tv [untitled] March 9, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
other than that, their efficiency relies on the element of surprise. they will be where they are needed, they will be visible to illegal operators so we can discourage that trade. >> you have seven now and you want to ramp upç to 11? >> we have three now and we hope to get seven so that we can have teams of two in the field periodically. >> what are the proposed ships for the teams? >> we have toç work on that as well. we need to apply some sort of flex time principle. if someone is working and enforcement shift on friday night, we do not need to see the next morning, perhaps. >> their ships are going to coincide outside of a regular 9:00 to 5:00 -- the clubs close at 2:00. you may have said this butç how do you plan to catch these taxi imposters? when you catch them, what do you
do? >> it is almost impossible not to find one if you go out on a friday night. çwe need to be present. it is like swatting flies. you need to make sure that people know there is movement in this place and you have to go somewhere else. did i answer your question? >> how do you plan to catch them? >> sometimes, enforcement may involve issuing them away -- çshooing them away, for exampl, some legitimate that drivers can pick up customers. going after any moving violations. they could be dealing with rather dangerous individuals, so we have to make sure they go out in pairs and we develop protocols for ways to approach a limousine or illegal operated to issue a citation without getting
run over. z with commissioner campos. i have a hard time envisioning your enforcement of this policy. çit seems so obscure and so big -- i do not even know if seven people could tackle this issue. >> we may not be detected in citing every illegal vehicle operator, but it will be important for the illegal operators to know that when they come, there is enforcement and there are consequences in the form of $5,000 penalties, getting your vehicle towed. currently, enforcementç involvs a police officer riding a citation for less than $200 and not telling the vehicle.
that is just the cost of doing business. >> is there some sort of policy that will incentivize other taxi driversç who are legally operating their car to turn in a fellow driver if their operation is not legal? >> we do not need to do that. they are begging us to take this enforcement action. i considered asking them to send us photographs but i do not want our taxi drivers to take photographs while they are driving. we are looking for every way that we can become effective. that has to do wiéh!fine amounts, field presence, being able to tow, and it has to do with being visible. >> are their current programsç that you are modeling this after? >> there are other
jurisdictions were taxi regulators apply administrative enforcement. police resources are scarce. the problems are huge. los angeles, for example, has moved to an administrative enforcement mechanism to deal with the legal vehicles because it is more efficient for staff time. another thing is you control of the citation. right now, he would go off to the court of justice. we have no knowledge or input as to how the judges actually treat that citation. if it is it an administrative citation, it wouldç be treated like a parking ticket and it would be sfmta officers who would be fielding those citations. >> so you will be cracking down on gypsy cabs, these forms of transportation that are not necessarily authorized. where i am concerned is, a large
part ofç the reason why these wrote taxi services pop up is because they serve and underserved population. in the southeast part of the city, where i live, near candlestick park,ç oftentimes, even i have a problem getting a taxi. i have to spend several minutes, waiting for a cab. further south, they do not even come that way. i am in a pinch try to reconcile this. çthese gypsy cabs arrive becaue services do not exist. so what are you doing, your fellowç cabbies, how can we mae
this work? >> in addition to our enforcement initiatives, we are trying to deal with customer service issues. it is difficult to get a taxi in san francisco at certain times of day and in certain geographical locations. i want to say first of all, we are working on that issue. i do not know to what extent it would be inappropriate to go through all of the different ideas we are havingç to pursuen the future. one thing is we are going out to bid for a public convenience and necessity study that will measure the need of the supply and demand of the taxi industry. if we are able$ these illegal vehicles, the city would be in a position to issue more taxi medallions, put more vehicles on the street. if we do that, more tax to drivers will have better working conditions. service response should be
better. now that we have the tax medallions sales pilot program, those sales could represent substantial revenue to the city. right now, they are being sold for a quarter million dollars a piece. if we issued fourç new taxi medallions, that is potentially about a million dollars worth of revenue. so it is in our financial interest to clean up the service that is being served by the illegal vehicles and replace it with legal vehicles. the otherç issue, besides serve -- because i agree with you. we need to address the service issue. but there is a critical public safety issue here. ii have this vision of a couple of inebriated youths climbing into the back of a car, getting into the back of an unlicensed vehicle. that is a public safety issue. we need to address that, in addition to the service
problems. >> thank you. this hasç been a fascinating conversation. >> thank you. one question. the first citation is valued at $2,500? >> yes, the police department, if this ordinance isç passed, e fine would be $2,500 as authorized and the public utilities code. if administrative staff issues a citation, the county is $5,000 as authorized by the government code. it was my intention to make the police department fine equal to the ministry of fine, but the city attorney's office opinion was that because of reauthorization of the public still is code was limited to 2500 on the criminal statutes, the pleas to permit could only issu, a$1 fine. -- police department could only issueç a $2,500 fine. >> is a strange inconsistency for it not to be levied in the
same way. criminal choice, you would hope that they get hitjonú by the puc version rather than the sfmta version. >> either way, thm qenalty would be substantially higher, they are getting today. >> i get that, but the question of resources and staff applied to this endeavor. you say you have three investigators now. those examples, if this law is implemented, examples will be made and radiate around. getting hit with a $5,000 on patient --ç citation, i wonder the need for you moving up to seven investigators. i asked earlier if there was staff and you said only anecdotally. i want to understand better what the universe of trouble is that we are dealing with.
>> çit is a universe that is difficult to eliminate, that we can only minimize, i think. it is a very attractive thing, especially in these times, for someone to get an illegal vehicle and come to san francisco and take the chance of getting caught. it has been a serious problem for decades. it is a problem in every major municipality that has a taxi regulators. ] citation that has been issued by the police department. i can tell you in 2010, i believe the police department issued -- i think it was 125 illegal vehicle citationsç, about 300 citations to legal vehicles that were acting outside of their charter. so that is about 400 citations
issued by the police department during one calendar year. but that does not account the degree of the problem. that is simply what the police department has been able to apply. >> the revenue generated from the citations, does it then return to the mta? >> the $2,500 fine would goç to the criminal court, just as any other misdemeanor case. the $5,000 fine by state law is required to be reapplied to illegal vehicle investigation and enforcement. >> whaf is your standard for determining increase in staff? you said three investigated by moving up to seven. right now, it is quite restrictive in how we are bringing in new staff in city government. i would like to hear how that
determination is to be made. >> the number that i have set upon is based on trying to schedule it in a way that they are not in the field at theç te -- all the time, that they have a combination of being in the field and at the desk. the financing of those positions, first of all, comes from a reduction in the police department work order for the first two new hires. the police deáartment used to provide the taxi detail for this kind of enforcement. now that enforcement model has changed. some of the work order money is coming back to our agency. with that money, i will be hiring two more investigators. and if the investigators pay for themselves, two more. >> so the savings on the work order that would be returned to the police department is what? >> i believe $375,000 coming
back to the sfmta from the police department work order. ç>> does this mean the police will continue or discontinue to also assist in trying to curtail an arrest this problem? >> we continue to assist the their enforcement and assistance is also required as well for any criminal enforcement. that is their jurisdiction entirely. but they still have, i think, a quarter of a million dollars in their work order to fund that activity. it is just that the work order money used to fund salaries at the police department for the taxi detail is move over to the agency so that the same work could be performed by our civilian administrative staff. >> supervisor campos. >>ç just a couple of follow-up
questions. the $2,500 citation would be new sfmta employees authorized to enforce parking lots, including issues of citations. would they be able to issue a $2,500 citation? ç>> no, that is the criminal citation issued by the police department. >> supervisor cohen raised an important issue, something that we deal with on a regular basis. i actually just had to refer a resident of the alameda housing development to the mta commission because they are not able to get a taxi to come to their housing. do you have peoplö investigating -- if a resident of such a development had a complaint, is there someone that looks at that issue?
>> definitely. we have staff that follows up on the 311 complaints. that is the most effective way of complaining because we have a track >> how many staff to you have looking at those issues? >> we have three people dedicatedr.3 >> the reason i raise this issue is, one question i have four other members of this committee, is whether we should hold off on moving this forward until we actually hear some concrete steps that are being taken on the other front, the issue of what is happening with our residents. iç think something needs to be done about this, but why should we wait until you give us something that actually addresses this other issue that goes in tandem with what we're talking about here?
>> that is a reasonable request. >> that is something i would ask my colleaguesç to consider. if this is an important issue, which it is, i have to say, the level of responsiveness on the concerns of some of my constituents who cannot get a taxi service has not been at the level i think it should be. it may be something to consider, holding off on this until we get something concrete on the other front. >> thank you. to that point,ç supervisor cohn and i were discussing this. if there was something that was not adversely affecting the timing of this to get more information, on how there might be a remedy2or more attention brought on to these points, perhaps we can continue this to
the next public safety meeting. i know supervisor chu is here. i do not know if you want to speak to this. certainly, that gives us two weeks opportunity to get further along so that the unintended consequences of some of this -- that would be helpful, too. >>ç judson chu. it has been an interesting discussion around this legislation that has come to us through the mta, a taxi division. çsupervisor mirkarimi is committed to issues around taxis, particularly as they respond to taxis, responsiveness to people. taxis are in the interval part of the system and city first policy. we believe the mta has made
important progress on the taxi front in recent years, especially related to reforms in the industry, but we have a long way to go to make sure the industry isç providing san francisco residents and visitors with a taxi service that they deserve. particularly, some of the other areas that are not as frequented by tourists, including some of supervisor cohen'sç constituens and others. our view is this particular piece of improving texas service -- we would be perfectly comfortablepfh1ñ, at the commi's interest, to continue this to the next meeting. we would be more than happy than to come back with some of our ideas and that time about the customer service peace,ç but we do see this as one piece of a much larger discussion that we need to have in this building,
as well as in mta, around taxi service in the coming year. so that would be my broader statement of where we are. çthis is a small piece, changig the administrative code. this is a small piece of what we need to do over all but we appreciate the work of the committee on this, as well as mta staff. >> thank you. so you would have no objection? >> absolutely not. one of the issues we have, we always want more data. we are comfortable withç the committee's preference on that. >> we are going to open this up for public comment. >> good morning, supervisors. i have been a taxi driverç in n francisco since 1975. i also have a taxi medallion and i work full time as an assistant manager at luxor cab company.
in brief, we are quite supportive of this legislation. it has been discussed extensively throughç meetings that mta staff has invited the taxi industry to participate in. the position that this would create would be paid for by the taxi industry. çour understanding is it is fuy funded through rfp's with the general fund money involved. we are pleased with this legislation. it will give us some bang for our bucks. we are tired of getting complaints from people who are riding around in bogus luxor cabs that are marked up to look likeç our vehicles. they are particularly in the mission district. we have our own complaints, but
when people talk about run service from cabs that we know are completely legal, it is very telling. we look forward to the day when mta staff will be more responsive and able to go after these things. a couple specific items i would like to draw your attention to, and it is a prohibition against the payment for for all of the passenger. i am not asking you to change anything but i want to ask you to register, as staff and mta has recognized, our pride charge service is not the targetç of this. that is a service that we contract with. we pay them for their referrals. it comes down to the individual driver and our company. this accounts for as many as 1000 troops in a single day.
-- trips in a single day. >>ç thank you. any other member of the public? >> ed healy. i had been working for luxor, i know work for green cab. xin mçs. coh'e assumption that the legaillegals are filling a need because incorrect. those gypsy cabs do not know where alemany is. they do not know the crosstrees in your neighborhood either. what these vehicles are doing is
they are picking up people off the wharf, union street. you are concerned about getting cabs out to the neighborhoods, but that is totally different çfrom what this legislation is proposing. it is proposing bowing down paths. i had a woman who told me she was picked up by one of these gypsy cabs. çshe told thehim where she wano go, but instead, he wanted to take her to a hill to smoke a joint. then he took her home. he kept onç calling her afterwards. this is not a taxicab and you do not know who you are dealing with. these people do not have insurance. dealing with your neighborhood
is a big problem. itç has a lot to do with traing and so forth, but just spreading illegal cabs out there is not room solve your problem. >> good point. thank you, sir. >> ♪ good luck with the taxis traveling people you have to fix it withç a no parking ticket do whatever you can and what they need be careful all the time if you please i had never been good with money they haveç to get it anyway they can fix it up through the city we hear from the people everywhere here they come watch out now they will take it to you watch out now, here they come çthey are taxi and parking tict
eaters watch out here they come watch out we areç reaching out we are in search of illegal taxis now in the city everywhere you better look out now we are reaching out we are in search of a legal taxi's everywhere do notç make them mad, do not make them played a big taxi ticket is the last thing you need you are not free look out now we areç reaching our they are in search of illegal taxis everywhere be where be out there looking for you
reaching out, we are in search of you be careful now ç♪ >> any other public comment or expression of song --9] ç equal opportunity here. çseeing none, public comment is closed. supervisor campos. >> i would move to for this item to the next meeting. >> great, without objection. we look forward to continuing the discussion and recommend to our friends with the mta here ht they meet with supervisor campos and cohen to follow up on information for the nextç
meeting. madam courtclerk, the next item- actually, we will return back to item two. >> thank you. i feel like i'm at the mta so muc. this item needs some corrections toç the resolution. i would respectfully request that the item be continue to the call of the chair and we plan on introducing substitute legislation. apologize for the inconvenience. ç>> not a problem. we will continue to the call of the chair. is there any public comment on this item? >> somewhere down the school road g
again somewhere down the school road i know your heart will come to see that thisç money belongs to the school in need >> next speaker please. good afternoon, supervisors. douglas yet. i would like to speak on behalf of item two. now that we have bqr as the head of the department of public health, we should give her every resource available in order to improve the department of public health. çwith the departure of mitch kz @ san francisco general hospital, i would encourage the department of public health to better its performance.
i think there has been a lot of discontent of certain aspects. items like item two will give the department of public health enough money to improve itself. çunfortunately, all of us are aware about the news of laguna honda hospital. i feel barbara garcia will support on going whistleblowing activities by employees in her department. çhopefully, that will extend te sand and this could general hospital. >> thank you. any other public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. a request to continue this item to the call of the chair. so moved. do we have many more items before us? >> no, mr. chaiv >> very good. this meeting is adjourned.