Daily COVID-19 News
November 30, 2020
IATR President Matt Daus to Participate in UITP’s Taxi and Ride-Hailing Digital Conference
From December 2-3, UITP (The International Association of Public Transport) will be holding a Taxi & Ride-Hailing Digital Conference. The conference will provide in-depth knowledge about smart solutions in the taxi and ride-hailing industries with leading experts from across the world. Matt Daus will be participating in two sessions, as moderator and speaker.
On December 2 from 4:45 am–6:15 am (EST), Matt will be moderating a session on Regulation of Taxis and Private-Hire Vehicles. Regulators around the world are struggling to keep up with innovations and technologies, and regulatory responses have varied greatly. This session will address the dilemma that regulators face concerning control permits, fares, driver management, service quality and key performance indicators. It will include presentations and discussion by and among the following panelists:

  • Elia Ferrer Travé, Senior Public Affairs manager for South-West Europe and Deputy EU affairs, FreeNow (Germany) 
  • Long Tian Feng, Director, Point-to-Point Transport & Vocational Licensing, Land Transport Authority (Singapore) 
  • Aaron de Rozario, CEO, Commercial Passenger Vehicle Victoria (Australia)
  • Luciano Stella, Secretary General, TaxiEurope Alliance (Belgium)

On December 3, from 9:00 am–10:30 am (EST), Matt will be a speaker for a session addressing the Adoption of Cleaner and Innovative Vehicle Design. In this session, global case studies that are driving towards green and inclusive taxi and private-hire services will be discussed. Matt’s presentation, titled “Infrastructure developments and vehicle design for EVs in the U.S.,” will address the following key points: 

  • Factors for adoption of e-taxis 
  • Past and current e-taxi models
  • Review of existing charging infrastructure and incentives
  • Noteworthy examples from other cities

Global Taxi Benchmarking Study 2019
UITP’s 2019 Global Taxi Benchmarking Study compares taxi performance on different metrics to identify similarities and differences among taxi markets in cities around the world. The study addresses several key parameters, providing an overview of the different regulatory regimes, economic efficiency, and performance of taxi services, as well as fare regulation of TNCs in 16 cities. As a regular exercise, the 2019 version of this study also provides a base to track changes in services prior to the COVID-19 crisis, now, and in years to come.
Key takeaways from the study:

  • Good taxi systems have a balance between supply and demand as well as regulatory and organizational structure.
  • Data collected shows that taxi vehicles have a very high utilization (ratio of passenger miles driven over total miles driven), so it is important to keep a low average vehicle age, switch to alternative fuels (ongoing), and improve operations with higher utilization rates.
  • Use of technology and integration with the wider mobility ecosystem can help taxis to deliver more value to customers and to diversify their business models, and there are signs that this transformation has started with some cities being more advanced than others are.

We would like to thank IATR members who contributed to the Study, and thanks the UITP for being an active member of the IATR’s Advisory Board!

Joe Biden Said He Wants to Make Gig-Workers Full-Time Employees – But One of His Top Advisers Previously Helped Uber and Lyft Avoid Such a Change in California
Complicating the President-elect's push to make gig-workers full-fledged employees is a divided Congress and the fact that some of Biden's own advisers have close ties to the tech giants' lobbying efforts.

With No COVID-19 Relief in Sight, the Private Bus Industry Could Collapse – Taking With It a Vital US Transport Network
The private bus industry, which includes scheduled service operators like megabus, commuter shuttles, and private charters, faces a crisis of epic proportions.

NYC’s Congestion Pricing Program May Be Delayed by Two Years, MTA Says
A plan to toll cars driving in Manhattan south of 61st Street could be bogged down for two more years because of slow walking by the Trump administration, MTA officials revealed in a financial disclosure form.
Beck Taxi Says City Shouldn't Ask Cabbies to Transport People with Probable or Confirmed Cases of COVID-19
Toronto Public Health says it asks taxi drivers to transport people after hours to isolation center.

Parcel Delivery Companies Are Trading Trucks for Bikes in Some Canadian Cities. Here's Why
Road-clogging, polluting vehicles found to be less efficient than greener option.

Fewer Businesses Closed When COVID-19 Case Counts Steadied in August
By August, a slew of tourism-related businesses had already shut their doors, including travel services, bus transportation, taxi and limousine services, and vehicle rental.
Uber Offers 100 Drivers and Couriers New Business Grants Up to £10,000
Uber is offering a hundred UK drivers and couriers grants of up to £10,000 to kick-start new business ventures as part of a package of support to help small firms through the pandemic.

VW’s ID.3 Quickly Reaches Top of Europe’s Electric Car Market
Volkswagen AG’s ID.3 hatchback rose to the top of Europe’s electric-car sales charts a few months after hitting the market, narrowly beating a Renault SA model and trouncing Tesla’s Model 3.

Rome Airport Poised to Try “COVID Tested” Flights from US
Italian authorities will soon approve an experiment with “COVID tested” flights from three U.S. airports with the aim of eliminating the required 14-day quarantine for passengers arriving in Italy.
Swvl Expands to Jordan with Launch of Corporate Transportation Offering
Dubai-headquartered mass transportation startup Swvl has announced its expansion to Jordan.

India Sets Rules for Commissions, Surge Pricing for Uber and Ola
The cap on the ride fare and implied insurance costs will raise operating costs in India for Uber and Ola, both of which have eliminated jobs in recent months to trim costs amid the pandemic.

New Smartcard for Tamworth Taxi Services, Over 90 Bus Services Added to Region
Around 50 local and 2 Tamworth taxi companies are participating in the trial for Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme.
CDC Now Recommends Three COVID Tests for International Travel
One coronavirus test may no longer be enough to assuage fears of the virus while traveling for the holidays. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines to recommend that Americans looking to travel abroad take three COVID-19 tests for each trip. The CDC Recommends the following testing schedule:

  • Get tested 1-3 days before the flight. 
  • Get tested 3-5 days after the flight AND isolate for 7 days even if the test is negative (increase isolation to 14 days if not getting tested). 
  • Get tested 1-3 days before the return flight.

The CDC has already urged people not to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday as coronavirus cases surge around the country. However, that has not stopped millions of people from hitting the road or boarding planes in the highest numbers seen since the pandemic began.

Message from IATR President Matthew W. Daus

This year has been so difficult for so many people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, including the International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR's) regulator members and licensed industries. Yet, despite the sadness surrounding the loss of life, the uncertainty surrounding the economic futures of both public and private transportation, and the fears and risks we all must face daily, we should be encouraged by the resiliency that has been on full display by all of the essential workers in the transportation sector - including our public servant regulators, business owners and especially, the drivers on the front lines. The IATR continues working in overdrive to support its regulator members and their industries throughout this time of crisis. From the beginning of the pandemic, IATR continues to provide important daily global news updates on the pandemic, created resources on its website for its members on guidance and reports of relevance to their work, conducted several surveys, and has held numerous meetings and webinars to share information and best practices. IATR has also worked with many other organizations in the field, participating in joint surveys, webinars and reports, and is developing its own model pandemic regulations for safe and healthy mobility through its IATR COVID-19 Task Force, in addition to devoting a majority of the content of its 33rd Annual (Virtual) Conference to COVID-19 related issues. 

To view more information about the IATR, view our website at www.iatr.global. Current members can renew their memberships when they login to their IATR portal on the top right hand side of our website or click here. If you forgot your membership password, please email IATR Volunteer, Kim at [email protected].  

We will continue to serve all of you, every waking hour, to ensure you have the information and resources you need to regulate under these unique circumstances, including more IATR webinars, committee meetings, daily news feeds, COVID-19 resources and model regulations, as continued benefits of membership.