Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Interim Director of Taxis and Accessible Services Appointed

From the new Interim Director of Taxis and Accessible Services. (Don't have a photo of her. It's Ed Reiskin at right.)

Dear PCC Members and Friends,

I am writing to let you know that my role at the SFMTA has expanded - I have been appointed Interim Director of Taxis and Accessible Services. This is a very exciting opportunity to lead a dynamic division at this critical time, and I am honored to have been selected.  It has also been an honor to have worked with the PCC for the past 15 years. Although my role has changed, I am not going away, and I will still work on Paratransit issues, albeit in a different capacity. I have enjoyed working with you all during my tenure as Paratransit Manager and I look forward to working with you in my new role as well.

 Jonathan Cheng will take on an expanded role in the Paratransit Program. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Jonathan at jonathan.cheng@sfmta.com or give him a call at 701-4597. Please feel free to email me as well.

Below is the official announcement that Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation, sent out earlier today.

Christiane Hayashi, Director of Taxis and Accessible Services, is retiring from her position after six years of service with the SFMTA and 24 years with the City and County of San Francisco.

Chris became Director of Taxis and Accessible Services in 2008. Before that she was a Deputy City Attorney for 18 years. She was a lead in rewriting the city's procurement laws and the 2007 Transportation Code to replace the 1940 Traffic Code. She represented the SFMTA from 2004 on the City Attorney’s Transportation Team. Ms. Hayashi received her Juris Doctor degree from Hastings College of the Law, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Chris’ tenure at the SFMTA was a case study in managing change during a period of turmoil and strife in the taxi industry. In addition to managing the transition of taxi regulation from the former Taxi Commission to the SFMTA, she mediated an intensive industry debate that resulted in establishing the Taxi Medallion Transfer Program, the first San Francisco taxi medallion reform in 32 years, resulting in more than $50 million in new revenue to the SFMTA since 2010 and generated a Driver’s Fund of over $3.5 million to be used for the benefit of taxi drivers.
Facing taxi technology head on, Chris required passenger displays in all taxis for improved passenger information and payment convenience. She developed equipment and software standards for blind and low-vision accessible passenger displays that are being adopted by other jurisdictions across the country and implemented the RideIntegrity software system that is providing, for the first time, comprehensive, real-time data from the taxi industry to support regulatory enforcement and transportation planning. 
Chris also established the country’s only part-time “single operator” taxi permit to address peak demand in a manner that benefits experienced taxi drivers, and built a strong SFMTA regulatory structure and taxi enforcement team from the ground up.  She has been a dedicated public servant for 24 years, and a fierce advocate for public safety and transportation efficiency since she has been with the SFMTA. 

I thank Chris for her dedication and tenacity to improving both para transit services and the regulation of taxi services, and for her unremitting support of the taxi industry

Kate Toran will take on the role of Interim Taxis and Accessible Services Director, effective June 23, 2014.

Kate brings 15 years of experience with the SFMTA in the Accessible Services Program, where she served as the Paratransit Manager, working with the taxi industry on such initiatives as the implementation of the paratransit debit card project, ramp taxi incentives and enforcement of paratransit taxi requirements. During her tenure, she expanded the paratransit network of services to include a grocery shopping shuttle for seniors and people with disabilities (Shop-a-Round) as well as a shuttle service for groups of senior and disabled individuals going to social and cultural events (Van Gogh).

With experience in both the paratransit and taxi arenas, Kate understands the public process and is able to work with diverse stakeholders. She also has a strong understanding of the taxi regulatory environment and has built productive working relationships with representatives from the major San Francisco taxi industry stakeholder groups, including drivers, medallion holders and color scheme management. Kate has a Master’s of City Planning degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

The appointment of Kate demonstrates our commitment to improving both Taxis and Accessible Services. I am pleased at the prospect of continuing our progress to deliver the best possible results to those who depend on these services.

Kate Toran

Interim Director, Taxis and Accessible Services Division
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
One South Van Ness Avenue, Seventh Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

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