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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  November 1, 2018 5:00am-6:01am PDT

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that's why taxi -- it is extortion with medallion buyers. we knew delays seemed like a skeptical scuttle. it's ridiculous. we cannot sit four hours and make no money. [bell ringing] >> thank you, next speaker, please. >> hi. i got a very simple question. i'm one of the medallion owners who bought it for $250,000. i got a simple question. how long my miserable life is going to -- this young lady is trying to do something about it and those guys are talking with their miserable life. it has not come yet.
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i wish it comes. why? because i've been suffering for six years. i made money only for two years. but those guys have got millions of dollars. they're complaining have pity on me. it is for you guys to think about all the medallion holders. i am in debt of 70,000. i have two children in college. i can't pay for anything because somebody has ruined my life, but now this lady, her predecessor destroyed my life. she's trying to do something. this industry sometimes need a bitter pill. this could be the bitter pill. see what is happening in new york city. hedge fund has come in. why? because it's open market. if you close the market, the problem with the industry will continue. it's going to go down the drain. i totally support what she is doing. it is finally, it's better late than never. it took her six years to do this
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thing. please continue with this proposal. once you decide, make sure you pass this proposal, there is going to be shot in the arm. thank you very much. >> next speaker, please. >> i'm a driver for 25 years. i have a feeling that like you guys, über is holding something against you. the problem is right there. uber. regulate them. she spoke for almost half an hour. have you asked her what happened to any previous reforms?
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800 medallions, now they had a meeting to put me out of work. people usually don't ruin other people. look at it. all over the world. sit down and ruin our life. i'm begging you not to stop us from working. not to take other people medallion and pay for it. they're on fixed income. not to stop me from going to the airport to make a living. are you kidding me? how this proposal got to this point? are you here to vote to put me out of business? are you here to vote to put my kids out of college? you want me to camp outside here? are you kidding me? [bell ringing] please, vote right. >> thank you, next speaker, please.
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>> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is ron lee. i'm a native of san francisco. i lived here all my life. and you know, we've been taking taxi cabs all of our lives, you know before uber and lyft came in. and i just feel like the taxi service has done us a lot of good over many, many, many years. and i love to see them continue like the way they are, and i'm not a taxi driver, nor a medallion holder, but i support the taxi industry. and most of the taxi medallion holders are seniors and they really do need to keep the medallion so they can survive.
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it's their retirement. so, please, let them keep the medallions and let them go to the airport, wherever it is, let the business continue. we need them. they've always served san francisco and i hope they can always serve san francisco. thank you very much. >> next speaker, please. >> my name is joe. i'm medallion owner. i think what we do right now is create a problem to cover other problems. so my discussion is to stop uber and lyft for one month and tell me the taxi cab business is no good. you cannot hire anyone for taxi driver.
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>> thank you. next speaker, please. >> hello, i bought the medallion for $250,000. i have four kids. two in college. one in uc davis, one in san francisco. i live in hercules. you can imagine how much is going back and forth to davis every week and how much is every day come from hercules to san francisco back and forth. you are wise people, you can calculate how much it cost me. i make barely $100 for 10-11 hour shift. there was another guy saying how much money we are making. everything is clear, you can ask from the sfmta, they have all
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the paperwork, when we log on. and when we log off. it counts every single fare, how much it was and from where to where it was. now, have you ever seen so many people for how long? over here. i think last time you have seen like 60 years or 70 years ago, this kind of crowd. and after that, it is today. why? we have been screaming at being squished for last six years. have anyone come forward? to rescue us? and to give a hand to us? that you are in a dire situation, ok, come on, your insurance, we can just -- i am very scared that she have
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dismantled the fee about a thousand dollars and then the registration fee. but the thing is shame on these people who coming [bell ringing] -- have they -- excuse me, one point. only one point. >> i'm sorry. i'm sorry. your time it up. >> that's the problem, you give us only two minutes and we cannot finish. >> i'm sorry, next speaker, please. thank you, sir. >> i first drove a cab in 1969. been a medallion holder since 1997. i hope you noticed or felt the emotion, several of the speakers that have come here before you. i haven't seen that kind of emotion in the last 20 years i've been dealing and helping
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cab companies. i hope you paid attention to that. i think that the proposals that are before you, particularly the first three, i would say i definitely do oppose one by reducing the number of medallions in the city, all you're doing is reducing service to the public. it's ridiculous to be revoking those 260 medallions. also, at the same time, if you approved this, you'd be destroying the livelihood of the medallion holders, whose medallions would be devalued. but the last thing i want to mention that i hadn't really made notes about, was regarding tnc. you know, what we've been hearing for the last four or five years from the city, we can't do anything. we don't regulate them. what i'm reminded of is recently our governor and state officials
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stood up and said, hey, wait a minute, this is our state, we're not going to allow certain things to be done here that came down from the federal government. and i'm wondering why can't you take the same position? we're getting overrun with all these and stand up to the state and say, we need to do something because this isn't right? that hasn't happened yet. we need to stand up and do something about the tnc here in san francisco. >> ok. next speaker, please. >> i didn't know what i was going to say, but i'm going to wing it. i've been in this business for two decades. i was with yellow for 20. i know paul gillespie, he's a wonderful person and knows what he's talking about. i was promised a medallion in
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2000 when i signed up with the city to receive a medallion when my name came up on the list. ok, they called me. they want me to buy it for $250,000. have you lost your mind? i worked all my life to be in a better position as a cab driver. i served the public with my heart. i've been held up, attacked and persecuted by cab companies, customers, the airport, you name it. you can see it in my face. i paid my dues. where is my medallion? not to mention, where is my $300 i paid to get the medallion back from the city? ok. small city. seven miles. three miles is critical. 39 castro south of market downtown. all uber. we can't lose the airport.
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we will not be able to live. we will be homeless. you need to get this. and the airport has got millions of uber, 10,000 a day. 400 cabs there and you're saying we're causing the traffic problem. do the numbers. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> andrew son, president brinkman, members of the commission, thank you for spending all afternoon listening to these issues. these are complex and emotional. let me mention two things. one, i think commissioner tory mentioned a letter from five of the members, three additional members have endorsed the concept, so you may have eight members of the board of supervisors asking you to consider delaying the implementation of that.
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i think that's important because regardless of where we find ourselves today in the decisions that we've made in the past that may have led us there, i don't think we ought to be casting blame either at the people here, you folks there, or the situation that happened. 2010, san francisco mta decided to put 1800 medallions up for sale, value their 1800 at $250,000 a piece. that represented the fact that you at the agency were creating a $450 million enterprise fund. and i think it's important to look at it as a business. we essentially created in san francisco an asset that was valued at $450 million. and we were going to then allow people to buy into that asset at $50,000 to do that. from that starting point, we need to ask ourselves the question, do we at this point in time still believe that is an
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asset we ought to protect? that the sfmta should be in the business of providing point to point transportation? and are the decisions recommended today going to lead us to the point that we continue to protect the asset? what do we need to do to add value to the prices of the medallions if the price has fallen? what do we need to do to add value? let's look at the decisions in terms of where you want to be in the future. if you decide that you want to be out of the business, that's fine. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon i'm the c.e.o. of yellow cab. 18 months ago we acquired yellow cab out of bankruptcy and saved the company, kept it intact. since that time, we've consolidated with city wide and luxer.
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we represent 35% of the fleet. i've got a myriad of issues with the report that staff gave, but the main one is that everybody talked about is the airport restriction. this would, from an on owner of of company that is intimate with the finance part of the business, if you do not allow a cab to pick up at sfo, it will be operating at a loss and i would have to give those medallions back to the owners to sit in a drawer. it's represents 60% of the supply of cabs. these are numbers from sfmta. you would be dropping it 60%. this would have a dramatic effect on transportation in san francisco.
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staff's exploring of the recommendations with the industry consisted of them telling us what they were and then listening to feedback but not taking into account any of that feedback. my investment in this industry required a lot of capital. i made it because i firmly believe that the industry can become healthy again and driving a taxi cab can be a viable occupation. we're incest vesting in new -- investing in new technology and initiatives that will improve the quality of the service we'll provide the city of san francisco in homes that we can bring customers back to taxi cabs. that is the only solution we have here. medallions i don't believe are going to be worth $250,000. we have to bring customers back to san francisco and that's what staff should work with us to do. >> thank you very much. next speaker, please.
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hello. i own medallion 387. it's a pre-k. been driving 49 years. what you're trying to do is take my medallion away and i'm still working. i'm going to drive until i drop. i can't afford to pay all my bills. i hope you guys make the right decision, ok? thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> thank you, chairman. taxi workers alliance. i want to ask you to reject this proposal in its entirety. the first two points, the airport lockout, and the
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confiscation of the pre-k permits are both going to have terrible effect on services. the third main point is the idea of opening up medallion sales to the world seems more benign, but it's not. in the first place, at $250,000, very clear that nobody is going to buy. so then what are you going to do? drop it down to $125,000? and what if nobody buys there? go to 75, 50? and so forth. the only city that i'm aware of in the entire country where medallions are worth over $100,000 is new york city and they were worth over a million dollars a few years ago. and comparable cities like boston, chicago, the medallions are in the $30-70,000 range. so you know, keep that in mind. and you know, this is a broken system. and it needs to be fixed.
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and you know, i think there is a way to fix it and the way to fix it is to refund over time, the money that people have paid for the medallions, over the course of the years, and it's a question of, you know, priorities. it's a question of the will to do it. [bell ringing] when the unions come in and negotiate a contract, that's money that isn't there at that moment and the city finds it. there is now a proposal on the table from supervisor peskin for a ballot measure that would raise $30 million for uber and lyft, why couldn't a piece of that money go to pay off the medallion holders? it seems perfectly appropriate use for that money if this ballot measure passes. [bell ringing]. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> hi. >> one moment. if we have more speakers, please
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line up along the side of the room. that way we'll know how many we have left. anybody who wants to speak, please line up on the side of the room. thank you, sir, go ahead. >> my name is peter miller. my mom is a pre-k medallion holder. i want to say what it's like for my mom to wander around for the last five or six years, and she's watching her retirement slip away. it's so unfair and nobody wants to do anything. this is real, it's happening and it stinks. the other thing i want to say, the mta can't do anything, we don't have jurisdiction. the city has jurisdiction over the airport. the airport is private property. the city never had to allow uber and lyft to operate at airport, why don't you say uber and lyft can't pick up at the airport? it's a city issue. the airport commission could say they can't pick up at the
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airport, or we're going to have an equal playing field. let's ask for background checks, safety vehicle inspections and exterior trade. this is something they could do, they have not done it. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> i've been a cab driver over 12 years in the city and it's mind-blowing that you think taking options away from cab drivers would be a solution to anything. please reject the proposal. >> thank you, mr. lewis. next speaker, please. . >> good evening, gentlemen and ladies and gentlemen. my comment is simple and easy. >> give us your name. >> abraham. i drove over 12 years, yellow taxi. my comment is simple and easy. i hope this will give you sense.
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there is four, five times uber and lyft picking up more than taxis at the airport. uber lyft in the city. i drove uber to evaluate for 2-3 months to see how it works. in the airport, when you drive ubner the airport, some customers they pick up before you drop. the uber customer off. you know? so gentleman here says the condition -- the uber they do in the airport. not the taxis. so just i wanted to give attention to this. thank you.
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finally, please, be fair to the cab drivers. not only the medallion buyers. i hope that will fill you up with good judgment and thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. it look like this is our last speaker. if anyone else wants to speak, please stand up, if not, this is the last public comment. >> hi. my name is, i'm a taxi driver driving for nine years. i don't own medallion. i'm just a driver. i want to say like make the right decision. and when i drive the cab first time it was the easy job. but when i start driving, how they drive for 34 years. and most of them are like my dad, too young for that. and cab driving is the hardest job in the city.
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and serving for the public. and every drunk driver, anybody with us first. and the city, they have 25, 40,000 uber and lyft drivers. they make trouble and traffic in the city. the cab drivers. when you decided be fair, you know, i'm not saying like uber goes away or lyft cancelling, but be fair. there is seniors. without them, you can listen to 20, 40 people speaking and they're seniors now and been driving close to 50 years and you're making a lot of homeless. i have one comment for the mayor and she says she is cleaning the homeless people, but she brings more homeless in the city. and thank you. >> thank you.
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i see one more public comment. if there is anybody else, you need to line up now or this will be our last public comment. >> hi, how you doing. >> use the microphone, sir. >> i'm a taxi cab driver. i just want to speak -- >> sir, what is your name? >> gregory. >> thank you. >> born and raised in san francisco, cab driver. anyway, i want to speak on the airport thing really. you know, the app, i don't think it would work because a lot of people when you get off the plane, you're phone is not working and not only that, but a lot of people, they're not fond of uber and lyft anyway. a lot of times there is whole line of people waiting for us. and just to allow a certain amount of cabs, they're not going to wait for us. they're going to go somewhere
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else and they're waiting for us. they really do need us. a lot of times the airport is lined up waiting for us. that's about it. besides everything else. you know, that's what i are really wanted to say. they need us at the airport. >> thank you very much. do i have more public comment? and seeing none, public comment is closed. thank you. >> all right. directors? i would imagine we'll have questions. >> sure, i have questions to prove you prophetic. thank you for your patience, all your hard work. and we've heard a lot today and it may be a lot that wasn't expected. i'll start with a question about what we haven't heard today. and that is support. maybe two or three or four
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purchased medallion holders have come forward to speak for this proposal. i was on the taxi cab commission. i have supported proposals before that had no support from audience members, often because i thought the silent beneficiary of the proposal, the riding public, doesn't come to these meetings because it's not part of the industry, at least such that it would show up for these meetings. this proposal is not about the riding public or some anonymous group. this proposal, as i understand it, or the two controversial portions of it, and i think as a board we're going to be all right with the opening up of the purchase and with the waiver of the fee, this is to make their medallions more valuable or stemming the tide of defaults. why are they not here to support
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this? >> i think we did hear a handful of supporters, but some subtle messages in there and sometimes it's hard to pick up on the message. >> let me rephrase my question. >> if we heard from no one then i would be concerned that maybe there is some sort of intimidation going on. maybe there is misunderstanding. that would be really shocking. but we heard from very few of the 500 people. i guess my question is why? >> i think it's hard to speak publicly and take an opposing position on such a controversial matter. i think it speaks to the -- just as i mentioned at the outset, there are no easy answers, this is very difficult. we've heard testimony and heard the emotion and that's all real and we've been hearing that and trying to again, craft a solution. so i would go back to when we did our vetting, we did a poster session, because we thought it
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is hard to speak in public and take a position that is not popular. so with our written notes, there was clear support. so for the sfo piece, we had 76 supporting versus 44 not supporting. and then the balance, 42 supporters, 20 non-supporters. so i've got to go back to that. and look to that as feedback. as well. but understood. i just think it's a hard measure to support and i think that many focus on the buyback and want the buyback and that is not something we're proposing. >> so your thinking is that some people who may benefit from this are not supporting it because they view it as incremental and if we give them incremental change, it will increase the change we'll buy back the
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medallion. that could be one aspect. but i did hear the buyback feedback and that is something we have heard. >> just continuing since the chair asked for questions. maybe a lesson i'll keep in the back of my head. can you tell us where we are with respect to uniform app and efforts to have all of the taxi fleet on one app? >> i think that would behoove the industry to be on one app and that is something that mta supports. that is not something that the industry has been able to manifest at this point. so we have flywheel is the most commonly used app in san francisco. and i understand yellow cab is
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working on some potential new app as well. i would point out a number of years ago my predecessor did have a proposal for a universal app and i believe there was $6 million budgeted for that app and the industry, different factions in the industry, but the industry did not support that. i personally did not support that. my proposal as i think we legislated was to have a set requirement on the industry that they participate in some app. it is not working as successfully as i think it could. we heard support from that and i would continue to look at that. moving on with my question, there was some mention, i did not know, there is a two-tiered
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approach with some cabs going to the airport and others have not. have you looked at that? >> we did not look at that. it was not part of the report. that is something we could look into. >> then my final question, i know you all considered this, and i just wanted to get a little more sense of the reason that the so-called split medallion, there is different ways to play it out, at the most basic level, you take a medallion holder and give them another and say we misvalued it. here's another, no cost to you, do you want to sell one of them f $125,000 you can. at the basic level, the view there not enough to support 500 medallions on the street? >> we are interesting in pursuing that.
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would be a conversation and would need consent by the approved lender. >> but we haven't had that covering yet with the lender -- conversation yet with the lender about that proposal? >> correct. we've wanted to have that conversation. we have reached out. we have not been successful in having that conversation. >> is that because the lender opposes this, its phone is broken? what is the reason we haven't had this conversation? >> -- >> i've asked you an unfair question. >> we've attempted and the credit union has not been willing to engage in the conversation with mta. so, it was -- yeah. >> those are my questions. i have more to say, but those are my questions. >> do i have any other questions? if not, we can move into -- i
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can do a question, sure. >> so you put forth four separate elements for us to consider. the opening of the market. the sfo piece, the retransfer fee and the nonrenewal. i wonder if you could just reflect a little bit for the group here. the relative importance of each one of those four elements in terms of what you're trying to accomplish. and then i'll just ask the same question i asked to your colleagues, what are the specific objectives you're after and then how are you going to measure the success of this initiative and know whether these four proposed measures were in fact successful? >> sure, so i would group them in two main categories. the removal of the 5% retransfer fee and opening of the market. the goal there is to remove
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barriers, remove friction in the -- on the purchase side of the equation. and so that is about again, allowing opportunity and the other two, the sfo piece, i would say that would have the most direct impact on our purchase medallion holders, so i would prioritize that. i think that's the most impactful for this target group we're working to improve the situation for. and i would measure it by the one foreclosure rate, to stop the bleeding there and look at the pro forma analysis, that we update that analysis with the additional shifts. so to actually look at income and does that make a difference? and the way we've structured the proposal is that the director of
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transportation has the authority to set the requirements at sfo and allow those medallions to pick up or what medallion types can pick up. this could be changed nimbly than baking it into the actual legislation. and the final piece -- so i would say again, that has the most direct impact. that would make those purchased medallions more valuable. the drivers can still access sfo, so they can access sfo if this goes through and if the airport pickups are for purchased medallion holders, the drivers would drive the purchased medallions and to they would be able to pick up at sfo. again, a direct benefit for the purchased medallion holders. the final piece in terms of the supply, that is the corporate and pre-k, i would say that has a less direct impact, but again,
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pointing back to the pfm study, that is one of the recommendations. and so, 17% of medallion holders from the study are making a sustainable income. and so that is again working toward improving the income. >> just one follow-up question. so you mentioned that the goal is to reduce the rate of foreclosures or stem the rate, of the purchased medallion. i wonder, have other alternatives been explored to achieve that same end? sort of following different logic. one proposal to restrict the competition essentially at sfo of taxis only? i wonder, a lot of folks reflected on the tnc and we all understand that san francisco regulated authority over the tnc, but i wonder if any other
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creative thoughts have been put forward in terms of how to increase the revenue to the purchase medallion holders. >> we did engage with a consultant and one of the key recommendations from the consultant report, reviewed and vetted, but did not move forward is a color scheme. that is something that the consultant, nationally known expert, looked at, suggested and it's something we're not moving forward on. we also considered various schemes allowing color schemes only to purchase and decided again that would be to constrict the market. we have looked at other options. there are a lot of constraints obviously, a lot of challenges, so we're looking to move the lever where we can. first of all, let me take a note
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on how professionally you're handling yourself on this emotional issue. my history in the industry is such that when people disagree with you, they tend to attack you personally. we have ill wishes brought on my house. i take it in jest a little bit. but it is remarkable to me, no one attacks you personally. i think everyone respects you. i certainly respect you. so take that as a compliment to you as a member of the city government that, that is. now i get to ask hard questions and say things about your proposal. but seriously, congratulations to you. you carry yourself very well with this and you have my personal respect. >> thank you. >> the owner of our largest cab company here in the city and someone who has been a real help in formulating policies and certainly earned respect in the industry, a moment ago said that
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if you regulate the post k medallions or the k medallions, excuse me, this way with the airport restriction, they will cease to be operable. while you know, the director and i have talked about the goal, i understand one of the goals is to make the purchased medallions for valuable or arrest the rate of foreclosures. one of the other stated purposes is to increase cabs in the city, and make the businesses thrive and hopefully rejuvenate. have you considered what he said and any way studied the notion that if we regulate these k medallions and say they can't go to the airport, they'll just stop driving? >> i would say we don't have 100% proof, but to wait for the proof is difficult. we feel that the status quo is not working and we feel like we've put something in place
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that gives flexibility to see if it is not working then it can be adjusted. and i would say coupled with the reduction in supply. so coupled with the 260 corporate and pre-ks, if those are taken out of the system, the trips that were being provided on those medallions in the city would then fall out to the remaining earned medallion holders.
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>> the way it's been drafted is an ex pertation of those two classes of medallions and upon the expiration, those two classes of medallions would not exist anymore. >> let me rephrase the question. could we legislatively suspend those medallions for a year as opposed to not renewing them? >> it's something i would like to research. i don't initially have -- i don't think there's a legal impediment to taking that approach. it is something that we need to look at the way it would be legislated. >> i assume from your answer to the question that it's clear whether respect to the sfo approach, that if we said, only purchase medallion go to sfo and either it had no effect on the
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default rate or those cabs seizeseizeceased operating or wp with a better solution. at any time, district or riskin could change that and said we can go back to the airport? >> that's correct. >> obviously this issue in general has been started and ended with the concerns about price and supply. what can we do if anything, about the price? that is -- i mean at fundamentals of it all, the person who pointed out the price differential between a taxi and a tnc was not wrong and that's the reason that people take them. they're cheap. what can we do, if anything, to influence what the price is so it's more competitive? >> so right now, the transportation code does allow drivers to compete on price. any driver could charge less than what is on the meter at any time for any trip. there's not widespread support
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in general, to lower prices, to actually lower the actual fares. the drivers can compete on price. that's allowable, currently. >> the problem is the consistency that a customer is looking for that would have it any sort of impact and people don't want to hangel with theirr taxi drivers. >> it's a concept we've talked about. we've not had a warm reception from the taxi industry although that didn't stop us from coming before you today with reforms that are difficult. >> that something we can consider. that was also part of the recommendation related to full service color schemes that they could compete on price. there was a lot of different things bundled there. again, not a lot of support over all for that from the industry.
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>> i think, obviously this is less of a question and more of a comment. one of the challenges that we have is that i almost feel like we need to sell this industry off to a private sector entity that can figure it out. i feel we're not equipped to adequately deal with the market and the market is the challenge. you have a monopoly that works well if you have an monopoly which taxi ideas picked up serv. you can get away with a lot of different things. when you have players in the market who are not playing under the same rules, and there's not a way that you can bring them under the same rules, there's very little that we can do from this seat that will make that big of an impact. from my standpoint, i feel like we really have to figure out how we deal with the price and supply issue. fundamentally, that's the only area in which we can have some degree of influence. i feel that in one of the challenges and the reason these services exist because there
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wasn't enough supply. i worked way back in the day for gavin when he talked about tax season. people protested out of city hall, we'll have 15,000 cars instead. the thing is, there has to be plentiful. if you reduce the number of taxis people see on the streets it cree ace more scarcity and less usage. we can't go in the direction of people giving up medallions because that will worsen the problem. people are already perceived they couldn't get a taxi, it was the number one issue all my years in san francisco when i said i was involved in city government, people wondered why they couldn't get a taxi. we have to figure out, that's one of the reasons i have a problem with that recommendation about the expiration of the permits is because, creating more scarcity is not the answer, it's only going to doom the industry because you can't compete with less products, you have to compete with more products and it sounds counter productive but you do. we have to figure out the price side and we're still not dealing with that in these proposals and that's the direction that we
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need to go into. i think options one and three make a lot of sense in the rest are very problematic. we also need the industry to work with us on this. i mean, i think part of it is these companies they have a lot of money and mark petting and i just went on instagram and said how many followers could i find for uber or lyft and yellow cab and uber it's 906,000 and 145,000 for lyft and 112 for yellow cab. 31 for fly wheel, the app in general. it just shows you the lack of penetration in a lot of work that needs to be done there. i think we have to figure out how we can better partner with the companies to have the resources they need to be able to market and create things but the other things we need the drivers to support this. we need better customer service. we need cleaner taxis. we need a bottle of water and
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offer them to your customers. have some chargers. there's some basic things that i think we need to -- customer service standards that we want to promote and tell the customer that it's happening. there's reasons why people make choices. if you can't compete on price, you have to compete better. you have to be the most knowledgeable drivers, the cleaner cars. all those things. that's what we have to look at those sort of things. that makes a difference, right. i was sitting in a hotel room lobby downtown in the people were waiting forever for their ride share car to show up because it didn't know how inform get to the hotel because of the one way streets downtown. they asked the front desk, should i call a taxi. they said no, you want to not use a taxi they're dirty. i was horrified. i said to the people actually,
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you would have a taxi already. you would already be gone if you took a taxi. the problem is, there's a two-way street for all the things that we didn't, the mistakes we might have made or miss judging of the industry overtime. we need you all to be participants with us because consumers do have choices and we have to act as if we have choices. you have to be better. it's just like the small business shop owners on on a street. they can't compete on amazon on price. it's just figuring out how in the package work on those things because those are the differences are. i don't see that what we proposed here is is going to help the industry and i want to help the industry. i just feel we have to get to the root problem. it's price, supply and customer service. >> could i just speak to that? >> quiet, please.
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>> or maybe try to clarify. >> i think you make a lot of excellent points. with price, just to be clear, the way the code is written out, the board sets maximums. the certainty that was always a part of taxi service there's no surge price. you always know what you are going to pay. as director t to torrance said. the ability is within the hands of the taxi drivers. you may recall at some point there was a taxi driver sitting in the front row pitching the idea of a much lower flat rate to the airport. in order for us to address price, we either the industry needs to do it, and there's nothing to stop companies or drivers from doing it but for us to address price and come and
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say and more than $30 for the airport and that in some ways could be a pretty heavy handed move from us and this environment at what rate we would set that. >> it's a maximum prize. thinking a range or something that we propose to people, i don't know. >> effectively we have a range today and it's from the max to zero. we don't have anything that is viable for folks to surge. we can eliminate all price restrictions and that would be one thing that distinguishes and would go away and that would create that flexibility. with regard to supply, the the director gave which are the more important the not having all
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that potential supply sitting idle at the airport is what is kind the proposal to limit the number of vehicles that are at the airport. right now there are hundreds of vehicles at the airport and we've heard a lot of good and valid reasons for that but those taxis are not serving people in san francisco. we're trying to shift the supply to san francisco while at the same time shift the value and the medallions to those who earned and paid for them. it's -- i don't believe that we're, at least the intent is not to move supply from san francisco, it's to try to push supply that is sitting idle at the airport to the city and to push the rides into the medallions that were earned or purchased. >> i do have a question to that. maybe i missed it. was there a focus group or study done of consumers and their choices and why they -- what
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motivates them? >> we can do that and i can liftoff 20 reasons off the top of my head. i go out to community events. >> for sure. but what would move the needle. at the end of the day, it's like when you have a political campaign and you ask questions and you know what the test questions are but you find out that some things move the needle and some don't. we know the laundry list of why people don't take taxis but have we investigated what make it take to transition people. part of the problem is we think we're solving -- we think we're answering a question the consumer has. this is about consumer demand and not about what we can -- we have the regulatory problem over the agency but we don't control the consumers and it's just, i just wonder why we've never looked into if there are things that would shift behavior. >> right. you know, i see the business in
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the taxi industries court like running the business, improving customer service. training their drivers. we train to proficiency but that additional training, how to work the city. where do you have the best pick ups in the city. getting on one app. that is for the industry. i think that it would behove them if they want the rider ship and those questions and how to get customers back. they're great for the taxi customers owners. we're promoting a solution and solve a problem and sadly. we are learning is meeting with the medallion and generally, it's all in the hands with the consumer and if we believe the industry is worth saving and provides a public service in there we have to do that.
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>> we understand what the problems are and what the consumers have told us and how they've voted with their feet. another point on supplies that they're is attrition in the industry and it's happening in the purchase medallion holders segment and it's that 164 closed medallion and so that's of concern for us again and so yes, we've tried to balance these various proposals and put something together that is within and study and look at overtime so we set it up in a way that provides flexibility.
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>> i guess i would say just like our muni survey of riders. it would make sense to do around taxis. i just feel like if we can't shift change demands, ultimately, then the taxis won't survive so we pass reforms so they don't exist anymore. i just feel like that's a i understand we're not in the business and marketing and running taxi agencies and we put ourselves and we have to respond and model. >> i agree and hence the proposal today and that shows that the taxi industry is important to us and we value this as transportation system and we're working to find the right solution. those solutions it's not a broad range and no taxi solution has
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been adding medallion and which .those were long scheduled. >> i don't disagree. i think the mistake was we didn't do those things earlier. >> what is your pleasure? >> yes. >> i suppose i would be interested to see what would happen if we started just with opening up purchases to corporations, right, and seeing in anybody would step forward. giving it time to see what might come with that. any asset, if you limit the buyers it will depress the value of that relative to what it could be if you had more buyers, especially those with deep pockets. i feel like it would be interesting to see what could happen if we gave that time and saw hey, what did we accomplish with the leverage that we have
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if we can offer it to someone with red lanes, curb space and things we do control. >> i think that this has been an incredibly informative and painful day. the way i look at it, we really have two choices. we do nothing and we watch this industry just continue to die. death by a thousand cuts. everybody goes down the drain with it. or we do something and we hopefully drive value back to those purchase medallions and i'll be honest, i am empathy for everybody but i have so much empathy for the people who stepped up and purchased medallions and the fact that they are forecasting and the fact that they are stuck. they invested in this industry. i know all the drivers invested many, many years driving. i think opening up the buyer market without doing other