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Rules and Regulations Subcommittee


December 9, 2008

City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place               

Room 408


Present:  Breslin, Oneto, Gillespie

Absent:   None

Called meeting at 12:43 pm

1.      Call to Order/Roll Call : Quorum

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

  • Rich Hybels: Congrats, you had the precedence of having the incentives first. New York is having them now.

3.      Adoption of Minutes from the November 20, 2008 Subcommittee Meeting [ACTION] :

  • Continued to next Rules meeting.

4.      Consideration of Amendments to Rule 5.H.3 of the Taxicab/Ramped Taxi Rules & Regulations [ACTION] ***see discussion below

5.      Consideration of Amendments to Rule 5.H.4 [ACTION]

       *** Items 4 & 5 were discussed together

  • Dir Thigpen: This appeared on the November 25th agenda.  If there could be rosters on record that companies can hand over it can facilitate the Commission.  This could also help the drivers. This would create a lot of paperwork.  We have the electronic space to store these records if they are emailed to us.  It seems like the larger companies can be exempt or report once a month.
  • Com Breslin: There’s nothing requested on the roster than what was requested on the roster before? The only change we are looking at is to forward this roster to the Taxi Commission office.
  • Dir Thigpen: In Rule 5H4 it’s called daily roster but it really means schedule.  They are already keeping these records; it’s not an additional burden to them.
  • Com Breslin: New amended language "first day of each month" following the schedule, ahead or behind.
  • Com Gilllespie: It would have to be after.
  • Com Breslin: The 6 years, is that now redundant if the Taxi Commission will have all the schedules?
  • Dir Thigpen: We could get rid of that after 6 years.
  • Com Breslin: I’m in favor of the Commission office centralizing this information.
  • Com Gillespie: 5H3 is a rule that requires the companies to have a list of their current drivers. 5H4 is who is driving a vehicle at any given time; they are just applied to the color scheme. Let’s clarify roster vs. schedule.  We should get rid of the word roster. 
  • Dir Thigpen: That’s why I changed it in the second one to schedule.
  • Com Gillespie: We should change it to say, must be updated every month with deletions or additions.
  • Dir Thigpen: On the other hand it’s causing them to create a new document. 
  • Com Gillespie: I’m trying to avoid sending a list of 2000 people with names and addresses on it through the mail.
  • Dir Thigpen: If we are just talking about the Rosters they are mainly typed. Some of the smaller companies such as Comfort Cab handwrite it.
  • Com Breslin: Since the purpose is to know the drivers of the companies, do the companies just use the same roster?
  • Com Gillespie: Everyone has a driver ID number.  Once they leave their number is deleted.
  • Dir Thigpen: We would keep records to verify if a driver has driven.
  • Com Breslin: Do we want the home address, number or contact information?
  • Dir Thigpen: This was in the current one, we could always change it.
  • Com Breslin: This can be used to update your mailing records.
  • Dir Thigpen: I don’t want to go down that road because it’s not our responsibility. 
  • Com Oneto: The only question I have, does everyone do it at the first of the month or the end of the week?
  • Dir Thigpen: I don’t think every company updates this by the week. 


Public Comment:

  • Jim Gillespie: The problem is that people aren’t following the rules.  If we are required to post and the commission office is doing inspections, we wouldn’t be having this problem.  We should have fines assessed for people that are not in compliance during spot inspections.  I printed out today a copy of our roster that is 35 pages long.  For Yellow it would be 480 pages per day. I personally feel the rule is fine and we should enforce.  At least they can go to the company and find the information that they are looking for. 
  • Com Gillespie: Isn’t it a mouse click away to send it to the commission?  MTA will have thirty three Color Schemes to deal with, and they are not going to want to go out to 999 Pennsylvania to sift through the documents or see if someone is in the trailer.  I understand what you’re saying but in the modern technology days, it’s so easy to send data.  At any point in an investigation the city needs to know.
  • Dir Thigpen: Sensitive to the issue of the 500 pages, Yellow and Luxor is never a problem.  It’s the people who are fabricating schedules.
  • Com Gillespie: Do they need to send my information every month?  I’ve been driving for Yellow for 20 years?
  • Jim Gillespie:  To delete or add we would have to get a new system
  • Dir Thigpen: In 5H4, we can say if companies have GPS they can be exempt.
  • Com Gillespie: Theoretically this can be resolved by the paratransit debit card system.
  • Jim Gillespie: It still takes time for someone to put this together. 
  • Com Breslin: When you update your rosters, do you delete that person? Where is the prior record?
  • Jim Gillespie: Everyone has a 4 digit ID number and when he leaves in the computer he becomes R plus the 4 digit number which is considered retired.  We don’t delete them we just retire them.
  • Com Breslin: I want to make sure all companies are following that practice.
  • Dir Thigpen: If they do it once a month will they do four?
  • Com Oneto: Do you do this on the first of the month or the end of the month.
  • Jim Gillespie: This is updated by the minute. 
  • Com Oneto: How busy are your people on the first of the month.  We know the companies that do what they supposed to do.  If we just make a fine it doesn’t help the drivers.  If you go to the Board of Appeals they want to know if we treat everyone equally.  If we don’t do it with you we wont be able to do it with the small ones either.
  • Jim Gillespie: Let’s say we start this rule, a year from now, they are going to go through these entire disks and I’m still going to get a call.  When they need it we can send it, it would be more effective that way.
  • Com Oneto: There are places we are going to call, and they won’t have this information.
  • Jim Gillespie: I would rather see fines put in place to let people know that we are serious.
  • Com Breslin: In 6 years all this information will be centralized at the commission office.
  • Com Gillespie: If we can make it as simple and electronic as possible, I support this change.
  • Dir Thigpen: What if there was a statement that said, “Companies with computerized GPS would be able to store this at their principal place of business” in 5H4.
  • Com Gillespie: Historical records need to be available to our office that cannot be altered.
  • Rich Hybels: With a 20 cab company this is a piece of cake.  I’m for anything to make it harder for the cheaters. The word roster was Vince Simpson’s police language. 
  • Com Gillespie: Do you have different databases?
  • Rich Hybels: Its one spreadsheet.
  • Com Gillespie: Can you send us this information electronically?
  • Rich Hybels: Yes. I can scan it.
  • Com Breslin: It concerns me that people are doing this different ways.
  • Com Gillespie: If they fax it to us then we scan it?
  • Dir Thigpen: Yes.
  • Marty Smith: We break it down from gate & gas and leases, it only takes two seconds.  Every new driver is added at that time.  When I was running Delta we posted medallion holders, driver schedules, everything was posted.  I’m all for what you are trying to do.                     
  • Mark Gruberg: This does not present a problem for us.  I don’t see that there is any really crucial need to make the rosters available on a weekly basis.  What makes more sense would be to send you each month a roster of everyone who drove the previous month.  I have a little bit of a concern about sending the schedule on the first day of the month.  We get a lot of shift changes.  I would make it a little more flexible like the 5th of the month.
  • Com Gillespie: The first could fall on a Sunday so I agree.
  • Jim Gillespie: The roster would include all the drivers and leases. 
  • Dir Thigpen: What we are finding now with investigations is that many companies do not keep a schedule and are not complying.  Yellow knows what’s going, Green doesn’t have leases, and Luxor has a log-in system. These other companies aren’t keeping the schedules. Those companies need to be cited. There is going to be a lot of companies that don’t take responsibility for their lease drivers.
  • Com Gillespie: Long term leases are the reason why we are doing this.  And we don’t know who is driving that cab.
  • Marty Smith: There are master sheets that are ready everyday and are available after every shift.
  • Com Breslin: Right now this is going in the Color Scheme section.
  • Com Gillespie: We are just tightening up the Color Scheme section.
  • Dir Thigpen: It says current driver and rosters.
  • Com Breslin: Since it’s a problem, I also want to pick up on what Jim Gillespie said about penalties.  What do we have to do to assess penalties after not submitting by the 5th of the month?
  • Dir Thigpen: Right now these penalties are classified as minor violations.  You can make a recommendation to the MTA. It goes from $25-$100 dollars.
  • Com Breslin: That’s not enough.  I like the numbers that Jim gave.
  • Dir Thigpen: Your recommendation is to increase the classification and to have higher fines. I really want to find a way to help Yellow and Luxor.  If it’s computerized GPS based it seems like a better way.  I just hadn’t seen any instances of a GPS being falsified.
  • Com Breslin: I am still interested in sunseting by a date that a Color Scheme does not have to keep those 6 years.
  • Com Gillespie: To get his ball rolling.
  • Com Oneto: What company will not have to go into the debit card system after we move to MTA?
  • Com Gillespie: Even though I threw that out there, we need another.
  • Com Oneto: I would prefer to see language like we did in clean taxi.  After 3 months down the road we can see if MTA wants to continue this process.
  • Com Gillespie: Under 5A4 are we changing rosters to scheduling?
  • Dir Thigpen: What is the six years?
  • Com Gillespie: Six years because of Daly Ma.
  • Dir Thigpen: It will be 5 out of 6 years starting 2011.
  • Com Breslin: I would be comfortable keeping the six years. And I always like the progressive reduction.
  • Com Gillespie: I would get rid of the word "reasonably" in the last sentence.
  • Com Breslin: Can you work language of a progressive reduction as Tom suggested?
  • Com Gillespie: Will we have this tonight?
  • Dir Thigpen: Yes.
  • Com Breslin: Will you also include the MTA to pursue more serious violations?
  • Dir Thigpen: Yes.
  • Com Oneto: Can we change it from a minor to a major?
  • Dir Thigpen: We cannot, class 1186; Board of Supervisors had to pass this classification back in 2004.  They approved all of the fines, and the board would have to approve any changes.  I know it’s confusing but it will make more sense once you see the documentation.
  • Com Breslin: In the 3rd line of 5H4 "vehicle number or medallion number, if different" the medallion holder does not have to driver their own cabs.
  • Dir Thigpen: I only took different out because it said and/or.
  • Com Breslin: I would just take away the "or".
  • Dir Thigpen: It should say the commission and its designee.
  • Com Breslin: Motion to forward to commission
  • Com Gillespie: Approved motion
  • Com Oneto: Second
  • Com Breslin: This will go forward to commission tonight.

6.      Consideration of Amendments to Sections 4.C, 5.K, and 6.A.11  [DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION]

  • Com Gillespie: I am ok to continue this item.
  • Com Oneto: It’s in the rules that there should only be three layers. 
  • Com Gillespie: I need to read the decision of Julie Rosenberg.
  • Tom Owen: You cannot discuss that now.
  • Dir Thigpen: no discussion about the particular case cannot be discussed.


7.      Consideration of Goals for Rules Subcommittee for Next Few Months [DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION]

  • Com Breslin: I want to look at driving requirements and training. We should say what we felt worked.
  • Dir Thigpen: I could try to attract some of the school trainers to have them come speak.
  • Com Breslin: I think if we could get the current documents from the schools.
  • Dir Thigpen: Like a current syllabus. 
  • Com Breslin: I think we should do brokers and license.
  • Dir Thigpen: We can probably do two meetings in January and two in February.
  • Com Oneto: We didn’t go anywhere with dispatch and I think we should tackle that.
  • Dir Thigpen: I would really like to have this discussion for you to help MTA in defining the accountability.  The way the rules are structured, it’s all on the medallions holders; there are no standards at all.  That to me is a fundamental flaw in the way we look at regulation.
  • Com Breslin: I have to think about what that really means.
  • Com Gillespie: I agree with you and I think we did that today by making the Color Schemes accountable.
  • Com Breslin: What about workers compensation?
  • Com Gillespie: I think we have rules in place now that are legal and we are in compliance with state law. Right now it’s pretty clear that we cannot pass a law about workers compensation.
  • Com Breslin: How about any ideas from the public?

Public Comment:

  • Marty Smith: There should be 15 fleet medallions to off set the cost to run these companies.  With this we can buy brand new vehicles.  We need things that are going to help the industry.
  • Rich Hybels: If you really want to have an interesting legacy, no K medallion will be a long term lease period. One of my medallions went to another company and checked off gas and gates.  If you really want to see more hybrids on the road, let us decide what is cost effective.  Right now I’m under a lot pressure. My suggestion is to just eliminate all mileage on hybrids.
  • Com Oneto: If we let you do that are you going to put those 5 dollars back in the shift?
  • Rich Hybels: No.
  • Com Breslin: I will put this down as a discussion.
  • Jim Gillespie: To support Rich, with the 8 year rule he is saying maybe I can buy a three or four year old car and run it for a couple years.  If you’re going to consider what Rich was asking and eliminate the beginning mileage.
  • Dir Thigpen: The city is conducting a study about fleet utilization.  I’m trying to convince them to let us keep it.  There are going to be a lot of vehicles that are going to be sold in an office.  I’m trying to get Ed Lee to approve that they can be sold to the taxi industry and that will produce more availability.
  • Mark Gruberg: It seems to me to be a zero sum game if the game comes on the street with 80k miles and then has to come off the street.  It’s not a great deal to have initial mileage.  Yellow Cab buys new vehicles and green cab does as well and this will be cost effective for us.  Some of our vehicle has 100k and no mechanical problems. From a business standpoint it makes sense to buy a new vehicle.  I think the 3 layer rule and the discussion of brokers, terminology has to change here, its way to vague. It doesn’t say what’s allowed or what’s prohibited.  These rules need to be more specific. I want to back up Rich Hybels about long term leases with K medallions. That to me sounds like you can go out with a bang.  Find some driver who is going to purchase and maintain a vehicle, it’s against the spirit of prop k. This is a reform I think you can do and is needed.
  • Rich Hybels: there are not a lot of used cars available. There are like one or two available
  • Marty Smith: At Luxor we are 55% compliant with the clean air.  We have until 2011 to come into compliance.   


8.      Adjournment. 2:05pm



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