Boston’s Mayor Walsh Announces Taxi Advisory Committee

On October 10, 2014 Boston Mayor Walsh announced…the appointment of 24 members to the “Taxi Advisory Committee” to examine policy and regulatory frameworks to support the taxi industry throughout the City of Boston. The committee is comprised of representatives from the taxi industry, municipal and state governmental agencies, and community partners… 

This is a great start to a process that:

  • will take longer than some people think
  • will be way, way more of a political rather than a regulatory process than most people think

However, two teeny-weeny suggestions.

1) Describing the primary purpose of the Committee is to support the taxi industry was not ideal. Here’s a constructive suggestion:

“The primary purpose of the Taxi Advisory Committee is to explore ways to make the for-hire transportation industry provide the best service to Boston citizens, commuters and visitors. For-hire transportation includes taxis, limousines and ridesharing companies such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar.”

While certainly extremely important, the interests of other stakeholders should be secondary to the users of for-hire services.

However, hopefully only including “taxi industry” in the purpose statement was just an oversight!

2) For the most part, stakeholders are well represented in the Committee’s membership.

However, although reflecting my bias, stakeholder groups not represented are drivers for Uber, Lyft and Sidecar.

The public statement continues:

The Taxi Advisory Committee will meet as a group on an ongoing basis and engage the public in a variety of ways, to ensure that all stakeholders have a chance to provide input throughout the process. This community engagement aspect will include several public meetings, beginning in October, as well as online feedback forms available today on the Advisory Committee’s website:

The public will also be able access more information on the City Hall To Go truck, as well as the Elderly Affairs Commission and Commission for Persons with Disabilities.

Below, please view full list of committee members:

Shift Drivers
Pierre Duchemin, Shift Drivers

Medallion Owners
Peter Sheinfeld, Small Medallion Owners
James Endicott, Large Medallion Owners

Radio Associations
Brett Barenholtz, CEO, Boston Cab Dispatch

USW- Boston Taxi Drivers Association
Donna Blythe-Shaw, USW BTDA Staff Representative

Transportation Network Companies
Meghan Joyce, General Manager, Uber Boston
Katie Kincaid, Government Relations Manager, Lyft Inc.

John Faro, Manager, Transportation Operations, Massport

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
Anne Bailey Berman, Co-chair of Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee

Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
Frederick Peterson, Director of Facilities Operations

Sarah Hamilton, Vice President, Area Planning & Development, Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization

Livery Drivers Association
Michael Southwick, Livery Drivers Association, Founder & President- Lifestyle Transportation Inc.

Boston Onein3 Council
Tina Chien, Onein3 Council Member

Boston Transportation Department
Gina Fiandaca, Boston Transportation Department, Executive Director, Office of the Parking Clerk

Elderly Affairs Commission
Commissioner Emily Shea, Elderly Affairs Commission

Disabilities Commission
Commissioner Kristen McCosh, Disabilities Commission

Office of Neighborhood Services
Jerome Smith, Chief of Civic Engagement

Boston Police Department
Captain Jim Gaughan, Boston Police Department- Hackney Unit

City Clerk
Maureen Fennel

City Council
Councilor Josh Zakim, Chair, City Council Special Committee on Transportation, Public Infrastructure & Investment

State House
Sen. Michael Rush, Member, State Joint Committee on Transportation

Mass State Police
Lt. Ken Halloran, Massachusetts State Police

Community Representatives
Rep. Russell Holmes, Community Representative
Vivienne Sullivan, Community member



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