discussion only agenda item allowing council members to make statements about the taxi industry limited to two minutes each.

Ayes: John Han, Dan Hinds, Tara Housman, Richard Hybels, Barry Korengold, Timothy Lapp, Tone Lee, Carl Macmurdo, William Minikel, William Mounsey,

Nays: Athan Rebelos, Chris Sweis

Motion Passed.

9. Discuss recommendations to make DTS an independent division (Discussion and Possible Action)

Postponed item 9.

10. Council Member request for information. (Discussion only)

Mr. Han said he would like progress report on single operator medallions.

No public Comment

11. Schedule upcoming calendar items (Discussion and Action)

Item 7

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned by standing vote at 4:08p.m.


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