The International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) 2021 Regulator of the Year award went to Rupal Bapat, Deputy Commissioner of the Public Passenger Vehicle Operations Division at the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP). Known for helping to make Chicago a greener city, Bapat also quintupled the number of wheelchair accessible public vehicles in Chicago and was one of the first transportation regulators to establish and implement a framework to license and regulate app-hail companies.
Ms. Bapat, a licensed attorney, has built a career dedicated to public service and consumer protection. Since her tenure with the City of Chicago, she has implemented and enforced laws and policies geared to protecting consumers against fraud, deceptive practices, and unsafe policies.
IATR President Matt Daus described Rupal – who he has known for more than a decade – as “a dignified, ethical and driven regulator,” who “basically flipped the equation of alternative fuel vehicles from a policy standpoint… and was a trailblazer on wheelchair accessibility.”
Most recently, Ms. Bapat served on the IATR’s public health & safety task force, playing a critical role in designing the IATR’s COVID-19 pandemic best practices and model regulations. Since assuming her role as Deputy Commissioner 11 years ago, she has eliminated outdated practices and streamlined licensing processes creating an efficient licensing experience with an economical use of staff and resources. In this role, she has been instrumental in modernizing, including leading-edge data reporting and public sharing, the licensing and regulatory framework for existing and new public passenger vehicle licensees.