Friday, May 11, 2012

SFMTA's Draft Recommendations For Medallion Reform, And Its Strategic Plans For The Next Two Years, 2012.

Below is a copy of the SFMTA's draft recommendations for medallion reform, and draft strategic plan actions for Taxi Services 2012-2014, as items for the Taxi Advisory Council meeting May 14, 2012.  The recommendations for medallion reform is a discussion and action item.  The strategic plan for Taxi Services is under the Council Liaison's Report and is discussion only.  These two supporting documents are originally published on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency website.  Click here to go to the SFMTA's page. 

(From the SFMTA)


DRAFT SFMTA TAXI SERVICES STAFF RECOMMENDATION TO SFMTA BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGARDING MEDALLION REFORM TAXI ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING, MAY 14, 2012 

(I) MAINTAIN DRIVING REQUIREMENT FOR MEDALLLION HOLDERS 
(a) Maintain the core principal of Prop K that San Francisco taxi medallions should go to working drivers as currently defined (800 hours or 156 four-hour shift per year for four out of the past five years). 
(b) Continue to modify or eliminate the driving requirement for medical conditions that prevent the medallion holder from driving, and then require the medallion holder to transfer the medallion if after three years the same medical condition prevents them from driving. 

(II) MAINTAIN WAITING LIST TO THE END 
(a) DO NOT “cut off” any number of qualified applicants from the medallion waiting list. 

(b) Immediately reduce the waiting list through administrative measures only (by 
removing people without driver permits, people who don’t respond to mail, existing medallion holders, etc.) 
(c) When the waiting list runs out, distribute medallions to drivers by seniority (either by purchase, or ‘earned’ medallions, see Sections III and VII below). 
(d) Dedicate all 350 remaining Pre-K medallions to the waiting list as they are returned to the SFMTA. 

(III) CONTINUE MEDALLION SALES
(a) Allow any Post-K medallion holder to transfer a medallion without restriction based on age or disability, except that a transfer may be denied during ongoing medallion revocation proceeding. 

(b) Allow Post-K medallion holders to pay a conversion fee (about $32,000) for the right to transfer their medallions through their estates if they do not transfer the medallion during their lifetimes. This pre-payment of a transfer right would entitle the estate of the deceased medallion holder to apply the (lower) subsequent transfer fee to the medallion transfer (see Section III(c) below). 
(c) Reduce the transfer fees by half for subsequent transfers of the medallion, from $50,000 for the first transfer to $25,000 for subsequent transfers, 7.5 and 2.5 percent to the SFMTA and the Driver Fund, respectively. 

(IV) ISSUE TEMPORARY COLOR SCHEME PERMITS 
(a) Issue temporary permits, for the lifetime of a vehicle, to select taxi companies to operate as gas and gates permits. 
(b) The purpose would be to increase the number of gas and gates shifts, to increase driver accountability to color schemes and to provide those color schemes that have demonstrated superior safety and customer service with a predictable source of revenue. 
(c) These temporary permits would be leased directly by the SFMTA to selected color schemes based on objective color scheme performance standards (such as paratransit performance, ramp driver performance, dispatch performance, driver survey results, number of citations and complaints, etc.) The size of the company would not be a factor in the decision of which companies get to lease a permit or permits. 
(d) The number of such color scheme lease permits will depend in part on the recommendations of the consultant, Dan Hara & Assoc., which is currently conducting a Public Convenience and Necessity/Taxi Industry Best Practices Study for the SFMTA. In Section VI below, the staff recommendation addresses the proposed distribution of newly issued medallions, if any, and limits the total number of company permits to 20% of any new medallions, or no more than five percent of the total fleet under any circumstances. Any permits leased by the SFMTA to color schemes would NOT come from medallions currently in the possession of medallion holders. They would be temporary permits issued to companies for the life of a vehicle, a different class of permits from medallions held by individuals. If the leasing program is not successful, it can be terminated. 
(e) This color scheme lease permit system would allow the SFMTA to temporarily increase or decrease taxi supply when taxi demand significantly increases or decreases by issuing, terminating or not re-issuing these temporary lease permits when they expire. 


DRAFT SFMTA TAXI SERVICES STAFF RECOMMENDATION TO SFMTA BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGARDING MEDALLION REFORM TAXI ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING, MAY 14, 2012 

(V) CHANGES TO LEASING REGULATIONS 
(a) Maintain a limit on the portion of the fleet (one third) that may be medallion holder-operated as “affiliate” leases. All other medallions must be operated “gas and gates”. 
(b) Allow new leases by medallion holders as owner operators by application to the SFMTA only, granted on a selective basis to medallion holders in good standing and subject to new regulatory restrictions on leasing: 

(i) All insurance to be provided through the taxi company. 
(ii) All parties sign SFMTA Uniform Lease document which designates the location of an off-street parking facility for the vehicle, change of shift location, mechanical repair facility used, drivers named in lease, clear written limits on charges to drivers, and specifying the rights and responsibilities of the parties. 
(iii) Medallion holder has the burden of documenting his or her personal operation of the taxicab as a business (e.g. receipts for gate fees charged to drivers, scheduling drivers, arranging for acquisition, repairs and regulatory compliance of vehicles) in conformance with the requirements of the Uniform Lease and SFMTA regulations. 

(VI) NEW MEDALLIONS 
(a) If any new permits are authorized as a result of the Public Convenience and Necessity study, apply any newly-authorized taxicab permits in the following proportions: to the waiting list (50%), to direct leases to color schemes (20%), to direct SFMTA sales (20%), and ‘earned’ medallions to senior drivers (10% up to 100 maximum). 
Example of recommended new permit distribution: 

If the number of 2012-newly authorized taxicabs equals: 
New permits leased to companies by SFMTA (20%) 
New permits leased to companies by SFMTA as % of total fleet 
50% to the waiting list 
20% sold by the SFMTA
‘Earned’ medallions (up to 100) to drivers by seniority (10%) 
‘Earned’ medallions to drivers by seniority as % of total fleet 
0% 
100 
20 
1.2% 
50 
20 
10 
.06% 
300 
60 
3.2% 
150 
60 
30 
1.6% 
500 
100 
4.9% 
250 
100 
50 
2.4% 


(b) Once the waiting list is exhausted and all ‘earned’ medallions (up to 100) are distributed:

(i) Medallions held by an existing medallion holder who wishes to transfer would be offered for purchase to drivers in the order of driver seniority; 
(ii) Medallions held by the SFMTA (from death, revocation or newly authorized permits) could be sold to drivers (medallions) or leased to companies (temporary permits) by the SFMTA. 

(c) Consider the issuance of part-time Single Operator Permits as an alternative to new full-time medallions as the supply of taxis is increased. 

(VII) EARNED MEDALLIONS 
Maintain 10% of newly issued medallions, up to 100 medallions to be offered over time by driver seniority to drivers who do not have medallions with at least 25 years’ seniority and who are not on the waiting list. These non-transferable ‘earned’ medallions would continue to circulate among the most senior qualified drivers without medallions so long as that population continued to exist. 
TOWN HALL MEETING DATE: 
May 22, 2012, 1:30-4:30pm, 5:00-8:00pm, 2nd Floor Atrium Conference Room, One South Van Ness Avenue. 
South Van Ness Avenue and Market Street, at the Van Ness Muni Metro subway station; Muni 6, 9, 9L, 14, 14L, 47, 49, 71, 71L bus routes and the F Line. 


 DRAFT STRATEGIC PLAN ACTIONS FOR TAXI SE5RVICES 2012-2014 FOR DISCUSSION AT MAY 14, 2012, TAXI ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING 

 Strategic Plan Goal
Obj. #
Objective Description
Action #
ACTIONS
DESCRIPTION
1. Create a safer transportation experience for everyone
1.1
Improve security for transportation system users
4
Develop database to track and investigate taxi-industry related crimes for prosecution
Develop a taxi-related crime database and perform enforcement operations to track, investigate and reduce taxi-related crimes. Taxi Services will need to work with SFPD to obtain reports and statistics through their office in order to compile the most accurate data, and will need the cooperation of the District Attorney's Office in bringing prosecutions.

1.3
Improve the safety of the transportation system
17
Improve taxi driver safety training through conintual improvement of SFMTA curriculum and adoption of taxi school safety training standards
Review and improve SAFETY-related elements of SFMTA curriculum for new drivers; monitor private taxi school currcula and develop regulatory standards for driver SAFETY training for private schools to be presented to SFMTA Board.

1.3
"
18
Draft regulations requiring taxi driver drug testing
Require pre-employment, post-accident and random testing; explore amendment to state laws regarding testing upon permit renewal, employee vs. independent contractor status, medical marijuana issue. 

1.3
"
19
Review the current taxi vehicle inspection system and adopt changes as needed to improve safety of taxi vehicles
Currently the San Francisco International Airport Ground Transportation Unit of the Police Department is the SFMTA's designee for the performance of annual taxi vehicle inspections. This process should be reviewed and upgraded as needed tp protect public safety, possibly through an RFP to outside parties.

2. Make transit, walking, bicycling, taxi ridesharing and carsharing the preferred means of travel
2.1
Improve customer service and commuications
17
Improve new taxi driver service training by continually improving SFMTA curriculum and adoption of taxi school customer service training standards
Review and improve customer service-related elements of SFMTA curriculum for new drivers; monitor private taxi school curricula and develop regulatory standards for customer service training for private schools to be presented to SFMTA Board.

2.1
"
18
Implement mandatory driver re-training requirement through permit renewal
Develop and implement training module for CURRENT drivers to continually improve safety and customer service, including retraining on issues that involve frequent complaints or safety issues

2.3
Increase use of all non-private auto modes
12
Improve customer service in the taxi mode by increasing taxi company accountability for customer service performance

Develop regulations for consideration by the SFMTA Board for color scheme /dispatch service accountability for customer service 
2.3
"
13
Expand and improve avenues available for direct customer-to-taxi driver communications
Issue Requests for proposals for smartphone taxi finder applications and uniform taxi toplights to expand and improve avenues of communications between taxi drivers and customers

2.3
"
11A
Increase taxi availability throughout the city
Implement Taxi Best practices Study recommendations by drafting regulations authorizing the issuance of the appropriate number and type (single operator, direct lease, full-time medallion, etc.) of permits to realize the best delivery of taxi service. Staff will also review development of various leasing models to drivers and/or color schemes color scheme permits. The rate of deployment of new permits will depend on the level of Taxi Investigator staffing available to qualify applicants. 

2.3
"
11B
Implement pilot program to include bicycle racks in taxis 
If few financial resources are available, we could look for low cost bike racks for the vehicles or help subsidize the company/driver cost for bike rack with a rebate. If no financial resources are available, we can look into encouraging the private companies to purchase or consider sponsorship from a bicycle maker or advocacy group.
3. Improve the environment and quality of life in San Francisco
3.1
Reduce the Agency and the transportation systems' resource consumption, emissions, waste and noise
10









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