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Rules and Regulations Subcommittee


March 31, 2008 at 10:30am

City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place               

Room 408


Present:  Breslin, Oneto, Gillespie

Absent:   None

Called meeting at 10:42 am

1.       Call to Order/Roll Call : Quorum

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

·         Marty Smith:  Can we get an agenda on workers compensation?  If we are going to allow companies to go on without workers compensation it’s unfair.

·         Com Breslin: We used to give credit to companies with workers compensation. 

·         Pres Gillespie: We removed that in the last gate legislation. Workers compensation is a requirement.

·         Com Breslin: We will take that into suggestion for a future meeting. 

·         Michael Spain: Rules are politically motivated.  We are trying to establish rules for people to use in the future.

·         Arthur: We need an exit strategy for Medallion Holders. 

·         Com Breslin: I’ve been receiving questions relevant to rules and the MTA merger.  These meetings are crucial to guiding policy with MTA. 

·         Dir Thigpen: I have also received many questions regarding the merger.  There will be a presentation on April 8th at the Commission meeting regarding the MTA merger.

·         Pres Gillespie:  This is a vital process we are going through.

·         Com Breslin: For the agenda, we can go where we left off.

3.      Adoption of Minutes from the March 14, 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]

No discussion.

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

  • Jordanna Thigpen: Reads (section 4) provides explanatory document; resolution.

Public Comment:

  • Mark Gruberg: I have a problem with the language  in the  certificate/title  registration “must only be in the name of the Medallion Holder and Color Scheme Holder”.  Color Scheme Holder has an agreement with separate companies to operate Color Schemes.  Green Cab LLC is to protect individuals. 

·         Michael Spain: I don’t understand why rules are being instituted.  This is a business decision.  Re-think this rule or remove it.

·         Jim Gillespie: This change was suggested because GTU checks registration.  Giving the opportunity to add additional names to the registration.  “Holder” was added to Color Scheme.

·         Dir Thigpen: That will be corrected.

·         Marty Smith: These are business decisions.  The Taxi Commission is interfering with normal business activities.

·         Rich Hybels: When drivers have to start financing cars their name has to be on the registration.

·         Ray Slone: I would like to ask the City Attorney if this resolution is illegal.

·         Dir Thigpen: Do you mean illegal from a commission standpoint?

·         Tom Owen: Not going to respond right now.

·         Pres Gillespie: We make decisions because medallions are property of the City and County of San Francisco.

·         Carl Macmurdo: I advocate “free enterprise”, regarding brokers the regulations need to determine what status brokers are in San Francisco; are they helping or hurting the industry.

·         Com Oneto: We need to delete “holder” from 4B3 and 5G2A.

·         Dir Thigpen: 5G2A is how it reads now.  It’s a little different than the title/registration.

·         Com Oneto: 4B3 was put in due to insurance/financing for drivers who were purchasing.

·         Com Breslin: To protect drivers who have ownership of the vehicle.

·         Pres Gillespie: It doesn’t say anything about brokers.

·         Com Breslin: Can we vote to go forward?

·         Dir Thigpen: Recommendation does not mean it’s adopted.

·         Pres Gillespie: In favor to approve changes.

·         Com Oneto: Just eliminate ‘Holder” from 4B3 and we can adopt the recommendation.

·         Com Breslin: Passes, this will go forward to the full commission.

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

  • Dir Thigpen: Reads Section 5

Public Comment:

  • Charles Rathbone: I have a concern regarding the gate increase.  I think companies are going to use the money from gate to get medallions away from Luxor cab.  I am going to ask the commission to have a restriction of changing color schemes to; 3 years of financial statements, dispatch system (GPS), companies should accept credit cards.  Also make sure that companies have workers compensation and that all payments to Medallion Holders are documented on a 1099 form.
  • Pres Gillespie: We currently don’t have any restrictions with the new gate fee.
  • Charles Rathbone: I am comfortable with the long term lease because it’s protected by a company such as Luxor.
  • Pres Gillespie: The  gate increase intent was for green vehicles. 
  • Charles Rathbone: Com Heinicke did a layout regarding dispatch, that’s a good place to start.
  • Pres Gillespie: Regents dispatch is a good example.
  • Com Oneto: I agreed with Com Heinicke on all these issues.  Your company can charge the gate increase also.
  • Charles Rathbone: Revenue will go to the place it needs to go to enhance service.
  • Rich Hybels: I just had to raise a pre-k medallion by $300 a month because Desoto offered $300 more to one of my medallions.  There is going to be bidding. Brokers that I’m aware of charges whatever they want.
  • Ray Slone: I think what you are doing is illegal.
  • Mark Gruberg: Restrictions are not really appropriate.  The 1099 form is a federal tax document. Requiring dispatch to be computerized is putting companies out of business that can’t afford it.
  • Dan Hinds: Are all items on 4 being moved into item 5? I want to talk about 4H10.
  • Dir Thigpen: We are discussing 5H10 at this time.
  • Michael Spain: Isn’t this a late stage to propose rules? Large companies use rules to favor businesses decisions.  Small independent companies haul a lot more passengers than the larger ones.  Asking for rules that come down on small companies and individuals are unfair.
  • Arthur: Companies need to have workers compensation.  Any company that does not use the $7.50 to purchase hybrid vehicles should not use it in any other way.
  • Marty Smith: We used to have a cap of $1800 on Medallion Holder payments.  This has to be capped and people need to provide proof of workers compensation.
  • Pres Gillespie: That is no longer apart of the legislation.
  • Com Breslin: We don’t have that rule we have a practice.
  • Marty Smith: If an independent contractor was the right contract they would not need workers compensation.
  • Pres Gillespie: Are you asking us to clarify a rule for workers compensation?
  • Marty Smith: Yes.
  • Pres Gillespie: 5A1 stated “comply with workers compensation laws.”  Explicit requirement.
  • Marty Smith: Per State labor laws; with a payroll of zero you do not need workers compensation.
  • Jim Gillespie: I don’t think anyone wants rules in place that cannot be enforced. There is no need for a lease cap.
  • Pres Gillespie: What do you think about adopting restrictions?
  • Jim Gillespie: My focus is Yellow cab, and I don’t feel the need for it.
  • Com Breslin: Transfer restrictions that protect free business trade?
  • Com Oneto: Workers compensation is in 5 different places.  Page 26, #16 (5H16).  That is our way of getting around this.  This section states “display” posting of certificate.  A certificate is different than posting laws.
  • Com Breslin: Going back to Section 4, (4A10) did we decide to do a resolution?
  • Dir Thigpen: You wanted to delete 4A10.
  • Com Oneto: If we went to biometric scanning we wouldn’t have to talk about this.
  • Dir Thigpen: Discussion of 4A10 is relevant to vehicle requirements.  The claim is that, Medallion Holders will take better care of cabs.  4A10 is still pending.
  • Com Breslin: We should start proceeding to Section 5.   We are going to save housekeeping for the end.
  • Dir Thigpen: I feel like I could house keep on these as far as legal language.  I can do it for the final draft.
  • Com Breslin: 5A1; as a housekeeping, any public comment?


Public Comment:

  • Charles Rathbone: Change it to “must have workers compensation”.
  • Rich Hybels: Not only for single shifts.  If there is any control he is someone’s employee which means you need workers compensation.
  • Mark Gruberg: Disciplinary hearing officer stated on the Regents decision that all Color Schemes have to have workers compensation.
  • Com Breslin: Keep wording as “complying with laws”.
  • Marty Smith: Is Weights and Measures still in?
  • Dir Thigpen: We cleaned that up and removed Department of Agriculture.
  • Com Breslin: What does State law require? We don’t have the required documents to discuss that right now. 
  • Pres Gillespie: We might consider amending the current workers compensation rule to make requirements more explicit.  Workers Compensation in Section A.
  • Dir Thigpen: I can draft a proposed 5A10 for the April 10th meeting.


  • Com Breslin: No action on 5A1.  We are not going to delete workers compensation until we know compliance issue.  Section 5A2; Medallions are property of the City so they are under regulation.
  • Marty Smith: Waybills and contracts are property of the companies.  Color Schemes can say it’s none of your business.
  • Com Breslin: We are looking to centralize waybills once they become electronic.
  • Pres Gillespie: I don’t see any changes that need to be made.  Remove the comma between cooperate. 
  • ComOneto: We are allowed to regulate this issue because it’s City & County property.  I’m for removing the comma.  
  • Tom Owen: You can change it to; Permit holder shall reasonably cooperate with the Taxi Commission.
  • Com Breslin: I like the phrase “in good faith”
  • Tom Owen: Reasonably rather than good faith.
  • Com Breslin: 5A3.
  • Dir Thigpen: House keeping needs to happen in 5A3.  One thing SFMTA may consider is that during A-card renewal they receive a new rule book.
  • Com Breslin: Whose responsibility is it that Rules and Regulations are distributed?
  • Dir Thigpen: Reality is we would have to add on a cost to the A-card to produce rule books.
  • Pres Gillespie:  “Color Scheme Holder shall ensure”, I would get rid of that.
  • Com Breslin: I think that this is a driver requirement.
  • Dir Thigpen: You may want to recommend a new rule that a copy of the Rules & Regulations be distributed at A-card renewal.
  • Pres Gillespie: It should be in the training section.
  • Dir Thigpen: It should be an internal policy that the commission staff develops to ensure drivers are getting rule books.  It can also be in the driver section.  Color Schemes are responsible; it should be a rule in each area.
  • Com Breslin: Are we deleting 5A3 on responsibility of the Color Scheme to get the rule book to the drivers?
  • Com Breslin: Color Schemes need to post new changes.


Public Comment:

  • Mark Gruberg: We should require training schools to provide copies of rule books.  I don’t like the idea of the rule books every year, its unnecessary.  Only with changes should they be re-issued.
  • Arthur: Any change can be posted at the Color Scheme.  Have all drivers sign off acknowledging.
  • Rich Hybels: Eliminate the sentence that requires drivers to have the rule book in their vehicle.
  • Com Oneto: I think if the school trains them on regulations they have a working knowledge.
  • Com Breslin: We can add this under the training school section.  I am in favor of the annual renewal of the rule book due to wear and tear.
  • Pres Gillespie: Maybe we can get a rough estimate of cost of printing.  Rules are available online as well.
  • Com Breslin: We can put 5A3 in training.
  • Com Oneto: There can be a sheet of rule changes that the drivers sign off acknowledging the changes.
  • Com Breslin: What about Medallion Holders without A-Cards?
  • Dir Thigpen: 1095 filing, we are looking to combine and streamline them.   I can work on language for the next meeting.
  • Com Breslin: 5A4, how can the employees ensure that?
  • Pres Gillespie: The essence of this rule is for the commission to remove the vehicle from service until it’s in compliance.

Public Comment:

  • Marty Smith: Who are employees?
  • Dir Thigpen: Office staff, if you have a business you are required to make sure your employees are in compliance with the law. 
  • Pres Gillespie: You want to change to “and their employees”?
  • Com Breslin: I’m not proposing it.
  • Dir Thigpen: I don’t want people saying my employees did it so I’m not responsible, someone has to take responsibility.
  • Mark Gruberg: The first part is completely redundant; the second part is a penalty provision.  It gets messy when you get to Color Scheme Holder and Color Scheme.  It seems that the rules are being placed on the holder.
  • Dir Thigpen: It’s true, someone has to be accountable. 
  • Ray Slone: Is the commission in compliance with Labor Standards?  What about the relationship with living wage?
  • Tom Owen: If drivers are employees companies are required to comply with city laws.   Those laws do not apply to independent contractors.
  • Dir Thigpen: Key personnel are subject to city laws.
  • Com Breslin:  Do we need to be more specific?
  • Tom Owen: You could eliminate the reference of employees.  Permit holders are responsible regardless of structure and operation.
  • Com Breslin: 5A5, any changes?
  • Dir Thigpen: For investigation they would want to know the vehicle description.  I’m not sure of the purpose of this rule.
  • Com Breslin: Is this rule relevant? Is this rule being used?  
  • Com Oneto: Since Taxi Detail is included we need to talk with them.  This rule looks like it’s in two sections.
  • Com Breslin: 5A6.
  • Dir Thigpen: Shouldn’t be in there, it pertains to ramps.
  • Pres Gillespie: 5A6 is redundant 9A3 is the same rule.
  • Com Breslin: Just removed.  On to 5A7


Public Comment:

  • Charles Rathbone: Absolutely agreement with this rule as it’s written.
  • Mark Gruberg: This is one of my pet peeves.  This rule needs to be strengthened.  Tipping someone that has control over your job.  Drivers are paying this as protection. 
  • Rich Hybels: You should eliminate it.  It’s never going to be enforced.
  • Marty Smith: This rule is impossible to enforce.  The bigger the company the more you pay or you don’t work.
  • Michael Spain: The larger the company, the more personnel which means minimum wage earners.  Dispatcher looks to tips as an essential part of their job.
  • Arthur: Not one person gets a nickel that comes thru that window, it only goes to dispatchers.
  • Dan Hinds: I have many opportunities to make money on the side and we discourage that at National.
  • Pres Gillespie: I have tipped the gas man, cashier and the dispatcher.  It’s not in exchange for cab or order.  They don’t ask for tips at Yellow Cab.
  • Dir Thigpen: This is going on but we don’t receive complaints about it.  We will continue the rest of the items.


7.   Adjournment 12:38pm



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