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Rules and Regulations Subcommittee


February 8, 2008 at 10:30am

City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place               

Room 408

Present:  Breslin, Oneto, Gillespie

Absent:   None

Called meeting at 10:43 am

1.       Call to Order/Roll Call : Quorum

2.      General Public Comment (Please limit public comment to items not on the agenda)

·         Marty: I have a question about the way people are chosen for medallions.  I had one person that went to the Taxi Commission office with his waybills and documentation but there were no medallions available.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: I will talk about this offline with staff.

·         Charles Rathbone: There is a company willing to come to San Francisco to make a presentation on electronic waybills.

·         Com Oneto: I will work with staff on that.

·         Tariq Mehmood: Something is happening; UTW submitted a newsletter for the drivers to donate money. They go to every company collecting the same money.  There are certain requirements when asking to donate money.

·         Com Breslin: Consult with staff.

·         Tariq Mehmood: Wouldn’t you like to have a receipt when collecting a donation? They don’t issue receipts.

3.      Adoption of Minutes from the January 11, 2008 Subcommittee Meeting.

Adopted without objection.

4.      Consideration of Amendments to Taxicab/Ramped Taxi Rules & Regulations, Section 3, Definitions [DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION; EXPLANATORY DOCUMENTS]

  • Jordanna Thigpen: (reads) Consideration of Amendments, Section 3.
  • Com Breslin: I would like to take these out of order; we will forward these to the commission and have the president choose which one to address.  We left off on section 4.

5.      Consideration of Amendments to Taxicab/Ramped Taxi Rules & Regulations, Section 4, Medallion Holders [DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION; EXPLANATORY DOCUMENTS]

  • Jordanna Thigpen: Presents flowchart to members (provided with staff memo).
  • Com Breslin: These are just different lease arrangements.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: The real issue is that we have people without A-cards and we don’t have control over them. We try to control the safety of the driver population.
  • Com Breslin: We will take public comment as it relates to C1, Tom and I was in agreement to keep it at 3 layers.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: Proposed amendments; Staff proposes to clean up the language for Medallion Holders only.
  • Com Breslin: I don’t agree with the driver driving at least 12 hours a week.
  • Com Gillespie: This can apply to not only the medallion holder trying to set a minimum standard.

Public Comment:

  • Michael Spain: Leases, there are people probably in this room not adhering to this, I don’t support this. This should not be the Taxi Commissions problem, it’s too intrusive.  The 3 layers are there for regulatory purposes.
  • Charles Rathbone: Non permissible scheme; the problem is that the driver at the end of the line is not on the Color Schemes roster. 
  • Jordanna Thigpen: In that circumstance they are not affiliated or on the roster, they have no connection.
  • Charles Rathbone: As long as the driver is on the roster, that would make it non permissible.
  • Com Breslin: What if long term leases are getting people that have A-cards?
  • Jordanna Thigpen: It’s not permissible.
  • Com Oneto: Is the long term lease by shift or do they get the car all the time?
  • Rich Hybels: Lease to a driver, they are not allowed to have anyone else drive the vehicle.  He supposed to be the only one driving.
  • Charles Rathbone: From a Color Schemes point of view it’s not really easy to detect that. It’s a problem for the Color Scheme that they are not aware of it.  There should be a tighter enforcement.
  • Com Gillespie: This is why we are here because this is not supposed to be going on. It’s against the spirit of Prop K.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: Diagrams provided are for both Pre and Prop K.
  • Com Gillespie: Things become fraudulent.
  • Marty Smith: As far as I’m concerned we have to have a roster for every driver. They have to go through our insurance or our insurance will drop us. If there isn’t a weekly roster, no matter long term lease, he has to be on the schedule and it has to be posted.
  • Mark Gruberg: The problem arises when one driver leases to another driver.  It becomes a problem with the long term leases. I see that as problematic. 
  • Carl Macmurdo: I tend to agree with Mike Spain but on the other hand if 3 layers lease are getting out of control we need aggression.
  • Michael Spain: We are going to have more definition problems.  The problem with 3 layers is you’re trying to put something in the box that is constantly trying to get out of the box.
  • Marty Smith: In our insurance association every driver no matter what company as long as they belong to SFITA, they can drive for any company. 
  • Tariq Mehmood: We have to tighten it as much as we can. If anyone violates this rule, what is the punishment?
  • Rich Hybels: I’ve never seen problems with this, there are so many drivers.  These brokers are charging as much as they want for gate.  The main lease will sign a lease with his drivers and cannot charge more for the gate than the Color Scheme.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: Cab #60 is at seal rock on Sunday mornings.
  • Charles Rathbone: Luxor cab long term leases upkeep their vehicles better and have better service.
  • Com Breslin: I want the car to be out there all of the time. And a long term lease is driving it solely and not letting anyone else drive the vehicle.
  • Hansu Kim: I have to concur here; in long term lease arrangements it’s very rare that the driver does not let anyone else drive the vehicle.  Long term leases are very beneficial for drivers, more time for less money.  For the company its regular income.  Our problem is the middle man leasing, it has to be gotten rid of ASAP.  Let’s not mix that up with the legitimate long term leases.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: The problem there is that the driver there is already 3 layers by the time you get to the long term lease driver.  The problem is when you allow drivers to operate as color schemes.
  • Com Breslin: Long term lease drivers aren’t always the medallion holder?
  • Jordanna Thigpen: Philosophically the market is self regulating to some extent. One of the main problems that we have is that we try to make changes based on numbers we have available from the industry. We need more money to do the proper enforcement.  As to the issue of punishment, we want to solve these problems and work on policy.
  • Tariq Mehmood: Section 5H clearly mentions that Color Schemes need records of drivers 24/7 to hand over to the Taxi Commission. Yellow does not allow people to drive shifts and Long Term Leases.  If those layers are violated, there will be some elimination.
  • Hansu Kim: Basically medallion holders have two options; hand over medallion or let the Color Scheme handle hiring drivers and get the shift they want, which is 70% of the industry.  Middle men pay more than the Color Scheme and offer to get all drivers and shifts. The problem is the medallion holders who choose to work with brokers.
  • Carl Macmurdo: Is there someway to amend this for a long term lease arrangement?
  • Marty Smith: It’s not the middle man, its main Color Schemes that offer $3000.00 for medallions.
  • Mark Gruberg: On the long term leases, I have to point out that there are some extreme negatives.  You don’t know how much people are paying; we need some regulation of rates. I see no excuse for a K holder to be anything but a gas/gate driver.
  • Michael Spain: Gas/gate is a restrain of trade so people are trying to find a way around it.  We don’t have the budgeting to regulate the industry. 
  • Com Breslin: Are you alright with the language suggested by staff?
  • Com Oneto: We have to stay with the 3 layers.  I’m more in favor of the Color Schemes operating these leases because they are in the business to do this.   I’m not opposed to having a long term lease as long as in some form or another we have all the drivers who are going to be in that cab on a roster. 
  • Com Breslin: When you say you don’t oppose to long term lease having other drivers just as long as the other driver are on a roster?
  • Com Oneto: The roster is still there and the staff can refer to it and see who is driving.
  • Com Gillespie: I don’t think we need to change the rule, we just need enforcement.  Making sure drivers have A-cards.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: So you would take out driving at least 12 hours a week?
  • Com Breslin: The impermissible lease sample, will be permissible just as long as the driver is on the roster?
  • Com Oneto: Yes, because you’re pulling from a Color Schemes roster.
  • Com Gillespie: I think this is the Color Schemes job to get vehicles and insurance.
  • Tariq Mehmood: The question with this clause that is left unattended, 3rd parties; there is no enforcement for this.
  • Com Breslin: Penalties we can address.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: The penalty to violate is $250 which is classified as a major violation under the commission rules. I can’t speak about confidential investigations, there will be a situation addressed at the commission level.
  • Com Breslin: I do like the proposal that it be added to the drivers and medallion holders section.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: The only other rules that we didn’t discuss is 4C2.
  • Michael Spain: 4A3, it gives too much regulatory authority to staff. Do we need regulations like this that are all encompassing?  I would eliminate that.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: I agree that it saying “adhere” to everything and “cooperate” is kind of beating them over the head.
  • Com Oneto: I understand wanting to take it out, but it is a city asset so a medallion holder is ultimately responsible.
  • Com Breslin: 4A4 covers that.
  • Com Oneto: It doesn’t have business operation and dispatch service.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: I’ll take a stab at combining 1,2,3 and 4 and fixing the language.
  • Marty Smith: Isn’t there freedom of choice here?  I think 3 and 4 should be eliminated.
  • Rich Hybels: I agree that this is a good provision.  Medallion holders should be responsible of choosing a company in good faith.
  • Mark Gruberg: I agree with Charles, get some language and should be responsible for violation.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: The reality is there is going to be so many other rule violations.  It would be a weak argument.

6.      Consideration of Amendments to Taxicab/Ramped Taxi Rules & Regulations, Section 5, Color Schemes [DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION; EXPLANATORY DOCUMENTS]

  • Jordanna Thigpen: Reads 5A1 – I can clean this up. 
  • Com Oneto: Weren’t we going to take out Department of Agriculture?
  • Jordanna Thigpen: Yes.
  • Com Gillespie: Every licensed Color Scheme holder.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: Reads 5A2-or its designee is the only thing. Reads 5A3- there are several issues here, ill clean up the language, we should probably make it more current.
  • Rich Hybels: Drivers are required to keep Rules and Regulation books.
  • Com Gillespie: Responsibility of rules books should not be in the Color Scheme section, it should be driver’s responsibility.
  • Com Oneto: I have an issue with posting.  I’m thinking about having a sign off sheet for regulations.
  • Dan Hinds: I think that it should be the Color Schemes responsibility to make it available.
  • Hansu Kim: I think it’s asking a color scheme to much to have a driver sign when a rule is changed.
  • Com Oneto: I’m pretty sure Muni has there drivers sign off on regulations.  If this were a weekly thing I would agree with you but these rules have only changed 4 times in 8 years.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: When a new book comes out, I don’t think it’s a problem for the color scheme to get the signatures on paper.
  • Michael Spain: What’s wrong with having this book posted at every Color Scheme? Its there for the driver to read anytime they want.
  • Com Gillespie: We should require Color Schemes to post any changes.
  • Com Breslin: Who is requiring the school to hand it out?
  • Tariq Mehmood: During lease agreement signings it says that you have agreed and received the rule book.
  • Mark Gruberg: You need to have a system of acknowledgment.
  • Carl Macmurdo:  Why not have commission send a certified letter to all drivers?  Would it suffice just to have us sign off every year?
  • Com Breslin: What we need is a safety net to fall back on.
  • Com Oneto: You want to be fair to all the drivers, and make sure they are all well informed.
  • Hansu Kim: I think the language Jordanna came up with is very reasonable.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: We can make sure that all the amendments are done at a certain time each year.
  • Com Gillespie: I would make the title of the book larger.
  • Carl Macmurdo: Can it be put that Color Schemes leave amendments posted until the new books are issued?
  • Jordanna Thigpen: The issue is the posting; if we are going to require that a new copy be handed out regardless of change in that instance the real issue becomes amendments to sign or post.
  • Com Breslin: I would propose; shall immediately upon receipt of amendments.
  • Jordanna Thigpen: I can redirect that whole paragraph.
  • Com Oneto: I suggest that we have one session on waybills and biometric scanning

7.   Adjournment 12:35pm



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