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SFMTA Taxi Services
Taxi Advisory Council

Monday, September 12, 2011
2nd Floor Atrium Conference Room
One South Van Ness Avenue


Accessible meeting policy - One South Van Ness Avenue


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

ABSENT:        Chris Sweis; David Khan; William Minikel;

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE:  Jarvis Murray Taxi Services

1. Call to order:  Barry Korengold called the meeting to order at 1:10 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:  August 8, 2011

Public Comment: none

Mr. Hinds motioned to approve minutes Ms. Housman seconded

Minutes Approved

5. Public Comment

Mr. Rathbone said he encouraged cameras in good operating order to help apprehend robber.  He said he has gotten Square complaints and concerns in the past few weeks.

Mr. Han said how easy is it to remove memory chip?

Mr. Rathbone answered refer to technician.

Mr. Callan said he is a driver with disability.  He said he would like to see allowance made to sell.

Mr. Gruberg said information to drivers has been limited when it has come to these past robberies.

Mr. Daqa said the ability to buy a medallion has been the best SFMTA has done.    

Ms. Grahm said the main thing cab drivers need to do is service the city by having a financial invest in your medallion it encourages the owner to keep the business viable.            

Ms. McFay said he wanted to follow up to with Mr. Gruberg regarding robberies.  He said that the people in county jail will be let out and said it would be important for drivers to get pictures of robberies.            

Ms. Murai said people need to speak now at public comment otherwise won’t be able to speak later.  She said the end user should pay for credit card use like in Miami and Las Vegas.  She said she is disappointed that single-use medallions haven’t been addressed yet.            

Mr. Toranto said he is disturbed with the lack of access of information about taxi industry.  He said the RFP study has not been discussed he said they are being kept in the dark.            

Mr. Healy said that the problem with TAC is that it’s inefficient.  He said they need town hall meetings to talk about RFP and police department to talk about robberies.             

Mr. Okha said the Board of Directors haven’t officially seen RFP. He said if people have questions, public has his number.            

Mr. Lytle said she drafted a report about Pilot program and it seems to have vanished. She said this report should be presented to the SFMTA Board. 
Mr. Huptcych said drivers want pilot program.  He said the program should be expedited and they should lower the age limit to sell or just eliminate the program.            

Ms. Wyer said they should ask Mr. Sweis to resign because he is bias.  She asked why does Royal get all the medallions.  She also said they get all the privileges. She said there must be a hidden agenda.           

Mr. Han said what he did was not a formal proposal.  He asked to retract that language it was just a floating an idea.           

Mr. Issa said the pilot program is a great idea. He said he would like the program to keep going.  He said on the wait list his number would be 3000 but on the buying list he is #97.  He prefers to be able to buy a medallion.           

Mr. Korengold asked how did that bring your number down to 97.

Mr. Issa said he called someone.

Mr. Korengold asked him how far down the list he was.  He said how did he get there on the list?

Mr. Rebelos said that he doesn’t think he should be challenging the public comment. 

Mr. Korengold asked who told him.

Mr. Issa said Mike.                       

Mr. Mustafa said he supports the medallion pilot program and explains it’s a way out for those that want to sell their medallion.            

Mr. Ramos said he supports the pilot program. He said he heard rumors to abolish program.            

Mr. Vitca said someone posted a copy of the RFP on a taxi blog.           

Mr. Templeton said he didn’t get a medallion till 5 years ago.  He said he doesn’t want to sell his medallion. He said right now he can drive but he understands the concerns of someone who maybe can’t drive anymore.             

Mr. Lamska said he is concerned about pilot program.  He said he thinks it’s obscure.  He said he does think the program is good and can’t wait to buy.           

Mr. Malik said the peak time medallions should only be issued to people on the wait list not A-card seniority list.                                                                    

Mr. Mohammed said the solution is to split the medallions into two a day time vs. night time.            

Mr. Miserae from paratransit introduced Ms. Laura from Shop around.            

Ms. Laura said SF ShopAround is already in effect and it’s out there and people are using it.           

Ms. Housman said she wants a shop around flyer.            

Mr. Lee said a lady he picks up is not a paratransit rider and the card needs picture. 

Public Comment closed.

6. Report of the Council Liaison (Discussion only)

a. Staff Update- Jarvis Murray updated.           

Mr. Castillo said citations have been issued sense the month of July.  He said they have run off the majority of them now that their presence is being known.        

Mr. Hinds asked do they have authority to impound vehicles.           

Mr. Castillo said no.            

Mr. Mounsey said limo problems getting worse. He said the worst time illegal limos are out is in the evenings.           

Mr. Lapp asked if they are coordinated with SFPD. Why can’t they pull over limos?

Mr. Castillo said they want to keep it in-house. He said they want to coordinate that.            

Mr. Lee said they are doing a good job at hotels. Staff is very good.           

Ms. Housman said she wanted to thank them for their work.

b. Regulatory Reform Update:

Mr. Hybels asked do renewal fees differ between companies.            

Mr. Hinds asked are permit fees, referring to specific fees or all collected?           

Ms. Housman said not fully staffed up yet. Shouldn’t recovery be higher?           

Mr. Murray brought up the 1099 document handed out.  He also went over regulatory reform and the drafting of new legislation.

Mr. Mounsey said he would like more time to go over this legislation more than the two weeks given.           

Mr. Korengold asked how much time is left before they can make changes.           

Mr. Murray said September 30 or after the holidays.

Ms. Housman Sept 30 last day to turn into Roberta?           

Mr. Harris said by the next meeting they should have time to go over it.

Mr. Hybels asked isn’t there a law that whatever you charge has to equate?

Mr. Murray said yes the cost of permits should equate the resources used to provide services.

c. Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program Update (if board talks)

Mr. Murray went over handout.           

Mr. Lazar asked if drivers who’ve purchased can turn around and sell them and when?           

Mr. Murray said that is why they are trying to make legislation because it’s unclear.           

Mr. Lazar said they bought it, but they can’t sell it.           

Mr. Mounsey said when will the 35 medallions go out?           

Mr. Macmurdo said how many more qualifying sellers?   

Mr. Murray said he does not but he doesn’t believe it is that many more.           

Mr. Oka asked if TAC has sent a report to Taxi Services.

Mr. Korengold said it has not been completed yet.           

Mr. Hinds said his understanding is that TAC endorsed that report   version and hasn’t been presented.           

Mr. Korengold said he gave it to Chris Sweis and a vote was contested in Ethics Committee.           

Mr. Hybels said there is nothing on website about disciplinary actions or revocations.

Mr. Murray said there hasn’t been very many and the only postings are the hearing dates.           

Mr. Lapp asked does SFMTA make profit off of Sales, revote?           

Mr. Lazar asked who are peak time medallions going to or are they going out.           

Mr. Han asked when are updates on peak time medallions going out.

Mr. Murray said he does not have an update on that.           

Mr. Mounsey said he is giving up on waiting for medallion.

Public Comment:

Mr. Rathbone said he has heard rumors that SFMTA have abandoned the idea of selling of medallions.  

Mr. Gruberg said communications with the backseat terminals is useless.  It’s checking to see if back seat units provide cab drivers more tips.   

Mr. Ramos said he comes here for answers, not statements or questions.

Ms. McFay said this meeting is trickery. She said reports don’t get forwarded. She said she thinks Chris does a very good job.  She said Mr. Sweis is playing administrative games. She said the Pilot program should continue.

Mr. Toranto asked what Charles/ Eric are doing is great.

Ms. Murai said isn’t it possible for the pilot program to go through and still look at other options?

Mr. Healy said he 2nd that.  He said they should push through recommendations.  He said they should hire someone to re-do website.

Ms. Mcguire said the purpose of this council was to generate a report.  She also said Mr. Korengold speaks more than others.  She said they need a mission statement.  She said they should put out questionnaire to buyers. Are they satisfied?

Mr. Korengold replied to having spoken 9 times he said he has not.  Also had a question about what she was speaking about.

Mr. Malik said tips have gone done because of meter increase. That doesn’t take care of the 5%. He said there is no information/ supporting documents for who’s buying.

Public comment closed.

7. Alternative Plans to medallion sales program (Discussion and Possible Action)

Mr. Korengold presentation regarding proposal handed out.           

Mr. Hinds said are you framing the proposal as a replacement or substitute?           

Mr. Korengold said this is something that would happen after the program is done.

Mr. Korengold said there are problems with transferability. Advantage to jumping the list will be gone once done selling. He said they are trying to appease those who want to sell and those who don’t want to sell, getting out of driving requirement by paying a fee to go to drivers fund/ SFMTA.

How it works: once driver hits 55, they have reduced driving requirement and can pay money instead. Cap on transferable medallions. Retired medallions (hit 65) those would go to Gas & gate. Don’t have to drive if they don’t want. Drivers fund is to help those drivers who need it.

Mr. Han said if medallion holders want to pay money to drive less, ok.  He said the question would be on the cap.

Mr. Mounsey said he is a representing the people on the list. He again felt like this doesn’t help him on the list waiting for a medallion he is out of luck either way.

Mr. Hinds asked is this an alternative plan?

Mr. Korengold sees it how to improve program, not to replace the program.

Mr. Hinds plan is to expand range of pilot program. All the people who want to sell go to those people who want to buy.

Mr. Korengold says as long as it’s under the 1/3.           

Mr. Graffis she said everyone in industry should get a retirement. She said that’s not addressed in the plan.

Mr. Korengold doesn’t see that helping at all.

Mr. Hybels said he opposed to people buying their way out of driving requirement.

Mr. Han said he needs more hard numbers because it’s all voluntary. He said he couldn’t estimate how much money would go to the Driver’s Fund.

Mr. Rebelos said he doesn’t like this plan. He said he is against a cap on transferable medallions. He said he is against waiver of driving requirement. He said NY and Chicago allow full transferability and it’s more profitable.           

Mr. Macmurdo said he doesn’t like proposal, although well intentioned.            

Mr. Lazar said there should be a point structure of age, time of service to back off on requirement.           

Mr. Han said from GG point of view, there should be no driving requirement.

Mr. Rebelos said Mr. Korengold should not be rebutting.           

Mr. Lee said it should not go back to old days. He said he thinks its equal right now.            

Mr. Hinds said he didn’t see this approach consistent with Pilot Program.

Public Comment

Mr. Rathbone said this is a terrible plan.  He said drivers would have to wait years before he can sell. He said drivers who want in can’t get in and those who want out can’t get out. Plan is coming from a medallion holders point of view.            

Mr. Issa said change is good.           

Mr. Mustafa said he is a ramp medallion holder. He said he wants to try to move away from complications of rule. He said he wants an option to buy if he wants to buy.            

Mr. Ashdoka said he wanted an opportunity to buy medallion. Doesn’t think there should be any requirements. If want to buy buy if you want to sell, sell.

Mr. Ramos said when will this program be voted on? He said they shouldn’t abolish pilot program.           

Mr. Gruberg said 2300 drivers passed over. He said people in industry who can’t get medallions are being lost. He said sales program too focused on those with the money. He said driver’s fund is the only hope.           

Mr. Hacyh said pilot program is speeding list up. He said everything needs to be about transferability.           

Mr. Lamsika said plan is complicated and it’s not solving problems. He said pilot program best thing to happen.           

Mr. Abdulsarlai said he supports pilot program. Better than waiting on the list in 2003.           

Mr. Templeton said late in putting name on list. People on the list for 16 years can’t be ignored.           

Mr. Moles said he has been on the list for 13 years. He said people are lining up to buy. He said a suggestion is to let guys on the top of the list buy but keep them on the list. When their name comes up they can sell the one they bought and the one for free.            

Ms. Speiglman said she just became a medallion holder. She said she is starting to have health problems from driving. She said she finally got a medallion and now she is getting sick. That’s what happens. At least this plan doesn’t have you so much.            

Mr. Malik said he wants more from the proposal. He said newly issued medallions should be able to be sold.           

Mr. Jacobson said proposal doesn’t address that medallions are not being issued.           

Mr. Toronto said there should be a customer satisfaction survey. He said drivers are not providing same quality of service as before.           

Ms. Murai said she is interested in transferability.            

Mr. Healy said he likes Moles new idea. He said pilot program did play to all these groups.           

Ms. McFay said attacking is not what it’s about. She said shouldn’t discontinue pilot program. She said they shouldn’t be confused with Mr. Korengold’s plan.            

Ms. Mcguire said the medallion value goings down. She said there are problems with proposals. She said what the cost of administration of the fund is. If pilot program doesn’t work, who’s going to pay back the money to buyers?

Public comment closed.                  

Mr. Macmurdo said his proposal is to keep pilot program with different options, certain number of people can purchase rights.                       

Mr. Hans said Dan are you opposed to entire proposal, don’t understand if he’s 65 if he could pay money to reduce driving requirement.                       

8. Council Members requests for information [Discussion only]

Mr. Lazar: information on everything we’ve voted on, why it hasn’t moved forward.

Mr. Macmurdo said council should keep comments down to minute and half.

Mr. Hybels asked about offer letters.

9. Schedule upcoming calendar items [Discussion and Action]

Mr. Rebelos said they should discuss recommendation to amend transportation code to allow medallion holders age 60 and above or with disability to sign up to sell with a 30 day window to sign up to sell medallion. With discussion and possible action.

Mr. Han said implementation to single shift cabs.

Mr. Hinds said he would like to support Rebelos proposal.

Mr. Hans asked to keep liaison report short.

Mr. Murray requested to possible put on agenda proposed legislation that will be submitted to the board.

Mr. Korengold said he wants to put other proposals. What to do after program.

Mr. Lapp said there should be a continuance of present program with modifications to age.

Mr. Lazar said limit agenda items.

Mr. Lee said many people missed opportunity to buy.  He said they should open anybody on waiting list.

Mr. Hybels said he is not happy with more people selling medallions and leaving his business.  He said he is ok with opening it up to people who are disabled.

Mr. Macmurdo said buyers who can sell, that shouldn’t be talked about yet.

Agenda items were voted on with show of hands.

Discussion and possible action recommendation to amend transportation code to allow medallion holders age 60 and above or with disability to sign up to sell with a 30 day window to sign up to sell medallion.

Second agenda item

Single shift medallions

ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting was adjourned by standing vote at 5:04 p.m.



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