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tv   [untitled]    July 10, 2011 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT

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let me ask you the director of the program to explain. >> my understanding is the mta roughly divided the number of potentially eligible schools into half. at the plans and programs committee, some commissioners asked whether there was the ability to shift schools between group two and a group one, and mta said that the crews were already being legislated, but there could be some flexibility to allow certain schools to begin before the others. commissioner mirkarimi: any other questions or comments for staff? any public comment? is there anyone from the public that would like to comment on this item? >> my name is nick,
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sustainability director for the school district. i have not come to grips with climate change it. on the other hand, in my job, i have done a lot to promote alternative transportation to and school districts. i am mindy appeared to see if you have any questions about our program -- i am mainly appear to see if you have any questions about our program, in general. this summer, we will be expanding a solar power program. we will also be finishing up the bike rack installation that every school by the end of the summer. this also includes 15 schools this year and we now have more money to continue that. we are also working with mtc to spread the word about the new school pool website that will allow parents driving from one side of the town to another to link trips.
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of course, the 15 mile per hour zone would promote health safe ar. we are creating a climate that is conducive to that request. i am mainly appear to answer any questions you may have, but of course, we are fully in support of 15 m.p.h. zone. commissioner mirkarimi: director moscovich. >> [unintelligible] commissioner mirkarimi: thank you to the school district. any other public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioner mar. commissioner mar: i was going to the knowledge reggie bahtia is here from the help department. he has been championing this
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issue. commissioner mirkarimi: any other comments or questions? same house, same call. so moved. next item. >> item 9. approve the strategic analysis report on the role of shuttle services in san francisco's transportation system. this is an action item. commissioner mirkarimi: any comments or questions, colleagues? commissioner weiner. commissioner weiner: thank you. first of all, i want to thank tsa staff for this study. this was requested by my predecessor, supervisor dufty. although corporate shuttles are in various parts of the city, there isn't a significant presence of corporate shuttles in district 8, particularly in noe valley, parts of the castro. these corporate shuttles, in my personal in view, provided a
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critical service to our city and many residents of our city, in terms of allowing people to live here who may not otherwise do so if they were required to commute by car every day, and by getting a lot of people out of their cars, providing significant transportation service to the city that we do not have to pay for. it provides significant benefit to the environment. of course, it is appropriate for us to make sure that we are working closely with these corporate shuttles, making sure they are being respectful of our streets, neighborhoods, and i applaud the ta for undertaking this study so we can move to a system where the shuttles can do what they need to do, but in a way that is very collaborative with the city, mta.
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one thing i want to stress is that the vote today is not to approve implementation or every recommendation, finding in the plan. my understanding is we are accepting the report. i know there has been discussion that some of the data in the report was from several years ago and there had been changes since then. it may be inappropriate to refresh some of the data. for example -- it may be appropriate to refreshed some of the data. for example, a few years ago, when the data was collected, there were more shuttles on the streets but there were fewer complaints. so we need to consider that there may -- the industry may be self-regulating in a way that has improved the situation. after today, the mta, working with the ta, shuttles, will move
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forward on possibly crafting a regulatory scheme. that will move through the mta. they will be ultimately responsible for implementing that schema. e. again, just saying, today's vote is not treating the regulatory scheme, just accepting this result, which was a lot of hard work and byta. i just want to put that out there. >> commissioner weiner, a summary that you have made of this is correct and your assumptions are correct as well. as i have said to you and others on the board before, i am not a friend of excessive regulation and i do not want to see a new bureaucracy spring up, a new
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issue. we could be getting benefits rather than an impact. but it is appropriate for the city to understand what its relationship is to this phenomenon, which is getting people out of their cars, clearly, and benefiting sustainable transportation and so on. the intent is to be able to look at this in a rational way. we are hoping that the structure is as minimalist as possible. if there is anything that should cause regulation, it will be minimal, and it will be there to guide the relationship, more than to impose a burden on private sector transportation. the other thing i would like to say, which is more important, is
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the fact and that we are seeing these shuttles. talking to colleagues in chicago, new york, washington, d.c., we see the same phenomenon around the country. it is providing a nice amount of food for thought in our long- range transportation plan, which is underway right now. it calls into question our traditional definition of transit. people in a bus would be considered transit, but of course, we are having trouble defining this as transit. the question that comes to mind is, why are these people not taking regular transit? why are they not taking caltrain? we have asked that question anecdotally, and they say it takes too long, too many issues. there are fixed route issues that cannot be addressed. they are pertinent issues to this market that we're talking
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about. young professionals with very high standards about how transit is presented. clearly, they do not want to drive. they have a commitment to share transportation, but they want to be somewhere where is clean, wi- fi. i believe the future of transit is opening up those boxes, which we are currently, and thinking about it much more broadly, so that the customer out there will want to take transit. we need it as much within san francisco as much as we do in the longer trips. no answer it right now, but a discussion that we would like to engage you all in. commissioner weiner: i appreciate the comments and i agree. two other points i wanted to make. one of the most important things, at least for many of my constituents, is having a centralized source of
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information, somewhere where they know they can call if they have a complete, if there is a route that is calling a problem -- causing a problem, if a driver is causing a problem. right now, the mta has someone dedicated to that. i just wanted to make sure that we move in that direction, and making sure that shuttles are easily identified all, what company it is. my second point is, i know that tour buses were also part of this discussion. i said this in plans and programs, and i will reiterate. it is important that we not lump corporate troubles in with for buses. corporate shuttles do not have nearly the same kind of negative impact that we have seen from some of the tour buses. i just want to remind people, and these are separate issues in a lot of ways.
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>> commissioner weiner, i think we heard from commissioner farrell as well about the issue on shuttles. i would go back to the earlier discussion we had about the need for some sort of structure so we can make sense of those relationships. having the capability, as you said, in the city, in the mta, to deal with it -- and frankly, for you to refer about your own office, constituents complaining -- to give you rhyme or reason for why things are happening. not all of these phenomena are good or bad or black and white. it depends on the context in which they are happening. it is important to have intelligent answers for people who have questions. part of that is developing that capability at mta to deal with the issue related to how regular
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transit happens and how the streets are managed. commissioner mirkarimi: thank you. commissioner farrell. commissioner farrell: let me thank commissioner weiner for his comments. i agree on the value of these shuttles. to the director, thank you for thinking out of the box, thinking about how this impacts young professionals. that is great. we see a huge increase in these shuttles in my district, district 2. i completely agree as well on the comment from separating them out from tour buses. the one area that i wanted to ask you about, in relation to this context about their relationship together -- they are so separate, but in my
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district, we have complaints in many of the same ways, in terms of streets they are not allowed to be on but others are on every day. we do not have enforcement dollars to enforce this. how do you think about that in the context -- these are distinct groupings -- but at the same time, they are in our neighborhood. how do you monitor that together and as related to this report? >> i go back to the cab yet -- caveat leading the report, saying this is not about for buses. we could essentially make the case that it is important to have a structure to look a tour buses. commissioner farrell, my staff is tired of hearing this -- transportation is not an end unto itself. all of this is in contact with the city. if we had to change our logo it
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might be "loving the city" or something like that. this requires a balancing act. tourism is our biggest industry right now. we do not want it to go away. it is not about antagonizing tour bus operators. on the other hand, enforcement is a big issue, and a big expense. women go to the pleas to part with any kind of enforcement, they are busy with other things. the final analysis tends to be more important. we want that goal to be met as well. then we have the whole business of police work, transportation, a tour bus work for transportation. we do not want to have that happen for limited resources. but there are some things that we can do -- and i am not the expert on tour buses. in my experience, when those things are design-related, the shape of the streets, places where buses go, we tend to have
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more success and less need for enforcement. to give you a probably bad example, parks and buses is an issue. staging for a tour bus would be different for a shuttle that comes by the neighborhood. of course, we are serving a different constituency. the shuttle bus is serving the residents who are choosing to live in san francisco and work somewhere else and return to the city as soon as they can. we do not want to discourage that. with the tourists, it is different. but the idea is not to create hostility, facilitate the work that the tour bus operators have to do, bringing them through attractions and the city. -- in the city. as much as possible, doing physical improvements to guide
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the work of a tour bus operators. i think that would be the preferred alternative. then when regulation is needed, making sure it is minimal and making sure it goes to make sure that people understand and self-regulate as much as possible. that is something that we're interested in, not just in this area. whether it is intersection capacity, high-speed rail, any of the things we are looking at. trying to find a way for people to empower themselves. and have a sense of the period of time it would be necessary to get certified, to get licensed to do whatever they have to do and make that as minimal as possible. commissioner farrell: thank you. i look forward to working on this in the future but also keeping for buses and commuter
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buses distinct, but also understanding that they have their own issues to be addressed as well. regarding the data presented, i think about the usefulness of this data in other aspects. how many people use these buses? that is also how many jobs are leaving san francisco on a daily basis. the question i have is, regarding the data, the lag time of a few years, is that just perpetual in the collection of data in annual report? is there any other way to have more real time numbers? >> commissioner farrell, it is an easy question but it had different layers. i will be very brief with you on this. the lag for the data in this report is just a result of the
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sar process. we need to consult with all the parties. it takes time. at some point, you have to stop collecting data to do the report. one of the goals in the process is precisely to set up a data collection mechanism that is not expensive and can generate more up-to-date data, at any given point, and be of use for other persons as well. we have a good track record in terms of designing systems that can do that. you may or may not be familiar with our cycle track application system. we develop an application for iphone and android platform that we give free to bike users so that they can track their own use of routes through the city. that gives us a never-ending stream of data that we do not need to pay anyone to collect. we could easily do something like that, an adaptation for the
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folks on the bus. they are high tech and would probably love to do it. we would get a good sense of utilization over time without spending money. we need to avail ourselves to social media and high-tech stuff that most people are now comfortable with, to go into the future with a more real time body of data that we can take advantage of for our analysis. that would also allow us to do more tracking of the before and after, gives you a more comfortable sense whether the policies we are suggesting to you is working or not. commissioner mirkarimi: thank you. commissioner campos. commissioner campos: just a brief comment to put this report in context. this report was conducted at the request of former commissioner bevan dufty. from my perspective, it is the beginning of a process, dialogue about the various issues
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implicated, not only in commuter buses, but tour buses. i think it is really about giving us the tools to be able to have an informed discussion. my plan as the chair of plans and programs is to make sure the item comes back and that we continue to have this dialogue, to the extent that if anything is introduced, that it is informed with as much of information as possible. i do think we have to be careful, in the process of addressing some of the concerns, that we also strike the right balance and not over regulate commuter buses that are playing an important role. so it is a balance, but dithe beginning of a process. the language in the resolution is a little odd but essentially it is accepting of the report. we do not need to agree with every item in there.
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commissioner mirkarimi: commissioner chiu. commissioner chiu: i wanted to make a brief comment. i asked the mta to look into tour bus policies, separate from shuttle services. i hope the two agencies are working together, obviously with the expertise that the ta now has around shuttle services, the mta around for bus services. i cannot agree more with our former colleagues comments. tors buses are creating significant neighborhood and transit and environmental parking issues that need to be resolved in a way that allows tourists to enjoy san francisco, but this is different from the situation involving local san franciscans living in the city and commuting out. we need to focus on both, and i want to reiterate the importance
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of coordinating at work. commissioner mirkarimi: thank you. i have a question. i noticed what was not in the report was any reference to the commuter benefit ordinance, the mandatory commuter benefit ordinance, and i think, has some relationship to the increase of corporate shuttles. we think for future conversation, there could be some context, since the city is requiring companies that have 20 or more employees to provide for the pre-tax recovery of their transit cost. the use of those corporate shuttles is included in that benefit. i did not see that in here. >> thank you for the question. you did not see it, partly because -- first of all, it is a conversation we are going to have as the process moves forward. once you talk about a framework
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for discussing all of these issues, that benefit has to be included. the sar was focused on impact, and putting those impacts in context, not so much on the benefits part. also, there are different angles, depending on the employer, as to whether this service is something that is employee-paid or company-paid. company shuttles are paid for by the company and salts the commitments issue. employees are already getting paid. as you can see, it is a rich topic and we will be dealing with as we move forward. commissioner mirkarimi: i look forward to seeing that delineation, whether it is employee or company-paid, or reimbursed somehow. colleagues, any further questions or comments? any public comment?
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>> my name is brought to cut. i work at google, and the community government affairs representative. -- veronica. i appreciate you all taking the time to hear all sides of the issue. supervisor weener, i appreciate your brain of the question of what we're actually voting on. when we are voting on issue 8, on the funding, the cta suggested its funding for a pilot program. i am confused. the sar refers to a partnership program. it was just voted on that there was funding for that. yet, we are saying in the sar we are not moving forward with recommendations. if i could just have some clarification. >> there is a pilot program already funded by a sizeable
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grant from mtc. it they have the same interest we have in seeing these shuttles prosper. frankly, they provide such a compliment to regular fixed route transit. we want to make sure there is a structure put in place that can facilitate that work so that we do not have just the occasional neighborhood person complaining about it and no structure to answer it. that is essentially what the pilot is for. it is not to create a bureaucracy and it is not to automatically come to a conclusion to charge shall operators to be licensed. but simply, to explore that at no cost to the operators. i should also say, we are delighted we have had the participation of several of the companies that run shuttles in the city, including google, in putting together the reports. they definitely met with us and
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answered some of the questions. so we are not going for [inaudible] we are essentially trying to create a structure for analyzing this. that is what the pilot will do. once the pilot is done, the mta and probably this body will get another shot at whether there are any regulations going into play. commissioner mirkarimi: i do not want to deplete all your public comment, but it just did exhaust itself. if you would like to continue, my colleagues can ask you a question. otherwise -- commissioner weiner. commissioner weiner: i just want to reiterate that i have been
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assured that corporate providers will be intimately included in this and this will be a collaborative process. my office will be deeply involved as well. also, i know that several other companies have been involved in the process but i have only seen google coming to these meetings. at least in my experience, in my district, apple has significantly more of a shuttle presence. there are probably at least double the number of apple buses in the district than there are google buses. i do not know what the explanation is. i just want to make sure that apple is a significant part of the discussions, and that they start coming to things as well. >> i have been in touch with apple, so i will reiterate that to them. in this pilot period, i would to see in the report, and deadline date for the pilot so it is not continuing on.
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fixed amount to pilot, then look of the results, then come back. commissioner mirkarimi: thank you. any other public comment? please step forward. >> executive director of what san francisco. this item i just wanted to encourage the board to continue to look at the private shuttle services. there was a pedestrian killed by a ucsf shuttle in the tenderloin not long ago and brought up issues about how these troubles are regulated, how do we keep them safe, how do we coordinate with the city's public transit service? i would also like to take the opportunity to thank the ta board for the earlier item that included the safer speed zones around the city schools. we are excited about this. it has been a big campaign for what san francisco. commissioner mirkarimi: thank you. any other public comment? seeing none, public comment is
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closed. colleagues, this is an action item. roll-call. >> [roll call] 10 ayes. commissioner mirkarimi: item passes. next item. >> introduction of new items. commissioner mirkarimi: introduction of new items? any public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. we will take this same house, same call. any public comments? >> any public comments? supervisor mirkari