Sunday, October 30, 2011

TAC 10.24.11

The Monday 10/24/11 TAC meeting covered a variety of topics.

The photo shows (from left) driver and dispatcher Bill Minikel, driver and blogger John Han, medallion holder and Yellow Cab representative Tim Lapp.

In what other industry can you find councilors of such uniqueness and diversity?

Illegal Taxi & Limo Update

SFMTA Investigator Eric Richholt thanked all the drivers who have sent him photos and videos of bandit cabs and limos and said to keep the info coming.  He can be reached at: or 510-867-4694.

Richholt stated that he and his partners have handed out over one hundred $90 white zone citations to limos and nine $5,000 tickets to illegal cabs, including three for not having A-cards.

A few of the drivers expressed impatience with what has been done. They wanted a bigger crackdown on limos and town cars acting as cabs. Eric said that it was more difficult to prove that limos were making illegal pick-ups but that he and his colleagues would be going after them in the near future.

These drivers appeared to forget that this is the first systematic attack on illegal vehicles in memory (mine anyway) and is just getting underway. It wouldn't exist at all if Deputy Director of Taxi Services Christiane Hayashi hadn't written legislation to allow MTA investigators to give these citations and hadn't gotten the law passed by a hostile Board of Supervisors that thinks illegal taxis and limos serve the public. She also had to hire and train the investigators. Taxi Services needs a few more of them in order to maintain a presence on the streets both night and day.

Richholt said that they were prioritizing illegal taxis because they often have substandard equipment, rarely have insurance and thus are a danger to the public.

We Can Finally Use the Bike Lanes - Sometimes

After over a year of discussions, Hayashi has finally talked the powers that be into allowing cabs restricted use of bike lanes for picking up and dropping off customers.

Taxicabs will be issued bumper stickers indicating that the cabs have the right to be in the bike lanes for the above purposes. Taxis are supposed to use the lanes only as a last resort if there are no other safe locations nearby. We can only use separated bike lanes to drop off disabled or elderly customers. (Click photo for more detail.)

We are only supposed to pick customers up in a separated bike lane if the dispatcher tells us that the customer is disabled. Does this mean that we have to blow off disabled customers who try to flag us down from these areas? I think this item needs a bit more thought and discussion.

At any rate, we are only supposed to enter a separated bike lane at the beginning of the block and exit at the end.

For more information contact the SFMTA.

TAC Will Finally Be Able to Present Proposals to the SFMTA Board

After an exchange of letters between Taxi Advisory Council Chair Chris Sweis and SFMTA Chief Financial Officer Sonali Bose, it has been decided that Sweis will be able to present TAC's recommendations directly to the SFMTA Board at the their bi-weekly meetings.

This should put an end to a period when no recommendations were acted upon by the Board.

For background see TAC: or, Whatever Happened to Our Recommendations?...

New Town Hall Meeting Schedule

1 comment:

  1. This is quite literally the greatest thing I've ever listened to that cabs using separated bike lane for customers comfort..!
    Regards, cabs in hyderabad