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Rules and Regulations Subcommittee


January 30, 2009 at 10:30am

City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place               

Room 408


Present:  Breslin, Oneto, Gillespie

Absent:   None

Called meeting at 10:45 am

1.      Call to Order/Roll Call : Quorum

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

  • Com Breslin: This is the very last meeting so anything you have we welcome.
  • Rich Hybels: Thanks for letting us do this.
  • Unknown: I just want to add to the comments that Richard made. I will miss you guys.
  • Com Breslin: Do make a recommendation to have a subcommittee to work out some of the issues we have with the drivers.


3.      Adoption of Minutes from the November 20, 2008 Subcommittee Meeting [ACTION] : approved without objection

4.      Adoption of Minutes from the December 9, 2008 Subcommittee Meeting [ACTION]:  approved without objection

5.      Consideration of Draft SFMTA Motor Vehicle for Hire Regulations

  • Com Breslin: I want to propose that we work this out as a discussion.  We only bring recommendations to the commission.
  • Dir Thigpen: Some form of it will be adopted at the February 3rd SFMTA meeting.  Chris is here as a special request.  My only comment is that the summary suspension has been altered and I and Sgt. Reynolds feel like they should remain the same. 
  • Com Breslin:  I would like to go through the MTA regulations.  What we would like to do is to pose certain questions. 
  • Chris Hayashi: I would like to introduce myself; my name is Chris Hayashi from SFMTA, Director of Taxi and Accessible Services. 
  • Rich Hybels: I would like to discuss the changes of rules for vehicle mileage. 
  • Com Breslin: It’s not a part of the recommendations
  • Chris Hayashi: All regulations that are not contained in this small document will be considered in the future. I will hold meetings at 1 S. Van Ness so people can comment in the future.
  • Com Breslin: I’m looking at the summary page 3, section 4A3; no person may hold one or more taxi permit.  I’m assuming those grandfathered issues were continued.
  • Chris Hayashi: That is for the larger set regulations; there were no changes intended there.
  • Com Breslin: Section 4C, 4G, 2D- to remove from waiting list if applicant is ineligible. Our notification process doesn’t send certified mail.  What type of notification process does MTA have in mind?
  • Chris Hayashi: I had not really thought of noticing procedures.
  • Com Breslin: It just seems to be a point of contention.
  • Chris Hayashi:  Notice provisions are trying to get more public notice.  It’s required to be posted on the website, main library. We will certainly be careful with noticing that affect their application. 
  • Com Breslin: Key personnel requirements; we also have key contact that we authorized at the establishment.  I just want to bring that to light, if the notice is going to the color scheme that its understood that there are key contacts that have taken responsibility for the color scheme
  • Tom Oneto: That’s in the 77 page regulations.
  • Chris Hayashi: It is useful to get this information and its very helpful
  • Com Breslin:  Section 4D3; the proposed regulations specify that a permit cannot be issued to an employee of SFMTA or City and County of San Francisco full time employee.  Can these people be on the list and give up their job once this permit is offered to them? I find it discriminatory.
  • Chris Hayashi:  SFMTA issue is to avoid a conflict of interest. And with city full time jobs it’s frowned upon for taking another job.  I can see circumstances where a city employee would remove themselves from their job to get a permit. 
  • Com Breslin: I can understand the concept for salaried employees but for hourly employees. 
  • Com Gillespie: I happen to agree with the rule as it is.  Steven Lee is a full time employee at Muni.  I agree with the proposal.  I don’t feel like they should be holders of permits.  800 hours is not completely a full time job. 
  • Com Oneto: Its 2080 hours a year is fulltime.  Who in their right mind will give up a 90% pension to become a cab driver?
  • Com Breslin: I know there is a strong feeling amongst drivers, I just think it sets a precedence
  • Chris Hayashi: A Muni operator driving in addition to 800 hours becomes a high liability. 
  • Com Breslin: Physical exams are being required? Will these be enforced on a bi-annual basis?
  • Com Gillespie: This rules and regulation has to do with the question of disability and inability to drive, I agree with this rule. And I understand that Chris doesn’t want to take a position right now, but I would like to extend my support. 
  • Com Breslin: There has to be a way of checks and balances.  Such as a Time Waiver for physical issues for a certain amount of time off.  How do we do checks and balances for those that are not putting in for disability?
  • Chris Hayashi: It would be a way of screening people who are not able to drive.  Muni operators have drug testing.
  • Com Oneto: Every two years drivers need a physical because they need to maintain their “B” license.  I’m in favor of some type of physical.
  • Com Breslin: I agree with you, but we are not talking about a total program here. Line 15, section 5A2; this brings me back to manager designee.
  • Chris Hayashi: I think that Dir Thigpen expressed that.  I don’t know how it has become a problem of the past. We need to know who we can contact when trying to reach a permitee.
  • Com Breslin: Section 5A10; we touched on that in our meeting a little bit. I’m not sure that I understand this. 
  • Com Gillespie: Distinguishing between taking the vehicle off the street and the driver taking time off. As long as they meet their driving requirement it doesn’t matter when. Just as long as their color scheme does.  Because of the historical circumstances, vehicle doesn’t come off the streets for any serious period of time, as far as the driver who cares if they go away for 3 months, it’s doesn’t matter. The city doesn’t need to give them permission.
  • Com Breslin: I think this is mixing up operation with the full time driving requirement.
  • Com Gillespie: I think this is one area that the MTA can work on.  Have something for formality. 
  • Chris Hayashi: I’m sold, we can take that out.  I’m not in favor of over regulation.  As far as I’m concerned that can come out.
  • Com Breslin: Page 5 Section 9; I don’t think we had that before.
  • Com Gillespie: I don’t think that ramp taxi permit holder should be key personnel.  They have a commitment and key personnel should be people with regular permits.
  • Chris Hayashi: There was an individual who approached me who is trying to start a color scheme and is meeting all the requirements.  He wanted me to reconsider that rule. I want to check in with him to see if there is a medium ground.
  • Com Breslin: So that is in consideration to flesh it out
  • Chris Hayashi: Yes
  • Com Oneto: I’m not in favor of this ramp permit to be key personnel.  It’s a part of why you get it it’s because you agree to do the work.  That’s like making a commitment and then turning your back on it.
  • Com Breslin: Section 4, 5C3; is this still under consideration?
  • Chris Hayashi: These are all under consideration.
  • Com Breslin: The only problem I see is that to meet a driving a requirement they don’t have to drive their vehicle and this is their reverse.  I think there are longer shifts than four hours and I don’t know if that would present a challenge for the companies. Are you looking for more frequent inspections?
  • Com Gillespie: When we first introduced this program, I think the whole question is, do we make cameras apart of the whole inspection process?  A lot of thought needs to be put into this.  The specification should go into something separate from the rules.  More like a handbook and make sure that the inspections are on top of it.  These vehicles should go up on a lift, which they currently don’t, in addition to road test.
  • Chris Hayashi:  We are getting expertise from cameras on buses.  MTA has in house camera expertise. 
  • Com Gillespie: If we make this yearly a part of the GTU inspection it will help.
  • Com Breslin:  Page 12 under the eligibility requirements that need to be determined section 3b; no waiver of the requirements of this subsection will be granted.  So this tells me that the Time waiver would be done away with.
  • Chris Hayashi: That also came from Dir Thigpen so we would have to check with her for that.  If you’d like I can walk you through the short versions.   These regulations would be adopted under Prop A, Division 2, Transportation code adopted by MTA board. New article number 1100, 1101 describes the types of permits to be issued (reviews summary rules)  Part two of that section excludes certain vehicles operating under PCN vehicles under PUC.
  • Com Breslin: I understand that they are excluded from regulations but are these sections under any enforcement as a protection measure?
  • Chris Hayashi: It’s not in any version of the regulations right now.  It excludes private ambulances, rail vehicles.  I wasn’t sure of funeral limos.  Section B 1100; we are just trying to regulate in our police powers. Subsection C; once we get regulations in place they will be provided to all permitees. Once we get the whole set put together we will get that out but we don’t know exactly when all this will be done.
  • Com Gillespie: To change from taxi to accessible taxi means that it is accessible to wheelchairs. 
  • Com Breslin: I have a question about the fees too.  Maybe I’m wrong but I thought even some fees had to go through the board of supervisors. 
  • Chris Hayashi: Prop A gives SFMTA exclusive authority over fines and charges.  But there has to be a public hearing before any fees are changed.  There is an empty section 1103 for permit applications and eligibility.  As we discussed at the full board meeting it’s not fair to take away a driver car if they are going to visit family. 
  • Com Breslin: Welcome back Dir Thigpen: We went through a number of the summary issues.  We are now going through the new version and discussing MTA. should hold the driver permit if they are not terminated with the color scheme
  • Chris Hayashi:  If a color scheme tells us that they ceased affiliated, we expect the driver to come back to SFMTA. 
  • Dir Thigpen: When this was brought up at the last commission meeting you mentioned that they would turn in the permit and file it at MTA.
  • Chris Hayashi: We have to find a way to comply with state law; we have to hash that through.
  • Dir Thigpen: We can have it turned into the color scheme until the driver gets back.
  • Com Breslin: If they are terminated the color scheme notifies MTA.  But if they are taking a leave, nobody takes it from them.
  • Com Gillespie: People who don’t deserve to get terminated, for the city to take their A-card as a result of that is not fare. I think we should think about changing this law.
  • Chris Hayashi: Point taken we will talk to our legislative people to make some changes to state law.
  • Com Breslin: I agree that it doesn’t sound like a good law but it gives leeway for a driver to find a new home.
  • Chris Hayashi: Drug testing requirement; this is a very sticky provision that we have to deal with and it should be revisited.  This requirement that they be tested as a condition of renewal.
  • Com Gillespie: I know what the city is trying to do. What about people with cannibas cards? If someone tests positive with no record, will they lose their license?  I have questions about the 5th amendment. 
  • Com Breslin: Sometimes the public safety outweighs personal privacy being violated because they have a choice to go into this career or not.
  • Chris Hayashi: Consequences of a positive result, they can be referred to a substance abuse professional and then retest, upon negative retest they can continue driving. 
  • Dir Thigpen: The MTA already has a driver program set up for its Muni operators.   
  • Chris Hayashi: Section 1105-1107 are on hold right now for a more substantive discussion.  There will be a public hearing once a year to discuss if there will be more permits issued. 
  • Com Gillespie: PCN phrase as a historical story behind it.  The idea is a phrase that is used all over the country and an attempt to give an objective guideline.  I would argue to put it back in because it was a progressive reform for the 1930’s.
  • Com Oneto: After the public hearing and determination you have “unappealable” but in the new summary it’s not there.
  • Chris Hayashi: Yes, that should be added back. Thank you for catching that.
  • Com Gillespie: Will there be any review.
  • Chris Hayashi: It can be appealed to a matter of administrative.
  • Com Gillespie: I don’t want to completely for whatever allowed the planning commission to come in with an EIR that still needs to be in there. 
  • Tom Owen: CEQA would still apply. They don’t look at the policy to add medallions.
  • Com Breslin: There would be a need for more medallions. 
  • Com Gillespie: Our whole clean air policy is based on 1500 vehicles.  If the MTA decides to add more medallions, that has to be added in.
  • Dir Thigpen: With this condensed version I have a problem right now.  I have a color scheme operating his spare and regular cab.  And there aren’t going to be any rules in place to support that. 
  • Chris Hayashi: Any regulations that are not covered will remain in place.
  • Com Breslin: In the whole issue of transit first. Taxis should be a part of taxis first.  And then including bicycles as well. There needs to be a way to have accountability. 
  • Chris Hayashi: Regardless of the signage taxis are allowed to use bus only lanes. 
  • Dir Thigpen: There should be licenses for bikes
  • Chris Hayashi: Section 1109 just covers general provisions; it always deals with my division and the hearing divisions.  Presentation of evidence.
  • Dir Thigpen: This should not be limited to taxis and accessible services.  It should be everyone
  • Chris Hayashi: We can change that language.  (Reviews section) public comment is not allowed for disciplinary and summary suspension hearings.  Correct that so it does not apply to the issuance of medallion hearings. 
  • Gillespie: I call it more of a reform, before people never knew who was getting medallions. I would keep that process as transparent as possible.
  • Dir Thigpen: The public comment is not testimony.  It’s has been a problem in the commission meetings.  Other people have witnessed this situation and have additionally reviewed administrative decisions.   As far as what’s been happening at the present, I thought they were required.  I tell the hearing officer to allow them to be heard. 
  • Gillespie: Testify versus Public Comment.
  • Dir Thigpen: They can be asked to be sworn in.   With the way this is phrased both parties have 5 days to submit information.  
  • Breslin: Tom do you mind commenting on the legality of public comment
  • Tom Owen: Due to the Brown Act, we advised that public comment be taken but it is problematic.  It’s not something that is legally required.
  • Chris Hayashi: Any person that has information can come straight to the SFMTA. In my personal opinion, public comment remains before Brown Act processes. Section E or general hearings (reviews section).  Section 1110; permit issuance; all permits have to be investigated. (Reviews section/subsections).  Section 1111, disciplinary (reviews section/subsections), section 1112 summary suspension.
  • Com Breslin: At our Commission we discussed that this can be overwritten if there was cause to immediately suspend the permit.
  • Chris Hayashi: We can revisit the language and see if it’s required. Final section regarding noticing.  All public notices shall be posted on the website and public library for no less than 3 days.  Section 1114; discusses MTA authority to increase rate of fare and cap on gate fees.
  • Com Oneto: In the permit issuance section “any interested party can submit a written submission within 5 days” in notice section it says 3 days. (top of page 10)
  • Chris Hayashi: good point, we will reconcile those.
  • Com Gillespie: 1114 in the last section “at sole discretion” that means that MTA is totally responsible?
  • Chris Hayashi: We can look to the controller’s office for assistance.  But SFMTA has a very sophisticated finance division that we can work with. 
  • Com Gillespie: I’m okay with this, I’m just asking. 
  • Chris Hayashi: Controllers report will be superseded by section 1111. 
  • Com Breslin: Thank you for the walk through. 


Public Comment:

·         Jane Bolig: I appreciate the re-write is that there are questions answered about the merger.  PCN and Prop K go undefined.  I don’t know what CEQA is.

·         Chris Hayashi: California Environmental Quality Act.

·         Jane Bolig: One of the hot buttons in the industry is cabs and bikes.  There has to be some way to make us feel that bikes are accountable for their actions. 

·         Dir Thigpen: Next meeting the rules will be adopted.

6.      Consideration of Leasing Medallions

Public Comment:

  • Jim Gillespie: I don’t have any comments until we know what we are going to discuss
  • Com Breslin: We were talking about brokering license.  Maybe this should be tabled for the commission to discuss.
  • Dir Thigpen: This was placed here because the commission wanted to talk about these things.  It might be helpful to have this discussion about 4C1. 
  • Tom Oneto:  I read the larger packet of the MTA rules so I agree with what they have in their leasing rules.
  • Com Gillespie: I read the long version of Section 2. I like what I read in the 77 page version.  I know that MTA is going to go forward.  If you want us to endorse it, maybe we can just read it.
  • Com Breslin: We have the 78 page document that was first presented to the at the last commission meeting. In that document they covered leases.  And Commissioner Gillespie and Oneto agreed with the way it was written.
  • Com Oneto: Page 26-27 of the 78 page MTA Regulations, #5 permit conditions. 
  • Dir Thigpen: There really aren’t a lot of changes to the current rules it’s just fleshed out.
  • Com Gillespie: I hope this handles the “sub leasing” issue.
  • Jane Bolig: Here’s what I understand, the recommendations that were produced by CH
  • Com Breslin: The document presented by Chris will be adopted by MTA.
  • Jane Bolig: I have a couple of feelings, I don’t know if I’m being coherent. If this is about the brokers, in that sense I agree and I have somewhat of a reservation about going over something that is so substantial.  I haven’t really got a chance to look over this. 
  • Com Breslin: This is going to the full commission.  The Rules Subcommittee is coming to a close now

7.      Public Comment (for anything not on the agenda)

  • Charles Rathbone: I’m here at the advertised time.  Was there anything that happened in the last two hours? 
  • Com Breslin: Adopted minutes, brief public comment.  Again, we apologize for the error on the time of the meeting.  The body of the meeting was going through a summary and CH went through it line by line.  The consideration of leasing medallions was on here because of previous discussion about that.  They are not putting that up for a vote and it will be addressed later. And we are asking the ED to bring it back to the commission
  • Charles Rathbone: Very briefly, thank you to each of you for your hard work
  • Mark Gruberg: I would also thank you for your work.  I don’t know what action was taken.  No harm no foul. 
  • Gillespie: Any of our existing rules that are not included in the 13 page summary presented by CH will still be affecting until they consider it themselves. 
  • Com Breslin: I would like to thank the members of the committee, Dir Thigpen, Chris Hayashi for joining us today, Danelle Carey and the public.


8.      Adjournment.



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