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tv   [untitled]    September 5, 2012 1:00am-1:30am PDT

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i think there is a lot of data to support that there is a problem today. so the fact that the sooner this board were to absent, the sooner the cabs will be on the streets. that fact, i think is not refutable, but there is a ramp up, and the big peaks of demand for next summer and next year's america's cup are very real. >> well, it makes it a little -- when we talked about needing them all for this october, for fleet week and all of these things. it's a little more candid, i think to talk about them for next year's events rather than these things to be done very, very quickly. >> i apologize if the staff report promised that they could be done as suggested that they could be out by october. that oct weekend is a good exemplar where the taxi is
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shown as extreme inadequate to meet that need. >> the second pint, miss housman made the comment about large vehicles, was it no. a5, the fifth [wra*-rs/]. whereas. >> i believe the technology for larger vehicles is improving everyday. i don't think fact is this is consistent with city and mta policy and i wouldn't recommend kind of compromising on that at this point. we can look into issues with
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regard to larger vehicles versus these, but i think that the promise of a greener fleet is, in fact, part of the basis for our environmental clearance for this, and i think helps make a much stronger case that while we're putting more vehicles on the street, we're putting out vehicles that are cleaner than basically the vehicles that they would be replacing, private, limousine or otherwise. >> two other items. are you telling us that there are some vehicles that would meet these criteria, that are now available or would be available shortly? >> that i don't know. >> okay. then another thing, the thing that bothered me, too, and i forget who mentioned it, but the statistics used to justify some of this are from 2000. that is an awful long time ago for the studies and i know we're doing our study coming up in january, is that right?
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so that to me was of concern that we're basing this at least on some things that are pretty dated, that part of it. i am convince there had is a need, but basing it on something from 2000, i would be much more comfortable after the study in january. >> as would i. it's been my preference all along to make sure we had good, current data. what we presented to you is what we had. i think it's notable for the first time in my, however long it's been, 13 months in this job. this is the first time that we heard a taxi item that we had comment from other than the taxi industry. so i think just think it's relevant to hear the empirical data [tpr-eplt/] from those affected.
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wftv well, i guess the question on that is to get more up-to-date data, that would be sometime in the new year, right? >> yes, probably january. >> so then if we began the whole process of getting the new cabs and following that into the new year, as opposed to months from now, is that right? if we did this today, if we approved this today, then the effort can go out to get the new vehicles, right? >> that is correct. it would be four months ahead, likely when that data is available. >> the biggest issue for me that i have heard here and i'm not sure how we can deal with it, but i think it's a pretty compelling case about the list. and especially the two gentlemen, one 17 and the other is 36 on the list. i wish we could figure out a way to somehow tie it to this. but something very soon that recognized what the waiting that they have done, the service that they have provided
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to the city. >> yes. so based on your direction at the last meeting and think what is a very legitimate issue that is sitting out there, unresolved, and has relation to the matters of last time and this time. i was preparing to bring to your recommendation, if it's not going to go through a public process, then it can come on september 18th, possibly. but i was planning to bring a recommendation to make a policy statement from the board. >> about the list? >> about the list? >> okay. >> those are the concerns that i have, directors? director brinkman? >> i would like to talk about the second resolve, hybrid electric compressed natural gas, et cetera. i understand what we're trying to get to with our fleet is the emissions control.
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it's not just fuel-efficiency, correct? >> that is correct. >> and i do know that even if it may seem that the technology is not there for the larger vehicles, at this moment, that the auto industry is moving so quickly on technology and on fuel-efficiency and every time that the bar is raised, they meet it and they beat it. so i am confident on that one. i hear miss housman's concern on that, but i'm confident that question address the higher-capacity vehicles with the low emissions that we're striving for to have a truly green fleet. we have to remember unlike a private vehicle, these vehicles are in operation 23 hours a day, so it really adds a huge impact on our city. the big thing that i hear is the hailing technology. i think that is probably, aside there figuring out what we'll do with the list, that is the biggest thing we can do to help the taxi driverss is to figure out how we're going to connect
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them with the passengers, not just passengers that we have right now. because i think there is a huge -- not just unmet demand for passengers, but a lot of people not taking taxi because they don't feel they can reliably get a taxi out in the neighborhoods. so the point that one driver made, these people are taking taxis on friday and saturday night, because sure, it's hard to get one, because serve trying to get one. if you increase people's confidence level when they use whatever technology or whatever system we're going to come up, that they will be able to get a taxi out in the neighborhoods. i could see people switching to taxis for more trips that they are currently using private automobiles. young people in our city are not buying private automobiles like they used to. so there is a huge glut of passengers, but right now unfortunately they are using uber and the pink
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moustache cars and feel confidence around the technology that they are hailing. so i think, if we can figure out how we want to standardize the hailing of taxis or standardize the calling of taxis, we can very easily claw back those passengers and get those passengers out the pink moustache and uber cars and back into our taxis and probably the most important thing we need to do to help our taxi drivers. i think again, i think there are tons of people who would take a lot more taxi trips if it felt more reliable and felt more standardized, not just in the hailing, but paying as well. i think that is why people like uber, it's that cashless transaction, that ability to take transportation on credit
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cards. i think that is all for now that i have. >> thank you, director brinkman. directors? are you okay? >> i just wondered, one speaker mentioned this, but could you elaborate in terms of the distribution of these medallions or permits? >> yes. and we will make this public. i agree with one of the [spo-erbg/]s, this speakers, this needs to be entirely transparent. we want it based on objective standards. so the idea is to look at the dispatch data, and look at each company's performance in terms of responding to radio dispatch calls, as a percentage of the
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service that they provide. and providing proportionately more the ability to at least proportionately more of these permits based on that performance. so the higher percentage of radio calls make up the service that you deliver, the higher proportion relative to your size of these permits that we have available. and we would -- we will establish and publish exactly what those criteria are. how basically the algorithm is working to determine whatever number you authorize, if you choose to authorize these, how we would allocate them. >> and will there be a mechanism by which the staff with monitor the performance as it continues on, so if there is not performance standards being met, they can be revoked or something? >> absolutely. the requirements that you all
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put in place with regard to data-collection and requirements for electronic data provision and collection will give us something that we haven't had in the past, which is uniform means of determining so we'll have a better ability to do that in the future than we have today. that is part of the benefit of issuing these permits in this way, to the extent that it's not being met by an individual permit or individual company, we can take them back. >> i just have one last question. >> sure. >> i think an email correspondence and in public comment, can you comment on that? >> yeah, i think my understanding is that in terms of how it's defined in the transportation code, these are
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rightly characterized as medallions. a medallion is essentially a permit that can take different forms. i think i consider them to be interchangeably in this regard, but in terms of definition within the transportation code, i believe what we are presenting here, recommending here today is consistent with that definition of a "medallion." >> thank you, director heinicke? >> thank you, on this issue of the list, i agree with the comments, suggested that we should move to address that issue at the very least the people on the list deserve certainty, so they know whether they should take advantage of purchasing a medallion or wait for a free one or discount one or financial-assisted one or whatever we're going to do. as i said before, certainty is the very least that is deserved here and i'm glad to hear there are plans to move with that in a meeting or two. following up on director rubke's question, as you
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develop the plans to determine who get these medallions, assuming this proposal is accepted here today, would there be some process for encouraging that the cab companis have the sort of taxi applications, the hailing -- electronic hailing applications that we have talked about? i assume that answered radio calls through a taxi magic or similar app would be counted in the success rate for the company. if we're pushing the industry in' way to get to a more certain place in taxi hail, i wonder if there is an opportunity to make sure that the companies that have taken the steps to put that in place with their fleets have been rewarded with the medalones and those who haven't are not. >> we were not planning to use that whether you are affiliated with or making your data available, your dispatch data
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available via an app. i agree however with the vice-chair brinkman and many speakers that the dispatch side of this is extremely important it's not just about the number of cabs on the street, but the extent how they can be accessed by your average person. so i have directed our technology folks to work with the taxi folks as expeditiously as possible to solve that problem as quickly as we can. >> through this proposal, we're not binding you as staff how you set the standard. i am certainly in no position to insist on it, but i would urge you to at least think about whether this is a requirement we should put on the companies? it's clear that this is next step in making taxi service for reelaborate or
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a next step in making taxi service more reliable and i think those companies that have gone through the efforts to sort of implement these apps should be rewarded. the cab driver who is new to us here, but whose comments were very much appreciated talking about the no-goes that he encountered. i would suggest that. have some sort of system whereby in exchange for them putting money down unbeing punished if they no-go, they are more likely to know they are being picked up. i would hope we would work with our taxi companies to enable
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them to do that, if they choose to do so. on the pricing of these, you have a sort of suggested rate of $1900 per month. we're not actually locking that in here, is the price to be determined or this proposal locked it in at $1900 per month? >> i would have to look at the language in the resolution. we were setting that as a baseline, based on what we currently -- to be consistent with our current charges. >> okay. and i know we went with a set fee for the individual sales for reasons of protection of the buyer, for reasons of certainty and frankly for reasons of financing is what the credit union was going to finance. was there any consideration given to whether it would make more sense giving these to corporations, sophisticated eptities to use an auction system as a fixed price? >> that is not something that we considered. we thought was simplest and
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more straightforward was using our current fee structure to price these permits. that is again, something we could look at. >> okay. and you have spoken to the data that you have that suggests there is more -- there is a need to do -- there is an unmet need for cabs. i won't say "consensus", but a majority of data points and opinions that at least in the peak time s there is unmet needs. have we had communication from the consultant? do we have any advance suggestions from him about the unmet needs or are we really in the dark as far as what his conclusions will be? >> largely in the dark at this time. he has not issued any preliminary report or preliminary findings, so there is no draft report that hasn't
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been shared. i have not seen anything. i did call him, when i was first contemplating this, just to in part let him know, but also to kind of get -- see if i could get any sense of where he was. and since he hadn't finished his work, he wasn't really willing to commit anything specifically. though i interpreted that he was finding -- he was affirming what many speakers spoke to as there being a deficiency in the number of the tachi cabs. he wasn't committing to or talking about any numbers, but i got confidence from that conversation that that will be a finding. >> sure. and as i have said, since i have been struggling with these issues, the single biggest complaint and really in many ways the only complaint we ever get about our taxi system, bewy
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as directors and me in my position, you can't get a cab when you need one. i think that is focused on peak times, but i think there is definitely a sense in the public there is an unmet demand throughout the time. i want to thank the folks from the business communities who have come to speak to that today. we appreciate them taking their time. chairman nolan, let me ask one other question. it's 150 to 200. i take it as you work through the issues you will figure out the precise number, which may depend on the allocation to companies and what numbers work. what is the thought process to determine between 150 and 200? >> that was a range we were suggesting. it's possible based on how we choose to allocate them, that not all companis will be interested. there are timing issues and this gives us a little flexibility in terms of how these roll out, to stop it at
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150 or go to 200. so it was really meant to give some nexibility for flexibility for things that we don't know at this time. >> it will come as no surprise that i support this proposal. that suggested to me it was a longer time commit and would be harder to trench. so to me this is a shorter term, temporary test. i'm not convinced this is the solution. i think the solution may rely in the form of peak -time permitting or combination of full-time madions and peak-time permitting.
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i think this proposal is short enough on a temporal scope to turn back if it's not the right path and continue with it if it's the right panel. i think it gives us the opportunity to reward good dispatch services and good color schemes. it will promote the gas and gate arrangement, which we know is generally more beneficial to the driver and avoids the whole abuses that were seen in the brokering of medallions. i think it will address in part, i realize there is enforcement needed, but it will address in part of the issue of why these others and in some instances unlicensed and illegal systems are work. there is a demand out there and it's not being met. so again, i think this is sort of wise in a small-scale way to see if this is the appropriate way to
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address the need that is out there and see if we need to revisit it during the program or at least within the three years after the leases are up. >> directors? director ramos? director lee? >> i think for me this has been probably one of the most complicated areas of policy that we have to work in, especially for me. i think that the parking stuff as it has always been tough to deal with and this is even starting to bleed into parking now with the problem that we're having with some of the uber cabs and town cars parking in places that we have residents who want to park their cars. however, to me, one thing is clear, when the market sees a niche, it starts to take advantage of it and that is why i think we're seeing the proliferation of the town cars and pink moustaches. i saw one this weekend and thought if there is not a need there, then why are they here? so i second the comments made by director brinkman and
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director heinicke and appreciate all the hard work that has gone into this so far. i do recognize this is not a permanent solution. i realize a lot of tweaking has to happen between now and putting this to bed, if we'll ever be able to do that, but i do believe we have an obligation to provide a service to the people that we're -- people that live, work and visit here. when i make a phone call to take a cab and told it's 45 minutes to get one, i can pretty much work anywhere in 45 minutes in this city. the other thing that i do want to really second director heinicke's comments with respect to uber cab's success or uber's success is this idea of putting up a fee upfront to make sure there is no-no-go, because i know for folks that don't have a hand in how this industry works out, what people will often do is call three cab
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companies and take the first one that picks up. that is a sad reality when people need to get someplace quickly, 45 minutes unfortunately is not acceptable. so looking forward to moving this policy along and adjusting it as goes along and thank everyone for their comments. director lee? >> anything that i have to say really repeats what the other directors have said, but my concern becomes we took a look at market share and how much market share the taxi industry is losing from the outside vendors coming in. my job requires that i travel a lot and i'm mandated to take taxis from washington to portland to boston, the cab service is pretty good. i have tried to take cabs here. it's really difficult, but when we say there is not enough business. what is making uber flourish so well? there has
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got to be a niche that we're not taking advantage of that we have to do and regain that market share. so part of that is not only looking at the needs of your drivers, but looking at the needs of the customers out there who said, hey, look, if i can't get a cab, i'll go the next best route and that is what they are doing now. he think we need to take this test and run with it. >> thank you. is there a motion on the item? >> i will move to approve. >> is there a second? i will second. before we vote, i would like to say a couple of things. i will support this, but two things that are important to me. one, if this study comes back in january or in february, whenever it comes back and is radically different in its conclusion about the need than what we're basing this on, we're dealing with an awful lot
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of anecdotal data here. washington, d.c., it's a very different kind of city and why people are there and the taxi thing, i think is very different there than it is here. that is one thing. the second thing is that it's extremely important to me, the case has been made very, very well here about the list. and i think to my mind and i can't tell you exactly what this means specifically, but it's got to pass some level of test of fairness for the drivers. and especially for the drivers who are been on this issue for many, many years. on your assurance this is coming back to us sometime fairly soon and also, we haven't talked about the drivers' fund yet either. that is another major area of which this body could be helpful in some fashion to the drivers. and i want to see both of these things, as thoughtfully and quickly as we can, allowing for enough time for town high school meets and the like.
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all in favor? >> aye. >> nays in the the r the ayes have it. >> ready? >> yes. >> ladies and gentlemen, we'll return to the agenda. the consent calendar now, aren't we? >> we're on public comment. >> okay. we have members of public who wish to speaker? >> directors, [ reading speakers' names ] >> mr. rathman. >> good afternoon again, directors. i wanted to let you know that over the weekend, luxor cab received a complaint about dangerous driving. the caller identified the offending cab as luxor no. 5 02. in recent months we have had a number of complaints about no.
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502, however, there is no luxor 502. at least not a legal licensed luxor cab. we believe that no. 502 is one of a number of fake luxor cabs that are out there. we have seen some of them. we're extremely concerned about this. it goes well beyond just stealing our business or affecting our band image. what is going to happen when one of these things runs over people or something and the witnesss are all standing there saying yep, it was a luxor cab and it may have well been no. 502. so we urge you onto greater efforts to crackdown on the pure outragous bandit cabs that masquerade as licensed cabs. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. >> barry toronto.
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>> good afternoon, chairman nolan. you want to tell me to do what? you have already done that to me. it's too late. i didn't like it. anyway, somebody else did that, at the republican national convention. i did it to show a point. it represent twos things. one, the lack of including us in the public process. the chair is empty because you do things no matter what we say and how much input we give to you, although chairman nolan did show some sensitivity today. the other one is -- anyway, the thing is that i am very disturbed how you include us. you have seen reports and correspondence today that we don't have access to. apparently i was told it was in the file at the office.


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