tv [untitled] January 4, 2011 11:30am-12:00pm PDT
of us. i think we are getting the message that you do not want us to be here. two minutes is way too short for a handful of people. with the short time i have now, i want to say that the taxi commission had hearings. they have data. they had service down. they had feedback from the public and a public hearing scheduled long in the advance. i do not hear of a planned meeting at all. all i hear is you're going to go with anecdotal evidence that you need more taxes out there, rather than statistical data and information from all of the prince george's about whether you need more cabs. i am finding out that you are bypassing procedure. you are bypassing due process. i think it is abhorrent that you would decide to go this way. i do not understand it and i think it is a mistake. having a centralized dispatch -- a lot of people call the cab
drivers dependable. why do we look at figures coming from other cab companies and whether they pick up orders? the impact of more cabs has an impact as well. it may not just solve the problem. i would appreciate it if you would look at the issues. >> howard strassner followed by mark grueberg. >> the other day, i sent you guys a letter describing how to improve. i hope some of you guys had a chance to read it. there was coverage by the "chronicle" that you are considering placing fewer stops, which would feed -- which would speed up the muni. you're focusing not just on putting lines in the right places, but more than that. but you cannot just do one thing. it is not even enough to just three stops.
-- to just respace steps. low-floor buses should be designed for the future. there are details about how to get cars out of the right limb to get out of the way of buses and stuff like that. this is part of an effort that transit advocates are doing. luckily, as things take place, we will not have to do a whole ada line. after a few more lines, will be able to summarize some patterns. the next thing i am going to send you is the 30. even if you put the subway in, you are still going to have a need for really good service at stockton street and other places. i commend you for looking around to try to save money. mostly, you're not going to save money, you know. you're going to improve the line
and then have a little extra service when you really need it. he doing it. we are going to try to help you. -- keep doing it. we're going to try to help you. raising revenues every 30 years is not enough. you have to spend it wisely. we will try to help you do that. >> mark grueberg followed by herbert weiner. >> good afternoon, president and directors. -- president nolan and directors. i want to applaud the initiative to enhance the safety of cabdrivers, and also for a form of integrated dispatch. i think advances in technology have made it simpler and simpler to accomplish for a really negligible cost. one of the arguments against this, i think, is not pertinent.
also, he mentioned the new law regarding visual and audio data that is collected in taxes through cameras that peer out and appear in and record sound. i think what is needed is some official guidelines for the use of this equipment. i do not know what the effects of the new law will be on the equipment. i think there is some uncertainty there. i do know that we need some guidelines. these cameras are important for protection of drivers, protection of passengers. but there also are privacy rights that need to be considered. i hope that appropriate guidelines will be elaborated. i must say that at almost a quarter to two i really object to the fact that deputy director hiyashi has seen fit to call an
industry meeting for 2:00 today and i am still awaiting one item on your agenda. i hope i can make it to that on time. i do not think those types of meetings should be called at a time when this body is meeting, and especially if there is a taxi item on the agenda. >> herbert weiner followed by peter witt. >> i am a former member of rescue muni. i want to take issue with the policy of placing buses and bicycles over motorists. there should be an even balance between all parties. that includes pedestrians. this idea of creating a us-only lanes is only going to further complicate and -- the idea of creating a busbus-only lanes is
only going to further complicate traffic. i translate temporary to mean 100 years. it is a half baked idea. so far, the traffic congestion problem has not been addressed by this body, nor has the problems of parking been addressed by this body. in fact, it has been complicated by this body with these crazy policies. the second thing -- eliminating bus stops. that will make things harder for people who are handicapped. mr. nolan, i believe you are the head of open hand foundation. you have many hiv patients that receive the service. can you imagine the inconvenience of walking that extra block? has it ever made any impression upon you? you really have to think this thing over. what you are doing by eliminating buses and by shortening runs -- you are
making things much harder on the handicapped and unfortunate. this has made no impression on this body. it is only concerned with dollars and cents. the policy of the body has been if you cannot solve the problem, keep doing more of the wrong thing. on that, i think we can close out another chapter in the war on passengers by this body. >> peter witt followed by rafael cabrera. >> good afternoon, mr. president. could i have the projector, please? thank you. peter witt, yellow cab, 22 years. i was wondering, since i have delivered over 12,000 customer responses to this consistent little taxi service -- survey
annually on this very spot for the past 13 years, i was wondering. this is verbatim from the survey. the san francisco -- when in san francisco, a travel mostly by taxes. san francisco taxi service is unsatisfactory, good, or excellent. i think san francisco taxi drivers are unsatisfactory, good, are excellent. san francisco should add more calves, not sure, no more. it is the population, male or female -- it gives the population information, male or female, age, address, neighborhood, zip code, city, state, or country. the day of the week this service
is given. why does no one find taxi data relevant to taxi service the last 13 years? only in frisco, you might say. how different do you want to be? when it comes to world class service, we need to look at the top lights and bottom lines that are not working around here. i am talking about the grounds. i guess that is you. you are in charge. mr. ford over there, the president of this commission here, and the board members and the staff. you're responsible, i believe, for the service that is delivered to san francisco's world-class taxi service. thank you. have a good day. chairperson nolan: next speaker. >> from final -- rafalel cabrera is the last speaker.
>> first of all, let me say thank you. i commend you for going to the divisions. that is the only way you will listen to our members. your operators. how difficult a job is. the working condition has deteriorated for so many months. i do hope you will listen to their concerns and you guys will do the right thing. i just want to keep it short. chairperson nolan: thank you. anyone else? >> that was the last person to turn in a speaker card. chairperson nolan: i think members who have had the opportunity to go out to the divisions have found it a worthwhile experience. we will continue to do that. thank you. >> we are on to the consent calendar items. these are items that will be acted on by a single roll call
vote unless a member of the public or the board wishes for an item to be considered separately. you have received a request that item 10.2i and n be severed, and also can 0.4. -- and also 10.4. i has to do with connecticut street. n has to do with sixth street. chairperson nolan: for the remainder of the consent calendar, is there a consultant? -- is there a second? ok. let us go back to 10.2i/ . >> mr. toronto, are you going to speak on an separately, or are they a single issue for you? chairperson nolan: 3 minutes for
both of them seems like a good bargain to me. >> i will do three minutes for both of them. the first one, 10.2i, the toll way. i represent a friend who owns a nightclub dance venue over near the bottom of the hill. this is toward the top of the hill. there is a limited amount of parking available, street parking, due to the issues at the top of the hill. we do not have to go into details. to eliminate perking along their i think is absurd, and i think there should be a good explanation. you are eliminating three cars. i do not know why you were doing that. there is no reason for it. unfortunately, it is hard to get notices about these meetings, where you have the hearings. how many hours to we need to spend on the website? i go through the taxi agendas. i go through the taxi town hall
meeting. it is really difficult to keep track unless you want to send out the mails telling us when these meetings are. it would be a great idea to have automatic e-mails to people who are interested. they do that for city council meetings in marin county. why can't we do that here with some much talent you have in technology? i object to eliminating those parking spaces on connecticut street, coming down the hill from 26hth. the next one is regarding the issue of sixth street, n. picture where this is. this is under the freeway. sixth street does not go all the way through. if you go along sixth street, you're going onto the freeway. on the other side of that is townsend.
there is a little side street. all it is is housing for the arts students. it does not make sense why you are putting a -- i am concerned about what you're doing this, why you are putting meters where there are no businesses. the classes are further down. there is no major turnover for businesses in the area. it is just housing for the arts students come and dormitories -- for the arts students and dormitories. i do not know why there are limits at all there. i am asking the question about why they are going through and spending all the time and money for something that is going to be useless, when you do not have enough pcos to enforce order parking lots as it is. this is just an exercise in fruition. chairperson nolan: can somebody
say something about these? executive director ford: i will call up director ban yi to respond to these. chairperson nolan: good afternoon, mr. yi. >> good afternoon. the issue with connecticut street is in this area of the block there is a huge business than has a lot of deliveries involving large tractor trailers. normally, the way they would prefer to get into the site is to come up the street and back into the facility. the have to back in because of the layout of the parking lot inside. in reverse, there would have a difficult time maneuvering in the site afterwards. -- they have to back in because
of the layout of the parking lot inside. in reverse, they would have a difficult time maneuvering inside afterwards. they go to the top of the show, make a three. turn around with a huge truck, -- they go to the top of the hill, make a 3 point turnaround with a huge truck, and there are three bus lines that run through that. the buses are hung up while those trucks are maneuvering. here are some pictures of the trucks at the top of the hill doing the turnaround. the street is fairly narrow, a little bit over 40 feet. here are the bus lines that are affected. we are recommending this change not only to facilitate the entry and exit into the business, but also to facilitate muni service up and down the block. chairperson nolan: did you consider at all to have a no stopping at certain times of the
day when they are doing deliveries? >> re-have found in this type of situation that if you make the restriction part time, it is pretty difficult to convey the message and enforce it. chairperson nolan: how about n ? >> one thing i concede to miss toronto -- to mr. toronto -- he is right. it is a block of sixth street that does not go through. it is bounded by townshend and bluxome. we have worked with the businesses and residents to put in metered parking as well as residential permit parking in this vicinity. on this particular block, we previously came to you and legislated parking meters on the freeway side and residential
permit parking areas on the frontage side. we found that now that we are in the process of trying to install the meters on the side where the freeway is, there is a sidewalk. so there is no place to put the meter pool. -- meter pole. we will have the meters on the side with the sidewalk, where we can put the posts in. will have the resident parking on the other side. -- we will have the resident parking on the other side. it increases the resident permit parking spots by three, because there are no driveways on that side. chairperson nolan: all in favor, say aye. >> item 10.4, authorizing the executive director to accept and expand funding in the amount of
$6.90 million for the bay area vehicle tax the corridor project. the item was removed by members of the public charles rathbone followed by mark grueber and very toronto. >> this is a very innovative and exciting project that should go forward. we certainly urge you to vote for it. however, the plan is still short on details. most especially, who will operate the taxi cabs? luxor would like to again express our interest in participating in the program. chairperson nolan: next speaker, please. >> next speaker, mark grueber. >> on mr. rathbone's point, i want to say the resolution applies to the application, and the application says yellow cab, and yellow cab alone is a
company designated to participate. you will have to do some fancy dancing around that if you want to change it. i do not know why this is on the consent calendar. i am a supporter of innovation and experimentation for environmental purposes, but i do not feel this is terribly well conceived. it puts one untested idea on top of another. electrical vehicles may not be practical as taxes, but give it a shot. neighborhood cabs -- we do not know about the economic viability. by putting these things together, you are multiplying the uncertainties and making it very difficult to get an evaluation of either idea. so i do not think these should be conjoined. i am also concerned that this went to the mtc before it ever came to the attention of most of us in the industry, or to this board, and that only one cab company was invited to participate i noticed there was
a $900 expenditure -- was invited to participate. i noticed there was a $900,000 expenditure on this, $900,000. and i would like to know where that is coming from. who is going to ultimately pay for that? it needs a lot more collaboration before you go on. >> very toronto is the last person who has turned in a speaker card -- barry toronto. >> i'm concerned why this item was on the consent calendar in the first place. this is a major issue. we got wind of it when we first mentioned it at the taxi advisory council briefly, but the first thing is this is such a major program, a major project. why is it on consent calendar?
why are we being treated as consent calendar items now and not regular items? are the taxi's just stepchildren, like you said? commissioner, this is what it has been like. except when it comes to the program when they are going to suck money out of the cab drivers. that is all this is, but this is a major issue, and i think we deserve to get a presentation. you deserve to know what this project is about. the public deserves to know, and we deserve to see documentation. we deserve to see a power point presentation, and the only way to get documents is to go down and beg somebody on the seventh floor to be able to see those documents, or to go online unless you have the right computer programs to read all those documents and be able to print it all out at the expense
of cost. i'm telling you, please make this an important issue and put this on hold until there is a full presentation that we can see and you can see. this is not just one little teeny change. this is a major project, so i'm asking you to please ask for a major presentation and put it on hold until you get one. also, i did not know the yellow cab was the only one that participated in this. that is not right. that is not fair. they may be the biggest company, but they may not be the only one interested in a bridge is abating. i see favoritism their teary this deserves an explanation. thank you. director lee: i'm a supporter of this also. with this project, i'm concerned about the $900,000. where is that going to come from? the other thing is that sfmta
was working with a private company in san jose. did we wind up positioning ourselves with a sole source contract? i'm not aware of the yellow cab situation at all. i do not know if this needs more discussion. director beach: i agree. i saw no reference to yellow cab either. i have the same concern. >> we will get it all out on the table. but i have similar concerns. to me, the question is -- is this just a process whereby we are agreeing to accept money and later policy decisions will be made as to how it stands?
++ here, but if this is the whole package, to be, it is lacking on detail. how are we going to meet our match? what is actually going to be done with this money, and what are the policy implications? neighborhood cab sounds great. i have read it a few times. it has ? director nolan: you are right on the issue of this is a very competitive grant that we received here, and it is one that a lot of recognition we have received in a positive fashion for receiving this money. so some of it is timeliness in terms of making sure we were there early with a creative idea with the mtc to receive the funding. there may be some details that still need to be worked out, but for the most part, we went through one vetting process to
receive $6 million in this particular case, so i'm going to ask chris to walk through the particulars of this, but again, we do have some work to do. i think generally, we are right in line with the board's policies and procedures going forward. >> thank you. good afternoon, directors. this story begins in a taxi services shop as an idea by an intern about applying for some reformulated gasoline settlements funds for the purpose of acquiring a limited number of nissan vehicles to test them as taxi vehicles. the scope of the application was only $1 million for 25 of these nissan lease vehicles. we were faced with tight deadlines, so we threw that application out into the wind to see what would happen. then, we discovered another grand opportunity, revoke that application, again, and threw it
back out to see what might happen. what did happen was that the mtc got back to us and said that there are a lot of competitive applications for these grant funds, and they really like the electric taxi projects that have been submitted, that being the million-dollar tax services grant application and in addition, what was then about an $8 million grant application from a private company that i had never heard of before about four months ago. so nbc asked these two grant teams to merge their applications into one, and that is what we did at their request. then, i was surprised as anybody to learn that we actually made it through that very competitive grant process, and i woke up with better battery technology that i had ever heard of before. better place is the grant applicants for the larger grant
application, and its technology is actually proprietary technology that involves battery switch stations that look a little bit like car washes and specially built battery switch of all vehicles that you drive into this switch station, and within five minutes, without even getting out of the car, there is a robotic process that just changes the battery out for a fully charged battery. there are other partners in a better place grant application that involve charging those batteries in a good way with the power demands so that they would be charged during off-peak hours, and that would be a way of equalizing the demand. there are some partners originally with the better place application that wanted to see this as a very global approach to the electric power.
again, we found ourselves not so very long ago partnering together, and so this is not a situation where we wanted to seek a contractor for these grant funds. it is a situation where this other grants-seeking entity -- we ended up holding hands and walking into the mtc together. there would not be an opportunity to seek that particular technology anywhere else. however, we are working with the city attorney's office now and the empty seat grand, both, and our very helpful people on the finance team. we are exploring how to go about financing for the construction and all the other elements that will have to go into developing this proposal. as to the involvement of yellow cab, again, when these were separate grant proposals, better place went to the largest taxi companies in both san jose, which is also a partner to the better place grant because this will be a regional project for their switchti