From left to right: Brendan Sexton, Independent Drivers Guild; Sam Jurkowicz, Voyager Global Mobility; Jodie Lethgo, Vice President of North America, Career Driver; Matthew Daus, IATR President; Bob Dougherty, Buckle; Hamed Yazdi, Rideshare Mechanic; and Ira Goldstein, Black Car Fund.

IATR’s 35th Annual Conference Recap

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Transportation Equity & Rockin’ Regulation in Memphis!

IATR’s 35th Annual Conference Recap


The International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) held its 35th Annual Conference at the famous Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tenn. in September 2022 – our first in-person conference since the pandemic – with attendees from around the world meeting to discuss post-pandemic realities, technology, and best practices. The theme of this year’s conference was Transportation Equity, and the civil rights history of Memphis was a perfect location to gather to discuss the mobility topics of the day and our future.

The IATR conference was a tremendous success by all accounts, with overwhelmingly positive reviews of the content, speakers, entertainment and networking, as well as projects completed and underway. Everything was “all equity, all the time!” We started with a day-long bootcamp on “transportation” equity, then held a wide variety of plenary sessions that covered topics ranging from Uber working with taxis, to congestion pricing/mitigation, driver issues, Robotaxis (autonomous/driverless cars), nighttime mobility, mobility data management, and our first-ever “unconference” (where attendees pick the discussion topics). We also welcomed excellent keynote speakers that included Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Senior Advisor Veronica McBeth and the return of Uber to the IATR, with a special video address by Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, and by Paul Picinich, General Manager of Taxis & Fleets at Uber.

Veronica P. McBeth, Federal Transit Administration (right); and Matthew Daus, IATR President.

In addition to the substance of the training program, the conference attendees had an opportunity to understand more about the contributions that Memphis has made to civil rights through music, via the off-site events at Stax Museum of American Soul Music (the historic R&B/Soul record label) and the IATR Gala dinner held at Graceland – the home of Elvis Presley. At the Gala event, David Do, Commissioner/Chair of the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC), was awarded the prestigious IATR Regulator of the Year Award. The IATR’s Driver of the Year Award went to Matthew John Westfall, a London black cab driver who led humanitarian efforts to help Ukrainian refuges over the Polish border. Finally, on a somber note, IATR held a moving memorial ceremony for the late IATR board member and Australian Committee Co-chair Bill Gonis, who will be sorely missed by all of us.

From left to right: IATR leadership presented an in memoriam plaque delivered to the Gonis family are: Cammie Chaumont Menendez, IATR Safety Committee Chair; Matthew Daus, IATR President; Carlton Thomas, IATR Board Chair; Jarvis Murray, IATR Technology & Innovation Committee Chair; and Rupal Bapat, IATR Accessible Transport Committee Co-Chair.

The late Bill Gonis, IATR Board Member and IATR Australian Regulator Committee Co-Chair.

IATR missed seeing many of our Canadian members this year in person, mostly due to budgetary and travel restrictions. However, in this virtual age, we will allow our members who could not attend to access the videos and proceedings of the conference for a significantly reduced service fee (details to be announced in the near future).

We are hoping for a completely restored international attendance in 2023, as IATR moves towards its 36th year, when we will be going to Arizona. We plan to arrange for conference attendees to take rides in driverless Robotaxis, now that ride hailing is legally taking place without any human drivers in Phoenix and Chandler, Ariz. Next year’s conference will also take a deep dive into electrification, autonomous vehicle deployment and modernizing taxicab regulations, among other topics of interest.

To keep up to date on 2023 conference details, follow the IATR at and/or social media outlets, or ask to be placed on our mailing list for news and updates by contacting

IATR 2022 Keynote Speakers

As usual, the IATR was honored to have some great keynote speakers. The welcome remarks were given by Kevin Kane, CEO and President of Memphis Tourism, and Ted Townshend, Head of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce. They introduced Memphis as the home of many musical genres and a lively city filled with many things to enjoy. Of note, both highlighted how Memphis Airport has been redeveloped as an international hub, especially with the world headquarters of FedEx being located in Memphis. Mr. Townsend also discussed many of the innovative new ways that Memphis has been leading transportation services, including an app that provides affordable rides, scooters, and many other initiatives that make it easy to navigate the city.

This conference was historic in that it marked the return of Uber, a “kinder and gentler app” than when prior leadership locked horns with IATR members during the early days of regulatory disruption under founder Travis Kalanick. Around 10 years ago, at the IATR’s 25th Anniversary conference in DC, the IATR and Uber were at odds over model regulations for smartphone apps and the best way to regulate these new services and technologies. After many years of legislative, court and media battles, Uber finally changed its approach with new leadership under Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s CEO, who has shown respect for government regulators and who has taken the organization to new levels in just a few short years.

Dara Khosrowshahi, Chief Executive Officer of Uber, delivering virtual keynote.

The IATR-Uber rapprochement was a few years in the making, but this was the first time Uber representatives showed-up in person to mend fences and move on in a positive direction. The timing could not have been more perfect with the regulatory olive branch Uber offered to the taxi industry by partnering with their former nemesis, and Uber’s commitment to work with regulators, and not against them. A new day has dawned, and IATR hopes for a better regulatory future by working with the industry to proactively reform regulations to facilitate these new partnerships, and other disruptive technologies that are on the way (such as driverless cars). Mr. Khosrowshahi sent a video address to the conference that can be watched here:

Veronica P. McBeth, Senior Advisor at the Federal Transit Administration, presented an important keynote address stressing the importance of considering equity in transportation planning. She further discussed how the federal government is committed to improving transportation for all, directing investments to being more equitable, to include all underserved communities. Ms. McBeth also shared how the current administration is working on reducing transportation fatalities, investing in infrastructure, and increasing coordination with all stakeholders to improve transit nationally.

As IATR President, I gave the annual State of IATR speech, highlighting the evolution of IATR over the years to become more inclusive and diverse in its mission, Multi-Modal Mobility for All, and its constituents from around the globe. IATR is working on growing its international constituency even further by creating committees for every region in the world. As the pandemic spread, IATR took a leadership role in guiding regulators how to respond, and provided a daily newsletter updating the community with COVID and transportation related news. The rapidly changing transportation environment also has IATR continuing to provide model regulations for regulators to use as a guidelines – on topics ranging from rooftop advertising, accessible transportation, smartphone applications, congestion mitigation, autonomous vehicle testing and deployment, as well as a new project involving the modernization of taxi regulations.

2022 IATR Awards

IATR Regulator of the Year Award – David Do of New York City TLC! The IATR’s Regulator of the Year for 2022 was awarded to David Do, Commissioner and Chair of the NYC TLC. David Do was nominated to serve as Commissioner and Chair of the TLC – my former role – by Mayor Eric Adams on April 28, 2022, and was confirmed by the City Council on May 19, 2022. Already he has led the agency’s efforts to help drivers achieve the first taxicab rate of fare increase in over a decade, implement an enhanced medallion bailout fund program, and to allow more electric vehicles on the road to help the environment.

From left to right: Carlton Thomas, IATR Board Chair; David Do, New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission Chair; Rupal Bapat, IATR Accessible Transport Committee Co-Chair (and IATR’s 2021 Regulator of the Year); and Matthew Daus, IATR President.

Previously, Commissioner Do served as the Director of the Washington, D.C. Department of For-Hire Vehicles (DFHV), where he oversaw the city’s fast-moving and competitive for-hire vehicle industry. In this role, Commissioner Do improved the driver and passenger experience by leveraging technology and data analysis to drive decision-making, enhance efficiency, and improve administrative processing. Under his leadership, DFHV created a centralized dispatch platform through which residents can summon a wheelchair-accessible taxi, and successfully launched DC Microtransit, an on-demand shuttle service to meet travel needs for residents living in hard-to-reach areas. Commissioner Do also led DFHV’s COVID-19 response, overseeing the delivery of food to vulnerable residents, the installation of protective vehicle barriers, and the distribution of personal protective equipment to the industry so that drivers could continue to operate safely, while spearheading an Industry Recovery Blueprint.

Norma Reyes IATR Regulator Scholarship Recipients. The Norma Reyes Scholarship was established in 2013 in memory of the late former Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP). As an active member of the IATR, an accomplished lawyer, and public servant, Norma truly left her mark on the world and on her IATR friends and colleagues. The Norma Reyes Scholarship provides a chance to participate in the IATR’s annual conference for regulators who are new to IATR, and this year we had two deserving recipients from Ireland and Mexico:

  • Wendy Thompson, who was appointed as the Director of Transport Regulation of Ireland’s National Transport Authority (NTA) in December 2019, having previously served as Head of Taxi Regulation. At the NTA, Wendy has been responsible for expanding the Irish taxi and private hire fleet penetration from less than 4% of the fleet being comprised of wheelchair-accessible vehicles with trained drivers – to more than 18% currently.

Matthew Daus, IATR President (left); Wendy Thompson, National Transport Authority of Ireland (center); and Carlton Thomas, IATR Board Chair.

  • Gerardo Gabriel Cuanalo Santos, Director General, Queretaro Institute of Transportation, Mexico, who has nearly a decade in legislative and other government experience in Mexico, where he has led efforts to utilize technology in support of improving services in the ground transportation industry.

From left to right: Alberto Rojas Ronzon, Instituto Queretano del Transporte (IQT) of Mexico; Matthew Daus, IATR President; Gerardo Gabriel Cuanalo Santos, Instituto Queretano del Transporte (IQT) of Mexico; and Carlton Thomas, IATR Board Chair.

IATR International Driver of the Year Award. Every year, the IATR chooses one driver to be recognized by government transportation professionals who has provided excellent service to passengers, and who has likewise performed in an extraordinary manner that exemplifies the highest level of the profession. This year’s Driver of the Year Award was presented to Matthew John Westfall, who raised more than £11,000 to get six black cabs, one car, and one van across to Poland to deliver humanitarian aid to refugee camps set up near the Ukrainian border. Mr. Westfall has been a taxi driver in London for more than 11 years. He started a Go Fund Me page after watching a video of a Ukrainian father saying goodbye to his family to join the military. Mr Westfall responded by recruiting drivers and raising money to drive 13 hours to Warsaw, Poland where they delivered humanitarian aid such as sanitary products, baby food, nappies, and toilet paper. They then picked up two families per vehicle to drive back across the continent. Click here to see the award bring presented by Helen Chapman, Director of Licensing, and Regulation & Charging at Transport for London:

Matthew John Westfall (left), receiving the IATR Driver of the Year Award by Helen Chapman, IATR European Regulators Committee Chair, at the Transport of London Headquarters.

IATR Volunteer of the Year Award. This year, the IATR awarded the honor for the “Best Volunteer” to Adam Cohen, Senior Research Manager for the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, for his many valuable contributions to this year’s conference, including his role as a trainer during several of the Transportation Equity Boot camp sessions, and his role as panelist, moderator and leader at many IATR conferences over the years. Adam has also volunteered on numerous projects, including his leadership to produce the IATR model rules for shared and connected autonomous electric vehicles. Kim Ramkishun had won the volunteer award for the last two years, 2020 and 2021, for her extraordinary commitment around the clock to single-handedly run our first virtual conferences ever, and to helping IATR pull through the pandemic.

From left to right: Jarvis Murray, IATR Technology & Innovation Committee Chair; Matthew Daus, IATR President; Adam Cohen, University of California, Berkeley; Rupal Bapat, IATR Accessible Transport Committee Co-Chair; Cammie Chaumont Menendez, IATR Safety Committee Chair; and Carlton Thomas, IATR Board Chair.

Matthew Daus, IATR President (left); Kim Ramkishun, IATR Volunteer (center); and Carlton Thomas, IATR Board Chair.

IATR Retirement Awards. The IATR also recognized the following regulators with special retirement honors for distinguished service to the IATR, and the transportation regulatory community:

From left to right: Carlton Thomas, IATR Board Chair; Brian Bass, Los Angeles Department of Transportation (retired); Matthew Daus, IATR President; and Jarvis Murray, IATR Technology & Innovation Committee Chair.

  • Carlton Thomas, Austin, Texas & IATR Board Chair, who retired after 33 years of public service. In 2014, Carlton was named IATR’s Regulator of the Year for outstanding service and commitment to his city and the industry. Click here to see the retirement video:
  • Brian Bass, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, who retired after 36 years of service. Most recently, Brian was the Assistant Division Director of the Vehicle For Hire Policy and Enforcement Division. Jarvis Murray was the recipient of the Regulator of the Year Award in 2019 on behalf of LA DOT, where Brian was an integral part of the team and accomplishments leading to this award.
  • James A. Nihan, formerly of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, who served for 29 years as a public and private transportation professional, specializing in the areas of paratransit transportation, fixed route public transportation, school busing, aviation, and shuttle services.

In Memory of IATR’s Bill Gonis from South Australia. Sadly, this year we lost a valuable IATR Board Member and friend, Bill Gonis, Manager of Passenger Transport at the South Australia Department for Infrastructure and Transport – who we honored at the conference. Bill had a long and extensive history in the industry. As an executive manager in the taxi industry, Bill was responsible for providing accessible taxi services and overseeing a major metropolitan taxi fleet, before joining the South Australia government in 2004. Until 2016, Bill had responsibility for the regulation of taxis, chauffeur vehicles and buses in South Australia as manager of accreditation and licensing, industry liaison, policy, standards and compliance of passenger transport vehicles and providers. In 2016 Bill moved to the public transport area of the Department which contracts for city and regional bus, train and tram services. Since 2019, he served as Manager and Industry Liaison with the South Australian Public Transport Authority.

Bill was dedicated to his role as a public servant and continually strived to provide exceptional service to members of the community. Bill was a member of the (Australian) National Taxi Regulators Group from 2005 to 2015, and a member and thought leader of the IATR since 2011. In September 2013, the IATR Board unanimously elected Bill to serve as a board member, a position he held until his untimely passing this year. Bill was a “humble man and an exemplary leader” whose knowledge, dedication, and sense of humor will be missed by his colleagues, past and present. IATR colleagues and friends extend their condolences to Bill’s family at this difficult time. Click here to see tribute video honoring Bill Gonis:

6th Annual IATR Boot Camp – What is Equity?

Equity Boot Camp Sessions 101 & 102: What is Equity? IATR boot camps have become very popular over the years. Boot camps feature a smaller classroom size crowd of new regulators who are prepared to receive basic training on a topic from top to bottom – assuming no knowledge of the subject matter. These sessions are also ideal for experienced regulators who wish to learn a new area of focus they have not dealt with before. The first day of the conference is devoted to the boot camp sessions so that terms of art and knowledge gleaned can help regulators better understand the discussions at plenary sessions.

From left to right: Carlton Thomas, IATR Board Chair; William Chernicoff, Toyota Mobility Foundation; Adam Cohen, University of California, Berkeley; and Greg Deshields, Tourism Diversity Matters.

The morning sessions of the equity boot camp discussed “Equity” as it applies to transportation. The session was led by the panelists William Chernicoff, Senior Manager for Global Research & Innovation at the Toyota Mobility Foundation; Adam Cohen, Senior Research Manager for the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) at the University of California, Berkeley; and Greg Deshields, Executive Director for the Tourism Diversity Matters. Each panelist facilitated a group discussion on the following topics: Geographical Barriers (spatial and temporal) & Data Reporting; Digital Booking & Fare Payment Policy; and AI Digital Bias & Business Perspectives. The session highlighted the complex nature of providing equitable service to all including underserved communities, including people with disabilities, the unbanked, and persons in rural areas. Regulators from around the world shared different approaches and initiatives to address equity challenges within their jurisdictions.

Equity Boot Camp Session 103: Accessible Transportation & Equity (Sponsored by the Accessible Transport Committee). The third session took a closer look at accessible transportation and featured speakers Rupal Bapat, Deputy Commissioner at the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP); Steve Yaffe, Yaffe Consulting, former Arlington County Transit Operations; and James A. Nihan, formerly of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. The speakers highlighted different incentives and mandates different jurisdictions have implemented to try and ensure accessible rides for people with disabilities. The role of technology and data collection was also addressed as a crucial factor for regulators to be able to provide service and measure the success of equitable service programs. A special presentation was also provided by the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Committee (NEMTAC), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing NEMT accreditation to transportation providers. The NEMTAC team explained the accreditation process and encouraged regulators to collaborate with NEMTAC to improve accessible service.

Global Regulator Spotlight. The IATR’s very popular Star Trek-themed panel – with transportation regulators from different continents who are “regulatory stars” – shared the variety of work they are doing in their respective jurisdictions. Topics included: building electric vehicle infrastructure and incentivizing EVs; driver welfare and compensation; the regulatory impacts of taxicabs partnering with TNCs; and plans to improve equity-based solutions. Carlton Thomas, IATR Board Chair, moderated the discussion of the following panelists:

  • David Do, Commissioner/Chair of the NYC TLC, shared an update on what his agency is doing to help taxi medallion owners. He also explained the cap on issuing for-hire vehicle licenses that was implemented by New York City to reduce congestion, and discussed exemptions to encourage an increase in wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs) and electric vehicles (EVs).
  • Wendy Thompson, Director of Transport Regulation at Ireland’s National Transport Authority, described how Ireland has a nationwide regulatory framework and licensing, instead of each municipality creating its own structure. She also shared how NTA does not allow TNCs to operate in Ireland, as only licensed vehicles are allowed to provide for-hire services. Director Thompson also highlighted the different programs Ireland has to protect citizens using for-hire vehicles, to incentivize the use of WAVs and EVs, as well as reaching underserved communities.
  • Jeremy Tay, Manager at Land Transport Authority (LTA) Singapore, presented how Singapore has chosen to regulate for-hire vehicles and works to ensure driver and passenger safety.
  • Leonardo Fewell, For-Hire Vehicle Administration Manager at the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), shared that there is a recent unexpected resurgence in applications for taxi licenses after years of decline. He went on to explain how San Diego’s past policy of requiring 50% of taxi fleets be WAVs de-incentivized drivers from increasing their fleets due to the high price of WAVs, which resulted in a decline of WAVs to be only 3 out of 650 taxi permits. MTS is working to address the situation and has administered a survey with the help of academics and experts that has revealed some illuminating information to guide MTS in applying new regulations and best practices.

Nighttime Mobility & Equity: The Role of Taxicabs & TNC’s in “Managing the Street as a Venue.” This year’s IATR conference program included an open forum discussing nighttime mobility & equity. This session was moderated by Jim Peters, President of the Responsible Hospitality Institute, who explained that, due to new trends in Parklets (expanded seating in parking spaces) and Streeteries (where streets are closed for expanded outdoor seating and pedestrian areas), there are dramatic changes to traffic flow and parking. With the growth in take-out and home delivery services, there are limits to curbside pick-up areas that now compete with TNC vehicles and taxis. These all overlap with bike lanes and increased scooter use.

In pre-COVID nightlife areas, managing closing time crowds was a major challenge. Expanded seating means increased numbers of people, all seeking transportation at the same time. This “people movement” is compounded by the competition for drivers among the taxi, TNC, and home delivery services. This session explored these trends and discussed how cities are managing the “street as a venue” through the integration of mobility options, and how such management strategies and policies further service underserved communities. The speakers for this session were Eric Fidler, Chief Information Officer at Department of For-Hire Vehicles in Washington D.C., who shared how the proliferation of Parklets and Streeteries in D.C. have taught DFHV important lessons for managing D.C.’s services in the late evenings. Steve Chandler, Commander of the North Main Station for the Memphis Police Department (MPD) discussed providing security to the residents during nighttime congestion in Memphis.

From left to right: Steve Chandler, Memphis Police Department (MPD); Jim Peters, President of the Responsible Hospitality Institute; Eric Fidler, Department of For-Hire Vehicles in Washington D.C.; and Carlton Thomas, IATR Board Chair.

“Robotaxis” – Guiding Principles for Equitable AV Implementation. For the third plenary session, an expert panel discussed and debated the IATR’s Proposed Guiding Principles for “Robotaxis” – testing and implementation of Shared, Connected and Automated Electric For-Hire Vehicles (S-CAEVs). These principles were developed in response to an international hearing and panel discussions held by the IATR over the past several years, and addressed the issues of safety & vehicle standards, equity & accessibility, data access & privacy, labor & workforce, governance and business models. Click here to access the guiding principles:

There are various projects underway throughout the country to both test and implement AVs which were discussed, from a wide variety of perspectives, with the goal of finalizing model regulations for use by IATR regulators and the broader stakeholder community. The expert panel consisted of:

  • Mark Stewart, Vice Mayor and Councilmember in Chandler, Arizona who shared Chandler’s experience with approaching Robotaxis with companies such as Waymo
  • David D. Wood, Professor and Martin Chair of Insurance at the Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University, who discussed the importance of insurance in the discussion about AVs
  • Alain Kornhauser, Professor of Operations Research and Financial Engineering, Director of the Program in Transportation at Princeton University, who stressed the framework of deployment of AVs must address safety, equity, affordability, sustainability, and high-quality mobility to not repeat mistakes of the past
  • Neal Harris, Board Member at Carolina RIDES+, showed how his agency is working to provide mobility options, alleviate financial burden for low-income households, reduce pollution, and boost economic development in Greenville, South Carolina

How to Use Mobility Data to Drive Equity Policy! Traditionally, transportation access in cities has been imbalanced, with some neighborhoods benefiting from more mobility access. Ensuring equal access through pricing and addressing disproportionate environmental impacts in transparent, scalable ways that also support safety are very complex problems that transportation regulators are being charged with addressing today.

This panel focused on emerging innovative best practices using new open-source technologies to issue and enforce equitable policies. Panelists did a deep dive on how the Los Angeles Department of Transportation – represented by Jarvis Murray, For-Hire Transportation Administrator at the City of Los Angeles at Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) – built a digital policy management platform that leverages a widely-used open-source code to dynamically enforce policies across multiple modes of transportation from micromobility fleets to taxis. The platform is positioned to scale to also include transportation network companies, delivery and freight, drones, and autonomous vehicles.

Mr. Murray, who is the new Chair of the IATR’s Technology & Innovation Committee, showed how the collection and analysis of available data can illuminate where different communities are receiving poor service which LADOT can then address through policy. He also highlighted how LADOT now regulates scooters, and how data and open communication with stakeholders has allowed LADOT to continue to remodel the policy as new information arises. The panel also discussed how other cities can access these new digital tools in their own jurisdictions via the Open Mobility Foundation represented by its Executive Director, Andrew Glass Hastings. The panel also featured Hugh Martin, Chairman and CEO of Lacuna Technologies, who discussed how Lacuna is building applications to help cities to use data to plan how they will manage traffic and public spaces.

From left to right: Matthew Daus, IATR President; Hugh Martin, Lacuna Technologies; Jarvis Murray, Los Angeles Department of Transportation; Henry Greenidge, Tusk Strategies; and Andrew Glass Hastings, Open Mobility Foundation

Guiding Principles for Congestion Mitigation & Pricing – Avoiding the Car-pocalypse By Promoting Multi-Modal Shared & Equitable Electric Mobility. The IATR held a discussion with a panel of experts, regulators and stakeholders, regarding its final report on regulatory framework principles to mitigate the impending post-pandemic traffic volume increase (or “Car-pocalypse”). These principles help regulators guide mobility policy making to achieve efficient, affordable, sustainable, resilient, and equitable multi-modal passenger transport and package/food delivery, while also reducing vehicular congestion and discouraging personal motor vehicle ownership. The panel of experts was made up of Benjamin de la Peña, Chief Executive Officer at the Shared-Use Mobility Center; Gary Rosenfeld, Chief Executive Officer of the Memphis Area Transit Authority; Lisa Daglian, Executive Director at the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee (PCAC) to the MTA; and Craig Kennedy, Program Coordinator for the Open Doors Organization. Topics discussed included new frameworks for shared-use mobility, public-private transit partnerships, congestion pricing and equity-based exemptions, and regulators’ roles in promoting equitable transportation solutions. Click here to download copy of the report:

From left to right: Benjamin de la Peña, Shared-Use Mobility Center; Matthew Daus, IATR President; Gary Rosenfeld, Memphis Area Transit Authority; Craig Kennedy, Open Doors Organization; and Lisa Daglian, Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA.

Modernizing Taxi & TNC Regulations – Taxi/TNC Partnerships, Smart Meters & Beyond. The recently-announced partnerships between Uber and taxi app companies in New York City (CMT and Curb) and San Francisco (Flywheel and YoTaxi) have generated a lot of buzz among both regulators and the general public. In this session, panelists Jason Gross, Vice President of Mobility at Curb Mobility; Paul Picinich, GM of Taxis & Fleets at Uber Technologies; and Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies, Inc., discussed the benefits associated with these initiatives, as well as the evolution of state and local regulations. The panel took the discussions further to explore how the IATR and individual regulators can get ahead of the curve and address antiquated regulations that are not keeping pace with technological developments and the new post-pandemic economy. The panel discussed ideas to streamline taxi and TNC fare equity, meter integration, and regulatory approval of ride-hailing models. This panel also inspired the launch of a new IATR major project to Modernize Taxi Regulations, which I announced as IATR President during my “State of the IATR” speech.

From left to right: Matthew Daus, IATR President; Paul Picinich, Uber Technologies; Hansu Kim, Flywheel Technologies, Inc.; and Jason Gross, Curb Mobility.

Driver Equity: Compensation, Recruitment & Benefits (Gig Economy Issues, Driver Shortages, Gas Surcharges, Virtual Inspections, Telematics Insurance Discounts &Vehicle Rentals). While the focus of equity in a broad sense has centered on the impact on passengers, one area of ongoing concern is the labor force that delivers taxi, TNC, and for-hire services. The decline of the taxi industry, before and during the pandemic, has led regulators to enact measures to ensure fair wages and new revenue lines for drivers. This panel was moderated by Ira Goldstein, Executive Director at the Black Car Fund, and included the following panel of experts: Hamed Yazdi, Co-Founder and Head of Growth, Rideshare Mechanic; Bob Dougherty, Head of Membership, Buckle; Sam Jurkowicz, CEO, Voyager Global Mobility; Jodie Lethgo, Vice President of North America, Career Driver; and Brendan Sexton, Executive Director, Independent Drivers Guild.

From left to right: Brendan Sexton, Independent Drivers Guild; Bob Dougherty, Buckle; Ira Goldstein, Black Car Fund; Hamed Yazdi, Rideshare Mechanic; Sam Jurkowicz, Voyager Global Mobility; and Jodie Lethgo, Vice President of North America, Career Driver.

The panel discussed regulatory approaches for minimum wage mandates, what regulators are doing to offset rising fuel prices, and the development of new revenue streams, as well as reducing expenses for drivers. A recap of what regulators have been considering for new gas surcharges and other methods to offset higher driver expenses was discussed.

Finally, as we exit the pandemic, all industries are now faced with a significant driver shortage, which is having an impact on service delivery and recovery. The panelists discussed the ways the industry is looking to retain and attract a new labor force, including a discussion of what regulators can and should do to help the industry and drivers at this critical time. Expenses for drivers can be reduced by: deploying telematics equipment or black boxes (cameras) to obtain insurance discounts, to rent vehicles rather than own, finance and lease, and to deploy virtual inspections on a driver’s smartphone to avoid losing inspection downtime.

Regulatory Potpourri – IATR Un-Conference Session. The final conference session was coordinated by Cammie Chaumont Menendez, Senior Scientist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention & Chair of the IATR Safety Committee. The program was designed for all members of the audience to share opinions and discuss regulatory issues/developments and questions with one another in an informal setting. Policy issues were set by the audience, and included robust discussions about innovative technologies, as well as nuanced regulatory issues – such as gas surcharges, licensing fees, inspection issues, meter approvals, and other operational or administrative aspects of running a regulatory agency or regulated transportation business. This session included the following IATR committee chairs and volunteers, who facilitated audience discussion:

  • Jarvis Murray, For-Hire Transportation Administrator at the City of Los Angeles at LADOT & Chair of the IATR Technology & Innovation Committee
  • Rupal Bapat, Deputy Commissioner at the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) & Co-Chair of the IATR Accessible Transport Committee
  • Adam Cohen, Senior Research Manager for the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) at the University of California, Berkeley.

IATR Regulators Rocked Memphis!

Regulators and sponsors posed for a group photo during the Stax Museum of American Soul Music visit in Memphis, Tennessee.

IATR is known for its fun and meaningful networking events and entertainment. Once again, conference attendees had a memorable time, and gave high marks to the group on all fronts. This is due to an exceptional conference planning team, which was led by Kim Ramkishun on the operational side, and Bianca Blag (including Jairina Capellan, Michelle Iadarola, and Doreen Delise) for events and entertainment. Also, many thanks goes to our photographer, graphic artist and videographer Andriy Blagay, for capturing all of these moments for the record books. None of this could have happened without the vision of Aubrey Howard of Shelby County, who lobbied hard to get IATR to Memphis, and our Memphis regulator, Yolanda Fullilove.

IATR President Daus and Board Chair Carlton Thomas, as duck masters, led the famous Peabody ducks to the roof of the hotel for the reception where they have their so-called duck mansion.

The conference was kicked-off with an opening night reception on the roof of the historic Peabody Hotel, following a duck walking ceremony where IATR President Daus and Board Chair Carlton Thomas, as duck masters, led the famous Peabody ducks to the roof of the hotel for the reception where they have their so-called duck mansion. Our IATR Board Chair acknowledged and thanked all of our conference sponsors, who were all indispensable to running this conference, from the exhibits to the program content, namely Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf; City University of New York, University Transportation Research Center – region 2; Uber Technologies; Flywheel Technologies; Lacuna Technologies; Curb Mobility; Black Car Fund; Rideshare Mechanic; Voyager Global Mobility; Independent Driver’s Guild; iCabbi North America; RideCo.; NuRide Transportation; Curtis Gabriel; Myle Technologies; Buckle; Research Underwriters; Via; Waymo; PlayOctopus powered by T-Mobile; Blade Urban Air Mobility; and Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA).

The Stax Museum event was held the following evening, where attendees experienced the birth of soul, blues and R&B, and the importance of Memphis musical history to the civil rights movement. Many conference attendees also visited the Lorraine Hotel and the adjacent National Civil Rights Museum during their stay, where the late Rev. Martin Luther King was assassinated.

The underpinnings of the city are founded in equity, and helped provide an important backdrop to the subject matter and theme of the conference. On the last night of the conference, the gala event was held at Graceland, in the Presley Motors Museum, and the entertainment did not disappoint. Two full Elvis Presley musical sets were played by the Ashton Riker band, with special guest performers, culminating in the grand finale song – entitle “Suspicious Minds” – dedicated to the new taxi-Uber partnership. We were all singing and dancing in unison, as we celebrated seeing one another after three long and difficult years. IATR is back in a big way – unified, stronger, and fully committed to our organization’s mission of ensuring a future of Multi-Modal Mobility Innovation for All!

Keeping the “Rocking’ Regulator” tradition alive, Mr. Daus (in Elvis Presley Vegas attire) performed an entire Elvis set (on guitar and lead vocals) at the IATR Dinner Reception at Graceland, accompanied by the Ashton Riker Band.

Article by Matthew W. Daus, Esq.
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