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Who we are...

 
IATR is a growing peer group of taxi, limousine and for-hire transportation regulators, dedicated to improving the practice of licensing, enforcement and administration of for-hire transportation through the sharing of information and resources. Member jurisdictions are:

Taxi Commissions and Committees, solely responsible for the governance and control of taxi licensing and enforcement;

Police Departments and other law enforcement agencies with responsibility for taxis;

Consumer Protection and Transportation Departments of cities and regions, with responsibility for public safety and service quality;

Airport Authorities; and

State and federal agencies responsible for limousines and other motor carriers, where there are cross-jurisdictional issues


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Notice of Public Hearing and Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Regulations

What are we proposing? The IATR Accessibility Committee is proposing Model Regulations for Accessible Taxicabs and For-Hire Vehicles. A copy of the Model Regulations can be found here.

The proposed Definitions and Model Regulations set forth below attempt to address the fact that while many jurisdictions address accessibility to some degree within their local Taxicab and For-Hire Vehicle regulations, there exists no all-encompassing accessibility regulatory framework that addresses each and every issue that is critical to ensure that people with disabilities are afforded equal enjoyment to fully take advantage of public transportation in this arena.

When and where is the Hearing? The Committee will hold an interactive international forum and public hearing on the proposed model regulations. The public hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 23, 2014. The hearing will be held at the IATR 27th Annual Conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel located at 601 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70113.

How do I comment on the proposed rules? Anyone may comment on the proposed model regulations by:
  • Mail: You may mail written comments to: International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) C/O Sarah Huque P.O. Box 20709 New York, New York 10023
  • Email: You may submit your comments in writing via email to: jmischel@iatr.org
  • By Speaking at the Hearing: Anyone who wants to comment on the proposed model regulations at the public hearing must sign-up to speak. You may sign-up or pre-register to speak before the hearing at the IATR Conference by emailing jmischel@iatr.org on or before September 19, 2014. You may also sign-up in the hearing room before the hearing begins on September 23, 2014. You may speak up to three (3) minutes.

Is there a deadline to submit written comments? Yes, you must submit written comments by September 19, 2014 in order to be considered at the September 23, 2014 hearing. After the hearing you may submit additional written comments on or before December 22, 2014.

What if I require an accommodation for my disability in order to attend the conference? If you require an accommodation for your disability, please contact Jason R. Mischel at the above email address, or Sarah Huque at shuque@iatr.org on or before September 16, 2014. You can also send requests via the above referenced IATR U.S. Mail address. All requests for accommodation must be received on or before September 16, 2014.




IATR Model Regulations for Accessible Ground Transportation
By Professor Matthew W. Daus, Esq.

President, International Association of Transportation Regulators
Distinguished Lecturer, University Transportation Research Center (City University of New York/City College)

 


I am pleased to report that the International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) will be undertaking a very important and extensive project in the New Year that will involve wheelchair accessible service in the ground transportation arena.  This is a landscape-changing project that will be somewhat similar to, but even more expansive than, our work in the smartphone application regulatory arena.

The IATR board of directors has voted unanimously to commission a project to develop model regulations for accessible transportation.   It is anticipated that this project will achieve the same groundbreaking success as the recent two year initiative involving the IATR’s creation of model regulations to address smartphone technology advancements and disruption.  The smartphone regulations have proven to be a true and valued membership service for the IATR’s members, many of whom either participated in the IATR’s App Committee to develop the rules, or who have already implemented them in whole or part.  As a result of this success, we are now currently undertaking a similar exercise for model specifications for partitions and in-vehicle safety cameras.

The initial stages of this project will involve the formation of a committee and working group to solicit ideas, draft regulations and research policy approaches taken in key jurisdictions in the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe and beyond.  While participation on the IATR Accessibility Committee will be limited to regulators, there will be significant opportunities and formats for stakeholders, such as automobile manufacturers and retrofitters, accessibility advocates, tourism officials and others, to participate.  We plan to hold an international public hearing in September at the IATR’s Annual Conference in 
New Orleans
, scheduled for September 21-24, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency, for interested stakeholders and regulators from around the globe to provide comment and feedback on the proposed regulations.  Updated surveys and data collection will be coordinated and will form the factual basis for many of the findings.

There have been many recent developments in the United States and beyond that have cast a spotlight on the accessibility issues that have been growing in importance for decades.  Many of the issues have centered on challenging the United States Department of Transportation’s rules and regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as the parameters of the so-called “taxicab exemption”.  For example, in New York some of these issues have been, or are currently being, played out in the courts and on the legislative stage, including:  the 20% requirement of livery street hail permits to be accessible; the requirement of the submission of a long term disability plan to the state in order for the city to complete accessible medallion and livery street hail permit sales; the effectiveness of tax incentives for taxi owners who purchase an accessible, or retrofit an inaccessible, taxi; whether an Accessible Dispatch program provides equivalent service to wheelchair users who do not have access to a fully accessible taxi fleet; and if the so-called “Taxi of Tomorrow” must be accessible or not due to the fact that its design resembles a minivan.

There have been accessibility developments elsewhere, both domestically and internationally.  In Washington, DC, after introducing its first wheelchair accessible taxi service in 2011 under its “rollDC” pilot program, it was announced earlier this year that the program would continue with an increase in funding to provide more accessible taxis and service; in Ontario, Canada, the passage of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires municipalities to determine the proportion of accessible taxis needed in their communities; in Australia, the State Government of Victoria has commissioned its Taxi Services Commission to undertake major reforms for its taxi and for-hire car industry, including plans to introduce more accessible vehicles, driver training and a dispatch system; and in London, UK, where all of its taxis are accessible, Transport for London created an “Accessibility App” competition for smartphone apps that will soon be decided and will provide a critical resource with a host of accessibility needs for disabled passengers.

One of the primary issues that regulators have been dealing with, aside from the quantity of vehicles that are and should be wheelchair accessible, is the very meaning of the term “accessible” itself as it pertains to vehicle design, dimensions and specifications.  Further, other concerns facing passengers, industry owners, drivers and regulators alike include safety and standards associated with retrofitting vehicles to include wheelchair ramps, as well as the higher operational and insurance costs associated therewith.  As a result, a number of compelling questions have arisen from these and other issues surrounding this topic.  For example, how far should regulations go in terms of dictating requirements from a licensing point of view, as opposed to simply relying on, or seeking to change, federal anti-discrimination laws (e.g. the Americans with Disabilities Act) or laws relating to the safety and manufacturing standards imposed on manufacturers directly (e.g., the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration’s regulations)?  Should other agencies with equipment, vehicle and engineering expertise be relied upon, or should ground transportation licensing agencies take matters into their own hands?  And should cities like New York and Chicago be in the business of using government-run or contracted central dispatch systems to deploy a limited or proportional number of accessible taxis and for-hire vehicles, or should we alternatively be taking a path towards 100% accessibility of all vehicles?  These are just some of the many challenges we will seek to find solutions to.

This project will analyze regulatory best practices worldwide, and will include not just the type of preferred or legally compliant vehicles, but also the broader role of other related transportation modes and how mass transit and private paratransit companies can integrate and work more closely with taxicab, sedan and limousine services.  The emergence of brokerage models by human resource agencies in the paratransit world, as well as mass transit agencies deploying and utilizing sedans and taxicabs as a cheaper, more efficient and environmentally conscious substitute for multi-passenger vans dispatched along irregular routes, is one such future approach that will be considered and discussed.

There is no doubt that there will be widely disparate viewpoints that will be expressed.  There were many who said that the development and drafting of model definitions for the terms “limousine” and “taxicab” were too difficult and controversial of a topic to touch; yet, last year, the IATR issued well regarded and almost universally applauded model regulations for smartphone applications that did just that, and are currently being relied upon extensively by our members so they do not need to recreate the regulatory wheel.  Our goal this year is to do the same for accessibility, an issue that seems to never go away and keeps being raised year after year, with no viable long-term solution or plan in sight that would satisfy all stakeholders.  We need to take control of the issue, put our hands on the regulatory wheel and place ourselves in the driver’s seat as regulators, and not simply be back seat passengers watching the scenery unfold while issues are being framed or developed by others.  It is part of the core mission of our members’ agencies to serve passengers and ensure equal, safe and efficient access to transportation for all, a mission that is shared at IATR.  We look forward to an inclusive, informative, deliberative and thorough process of identifying and supporting best practices and the development of model regulations for accessible transportation.  If you are interested in participating in this process, please contact me directly at 
mwdaus@iatr.org or mdaus@windelsmarx.com



Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,



Professor Matthew W. Daus, Esq.
IATR President

 

 

January 21. 2014

The United States Conference of Mayors
1620 Eye Street, Northwest
Washington, DC 20006

Dear Mayors:

I would like to welcome each and every one of our nation’s Mayors to this year’s Conference of Mayors, and take just a few moments of your time to highlight an important transportation related public safety issue that most of you have the authority and responsibility to address.

Our organization – the International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) - is a non-profit education and advocacy group representing government agencies around the world, including virtually every major city in the United States. Our mission includes ensuring that drivers and businesses licensed to operate taxicabs and limousines do not injure passengers, other drivers and pedestrians; and to enforce safety regulations such as minimum insurance liability coverage, traffic rules and driver criminal background checks.

The task of providing transportation service to the public is far more complex than can be understood through social media “hype” over the latest gadget. Some of the newer smartphone application transportation companies are trying to abolish transportation regulations and safety oversight by claiming that they provide a superior service. They are doing so in order to easily enter and “take-over” the market by using hundreds of millions of private equity backed investments to lobby for decreased safety standards, fight the plethora of lawsuits against them by passengers and drivers, and engage in aggressive social media marketing designed to distort the truth and defame businesses and individuals. Some companies deploying these devices have already seriously hurt, and will not help, your constituents.

This lack of accountability is most recently exemplified by Uber’s denial of responsibility in the tragic death of a 6-year-old child in San Francisco on New Year's Eve. The driver of this vehicle was arrested following the accident, and we have since learned that he was previously convicted of reckless driving in Florida. Instead of offering condolences and an apology for its perceived failure to vet this driver, Uber callously claimed they are not responsible. In fact, they have used an outrageous disclaimer in its lengthy contract with consumers that states:

You understand, therefore, that by using the (Uber) application and the service, you may be exposed to transportation that is potentially dangerous, offensive, harmful to minors, unsafe, or otherwise objectionable, and that you use the application and the service at your own risk.

New technology has not replaced the need to enforce laws which:
• Require criminal background and driving record review of licensed drivers;
• Require minimum commercial insurance liability coverage limits;
• Ensure that drivers’ tips or gratuities are not taken by the company owner;
• Prohibit “surge”, demand and predatory pricing where customers are routinely overcharged and price-gouged– especially in times of disaster, which occurred during Hurricane Sandy and other severe weather events;
• Ensure wheelchair accessible service to the disabled, and universal access to transportation service for every neighborhood and person; and
• Provide control over the number of licensed vehicles to address traffic congestion and limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Elected officials must realize that when they allow unregulated entities with few demonstrable business ethics to operate in their communities, businesses that provide service only to affluent, able-bodied customers, they abdicate their local responsibility for the safety of the public and the regulation of taxicabs and limousines. The community values of universal service and accountability set by previous generations of local leaders are discarded to the detriment of the vast majority of constituents.

The IATR invites our political leaders, regulators and concerned citizens to study these issues thoughtfully. The IATR’s model smartphone app regulations, which can be accessed at
http://www.iatr.memberlodge.org/resources/Documents/Model%20Regulations/Model%20Regulations%20-%20IATR%20issued%20September%202013%20(10796289-18).pdf , accommodate and promote new technologies, while at the same time ensure that public safety, accountability, environmental and consumer protection standards are met.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,



Professor Matthew W. Daus, Esq.
IATR President

 

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Brief History

 

The International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) held its first organizational meeting on September 22, 1988 in Tampa, Florida. The organization was incorporated as a not for profit corporation in the District of Columbia on March 8, 1989.

IATR is governed by a board of directors who are members of the corporation and are elected by the membership. The affairs of the organization are managed by a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer who along with committee chairpersons are also members of the corporation and board of directors.

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Purpose

 

IATR was formed to establish a professional association of municipal, county, state, country, provincial or federal transportation regulators who are directly or indirectly responsible for the regulation of transportation industries. In general, the purpose of the organization is to encourage close cooperation and sharing of information between the various entities represented and to work to resolve common problems.

IATR members are committed to working for the betterment of the government or regulatory entities that they represent. IATR Members are expected to present solutions to their respective governing bodies for consideration of, and to develop, needed educational programs that will benefit the members, the community, the industry and the entities they represent.


Objectives

 
IATR's objectives include, but are not limited to, the following

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Collection, analysis and dissemination of information relating to public vehicles for hire
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Discussion and exchange of ideas among government officials concerning the regulation of public vehicles for hire.
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Coordination of efforts to improve the regulatory framework of public vehicles for hire.
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Improvement of the public vehicle for hire industry.

Membership

 
IATR's objectives include but are not limited to the following

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Regular membership is limited to governmental or regulatory officials who are directly responsible for transportation regulation.
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Associate membership is limited to persons who are not representatives of a governmental or regulatory agency but have an interest in transportation regulation and would derive benefits from membership. Associate members may not vote or hold office in the IATR.
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Honorary membership is limited to retired regular or associate members, or to persons who endorse or support IATR's purpose in such a way that merits special recognition. Honorary members may not vote or hold office in the IATR.
>> Click here for membership details
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