International Association of Transportation Regulators 19 Annual Conference
September 16 - 18, 2006 |Seattle, WA, USA

James Bisson & Board Member

While not yet officially opened, the conference began with the IATR’s intrepid Board of Directors arrival on Saturday, September 16, 2006 for a marathon opening meeting. Sunday, September 17, 2006 had a more ambitious bend, and opened with a joint meeting of the IATR and the highly respected Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association (TLPA). IATR President James Bisson and hometown Board Member Mel McDonald welcomed delegates to a conference that would ultimately make history as the most active, engaging and entertaining conference in the organization’s history. The irony of attending the conference at the Renaissance Hotel after experiencing the IATR’s own renaissance under Bisson’s leadership was not lost on many of the attending delegates James Bisson & Board Member

Day one started off with the cool (but comfortable!) snap of Seattle autumn in the air. IATR President James Bisson and Board Member (and city host) Mel McDonald set the positive tone with a hearty welcome to Seattle and the great Pacific Northwest.

Additional welcoming remarks made by representatives of sponsoring businesses Standard Vehicles Group LLP., Liberty Motor Company, Inc., Schaller Consulting, Cavu Corporation, Centrodyne Corporation, System International and VerifEye Corporation set the stage for an exciting time to come.

IATR President James Bisson (right) and Board Member Mel McDonald (seated, left) welcomed excited attendees to the first full (and we do mean full!) day of Conference programming
The conference was acknowledged as a positive representation of James Bisson’s progressive tenure as IATR president.


The second cycle focused on the timely topic of “Vehicle Retirement Policies” and was led by former District of Columbia Taxicab Commission Chair Causton Toney. Netherlands Ministry of Transport Taxi Policy CEO Theo Van Schaik explored the issue “Open Market vs. Control (Specifications and Approval Processes).” London Public Carriage Office Director Alan Matthews – Keeper of the Knowledge! – led the discussion on “Purpose Built Vehicles.”


Consumer Services Commissioner Norma I. Reyes offered perspectives on “Who and How to Inspect.”

London Public Carriage Office Director Alan Matthews kept it real with regard to “Purpose Built Vehicles.”



vehicle standards & development
:: session 1 - inspections ::

Session 1 was all about Vehicles and Standards, starting with “Regulatory Policies, Standards, Experiences and Trends” and a Survey of Jurisdictions. The survey featured a panel that read like a who’s who of top regulators (Calgary’s Karen Cameron, Chicago’s Norma I. Reyes, Washington, D.C.’s Causton Toney, Miami-Dade’s Joe Mora, Theo Van Schaik of the Netherlands, and London’s own Alan Matthews) led by New York City Taxi and Limousine Commissioner/Chairman Matthew W. Daus, who was asked to develop, organize and oversee all of the first day’s activities and discussions.

NYC TLC Commissioner/Chairman Matthew W. Daus led a distinguished international panel of experts in a discussion of “Regulatory Policies, Standards, Experiences and Trends.”


vehicle standards & development
:: session 2 - vehicle design & development ::

Design Trust Executive Director Deborah Marton brought attendees up to speed on the “Designing the Taxi” and Taxi ’07 projects (to learn more about them, visit

In Session 2, conference attendees had the opportunity to study “Vehicle Design and Development” under the IATR’s expert microscope, starting with a panel that included international transportation journalist Wim Faber, Design Trust for Public Space Executive Director Deborah Marton, Magna Motors President Mark Hogan and Marc Klein, President of the Standard Vehicles Group, whose purpose built taxicab created its fair share of buzz during the conference.

Renowned international transportation journalist Wim Faber (far left) joined a panel on Vehicle Design and Development that included (left to right) Deborah Marton of NY’s Design Trust for Public Space, who updated attendees on their Taxi ’07 project; Mark Hogan, president of Magna Motors; and Mark D. Klein, president of Standard Motors.


vehicle standards & development
:: keynote speech by edwin black ::

As if Day One hadn’t already started with a bang, Pulitzer prize-nominated author, and acknowledged alternative fuels expert Edwin Black graciously agreed to offer the keynote luncheon address, discussing his hard-hitting, hot off the presses book “Internal Combustion.” The provocative book -- and its more provocative author – tackled the controversial issue of petro-politics and the nation’s seemingly unquenchable thirst for oil.

Pulitzer Prize nominee and bestselling author of “Internal Combustion” Edwin Black offered an “electrifying” keynote speech. Shown here, Black debates a point with San Francisco Taxi Commission Executive Director Heidi Machen (at right)


vehicle standards & development

With the stage set by Edwin Black, the afternoon continued with Session 3's exploration of “Alternative Fuel Vehicles,” led by facilitator and New York City Taxi and Limousine Commissioner/Chairman Matthew W. Daus. Daus welcomed a Survey of Jurisdictions and an “Overview of Clean Fuel Taxicabs” presented by the NYC TLC’s Assistant Commissioner for Safety & Emissions Peter Schenkman and Eric Kim, Chief of Staff to the TLC’s First Deputy Commissioner.

New York City TLC’s Peter Schenkman (left) and Eric Kim (right) updated attendees on the state of alternate fuel in the taxicab industry.

vehicle standards & development

A highly-anticipated “Environmental Roundtable Discussion” began with a panel on “Environmental Stakeholders Working Together – Advocates, Regulators and Manufacturers”. This who’s who of environmental advocacy featured Chair Jack Hidary, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) representative Luke Tonachel, Ford Motor Company Marketing Manager Gerald Koss, Center for a New American Dream Program Manager Matt Kittel, ECO Fuel Systems Marketing Director Markus Wenzel and US DOE FreedomCAR and Vehicles Technology Program Team Leader Kevin Stork, who treated rapt attendees to a panel on “Alternative Fuel Sources and Vehicles – Options & Outlooks”

From left to right are Jack Hidary, Luke Tonachel, Gerald Koss, Matt Kittell, Markus Wenzel and Kevin Stork



Session 5 - Gathering Operational Statistics
Session 6 - Establishing Rates using Operatinal Statistics
Session 7 - Establishing the Correct Number of Taxi Cabs
Session 8 - Marshalling the Public Will

data and decision making
:: introduction::

To borrow a session title, if information is power, then Day Two was all about empowerment!

data and decision making
:: Session 5 - gathering operational statistics::

To borrow a session title, if information is power, then Day Two was all about empowerment! The theme of Session 5 was “Gathering Operational Statistics” – a logical topic, given the fact that every regulator's pratical ailitiesand technical wherewithal vary widely from state to state, country to country, region to region and province to province! The “Information is Power” discussion was led by Seattle Consumer Affairs Unit Manager Craig Leisey, who inspired significant levels of audience participation.

Consumer Affairs Unit Manager Craig Leisey offered a treatise on “Planning Taximeter Rate Increases Using Taxicab Industry Revenue and Operating Statistics


data and decision making
:: Session 6 - Establishing Rates using operational statistics ::


Left, Craig Leisey facilitates an audience question on the role and collection of crucial data, fielded, at right, by 2007 conference host Malachi

Leisey returned, alongside Atlanta Taxicab and Vehicles For-Hire, Atlanta Police Department Director Malachi Hull, to lead a spirited discussion on “Establishing Rates Using Operational Statistics.” The topic most definitely struck a universal chord among attendees!


data and decision making
:: Session 7 - establishing the correct number of taxicabs ::

In Tuesday’s Sessions 7, Schaller Consulting President Bruce Schaller led discussions and case studies in “Establishing the Correct Number of Taxicabs” in our cities.

Transportation guru Bruce Schaller explored the ways to establish a “Correct” number of taxicabs


data and decision making
:: Session 8 - marshalling the public will::

Wrapping up Conference Day Two, Seattle Consumer Affairs Unit Director Mel McDonald and Ottowa Director of By-Law Services Susan Jones facilitated Session 8 – “Marshalling the Public Will.” In the understanding that legislative mandate has its roots in the will to get laws passed, this discussion was all about stakeholder buy-in.

Susan Jones (left) and Mel McDonald (center), assisted by Karen Cameron (right), Manager & Chief Inspector, Livery Transport Services, City of Calgary, led a spirited discussion on the role of public will and the legislative process





getting it done
So now you’ve designed it, studied it and discussed it…..and it’s time to sell it to the stakeholders who may or may not help you take it all the way! Stakeholder buy-in to your solution to any issue can be the hardest part of the process. Perhaps getting stakeholders involved in crafting the solution is the best way to go. Few decisions are purely technical in nature. Most are political, meaning that the outcome will benefit one group at the expense of another. And sometimes, there is no “right” answer. What then?

Day Three looks at the issues of Accessibility and Driver Safety as two topics that had conference delegates exploring the issues of process, and the roles that stakeholders play in both successes….and, yes, in failures.

Calgary Advisory Committee on Accessibility, and Jim Murray, Chairman of the Calgary Taxi Commission, facilitated a fascinating case study in accessible taxicabs.


Day Three also saw the election of 2008 President-Elect Joe Mora.

Congratulations, Joe!

2006 Conference Downloads


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(Presentations are downloadable power point or word documents)

Collection and Use of Information to
Effectively Regulate the Taxicab Industry

Marshaling the Public Will

2006 Photo Gallery
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