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SFMTA Taxi Services
Taxi Advisory Council


Monday, May 23, 2011
2nd Floor Atrium Conference Room
One South Van Ness Avenue


Accessible meeting policy - One South Van Ness Avenue


SFMTA Taxi Services


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

ABSENT:  Timothy Ajaegbu; Richard Hybels; David Khan;

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:  May 9, 2011

Ms. Graham motioned to approve minutes.  Mr. Mounsey seconded. 

NO Public Comment

5. Public Comment

Mr. Mehmood said that Taxi drivers are not being represented equally in this TAC committee. 

Ms. Monroe said that Christiane Hayashi is doing a good job.  She suggests that the conditions for the drivers need to improve.  She also suggested allowing cabs to move around in the special diamond lanes.

Mr. Gruberg said that there is a board meeting tomorrow where the board of supervisors will be voting on a proposal Scot Weiner brought forward regarding meter increase. 

Mr. Fulkerson said that there are a lot of questions regarding the use of the driver’s fund.  He said that it’s a conflict of interest to use this money to help drivers buy medallions. 

Ms. Tara said that there have been a few robberies that have occurred recently.  She is suggesting a way to alert cab drivers when this happens.

Mr. Healy said that the PCC said they would not pass any recommendations on the controversial issue. 

Mr. Kim said that the taxi system is flawed and is set up so that half the medallions out there are not servicing the public. 

Public Comment Closed

6. Report of the Council Liaison (Discussion and Possible Action)

a. Staff Update- Christian Hayashi updated

She addressed the PCO memo handed out.   Announced the Town Hall meeting times and topics.

b. Regulatory Reform Update

c. Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program Update

Michael Harris- Investigator Taxi Services

No Taxi Sales Program Update.

Mr. Mounsey said that the peak time taxi is not a good idea.  He also asked how it would be monitored.

Ms. Hayashi said running reports would help regulate peak time taxis.

Mr. Gillespie said that most robbery reports does not say what taxi cab company it happened to.  He said he would like to see that on all bulletins.

Mr. Nazarov said he would like to see statistics on these robberies.  He wants to know if the police department will also help enforce illegal taxis.

Ms. Hayashi responded that they would be working with the police.

Mr. Korengold said that he wanted to know what is going on with the proposed changes with the video and audio recordings.

Mr. Minikel asked what reports Ms. Hayashi was referring to. 

Ms. Hayashi said that electronic way bills is that report.

Public Comment

Mr. Mehmood said that there is no need for day drivers.  Peak time medallions will be used during the day also.  

Ms. Monroe said there is no need for peak time medallions.  She said there needs to be more cabs out in the evening.  She said peak time cabs are a mistake instead they should help eliminate all of the illegal cabs first then put out real medallions. 

Mr. Lee said that meter increase is a mistake he would like riding a taxi be more affordable. 

Mr. Brad said that driving a cab during the day he has made about 12 dollars/hour.  He said there is no need for more cabs during the day. 

Mr. Vitka said as far as the extra medallions are concerned he would like to know who they will be given to.

Mr. Gruberg said to solve the issue of putting more cabs on the road peak time medallions sounds like a good idea.  He said that dispatch services she be the first notified when there is a crime so they can put the information over the air.

Mr. Fulkerson said he thanked Ms. Hayashi for the memo to PCO.  He said more cabs will not always mean better service.  He said dispatch is the answer to that problem. 

Mr. Healy said if you use Cabulus you can interact with the passengers and therefore virtually eliminate the no goes.

Mr. Kim said that the illegal cabs need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Ms. Graffis said she would like to know how long cab drivers are driving per shift.

Public Comment Closed


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


Chair Sweis said he revised the draft report from last week.  The council went over the MSPPR that Mr. Sweis drafted. 

Mr. Korengold read a paragraph in the report and suggested revision.  He read the edited version he suggested. 

Chair Sweis said that he does not want to put specific recommendations. 

Mr. Rebelos said that he was a bit confused about what they are going over at this meeting.  He thought that they were not going to go over the report word by word. 

The Council went over the report on what they disagree and agree on.

Mr. Korengold motioned to recommend a requirement of 3 years as a gate and gas driver before beginning to drive a Long Term Lease. 

Mr. Mounsey seconded the motion

Mr. Nazarov asked how are medallion holder supposed to run their own business when they are going to be told who he should lease his medallion to. 

Mr. Rebelos said he doesn’t know if he can support this motion.  He said if a driver wants to better himself why should we deny him the ability to lease a vehicle from a family member who happens to have a medallion. 

Mr. Korengold said this will keep experienced drivers in the taxis.

Mr. Gillespie said that this problem would be better solved if more medallions were put on the streets. 

Ms. Graham said that a lot of the drivers who bought a medallion come from being Long Term Lease drivers.

Mr. Korengold wanted to amend his motion to say you must obtain an A-card for 3 years prior to entering a long term lease agreement.

Public Comment:

Mr. Lee said that this motion is 100 percent discrimination.  He said that he started driving for his brother. 

Mr. Gruberg said that he understands what Mr. Korengold is trying to accomplish.  He has a concern with using this report to approve specific policy recommendations. 

Mr. Fulkerson said that Mr. Korengold suggestion sounds reasonable.  He said that he does not understand how this board is trying to accomplish getting through this report. 

Ms. Victoria said that she heard somewhere that this board can not make specific recommendations. 

Mr. Kim said that he knows a lot of affiliates that run a clean and safe cab.  He also said that a lot of the affiliates are running cabs with little experience.  The issue that needs to be addressed is what the role is of a medallion holder.

Ms. Graffis said that long term lease drivers should be protected under the gate cap. 

Mr. Healy said that Mr. Korengold’s motion is an attempt to improve the quality of drivers in San Francisco. 

Ms. Monroe said she agrees with Mr. Korengold regarding having better cab drivers.  She said that right now this is not something they need to concentrate on the report should be addressed.

Mr. Vitka said he agrees there should be better training and supports the motion.

Public Comment Closed.

On the motion to recommend being a licensed San Francisco cab driver for 3 years before getting into a long term lease agreement:

Ayes:  Barry Korengold; William Mounsey

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

Absent: Timothy Ajaegbu; Richard Hybels; David Khan;

Motion did not pass 10 Nayes 3 Ayes.

Mr. Han motioned to have a cap on medallion sales. 

Ms. Hayashi and Mr. Sweis clarified the cap of medallion sales.

Mr. Han withdrew motion. 

Mr. Han said that there should be a more definitive description on recommendation #6.

Mr. Korengold said he would like his drivers investment recommendation put on this report as a recommendation. 

Mr. Korengold motioned that after the 60 medallions that the SFMTA is selling out right that there should be only sales between drivers.

The Motion was not second.

Mr. Korengold motioned that the SFMTA not sell any more medallions out right past the 60 approved in the pilot program.  That future medallion sales only be from driver to driver and that newly issued medallions be given to the list.

Mr. Mounsey seconded motion. 

The council discussed the motion.

Mr. Sweis said he would be willing to add something on the waitlist movement in the report to address Mr. Korengold’s concern.

Mr. Mounsey said it doesn’t matter what they do at TAC the SFMTA will sell all medallions out right. 

Mr. Sweis said he will leave the motion and vote on it after public comment.

Mr. Rebelos motioned to approve the report with discussed changes.  Mr. Macmurdo seconded the motion.

Mr. Mounsey motioned to assign two medallions be given to the wait list for every one sold by the SFMTA.

Mr. Korengold seconded that motion.  

Public Comment:

Mr. Mehmood said he did not see the report available online.  He said that the purpose of the sales program was to give an exit plan for drivers who are aged or disabled.

Ms. Monroe said that she agrees with Mr. Korengold’s motion.  She said that there needs to be movement on this list.  She also agrees with the 2 to 1 sales motion. 

Mr. Lee said newly issued medallions should only be sold.  He said 80 percent should go to the drivers fund and 20 percent be given to SFMTA. 

Mr. Vitka he questioned the word adopted on the report.

Mr. Fulkerson said on the motion to approve the report should be to approve the report as revised.  He said that everyone in here should pass these motions. 

Ms. Houseman said she urges everyone here to support Mr. Korengold motion. 

Mr. Healy said that you do not want to give the city more power to sell medallions out right.

Mr. Kim said that you are mixing up to many things here.  He said that there is too much weight on an old system that is not working.  He said that one thing that stand out that have not been addressed in this report is that the person buying the medallion for 250,000 should not pay a transfer fee.  He also said medallions should be able to be resold at anytime.

Ms. Graffis said that she supports Mr. Korengold’s motion.

Public Comment Closed

Ms. Graham wants to know what the benefit would be to sell a whole lot of medallions. 

Mr. Mounsey said that the SFMTA is selling the medallions to help pay for city workers pensions. 

Mr. Han asked if Mr. Korengold’s motion also pertains to possible peak time medallions. 

Mr. Korengold said his motion is about ALL medallions not be sold by SFMTA.

Mr. Hinds asked, “What is the solution in the future when medallions are in need”.  He said this is a topic that needs to be further looked at in more detail.

On the motion to recommend that no medallions above the 60 be sold out right by the SFMTA and all future medallion sales be from seller to buyer.

Nayes: Jim Gillespie; Laurie Graham; Dan Hinds; John Lazar; Carl Macmurdo; Dmitry Nazarov; Athan Rebelos; Chris Sweis

Ayes:   John Han; Barry Korengold; William Minkel; William Mounsey

Absent:  Timothy Ajaegbu; Richard Hybels; David Khan

Motion did not pass 8 Nayes to 4 Ayes.

Mr. Mounsey motion that for the duration of the pilot program that the issuance of medallions be changed from 1: 1 to 2:1 to the list.

Ayes:  John Han; Dan Hinds; Barry Korengold; William Minikel; William Mounsey; Chris Sweis

Nayes:  Jim Gillespie; Laurie Graham; John Lazar; Carl Macmurdo; Dmitry Nazarov; Athan Rebelos;

Absent:  Timothy Ajaegbu; Richard Hybels; David Khan

Motion did not pass  Nayes 6, Ayes 6

On motion to approve the report with discussed changes.

Ayes:  Jim Gillespie; Laurie Graham; John Han; John Lazar; Carl Macmurdo; William Minikel; Dmitry Nazarov; Athan Rebelos; Chris Sweis

Nayes:  Barry Korengold; William Mounsey;

Abstained:  Dan Hinds

Absent:  Timothy Ajaegbu; Richard Hybels; David Khan

Motion Passed 9 Ayes to 2 Nayes.

8.         Council Members requests for information [Discussion only]

Mr. Han asked for a report on tip proctors.

Mr. Macmurdo asked regarding fees how was the SFMTA able to get around credit card fees?

Ms. Hayashi said that there is an exemption for government agencies to charge this fee when you are paying by internet.

Public Comment:

Ms. Monroe asked how was Las Vegas able to charge convenience fee. 

Ms. Hayashi answered the question and said they used the taxi pass system.

Closed Public Comment

8. Schedule upcoming calendar items [Discussion and Action]

Mr. Han said he would like Open Taxi Access on the agenda. 

Mr. Gillespie said that he would like know what is happening to the money being raised by the medallion sales pilot program to improve taxis.  

Ms. Hayashi suggested drafting a letter regarding that matter then addressing it at these meetings.

Mr. Macmurdo said there should be a recommendation on the agenda regarding how many medallions are issued to the list.

Mr. Sweis asked what was being asked of them by the board.

Ms. Hayashi said that service improvements should be discussed. 

Mr. Sweis stated the next agenda item to be to review recommendations for service improvements by MTA staff.

No Public Comment

ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting was adjourned by standing vote at 3:59p.m.



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