You asked about the process for re-issuing medallions to the waiting list and the fact that we haven’t sent very many offer letters since the transition to SFMTA.
There were some issues in the early part of the transition that involved creating new procedures and regulations, which slowed us down at first. However, that part is past us now, and the hearing officer is getting a better feel for these cases.
The one bottleneck that remains is the fact that we only have one investigator to prepare for those medallion re-issuance hearings. He has to review 4 or 5 years of waybills for each case, and if anything funny shows up, he has to do additional research to try to figure out if there is any fraud involved. Then he has to prepare his declaration for the hearing and attend the hearing to testify.
This person’s duties also include disciplinary matters, such as the annual Prop K audit of medallion holders. He is currently working hard on identifying the medallions that we will be revoking and preparing the evidence and declarations for each case. He is seriously over-tasked at the moment.
The good news is that we will be interviewing to hire more investigators, who I hope to have on board by March 22. That’s optimistic, but I can hope. When I have those people we will be launching a very intensive hearing schedule in order to implement the pilot program.
The legislation that will be voted on the Board of Directors on Friday February 26 includes a provision that would allow us to credit medallions offered to the waiting list after February 26 toward the 60 that we would be committed to issuing to the list to match the 60 that would be sold. I added that to the legislation to avoid creating any SFMTA incentive to keep waiting list people waiting until the pilot program is officially underway in May.
Beginning in March we will be issuing medallions as fast as we possibly can. Since we can’t sell any until the legislation takes effect in May, the first recipients will all be on the waiting list.
I hope that answers your question. I can’t wait to get those offer letters out. I know that this is a sore point right now and I would like to be able to demonstrate our intentions with actions, not words. It won’t be long now. You can share this letter if it is helpful.
Deputy Director of Taxis
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
1 South Van Ness, San Francisco, CA 94103
Note - Since the SFMTA took over on March 1, 2009, they have issued 30 new medallion permits: 18 for Regular/Alternative fuel taxis and 12 for Ramp taxis.