Wednesday, March 31, 2010

MTA Board Unanimously Okays Advisory Council

Yesterday, the SFMTA Board unanimously passed a resolution to set up an Advisory Council as part of the Pilot Plan.

Ironically, the Pilot Plan itself isn't quite ready ready to be voted on. The final details on the loans for the Fixed Price sale aren't yet finalized. Director Christiane Hayashi assured the board that everything will ready for a vote by April 20. She also said that the fixed price probably would be $250,000 but she couldn't say so officially until a public hearing was held on the subject.

Rua Graffis and others from the UTW criticized the make up of the Advisory Council for giving nine seats to medallion holders and companies and only six to regular drivers. John Hahn, a non-medallion holding driver, also thought that the council should have members from the general public and be balanced between regular drivers on one side and companies and medallion holders on the other. Driver Bill Mownsey attacked the Council for being appointed instead of elected saying, "They'll never pick me because I'm too radical."

Hansu Kim, Jane Bolig, myself and others spoke in favor of the Advisory Council, saying (among other things) that itl: would be merely an advisory body with no voting power, would allow minority reports, would be the only city government group make up solely of people in the cab business, and would be crucial in monitoring the effects of the Pilot Plan.

Although I didn't say so at the time, I don't think that this board will be as unbalanced as Rua Graffis thinks. Medallion holders don't necessarily agree with the companies on many issues, the small companies don't necessarily agree with the large ones and all working drivers have many issues in common, medallion holders or not.

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