Friday, February 17, 2012

SFMTA Recommendations For Medallion Reform Could Have Serious Impacts. Important Information For The Taxi Industry. By John Han.

The Taxi Services staff of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has issued a draft of proposals regarding medallion reform. These drafts were presented for public discussion at town hall meetings held February 14, 2012 at One South Van Ness Ave, Second Floor Atrium.

SFMTA's draft proposals include...

  • Converting thirty three percent, or one-third, of the taxi fleet into “direct lease permits”. This means that over time, the SFMTA would recover roughly 500 medallions through “death”, “revocation”, and “new issue”, thus acting as the holder to these medallions, eying roughly $12 million in annual revenue, through the direct leasing system to cab companies. This may be regarded as the “corporate medallion”, or perhaps could also be referred to as a “municipal medallion”. These medallions would operate as gates and gas only.
  • Acknowledging medallions that have already been sold (about 210) shall remain salable. The current fixed rate being $250,000 for purchasing a medallion.
  • Retaining the core principles of Prop K by continuing to issue non-purchased medallions to the waiting list until the list is exhausted. And then, issue medallions by A-Card seniority.
  • Clean up the waiting list and cut it off around 1100.
  • Prohibit Affiliate leases. This means that once the life of an Affiliate lease vehicle has expired, the medallion holder would have to operate the new replacement vehicle through a company's management as a gate and gas taxi. If successful, there would ultimately be no more Affiliate taxicabs.
  • Not allowing Pre K medallion owners to sell, and not allowing existing corporate medallions to be  sold to new buyers either. These medallions would be returned to the City over time, and in turn, issued to the waiting list presumably as non-purchased medallions.
  • All newly issued medallions would either be leased directly or sold by the SFMTA.

The Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) Board of Directors is expected to consider these proposals and more, at its March 6th, 2012 regular meeting at City Hall, Room 400 at 1pm. Public comment will be available. The proposals above are drafts and therefore, it is presumed they are subject to possible changes.

Those who cannot attend but wish to express opinions may email the Board of Directors at,

Below is a text of the draft proposals.

(Draft Staff Medallion Reform Recommendation.  Town Hall Meeting, February 14, 2012)

Source: Death, revocation, new issue

Eligible: Qualified drivers by waiting list number

Timing: Continuing until waiting list is exhausted

Price: No cost

Once acquired, medallions may any medallion
holder who becomes eligible:

  1. A person at least age 65; or
  2. A person with a disability that prevents their meeting the driving requirement.

After the list is exhausted, reserve 100 medallions for drivers with more than 20 years experience who
will be eligible by A-Card seniority to acquire a medallion without purchase. These would continue
to circulate among this eligible population as they come back through death or revocation.

(Lifetime of Vehicle )
(33% of fleet)

Source: Death, revocationnew issue

Eligible: Qualified companies

Timing: As Prop K medallions are returned and new issue

Price: $2,500/month, with $500 reduction for fulfillment of dispatch quotas.


• What is a qualifying company?
• What is dispatch quota?


  1. A stable source of revenue as a reward for well-performing companies
  2. More good shifts for drivers (ifthere is a medallion holder they always take the good shifts)
  3. The ability to reduce the fleet size if necessary
  4. Company accountability
  5. Financial incentivfor improved dispatch success
  6. SFMTA revenue
Source: Individual sellers; SFMTA sales: deathrevocation, new issue

Eligible: Qualified drivers by seniority

Timing: Continuing as transferablmedallionbecome available

Price: $250,000 +

  • Allow sellers to sign up on an ongoing basiwhen they are eligible
  • Keep rule that if they don't sell within a certain amount of time of offer they are no longer on seller list.
  • Have an annual sign-up fopotential buyers. If they are higher on the list than already signed up buyers they have to wait until thlist of already signed up buyerhas been exhausted
Additional measures:
  1. Clean up waiting list and cut off around 1100
  2. Prohibit affiliate leases, grandfather existing leases for the life of the vehicle.
  3. Keep existing driving requirement for all ages
  4. No pre-K or corporate medallion sales - all that are returned go back to waiting list.
  5. Interim term: all new issues split between list and leases until maximum leasratio is reached, then all to list until list is exhausted.
  6. Long term scenario: all newly issued medallions wouleither be leased directly or sold by SFMTA.


  1. Hi John, how the waiting list can be exhausted ?

    If the medallions are going to be given to the cab companies then this list goes nowhere. It will be exhausted when each one will dies because to give 500 medallions to the cab companies from death of owners, revocation or new issued need another 10 years. By that time who one of us will be alive ?? So SFMTA will maintain the core of Prop K that wait list will remain open till exhausted !

    They just sold 210 medallions for $ 250,000 each and now they want these and all other affiliates to operate the medallion under cab company. There are 800 such cabs out of 1500.
    Did anyone seen the fish queen swimming dance in Canadian water.

  2. I have read the SEMTA draft proposal,now let's see whether The Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) Board of Directors would act upon the proposal or not!


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