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.

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.

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.

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.