Kate Toran, who was in charge of the Paratransit Programme at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), has been appointed Interim Director of Taxis and Accessible Services. She succeeds Christiane Hayashi who retired from SFMTA after 6 years in the ‘taxi hot-seat’ and 18 years with the City and County of San Francisco as Deputy City Attorney.
Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation commented: “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.” Apart from that she established the country’s only part-time ‘single operator’ taxi permit to cope with peak demand in a way that benefits experienced taxi drivers and created a strong SFMTA regulatory structure and taxi enforcement team from scratch.
Kate has been working for 15 years with the SFMTA in the Accessible Services Program, where she served as the Paratransit Manager. She has been working with the taxi industry on 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). The appointment of Kate demonstrates SFMTA’s commitment to improving both Taxis and Accessible Services.” In the Paratransit Programme Kate has been succeeded by Jonathan Cheng as Paratransit Manager.
• Christiane Hayashi leaves the SFMTA and Kate Toran takes over as Interim Director of Taxis and Accessible Services.