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.