Sunday, February 21, 2016

Municipal Transportation Agency Board meting on February 2, 2016

There were no taxi items on the sfmta board agenda for February 2, 2016.
Under public comment, Carl Macmurdo spoke at 32:15 regarding the perceived
need for a Transportation Code amendment to protect the heirs of pre-K or
Prop. K medallion holders who have been on the "surrender list" for a
lengthy time, but who pass away prior to their names reaching the top of
the
list.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=24588#.VrFfh56HINE.mailto

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fw: Admin Monitor - California - California Public Utilities Commission meeting on December 3, 2015

Dec. 3, 2015 CPUC meeting video

The December 3, 2015, California Public Utilities Commission meeting
video is linked below. There are seven
speakers under public comment (05:00 - 26:35).
Robert Cesana speaks first, followed by a second person, and then three
Lyft drivers. Carl Macmurdo addresses the commissioners at 20:24. The
final speaker is a bicyclist who felt compelled to talk about the lack of
professionalism exhibited by Transportation Network Company drivers.

http://www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc/voting_meeting/20151203/

Saturday, August 8, 2015

MHA leads the way to amend the Transportation Code


Recently, MHA led the successful effort to lower the re-transfer fee
from the previous 20% amount down to 5%. This new provision applies only to
medallions purchased since transferability was resumed in 2010 under a
pilot
program, which later became a permanent policy. The re-transfer fee --- the
fee charged when the purchaser eventually re-sells the medallion --- has
been reduced from $50,000 down to $12,500.
A copy of the legislation, which became effective on January 2, 2015, is
linked here:

http://www.amlegal.com/pdffiles/sanfran/MTA%20Res.%2014-171.pdf

MHA lobbied new SFMTA taxi director, Kate Toran, to make this change. Kate
had her staff verify our advisement that all other cities with transferable
medallions charge about 5%. The San Francisco Federal Credit Union, which
lends to medallion purchasers, joined in with their full support as the
amendment was being considered by the sfmta board of directors.

MHA board member Carl Macmurdo notes that,

"This change makes the option of purchasing a medallion a lot more
viable for a younger driver who wants to have a taxi driving career."

Fellow MHA board member Athan Rebelos, who purchased his medallion about
three years ago, noted that,

"I hope that people who have bought their medallions the past few years
under Proposition A provisions will realize the importance of belonging to
an organization such as MHA, whose goal is to support and protect all
medallion holders."

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Fw: CPUC speech

CARL MACMURDO'S SPEECH TO THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION ON MAY
7, 2015

On the TNC (Transportation Network Company) issue, many taxi advocates
focus upon the "level playing field" argument. For example, Uber X and Lyft
drivers provide commercial transportation for-hire under a regular auto
insurance policy. They defraud their insurance providers by lying about how
the vehicle is being used. Licensed taxi drivers follow the law and pay a
higher commercial rate. This fraud results in an unfair business practice
allowing TNCs to undercut the rates charged for rides to the public by
taxis.
My concern is a separate topic; namely, the dynamic of supply and demand.
Over time, many cities have experimented with deregulating taxi supply by
allowing open entry. Typically, the result has been a hostile and unsafe
work environment, replete with high accident rates and poor public service.
Taxi drivers and owners cannot make an adequate living under a system with
a
gross over-supply of vehicles. Historically, these cities have quickly
returned to a business model which controls the number of authorized taxis.
San Francisco's system is typical. Regulators hold periodic Public
Convenience and Necessity (PC&N) hearings to ascertain whether additional
taxi medallions are needed. It is a balancing act, weighing the public's
need for adequate service against the essentiality that taxi drivers and
owners will earn a reasonable profit. Presently, San Francisco has
approximately 2,100 taxi medallions.
CPUC allows for unlimited vehicles in transportation categories under its
jurisdiction. Your September 2013 decision to establish a new TNC category
under your
jurisdiction has resulted in de facto deregulation of supply. The economic
consequences
to taxi interests are not merely disruptive, but destructive as well.
President Picker recently acknowledged that cpuc lacks the resources to
enforce your own TNC rules and has mused about assigning jurisdiction to a
different state agency. But when, and to whom? A different state agency
such
as CHP, e.g., would also be an interloper without adequate tools to enforce
regulations and otherwise micromanage a city's taxi industry. Plus, this
approach fails to address the economic and safety consequences of excess
supply.
If cities --- rather than the cpuc --- have TNC jurisdiction, we can
create innovative solutions to ensure public safety, economic prosperity,
and efficient on-demand transportation options. One flaw in the
aforementioned PC&N process is the lack of flexibility to add extra
vehicles
during periods of peak demand. A city such as San Francisco can craft a
hybrid model --- regulation-light in many policy aspects --- allowing for a
combination of TNCs and authorized limousines (TCPs = Transportation
Charter
Party vehicles) to augment on-demand transportation needs subject to
specified rules and limitations.
Inefficient taxi dispatch methods created the niche whereby TNCs
developed efficient apps to ensure rapid response to customer service
requests. With reference to playwright Samuel Beckett, telephone requests
for taxi service historically put the customer in a "Waiting for Godot"
mode --- wondering if a taxi actually would arrive. For app users, those
times are gone. In both San Francisco and Los Angeles, taxi regulators
require an app in every authorized taxi. Flywheel is the predominant taxi
app here in San Francisco.
In the ruling by Administrative Law Judge, Robert Mason --- adopted by
Michael Peevy in
2013 --- there is a glaring factual mistake, the consequence of which is to
afford TNC jurisdiction to the cpuc, rather than to cities. Judge Mason
incorrectly ruled that the nature of an e-hail is pre-arrangement, rather
than on-demand. Even the TNC websites acknowledge and advertise that their
services are strictly on-demand.
In analyzing his jurisdictional determination, Judge Mason noted that
customers have to file an application in advance to be in the TNC system
and
also need to tap an app to summon a vehicle. Yet, the clear TNC model
dynamic is to provide very rapid, nearly instantaneous service to app
requests. We are fortunate street hails are not similarly defined as
pre-arrangements, given that customers make a conscious, advance decision
to
carry means of payment and must signal for a vehicle as well. When the taxi
industry attorneys appealed the jurisdictional argument last year, both the
California Appellate and Supreme Courts exercised judicial indifference by
refusing to hear the appeal. As such, TPAC (Taxicab Paratransit Association
of California) never had its proverbial day in court.
Hopefully, there will be no need for further litigation requesting a jury
to hear the jurisdiction argument. Just as all major professional sports
now
have instant replay as a tool to overturn egregiously incorrect rulings by
arbiters,
president Picker should request a review of the incorrect ruling
that e-hails are not of an on-demand nature. TNC jurisdiction belongs with
individual cities, whose regulators can establish and enforce optimal
policies.
Thank you.

Carl Macmurdo
taxi driver

Monday, April 27, 2015

Nuance Communications, Inc. - The Disruptive Transportation Technology Movement (10990519).pdf

In July 2014, Matt Daus, president of the International Association of
Transportation Regulators, issued the document linked below describing the
various lawsuits which taxi interests have filed against Transportation
Network Companies such as Uber X, Lyft, and Sidecar.

http://www.windelsmarx.com/resources/documents/The%20Disruptive%20Transportation%20Technology%20Movement%20(10990519).pdf

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Fight For Fares In San Francisco

Below is an outstanding letter which MHA Board member Marcelo Fonseca sent last night to various recipients including CBS News' "60 Minutes." It’s preceded by links to some relevant documents.


Application of TPAC for ReHearing of D.13-09-045.pdf


R.12-12-011 - Uber Application for Rehearing of Decision 13-09-045.pdf

Uber article by Molly Cohen.pdf


From: Marcelo Fonseca, Monday, March 17, 2014
Subject: The Fight For Fares In San Francisco!!

Executive Director Kevin Tedesco
CBS News - 60 Minutes
New York - NY
212-975-3247

CC/
Board of Supervisors
City Attorney's Office
SFPD Commission
Mayor Edwin Lee
SFMTA Board

CC/
Governor Jerry Brown
Senator Jerry Hill
Senator Leland Yee
Senator Mark Leno
Senator Mark DeSaulnier
Assembly Member Philip Ting
Assembly Member Paul Fong
Assembly Member Kevin Mullin
Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal
Speaker Pro Tempore Nora Campos

CC/
CPUC Public Advisor
President Michael Peevey
ALJ Robert Mason III

It has been more than three months since I wrote you the letter below
urging you to look into how our municipal and state governments have handled the
influx of Uber, Lyft, SideCar and the impact they have had on the taxi
industry. Since a lot has happened involving these services, here and
acrossthe country, I am writing to you again, not only as a career taxi driver
but
as a concerned citizen.

On New Year's Eve, UberX driver Syed Muzzaffar struck and killed
six-year-old Sofia Liu, also injuring her mother and five-year-old brother
in a crosswalk in San Francisco.
http://assets.newsinc.com/players/mobile/16x9/20130122/player_v5.html?CID=994&WID=11185&VID=25491167&freewheel=45981&sitesection=sfgateblog_nws_non_sec&external_url=http://www.sfgate.com/news/
(http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/san_francisco&id=9408512)
Maybe such a tragedy could have been avoided. Even though it was ten years
ago, Mr. Muzzaffar had a previous conviction for reckless driving in
Florida. It is hard to say if Mr. Muzzaffar would pass the screening to
get a license to drive a taxi in San Francisco but it is reasonable to wonder
if Uber ever bothered to check his DMV records.
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/UberX-Driver-Involved-in-New-YEars-Eve-Manslaughter-Had-A-Record-of-Reckless-Driving-240344931.html

Playing judge, jury and executioner of the taxi industry throughout a
rule-making process on Uber, Lyft and SideCar now referred to as
Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), the California Public Utilities
Commission (CPUC), once referred to by a legislator as a "FIEFDOM",
http://www.thereporter.com/news/ci_23207301/legislators-take-steps-rein-California-public-utilities-commission?source=email

contradicting its mandate to protect the public, ignored warnings about
faulty insurance and blessed TNCs to continue operations with minimal
oversight, unfairly competing with legitimate taxis.

Labor on wheels was made available to anyone with a car to operate as an
on-demand taxi. Thousands and thousands of private, unmarked,
personally-insured vehicles were dumped on our already-congested streets
to ferry people around for profit. None of these vehicles performing taxi
services in the City and County of San Francisco are under the
jurisdiction
of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).

An open entry to an unlimited number of TNCs turned the streets of San
Francisco into a very dangerous, free-for-all environment. A frenzied race
for fares intensified to a ridiculous level. No speed limit, no insurance,
no rules, no regulations, no SFPD, no problem. Come on down!!!

A lot of our hotels, on a daily basis, turn down taxis to push their
guests into town cars just sitting in the taxi zones, clearly not operating on a
prearranged basis. It is safe to say that rides are being negotiated
between corrupt doormen and limo drivers and the CPUC's Safety and Enforcement
Division (SED) is nowhere to be found.

Some TNCs will claim to be peers of the community. In fact, some of their
easy-to-spot vehicles, sometimes with as many as three smart phones on
their dashboards, come from as far away as New Jersey. I and many of my fellow
cab drivers have lived in San Francisco from 30-40 years and have been driving
taxis for a lot longer than many TNCs' drivers have been living. What are
we in this community???

With insurance gaps yet to be solved here and elsewhere,
(http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/7_on_your_side&id=9448301)
the City of Chicago, after being sued by taxi organizations for aiding
TNCs, has issued subpoenas to UberX, Lyft and SideCar demanding proof of
insurance.
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-14/news/chi-city-council-subpoenas-insurance-records-from-rideshare-firms-20140313_1_ride-share-lyft-and-sidecar-taxi-drivers

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray stated that Uber has to start accepting a certain
level of regulation and have to be insured at a level commensurate with
taxi operators.
(http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-26/seattle-mayor-warns-of-uber-shutdown-as-fight-heats-up.html)
A City Panel was expected to endorse a cap on the number of TNCs on the
road, the number of hours they can drive and demand proper insurance.
(http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2023001336_ridesharerecapxml.html)
As expected, Uber launched an aggressive and sleazy campaign to sway
Councilmembers' votes.
(http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2023010741_ridesharecapsvotexml.html)

In San Francisco, quite to the contrary of Seattle's position on TNCs,
Mayor Ed Lee has embraced Uber, Lyft and SideCar since the very beginning of
their encroachment on the San Francisco taxi industry, praising them as
"innovative-ride-share-services" and proclaiming July 13 "Lyft Day".

Through Mayoral Spokeswoman Christine Falvey, after a Board of
Supervisors' Services and Safety Committee hearing on TNCs on March 6,
(http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/sf-exploring-ways-to-regulate-ride-services-like-uber-lyft/Content?oid=2724033)
Mayor Ed Lee once again ignoring 7,000+ cab drivers potentially going
unemployed and several cab companies potentially going broke, praised TNCs
for the opportunities of employment they provide to San Franciscans.
What???!!!

I do have a constitutional right to criticize the government and I am. If
it is OK for our mayor to ignore the San Francisco taxi industry as a "City
Asset" and facilitate unfair competition, if it is OK for the president of
the most powerful state regulatory agency to be flown, wined and dined on
lobbyists' dime
(http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Flown-Wined-and-Dined-on-Lobbyists-Dimes-217678111.html),
and if it is OK for our legislators and law enforcement agencies to just
stand idly by and watch public transportation cannibalize itself as public
safety is being jeopardized...
.I have to question if the core values of our democracy and the
credibility of our government have been undermined by the venture capital
and the lobbying going around ???!!!

I feel disappointed and disillusioned with how our municipal and state
governments have handled this matter, letting down a one-hundred-year-old
"regulated" taxi industry to support a business model that thrives on
deceiving the public and keeping their commercial activities secret from
their insurance carriers.

In the name of innovation, under the lies of ride-sharing, under the
mantle of a sharing economy and in some kind of mockery of the taxi industry,
TNCs have ruthlessly trespassed on public transportation all across the
country, sharing its riches but not sharing its responsibilities.
(http://www.salon.com/2014/02/17/youre_not_fooling_us_uber_8_reasons_why_the_sharing_economy_is_all_about_corporate_greed/)

If this corporate greed is not addressed and if the irresponsibility and
recklessness of cities and regulatory agencies continue to allow the
uncontrolled proliferation of these regulatory-free-environments, the
public at large will continue to get hurt and bear the costs of their injuries
and losses.

Attorney Chris Dolan from The Dolan Law Firm, chris.dolan@cbdlaw.com
415-421-2800, who represents the Liu family as it relates to the death of
Sofia Liu, provided extensive comments to the CPUC regarding potential
legal issues before its ruling on TNCs in September 2013. I believe he can
further assist you regarding this issue.

I urge you again to look into this matter which should be of great
interest nation-wide. The chain of events that led to the death of young Sofia Liu
should not be ignored by anyone.
Thank you very much for your time.

Marcelo Fonseca
mdf1389@hotmail.com



From: mdf1389@hotmail.com
To: 60m@cbsnews.com
CC: mkelly@cbs.com
Subject: Uber, Lyft & SideCar vs Taxis - An Epic Turf War?
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2013 20:44:03 -0800




CBS News - 60 Minutes
524 West 57th Street
New York - NY
212-975-3247

In recent years we've had an influx of app developers selling rides to
anybody with a car, providing on-demand taxi services to anybody in need
of transportation. Start-ups like Uber, Lyft and SideCar, in a
regulatory-free environment, have multiplied at an unbelievable rate, unfairly competing
with legitimate, regulated taxis. XXXXXXXX (REDACTED)

As San Francisco CBS' Mark Kelly reported on Sept, 19th, 2013, the
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), based on a recommendation
from President Michael Peevey and Administrative Law Judge Robert Mason,
voted in a proposed decision allowing these services, referred to as
Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), to continue their operations.
http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/09/19/california-adopts-car-sharing-service-regulations/

Get into your private car, download an app and go into business, has
become the public transportation model adopted by the CPUC. In San Francisco,
there are more TNCs under the wings of the CPUC than there are legitimate
taxicabs under the SFMTA's jurisdiction.

Seemingly, billionaire venture capitalists and their lobbyists from
Silicon Valley's influential tech community cleverly used social media advocacy to
influence government decisions. Apparently Facebook and Twitter
firestorms, in a change.org petition, persuaded our elected and appointed officials to
succumb to public pressure. Rather than making an objective legal
decision, the CPUC bowed to Uber, Lyft, and SideCar, lifting a cease-and-desist
order long before the ruling on Sept, 19th, 2013.

In the Uber article attached, Ms. Molly Cohen, a Juris Doctor candidate at
Harvard Law School, clearly expresses what Uber fans, citizens of the
start-up nation, accomplished in Boston through social media advocacy,
forcing Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to reverse a decision from
the Division of Standards. The original decision had blocked Uber's use of
unapproved devices. Unfortunately, a similar situation has unfolded here
in California.

The taxi industry, led by the Taxicab Paratransit Association of
California (TPAC), is challenging the CPUC decision (see attachment). Also, attorneys
from different law firms are suing Uber on the basis of unfair business
practices. In other states, the taxi industry is litigating against Uber,
Lyft and SideCar on a variety of legal issues.

TNCs still ferry people around for profit in their personally insured
vehicles, keeping their commercial business operations secret from their
insurance companies, knowingly deceiving the public. San Francisco cab
drivers report their license plates to the San Francisco Cab Drivers
Association (SFCDA) who then report them to the Personal Insurance
Federation of California (PIFC) which has shown concerns over the CPUC
regulations. Please, check the following links on the confusion and
secrecy over insurance:
http://taxicabtimes.com/a-proprietary-promise-the-one-million-dollars-that-lies-behind-closed-door-p1998-1.htm
http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/11/07/taxis-lyft-ride-service-war-on-streets-of-san-francisco
http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/11/14/can-lyft-uberx-drivers-lose-their-insurance

In the following article, legislators referred to the CPUC as a "FIEFDOM"
as
they moved to rein in the Commission, taking steps to force the regulatory
agency to justify how it spends its money. It is alarming to read about
its
lax attitude toward safety.
http://thereporter.com/news/ci_23207301/legislators-take-steps-rein-california-public-utilities-commission?source=email

This television segment shows CPUC President Michael Peevey's integrity
being questioned as he is reported to have been flown, wined and dined on
lobbyists dimes.
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Flown-Wined-and-Dined-on-Lobbyists-Dimes-217678111.html

As a career cab driver, 30-year San Francisco resident and citizen
registered to vote, this matter deeply concerns me. The thought of having
our appointed/elected officials owned by lobbyists or the thought of them
being in office just to fool us into believing we have freedom of choice
is
disheartening.

When cab drivers see their incomes drop 50% after the CPUC's unfair
ruling,
facilitating unfair competition, it's very easy to assume that big,
wealthy
businesses own and control everything. A
"money-to-money-and-shit-to-the-dummy" attitude seems to be the policy
adopted these days.

In his State of the City Address in 2013, Mayor Ed Lee embraced SideCar
and
Lyft as "ride-share services". A lot has been written and a lot has been
said about this "sharing economy" and these rogue "ride-sharing" car
services. Nobody is sharing anything with anybody; everybody is just
trying
to make a buck. The questions are: 1) Is San Francisco big enough for all
these services?? 2) Can our local government make it safe for the public??
3) Can our local government level the playing field of competition?? We
cab
drivers sure hope so!!

As I urge you to investigate these changes in public transportation in San
Francisco and how our government handles it, I share with you the letters
below which I wrote to Governor Jerry Brown, several Senators and Assembly
Members in Sacramento. I trust your powerful investigative reporting
journalism can shed light on this matter, bringing awareness to people in
need of public transportation in San Francisco and across the country.

Following are names of individuals and parties who can assist you further
in
this matter:

Taxicab Paratransit Association Of California (TPAC)
916-448-3444

TPAC Attorneys - Marron Law Firm
Paul Marron, Steve Rice, Jamie Laurent
562-432-7422

Attorneys
Tom Brandi
415-989-1800
Gary Oswald
415-927-5700

Jim Gillespie
President of Yellow Cab Coop - San Francisco
jim@yellowcabsf.com
415-593-9262

Hansu Kim
President of Desoto Cab Company - San Francisco
hansu@gonzalezkim.com
415-387-5122

Charles Rathbone
General Manager of Luxor Cab Company - San Francisco
Charles@luxorcab.com
415-401-1422

Christiane Hayashi
Deputy Director of Taxis and Accessible Services
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)
christiane.hayashi@sfmta.com
415-701-5235

Carl Macmurdo
President of Medallion Holders Association (MHA)
cmac906@yahoo.com
415-602-2004

Barry Korengold
President of San Francisco Cab Drivers Association (SFCDA)
bkor@pacbell.net
415-602-1180

Mark Gruberg
President of Green Cab Company - San Francisco
mark1106@att.net
415-606-1106

Thank you in advance for looking into this.

Sincerely,

Marcelo Fonseca
mdf1389@hotmail.com



From: mdf1389@hotmail.com
To: senator.yee@senate.ca.gov; johannes.rognerud@sen.ca.gov;
assemblymember.lowenthal@assembly.ca.gov; jessica.peryda@asm.ca.gov;
senatordesaulnier@sen.ca.gov; assemblymember.fong@assembly.ca.gov;
howard.quan@asm.ca.gov; mullin@assembly.ca.gov;
virginia.kroger@asm.ca.gov;
senator.hill@senate.ca.gov; assemblymember.ting@assembly.ca.gov;
senator.leno@senate.ca.gov; assemblymember.campos@assembly.ca.gov
Subject: CPUC - Proposed Decision on TNCs
Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2013 20:09:47 -0800




Governor Jerry Brown
Senator Leland YeeSenator Mark LenoSenator Jerry HillSenator Mark
DeSaulnierAssembly Member Bonnie LowenthalAssembly Member Paul
FongAssembly
Member Philip TingAssembly Member Kevin MullinSpeaker Pro Tempore Nora
CamposCC/CPUC Public AdvisorPresident Michael PeeveyALJ Robert Mason III
It's been more than two months since I wrote you the letter below, urging
you to look into a proposed decision from CPUC President Michael Peevey
and
ALJ Robert Mason regarding the rule-making process on Uber, Lyft and
SideCar, now referred to as TNCs - Transportation Network Companies.

As you know, on Sept 19th, President Peevey's recommendations were voted
in
unanimously, allowing TNCs to continue their operations.

Shrouded in controversy and secrecy, this proposed decision changes the
definition of on-demand into pre-arranged, creating a new and
lightly-regulated taxi service in San Francisco. Seemingly secret
agreements
have been signed with Uber, Lyft and SideCar, exempting these services
from
following the same rules and regulations legitimate San Francisco taxis
must.

Regarding proof of commercial insurance, driver background checks and
vehicle inspections, no one knows how these polices will be implemented
since the CPUC's Safety and Enforcement Division does not have enough
manpower to enforce them, leaving these companies to govern themselves.

TNC's venture capitalists and their lobbyists from Silicon Valley's
influential tech community spent thousands, if not millions, on their
slick
PR campaigns to portray these tech-cab companies as the very best solution
for Californians in need of transportation. A change.org petition filled
the
CPUC Public Advisor's Inbox to persuade the Commission to legitimize their
operations and, sure enough, the cease-and-desist orders on those services
were inexplicably lifted.

Under the lie of ride-sharing and under the mantle of a sharing-economy,
Uber, Lyft and SideCar have used every legal contortion and every
sleight-of-hand not to be defined as taxicabs.

One of the attachments annexed shows that Uber recently appealed the
CPUC's
decision, seeking for rehearing, still trying not to be under the
Commission's jurisdiction as a transportation company.

Without any regard to necessary regulatory oversight nor in any accordance
with safety principles, these TNCs make innovation synonymous to deceit
and
theft as they jeopardize public safety, robbing cab drivers blind and
driving the San Francisco taxi industry into a dead end.

This current situation in San Francisco demands urgent action from
legislators and law enforcement. The passing of this proposed decision has
opened the flood gates to abuse, exploitation of the public, anarchy and
lawlessness as taxi drivers and TNC drivers cut each other off, fighting
over fares, turning the streets of San Francisco into a NASCAR race track.

Not long ago I drove two ladies from Castro and Market Streets back to the
Hilton Hotel - Union Square. Upon arrival they were very surprised that on
my meter, it was less than 15 dollars. I was not surprised as they went on
to tell me that they were walked into a Town Car by the doorman and paid
60
dollars cash for the same trip.

Almost every hotel in San Francisco has turned their taxi zones into
permanent limo parking lots; every doorman seems to be negotiating rides
with Town Car drivers and the Safety and Enforcement Division is nowhere
to
be found.

Another instance of how rules and regulations are necessary is this case
of
a Lyft driver stalking his female passenger, reported by the Valleywag:
http://sfist.com/2013/07/17/wh.

I am aware of Senate Bill #SB338 that requires modified limousines to have
two readily accessible and fully charged fire extinguishers,
introduced/co-authored by Senators Hill, DeSaulnier, Yee and Assembly
Members Campos, Fong, Mullin and Ting.
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_0301-0350/sb_338_bill_20130918_enrolled.html
Unfortunately this bill will not bring back the five young women killed in
the San Mateo Bridge limo fire; nevertheless it serves as an example of
how
urgent it is to have TNCs heavily regulated before another tragedy occurs.

The potential inability of cities to effectively supply and regulate taxis
in the face of unlimited and unfair competition is an issue of great
concern. The TPAC - Taxicab Paratransit Association of California has also
appealed this CPUC decision, clearly challenging it due to concerns about
the Environmental Quality Act, TNCs engaging in taxicab transportation
services and the CPUC's jurisdiction over TNCs. (See attachment annexed).

I have argued throughout this whole process that TNCs providing fee-based
transportation services within the City and County of San Francisco should
be under the SFMTA's jurisdiction. I have also argued that TNCs are not
ride-sharing companies and therefore should be regulated as taxis. You can
see/hear my argument in this news segment on CBS in a square-off against
"ride-selling" companies at a CPUC meeting on Sept 5th:
http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/9276607-taxi-companies-square-off-against-ride-share-firms-at-puc-meeting/

Every year prior to elections, we get our mail boxes filled with brochures
from politicians praising themselves as they ask for our votes. Yesterday,
at a municipal level, I chose not to support any of the propositions Mayor
Ed Lee and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsome support. After the passing of
this proposed decision by the CPUC that unleashes an all-out assault on
the
San Francisco taxi industry, facilitating unfair competition, I wonder who
cab drivers will choose to vote for in the next state level election.

I sure hope you will look into this proposed decision from the CPUC with
all
of your resources and keep the playing field of competition leveled.

Sincerely,

Marcelo Fonseca
mdf1389@hotmail.com



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Governor

Jerry BrownSenator Leland YeeSenator Mark LenoSenator Jerry HillSenator
Mark DeSaulnierAssembly Member Paul FongAssembly Member Philip
TingAssembly Member Kevin MullinSpeaker Pro Tempore Nora CamposAssembly
Member Richard GordonCC/CPUC Public AdvisorPresident Michael PeeveyALJ
Robert Mason IIIThe CPUC will vote on a proposed decision from
President-CommissionerMichael Peevey and ALJ Robert Mason this coming Sep
5th. This proposeddecision is regarding the rule-making process on
theNew-Online-Enabled-Transportation-Services like Uber, Lyft and SideCar,
nowreferred to as TNCs, Transportation-Network-Companies.As a full-time
San Francisco taxi driver for almost 25 years, I would liketo say that
this rule-making process, from the very beginning, wasstructured to
provide cover for the approval of these services. The Safety &Enforcement
Division (SED) prematurely approved TNC's misleading operations,unfairly
competing with an already established taxi industry. An open entryfor TCP
licenses allowed everybody and their brother to start driving for aliving,
turning San Francisco into a small town where TNC drivers and taxidrivers
fight over dwindling fares, posing great danger to the public.A new
category of public transportation, with light regulatory treatment hasbeen
given to Uber, Lyft and SideCar without any justification. The use
ofsmartphone applications, which cab companies already have, seems to be
thereason for the CPUC to propose regulations in a significantly
andfundamentally different manner from taxis.The CPUC has failed to
recognize the true nature of the TNC's operations andthe true nature of
their business models as TNCs use contract language thatessentially
requires all passengers and drivers to "waive all claims".This proposed
decision to use drivers without commercial licenses in privatecars, less
regulated than carriers using professional drivers and commercialvehicles
should not be accepted. It contradicts the Commission's mandate toprotect
the public. This segment on KTVU - Channel 2 News has been airedover and
over again, showing how the public is at danger when unmarkedvehicles roam
the streets soliciting rides with
impunity.(http://www.ktvu.com/videos/news/special-report-gypsy-cabs-pose-threats-to/vqmTq/)For
the CPUC to exercise jurisdiction over Uber, Lyft and SideCar, operatingin
San Francisco as taxis, the Commission should not grant these
tech-cabcompanies any special privileges nor any special treatments. To
protect thepublic's welfare, jointly with the San Francisco Municipal
TransportationAgency (SFMTA), the CPUC should require all TNCs to comply
with the samerules and regulations taxis must follow.If you read this
commentary by Attorney Veena Dubal, a doctoral candidate inthe
jurisprudence and social policy program at UC Berkeley, you will agreethat
this particular proposed decision by the CPUC has to be
rejected.(http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/bandit-cabs-are-bad-for-drivers-and-passengers-4747566.php).When
we taxi drivers, residents of California, feel pushed out of workunfairly
and illegally by a silly pink moustache and a simple phone app, itis
natural to commiserate with the frustration of our fellow driver
TrevorJohnson from the San Francisco Cab Drivers Association (SFCDA) shown
in thisNBC report.
(http://www.nbcbayarea.com/on-air/as-seen-on/219882211.html)When we taxi
drivers read articles about legislators moving to rein in theCPUC, where
lawmakers refer to the Commission as a "FIEFDOM",
...http://www.thereporter.com/news/ci_23207301/legislators-take-steps-rein-california-public-utilities-commission?source=email

...and even more so, whentaxi drivers become aware of President Peevey's
travels, being wined anddined on lobbyists
dimeshttp://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Flown-Wined-and-Dined-on-Lobbyists-Dimes-217678111.html,
we become pessimistic about a fair ruling on the TNCs andwe see our trust
in our elected/appointed officials totally undermined.In the middle of
this crisis, as we still wait for answers about the SanMateo Bridge
limousine fire that killed five young women, we just hope theCPUC will not
rush to vote in this proposed decision that will leave Uber,Lyft and
SideCar to govern themselves.Questionable enough, our very own San
Francisco Mayor, Mr. Ed Lee hasendorsed the bandit tech-cab companies,
facilitating unfair competition anddriving the San Francisco taxi industry
into to dire straits. Sadly enough,our City Attorney's Office and our
Board of Supervisors have been silent onthe issue.In the taxi industry we
have always feared the City of San Francisco and theState of California
becoming too vulnerable and too susceptible to SiliconValley's money. As
law and order collapse on the streets of San Franciscowith the influx of
bandit-tech-cabs, one can easily presume that cabdrivers' fears are
becoming cab drivers' worse nightmares.I urge you to look into this
proposed decision with all of your resources.Public safety and the
livelihoods of thousands of taxi drivers should not bejeopardized by the
CPUC's favoritism in this ruling on Uber, Lyft andSideCar.Thank you very
much for your consideration of this matter.Marcelo Fonseca25-year career
cab drivermdf1389@hotmail.com

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fw: BOS Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee - Mar 6th, 2014

The March 6 Neighborhood Services Committee hearing is linked below.
The discussion pertains to establishing a city regulatory policy for the
so-called Transportation Network Companies.
Beginning at 06:20, Chris Hayashi makes a 40-minute presentation to
help educate the Supervisors about the issue. "Marzia" represents the CPUC
in addressing the committee and answering questions (45:25 - 1:02:00).
Chris Dolan, the attorney who represents the family run over by an Uber
X driver last December 31, speaks from 1:03:00 - 1:08:35. Numerous taxi
speakers follow until 2:29:40. At that point, the Supervisors comment for
five minutes. They decide to discuss the matter further in order to draft
a resolution and recommendations that will be sent to the full board.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=164&clip_id=19516

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Police Commission Hearing January 8, 2014

Here is a link to the January 8, 2014, Police Commission meeting.
General public comment is from 01:42 - 45:57. Seven of the approximately
fifteen speakers are taxi drivers (Mark Gruberg, Carl Macmurdo, Barry
Korengold, John Han, Barry Taranto, Mary McGuire, and Emil Lawrence).

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=21&clip_id=19084

Saturday, November 9, 2013

TPAC's appeal of the September 2013 CPUC ruling on TNC's

The Taxicab Paratransit Association of California has filed an appeal,
requesting the California Public Utility Commission to reconsider its
recent ruling which legitimizes the activities of so-called Transportation
Network Companies including Lyft, Sidecar, and Uber X. Here is the link to
TPAC's appeal.

http://www.medallionholders.com/tpac

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fw: Municipal Transportation Agency - Oct 15th, 2013 meeting

Linked below is the October 15 sfmta board hearing. Three items are
taxi-related.
Item # 14, "Meter Gate Report," is from 58:45 - 2:03:26. It consists of
presentations by industry consultant Dr. Dan Hara and Chris Hayashi,
followed by public comment. There are many excellent speeches. The Board
approves the item otherwise, but did delay until April 1, 2014,
implementation of raising the allowable gate fee by $9.75 per shift.
Item # 15, "Medallion Leasing TC Amendment," is from 2:59:18 - 3:22:18.
Its intention is to curtail medallion brokering by unauthorized parties.
Item # 9, "General Public Comment," has a number of taxi speakers
(3:33:33 - 3:55:10).



http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=18596

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The September 19 CPUC meeting video is linked below. Archive Video Part 1 has all the relevant information.
From 04:12 - 38:35, almost all speeches are made either by TNC drivers and customers, or taxi industry representatives.
Pro-taxi speakers include Charles M. from Senior Action Network (12:55), Jim Gillespie (14:14), Martin Kazinski (17:45), Hansu Kim (22:02), Ben Valis (23:17), Trevor Johnson (25:52), Zachariah (26:35), Ed Healy (28:55), Dave Schneider (30:10), Ron Walter (31:40), Mary McGuire (32:52), Bart Goldstein (34:14), and Robert Cesana (35:45).
At 39:55, the Commissioners make comments and then vote unanimous approval. The item ends at 59:04, shortly after president Peevey laughingly remarks, "Bon Voyage. Farewell."
I viewed the proceedings from an overflow room with 100 Lyft supporters who reacted to the approval vote as though they had won the Powerball Lotto. It was a very surreal experience, stuck in Geek Central, the audience roaring approval at their colleagues' speeches, actively hissing at Mary McGuire's remarks.
Although uncertain, I believe the new rules will be effective in about three or four months. Apparently, CPUC has 45 days to establish TNC application forms and procedures, followed by a 60-day window for TNC applications. One silver lining is that some of the unfair competitive advantages which TNC's have been utilizing the past fourteen months have now been replaced by insurance and other requirements that will increase their costs.

http://www.californiaadmin.com/cpuc.shtml

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Marcelo Fonseca's letter regarding California Public Utilities Commission's proposed decision on TNCs

From: Marcelo Fonseca
To: Medallion Holders Network New Infotaxi
Sent: Tuesday, September 03, 2013 11:44 AM
Subject: [infotaxi] CPUC - Proposed Decision on TNCs


Governor Jerry Brown
Senator Leland Yee
Senator Mark Leno
Senator Jerry Hill
Senator Mark DeSaulnier
Assembly Member Paul Fong
Assembly Member Philip Ting
Assembly Member Kevin Mullin
Speaker Pro Tempore Nora Campos
Assembly Member Richard Gordon

CC/
CPUC Public Advisor
President Michael Peevey
ALJ Robert Mason III

The CPUC will vote on a proposed decision from President-Commissioner
Michael Peevey and ALJ Robert Mason this coming Sep 5th. This proposed
decision is regarding the rule-making process on the
New-Online-Enabled-Transportation-Services like Uber, Lyft and SideCar, now
referred to as TNCs, Transportation-Network-Companies.

As a full-time San Francisco taxi driver for almost 25 years, I would like
to say that this rule-making process, from the very beginning, was
structured to provide cover for the approval of these services. The Safety &
Enforcement Division (SED) prematurely approved TNC's misleading operations,
unfairly competing with an already established taxi industry. An open entry
for TCP licenses allowed everybody and their brother to start driving for a
living, turning San Francisco into a small town where TNC drivers and taxi
drivers fight over dwindling fares, posing great danger to the public.

A new category of public transportation, with light regulatory treatment has
been given to Uber, Lyft and SideCar without any justification. The use of
smartphone applications, which cab companies already have, seems to be the
reason for the CPUC to propose regulations in a significantly and
fundamentally different manner from taxis.

The CPUC has failed to recognize the true nature of the TNC's operations and
the true nature of their business models as TNCs use contract language that
essentially requires all passengers and drivers to "waive all claims".

This proposed decision to use drivers without commercial licenses in private
cars, less regulated than carriers using professional drivers and commercial
vehicles should not be accepted. It contradicts the Commission's mandate to
protect the public. This segment on KTVU - Channel 2 News has been aired
over and over again, showing how the public is at danger when unmarked
vehicles roam the streets soliciting rides with impunity.
(http://www.ktvu.com/videos/news/special-report-gypsy-cabs-pose-threats-to/vqmTq/)

For the CPUC to exercise jurisdiction over Uber, Lyft and SideCar, operating
in San Francisco as taxis, the Commission should not grant these tech-cab
companies any special privileges nor any special treatments. To protect the
public's welfare, jointly with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation
Agency (SFMTA), the CPUC should require all TNCs to comply with the same
rules and regulations taxis must follow.

If you read this commentary by Attorney Veena Dubal, a doctoral candidate in
the jurisprudence and social policy program at UC Berkeley, you will agree
that this particular proposed decision by the CPUC has to be rejected.
(http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/bandit-cabs-are-bad-for-drivers-and-passengers-4747566.php).

When we taxi drivers, residents of California, feel pushed out of work
unfairly and illegally by a silly pink moustache and a simple phone app, it
is natural to commiserate with the frustration of our fellow driver Trevor
Johnson from the San Francisco Cab Drivers Association (SFCDA) shown in this
NBC report. (http://www.nbcbayarea.com/on-air/as-seen-on/219882211.html)

When we taxi drivers read articles about legislators moving to rein in the
CPUC, where lawmakers refer to the Commission as a "FIEFDOM", ...
http://www.thereporter.com/news/ci_23207301/legislators-take-steps-rein-california-public-utilities-commission?source=email
...and even more so, when taxi drivers become aware of President Peevey's
travels, being wined and dined on lobbyists dimes
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Flown-Wined-and-Dined-on-Lobbyists-Dimes-217678111.html,
we become pessimistic about a fair ruling on the TNCs and we see our trust
in our elected/appointed officials totally undermined.

In the middle of this crisis, as we still wait for answers about the San
Mateo Bridge limousine fire that killed five young women, we just hope the
CPUC will not rush to vote in this proposed decision that will leave Uber,
Lyft and SideCar to govern themselves.

Questionable enough, our very own San Francisco Mayor, Mr. Ed Lee has
endorsed the bandit tech-cab companies, facilitating unfair competition and
driving the San Francisco taxi industry into to dire straits. Sadly enough,
our City Attorney's Office and our Board of Supervisors have been silent on
the issue.

In the taxi industry we have always feared the City of San Francisco and the
State of California becoming too vulnerable and too susceptible to Silicon
Valley's money. As law and order collapse on the streets of San Francisco
with the influx of bandit-tech-cabs, one can easily presume that cab
drivers' fears are becoming cab drivers' worse nightmares.

I urge you to look into this proposed decision with all of your resources.
Public safety and the livelihoods of thousands of taxi drivers should not be
jeopardized by the CPUC's favoritism in this ruling on Uber, Lyft and
SideCar.

Thank you very much for your consideration of this matter.

Marcelo Fonseca
24-year career cab driver

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fw: Municipal Transportation Agency - Aug 20th, 2013

The sfmta board hearing from August 20 is linked below. The time
markings of taxi-related material are as follows:
Under item# 7, Director's report, Ed Reiskin summarizes the CPUC
rule-making developments (28:18 - 39:52).
Some of the public comment on item 7 is from taxi members (Barry
Taranto, then Hansu Kim from 48:05 - 52:40; Tariq Mehmood, then Tone Lee
from 1:01:50 - 1:06:18; Bill Mounsey from 1:08:22 - 1:10:32).
Many of the speakers under item # 9, general public comment, were
non-taxi, but some were from taxi (Bill Mounsey 1:14:20 - 1:16:30; Barry
Taranto, then Hansu Kim 1:31:00 - 1:35:20; Tariq Mehmood, then Tone Lee
1:39:32 - 1:43:45; Emil Lawrence, then Barry Korengold 1:48:44 - 1:53:12).
Consent calendar item # 10.11 contained a controversial proposal to
require annual training henceforth for all taxi drivers (2:08:56 -
2:38:11). Chris Hayashi makes explanatory comments, ten public speakers
weigh in, then the board has a brief discussion and approves the
legislation.



http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=18214

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fw: Board of Appeals - Aug 14th, 2013

From 05:14 - 38:10 on the link below, the Board of Appeals considered a
proposed Memorandum of Understanding last night between BOA and SFMTA
defining the conditions and inclusion of future appeals by taxicab permit
holders. Director Chris Hayashi made a presentation, five industry members
made speeches, and then all five BOA Board members stated that they were
opposed to the MOU.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=18179

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fw: Municipal Transportation Agency Meeting - June 18th, 2013

The June 18 sfmta board hearing is linked below. Taxi speakers under
general public comment are Hansu Kim (31:04 - 33:18), Emil Lawrence
(37:49 -
40:00), and Mary McGuire (40:19 - 42:12). From 43:16 - 44:24, there is a
discussion between deputy city attorney, Mariam Morley, and Director
Heinicke, who made a query regarding the anticipated time frame for a
decision by the CPUC in their current rulemaking process regarding Uber,
Lyft, et al.
Item # 12, from 1:37:50 - 1:51:18, pertains to minor Transportation Code
amendments involving medallion transfer fees and contributions to the
drivers' fund. Hansu Kim (1:38:40 - 1:40:40), Mary McGuire ( 1:40:48 -
1:43:05), and Tone Lee (1:43:10 - 1:45:15) speak. The final six minutes of
the session involve an approval vote, a question by Director Heinicke, and
a
response from Chris Hayashi updating the drivers' fund status.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=17781

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fw: Municipal Transportation Agency meeting dated February 5, 2013

The sfmta board meeting from today is linked below. Under general public
comment from 49:12 - 1:01:42, there are five taxi speakers --- Mark
Gruberg,
Ed Healy, Carl Macmurdo, Mary McGuire, and Barry Korengold --- and a brief
board discussion.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=16769

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The MTA Truncates the List

Video of the SFMTA board meeting of November 20 is available here:

Click here for the video.

Items 11 and 12 were combined, from 0:20:45 to 1:07. Item 11 pertained to truncating the medallion waiting list permanently as a source for non-purchased medallions.

The proposal at the meeting was to allow 150 future medallions to be bought at half-price ($150,000) by top list applicants. The board raised the number of future medallions 200 and approved the item. Some speakers were very emotional. Angst and pathos were abundant, and a few speakers abandoned any notion of civility towards the board.

Under item 9, general public comment, roughly half the speakers are from taxi (2:01:10 - 2:35:38). Item 13, technically a vote to extend the implementation date for electronic waybills until February 28, 2013, engendered conversation on the perceived need for a universal smart phone GPS based application, so as to copy UBER's business model (2:35 - 2:51).


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fw: Municipal Transportation Agency hearing on October 16, 2012

The sfmta board hearing from today is linked below. The public comment
agenda item (3:08:40 - 3:52:20) was delayed for hours. Speakers were
limited
to one minute.
Many of the speakers were either incensed by recent policy developments,
or otherwise passionate about their chosen topic. Most comments regard the
issue that sfmta recently issued 150 - 200 medallions to itself for
subsequent direct leasing to color schemes, as opposed to the long-standing
practice of issuing medallions to waiting list applicants.
On November 20, sfmta plans to make final decisions on future waitlist
policy and other taxi issues.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=16138

Friday, October 5, 2012

Medallion Appeal Rejection

Recently, SFMTA issued itself 150 new medallions for direct leasing to qualified color schemes. The United Taxicab Workers (UTW) filed an appeal with city's Appeals Board. The city attorney intervened with the opinion that Proposition A of 2007 allows SFMTA to determine how many new medallions are needed and that the Appeals Board no longer has jurisdiction over this determination, although the Appeals Board does continue to have jurisdiction over permit denials and permit suspensions and revocations. The letter linked below describes the city attorney's opinion. UTW has now exercised its right to convert the appeal into a request for jurisdiction, which the Appeals Board will consider at its October 24 hearing. As stated in the city's letter, that filing does not suspend SFMTA's right to issue the 150 medallions.

Click on this link to view the letter:

Medallion Appeal Rejection Letter

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 4, 2012, sfmta board meeting

Linked below is the September 4, 2012, sfmta board meeting. Item # 11 is
a proposal for sfmta to issue from 150 - 200 new taxi medallions to
themselves for direct leasing to color schemes which meet radio dispatch
performance criteria that sfmta is developing. It is a three-year pilot
program, with a suggested monthly leasing fee of about $1,900.
Beginning at 31:50, Director Reiskin takes five minutes to introduce the
measure. Then, from 36:40 - 1:41:22, a spectrum of individuals make speeches
(taxi company representatives. taxi drivers including medallion waiting list
applicants, and officials from the hotel, restaurant, and chamber of
commerce associations.) From 1:41:22 - 2:09:10, the directors discuss and
then unanimously approve the proposal. Mr. Reiskin states near the end that
he will present a definitive proposal as to the future of the medallion
waiting list at one of the next two board meetings (i.e., either September
28 or October 16.)
After a ten-minute recess, there is general public comment under item # 9
(2:20:26 - 2:45:13), consisting mostly of taxi drivers.




http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=15853

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

AUGUST 2012: New SFMTA Medallion Transfer Program

The sfmta board approved a new medallion transfer program at its August
21, 2012 meeting. The program is described as "permanent" and replaces the
medallion sales pilot program effective September 20, 2012.
Here are the main features:

1. All Proposition K and pre-K medallion holders age 60 and older, or
who are disabled, may "surrender" their medallion to sfmta, which will
compensate the outgoing medallion holder with a $200,000 payment. This is
the same pre-capital gains taxes net amount received by sellers under the
pilot program (i.e., during the pilot, medallions sold for $250,000 , less a
$50,000 transfer fee).

2. SFMTA intends to sell the surrendered medallions to qualified taxi
driver applicants at a new set price of $300,000.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

MTA board meeting of July 17, 2012

The July 17 SFMTA board hearing is linked below. Twelve of the fourteen speakers under general public comment, from 1:05 - 1:34, are from taxi (Hansu Kim - Tone Lee - Jeet Ghotra - Barry Taranto - Brian Rosen - Bill Mounsey - Keith Dennis - Mary McGuire - Mark Gruberg - Emil Lawrence - Barry Korengold - G. Singh). The Uber topic is addressed by a few speakers.

During a prior item, it was revealed that the finance officer, Sonali Bose, is no longer in the taxi reporting chain, so that the taxi director (Chris Hayashi's position) now reports directly to Transportation Director, Ed Reiskin.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=15602

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

MTA Board meeting of April 3

Linked below is the SFMTA Board meeting from April 3, 2012. Under the budget proposal item, Hansu Kim speaks from 1:38:00 - 1:40:15 regarding the opportunity sfmta is ignoring to generate major revenue by expanding the medallion sales program. Jim Gillespie (1:49:52 - 1:51:50) and Nate Dwiri (1:53:43 - 1:54:50) address the concern that the schedule of fees and fines proposed for the taxi industry lack a reasoned basis for justification. Mr. Kim addresses the board again under general public comment (5:52:30 - 5:54:45), advising that sfmta will meet serious pushback from the industry, plus potential liability responsibilities, were it to proceed in the direction of leasing out taxi medallions itself.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=14722

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Municipal Transportation Agency hearing dated December 6, 2011

Here is the 12-06-11 sfmta board hearing link. Under general public comment (item 9), Charles Rathbone speaks from 46:02 - 48:00. Later, from 51:56 - 1:03:15, speakers are Laurie Graham, Peter Witt, Tariq Mehmood, Barry Taranto, and Steve Reimers.The Nygaard consultants' report on credit card fees, backseat terminals, and electronic waybills is item 16 from 1:38:45 - 3:02:10. Item 17, regarding Transportation Code amendments including eligibility for selling medallions when the application process briefly re-opens in the near future, is from 3:12:20 - 4:17:07. Although the Board voted to exclude pre-K participation at this time, it was explained that a permanent medallion system proposal is expected within three months, so that the Board did not want a large expansion of the pilot program in the interim.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=13771

Monday, November 14, 2011

Emailing the SFMTA board

MTABoard@sfmta.com is the e-mail address for sending messages to the sfmta directors, including CEO Ed Reiskin, plus a few other sfmta officials. On December 6, the sfmta board will consider some taxi amendments, one of which will re-open the opportunity for medallion holders age 60 and above, or who are disabled, to sell their permits. Although not included in the original taxi advisory council recommendation, taxi staff has added a clause to disallow pre-K medallion holders from participating in the process. Just today, I learned that certain activists are now lobbying the sfmta directors also to raise the participation age from 60 up to 65 years old. My e-mail on the pre-K exclusionary clause is attached below. Likely, I will write a separate e-mail to explain why medallion holders in the 60-64 age range should be included. It will be helpful if our members who have strong feelings on these issues can e-mail the sfmta board with your opinions.
---------------------------------------------------------
To: SFMTA Board
From: Carl Macmurdo
Date: November 4, 2011

Dear SFMTA Board members,

On December 6, you will consider proposed taxicab legislation for   inclusion into the Transportation Code. This e-mail requests an amendment to  one specific item.  On September 26, the taxi advisory council (TAC) passed a resolution by  a 9 to 5 vote recommending that sfmta re-open the process under the  medallion sales pilot program to allow medallion holders age 60 and above,  or with disabilities, a 30-day window to register as sellers. Subsequently, DTAS staff unilaterally added a clause which disallows participation by the   300 or so pre-K medallion holders. Staff's liaison stated that the same  public safety policy reason for needing an exit strategy for K (also known as post-K) medallion holders --- who have a driving requirement --- doesn't apply to the pre-K's, who are not obligated to drive. Although this point is accurate, it does not explain or justify why the pre-K's should be excluded.

Here are reasons for pre-K inclusion:

(1) More than 1,400 taxi drivers on the waiting list have registered to purchase taxi medallions at the set price of $250,000. Allowing the pool of interested pre-K medallion holders to participate might make 100 - 200 more medallions available, so that the aspirant buyers can begin building equity in their future. The Pilot is very successful. Why not allow willing sellers and buyers to match up?

(2) Each transfer will generate a $37,500 transfer fee to sfmta.

(3) Having younger, active drivers replace the already retired pre-K's who want to sell will revitalize the industry to an extent.

(4) Pre-K's were included in the first round of Pilot participation in 2010 and should continue to be eligible.

(5) The pre-K's bought their medallions prior to 1978 with the understanding their permits were transferable. Proposition K of 1978 abrogated the transferability aspect. It seems fair and equitable to offer this opportunity once again.

At the October 24 TAC meeting, a motion to remove the controversial clause added by DTAS staff failed by a 6 to 6 tie vote. Various speakers made vitriolic remarks, steeped in jealousy, about the pre-K's. In actuality, most pre-K's are former career taxi drivers who helped build the San Francisco taxi industry. A typical pre-K is more aptly described as "Gas and Gates Bill" than as Bill Gates.

Presently, the proposed legislation is Transportation Code Sec. 1116(a)(3): "Any Medallion Holder who is subject to the Full-Time Driving Requirement who has attained or will attain the age of 60 as of December 31, 2012."

My request is that you amend the proposed legislation by removing the phrase "who is subject to the Full-Time Driving Requirement." Otherwise, that clause effectively excludes pre-K medallion holders from the sales process.

The pre-K's should be included for the reasons stated above.

Thank you for your consideration.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

MTA board hearing dated October 18, 2011

The October 18 SFMTA Board hearing linked below has a segment from 00:46 - 4:28 wherein Bruce Oka asks for the next Board meeting agenda to include an item to allow older and disabled medallion holders to sell their medallions via a re-opening of the sellers' application process under the Medallion Sales Pilot Program. A brief discussion ensues. From 1:27:17 - 141:00, six taxi industry members speak under general public comment.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=13451

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

MTA Board meeting dated September 20, 2011

The sfmta board meeting today is linked below. Under item # 7, from 3:30 - 9:00, a taxi driver receives an award for heroism. Under item # 9, general public comment, most speakers are from taxi (37:06 - 54:00 on the time bar).

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=13162

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

MTA Board meeting September 6, 2011

The SFMTA Board meeting from September 6 is linked below. It was the initial hearing headed by new CEO Ed Reiskin, who replaced Nat Ford. Some taxi drivers spoke under earlier items, but item # 9, general public comment, consists mostly of taxi drivers and is located from 105:25 - 1:41:25 on the time bar.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=13037

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

MTA meeting on August 2, 2011

At the SFMTA Board meeting on August 2, taxi drivers were granted a meter rate increase. Also, the Board
authorized 87 new medallions, fifty of which will be part-time single-user permits to be operated under a pilot
program. From 40:19 - 1:48:23 on the time bar, there are speakers and Board discussions on these items. Numerous taxi speakers also  participate in the general public comment item from 2:22:26 - 2:56:48.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=12850

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MTA board meeting of June 21, 2011

Linked below is the SFMTA Board meeting from earlier today. From 46:03 - 1:26:00 there are approximately thirty speakers under general public comment. All but three are from the taxi industry. There was a well-supported protest outside city hall from noon to 2 p.m., as taxi drivers circled around to demonstrate their opposition to back-seat terminals, electronic waybills, and 5% credit card fees.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=12568

Friday, May 20, 2011

SFMTA Meeting of May 17, 2011

   You can watch the meeting by clicking here:


   There are two taxi agenda topics. Item # 11 is a proposed meter increase, and item 12 is  an amendment to vacate the implementation date previously mandated for  electronic waybills. The items were heard together.
   From 12:27 - 34:00 , Nat Ford, Chris Hayashi, Chris Sweis, Sonali Bose, and the Board members address, explain, and discuss the topics. Many speakers from the taxi industry address the Board from 34:00 - 1:36:00. From 1:36: - 1:58:40, the Board has more discussion and holds a vote.
   The situation is a bit confusing. On Monday, May 16, the taxi advisory council (TAC) had approved an amended meter increase recommendation that was put before the Board yesterday. However, the original, non-amended proposal had been the version noticed for yesterday's hearing. Because of Sunshine Ordinance rules, the Board could not act on the flag drop aspect (which will make the drop $3.50, rather than the current $3.10 rate), but did approve the other meter raise components, which were identical in the original and amended versions (new rates of $2.75 per mile and $33 per minute for waiting time). The flag drop will be voted in on June 21.
   Director Jerry Lee wants the credit card processing fee controversy resolved and has requested that it be done on June 21 as well. Director Malcolm Heinicke wants a peak-time medallion program in operation as a condition of having the meter increase finalized on June 21. It is doubtful that this can be accomplished by that date, but hopefully there will be enough Board votes on June 21 to approve the meter increase regardless. That said, it seems obvious that the TAC will at least hold a debate in the interim on the peak-time issue and create movement of some kind towards designing a pilot program. Also, town hall meetings on three dates in early June will focus on this topic, along with discussions regarding electronic waybills.
   Under general public comment, item # 9, there are numerous taxi speakers, from 3:13:20 - 3:39:40.

SFMTA Meeting of May 3, 2011

     The SFMTA meeting held on Tuesday is linked below. Under item # 7, the executive director's report, CEO Nat Ford begins mentioning taxi issues at 16:05 on the time bar. From 20:04 - 1:49:12, approximately 80 taxi drivers make one-minute speeches. Reportedly, honking taxis circled city hall for hours as part of the overall protest action.
     Most speakers objected to electronic waybills as an intrusion of privacy, while arguing that implementation of the new waybill system might cause re-classification of taxi drivers as employees, rather than independent contractors. Speakers argued against the 5% credit card processing fees, although some of the drivers indicated that a lower rate of 2 or 3 per cent might be reasonable.
     General public comment is at the end of the tape, from 3:24:40 - 3:35:21 and consists mainly of a few taxi drivers addressing other industry issues.

SFMTA Meeting of April 19, 2011

     The April 19 MTA Board hearing is linked below. Under item # 7, the Executive Director's report, Nathaniel Ford discusses a Ramp Taxi incentive program, then comments on taxi concerns from the prior Board meeting regarding a meter and gate hearing, credit card processing fees, and electronic waybills. There is public comment on this item. The time frame for all of this is 19:56 - 34:30.
     There are no taxi items on the agenda, but four drivers speak under item # 9, general public comment, from 51:00 - 59:28.
     Item # 11, from 1:31:00 - 2:06:50 is not directly related to taxi but may have traffic impacts. It is a plan to re-design Hayes and Fell as two-ways streets in the areas of Market or Van Ness to Gough. Some drivers address the Board during the public comment phase.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=12004

SFMTA meeting of April 5, 2011

The SFMTA meeting is linked below. There were no taxi topics on the agenda, but twenty-five taxi drivers spoke under the general public comment item. A driver speaks from 32:06 - 34:10 on the time bar. Then, from 42:00 -1:28:30 all but one of the 25 speakers are taxi drivers. Most of the speeches pertain to the 5% credit card processing fees and the imminent electronic waybill system. From 1:28:31 - 1:38:48 the SFMTA Board directors discuss the public comment.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=11899

SFMTA meeting of March 2, 2011

The MTA Board hearing is linked below. There are five separate locations of relevant footage.

From 7:36-15:14, taxi services staff receives a group recognition award. Barry Taranto and Dave Schneider speak from 24:12-27:12 on this agenda item (#7, Executive Director's Report, which encompasses other topics as well.)

Under item #9, general public comment, three of the five speakers from 31:44-44:12 are taxi drivers (Christopher Fulkerson, B. Taranto, D.Schneider.)

Consent calendar item # 10.9, concerning administrative penalties for  taxi drivers, is addressed by two speakers from 1:04:11-1:08:27 (B. Taranto, Tara Housman.)

Item # 11 pertains to referring the MTA Board proposal for a peak time taxi medallion system to the taxi advisory council for input and feedback. The Board unanimously approved the referral resolution. Prior to comments by Directors Heinicke and Oka, there are eight speakers (C. Fulkerson, B. Taranto. D. Schneider, Ed Healy, Carl Macmurdo, Tone Lee, Peter Witt, and Mark Gruberg.) The footage is from 1:08:28-1:30:30.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=55&clip_id=11685

Board of Supervisors meeting, March 2, 2011

Linked below is the March 2 full Board of Supervisors meeting The taxi item, # 34, was done in two segments, from 13:37-19:13 and later from 1:04:22-1:05:38. Supervisor Scott Wiener amended the proposal to disallow the implementation of certain fines against illegal operators. I am informed that the amendments will effectively minimize SFPD enforcement, but that SFMTA will still be hiring new investigators authorized to levy $5,000 administrative citations against illegal operators. Supervisor Wiener also introduced a resolution supporting SFMTA's push to create a peak-time, or part-time, medallion system.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=10&clip_id=11686