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
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.

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.

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.

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.