Wednesday, November 2, 2011

TAC Proposed Regulatory Legislation - An End to Pre-K Sales?

The Council Liaison introduced several proposed changes in taxicab regulations at the 10/24/11 TAC meeting attended by councilor Bill Mounsey (photo).

Highlights included:

1. Changing the current requirement for annual driver renewal (A-cards) from December 31st to the month of the driver's birthday.

2. Ending the requirement for evidence of financial responsibility for new driver permits.

3. 100 of the 156 wheel chair pick-ups per year required by Ramp Taxi must be reported through the paratransit debit card system.

But the highlights of highlights were:

Changes in the Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program

These include:

1. Clarifying that a medallion buyer may sell his medallion at any time.

2. A Qualified Seller shall become ineligible to sell his or her Medallion if he or she does not execute a sales agreement, in a form provided by the SFMTA, within 15 days of SFMTA's notice to the Medallion Holder that the SFMTA has offered his or her Medallion to a Qualified Purchaser.

3. Re-opening the opportunity to sell his or her medallion to any Medallion Holder who is subject to the Full-Time Driving Requirement who has attained or will attain the age of 60 as of December 31, 2012.

Number 2 is somewhat confusing - especially in light of number 3. Does this mean that a medallion holder will never get another chance to sell his or her medallion if he or she doesn't jump at the first opportunity? Or, will she or he have another opportunity come up whenever the Taxi Services runs out of medallions to sell? It's certainly not clear to me.

Number 3, on the other hand, is clear but controversial. The proposed legislation excludes Pre-K medallion holders from another opportunity to sell their medallions. All drivers over 70 had been given the change to sell when the Sales Pilot Program first went into effect.

Naturally, the measure led to a sharp division - generally between owners and medallion holders vs non-medallion holding drivers -  among both the Taxi Advisory Council and the people in attendance. 

Drivers on the Waiting List saw this as a good move for four main reasons: (1) Pre-K's have already made a million dollars off of each medallion, (2) They had a chance to sell last year and were greedy not to do so, (3) Even if they can't sell, they would still have a guaranteed income of over $2,500 a month and (4) The Pre-K medallions would ultimately end up going back to the Waiting List.

The owner/medallion holder faction argued that the legislation was: (1) Unfair because the medallion holders were not informed before they made their choice last year, (2) They should have the right to sell any time because, unlike Post-k's, they actually paid for their medallions.(3) Thus not to let them sell would be "unconscionable."

The owner faction moved to squash the legislation and the measure was put to a vote which ended in a six-six tie, meaning that the legislation goes to the SFMTA Board for public hearings and the final thumbs up or thumbs down.

You find the complete list of Revised Taxi Regulations at the SFMTA Taxi website.

1 comment:

  1. The sales program was designed to avoid taking meds. from those that are too sick or too old to drive thereby giving a dignified exit without having to forge waybills etc.
    Of course that is the stated reason. Generating ten million dollars to pay bus drivers with kinda figures in as well.
    I doubt if anybody paid more than $65,000 for a medallion and they have had them at least 33 years. They have known since 1978 that they could not sell them so it can't be much of a shock now.
    The guys on the waiting list seem to be all but forgotten at this point. Some even seem to think that the program was designed to put a med. in the hands of anybody that wants to buy one. It's a shame that MTA sent 1500 letters and got the hopes up of a lot of people that won't get to buy one.
    It may come back and bite me but I voted against pre-k's selling. So far I have been taken to task by one pre-k that inherited his med. for Christ's sake!