The Taxi Advisory Council (TAC) voted on two motions that passed overwhelmingly last Monday. The first was Carl Macmurdo’s motion citing SF Transportation Code 1122(a), urging the MTA Board to hold a public meeting for a meter rate increase. Transportation Code 1122(a) reads…
“Beginning in calendar year 2010 and at least every other calendar year thereafter the SFMTA Board shall hold a hearing to determine, in its sole discretion, whether the rates of fare and cap on gate fees then in effect should be increased, decreased or remain unchanged.”
Council members Jim Gillespie, Athan Rebelos, and Chris Sweis were absent for the Monday's meeting. Macmurdo’s motion passed unanimously by the council members who were present.
The second motion was Barry Korengold’s. After public comment raised concerns on potential health impacts of electronic waybills and lack of study concerning them, Korengold motioned to urge the MTA Board to halt mandates on electronic waybills, until a health impact study could be conducted. The council voted 8-2 in favor of Korengold’s motion. Council members Bill Mounsey and Laurie Graham were the dissenting votes.
The TAC is an advisory council that advises the MTA Board of Directors on taxi issues. It has no legislative powers, as did the former Taxi Commission.
The deadline for electronic waybills is July 1st, 2011, according to Taxi Services Division.
During the Council Liason’s Report, Michael Harris, filling in for Director Christiane Hayashi who is on vacation, said that requests for proposals for the City’s Open Taxi Access (OTA) program has been halted indefinitely. Harris claims he has no facts as to why the Requests For Proposals has been tabled.
However, the SF Gate and the SF Examiner have reported on OTA in their Wednesday publications, noting its controversy. But the newspapers do not report Harris’ claim made Monday that the program has been put to rest indefinitely. Harris also said the MTA Board is expected to hold a public hearing in May, 2011 regarding 5% credit fees on drivers, and electronic waybills and whether drivers should bear the 5% costs.
Yellow Cab expects to implement the fees no later than Friday April 15. The MTA Board has not announced a date yet.
Rebecca Lytle of SF Federal Credit Union released updated statistics on the Medallion Sales Pilot Program. Michael Harris, who administers SFMTA’s statistics on the program for TAC, said technical difficulties prevented him from releasing updated numbers. He said new numbers would come at the next TAC meeting.
Finally, representatives for the senior citizens and disabled community put on an informational presentation called “Shop-a-Round Taxi Service”. This new program will be funded through federal grant money and will work like Paratransit. The Shop-a-Round Taxi Service allows senior and disabled riders to use a low cost transportation option to and from grocery stores. It will have a 10% tip option for taxi drivers the same as Paratransit.
For unfair tickets issued by PCO’s to taxi drivers while assisting senior citizen and disabled riders, drivers may contact Kate Toran at (415) 701-4440.