Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Consultant Report Recommends Moving Transportation Licensing Function to Public Works Department

Transportation Licensing Director to Retire
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Press Release from Office of the Mayor – A consultant report on the Transportation Licensing Commission recommends a number of changes, most notably moving the staff that permit and oversee the operation of taxis, wreckers, horse-drawn carriages and other for-hire vehicles in Nashville under the Department of Public Works in order to take advantage of economies of scale.

The report, conducted by RPM Transportation Consultants, was commissioned by the Metro Finance Department earlier this year in order to assess the state of Nashville’s current taxi service providers and private vehicles for hire, and the operations of Metro’s Transportation Licensing Commission which regulates them.

“Nashville has a growing tourism industry. As we see more restaurants and hotels spring up – and especially as the Music City Center opens next year – the demand on taxis and private hire vehicles is only going to increase,” said Helen Rogers, chair of the Transportation Licensing Commission.

“It’s important that these industries remain strong and that their services remain high quality to protect the public that depends on them. This study helps answer a number of questions which have come up in recent years as we work to achieve these goals. I look forward to the board evaluating this report and taking action where appropriate.”

In conjunction with the release of the report, Director of the Transportation Licensing Commission Brian McQuistion announced his plans to retire from Metro Government. McQuistion was appointed to the role in April 2004.

“This presents me with a good opportunity to retire and devote myself to my wife and family,” McQuistion said. 

Chairwoman Rogers said McQuistion has served the agency well. “Brian has been a great administrator and a good public servant. He has led the commission through many significant improvements, including eliminating non-consent towing on private property, regulating all vehicles for hire including limousines, and increasing the number of wheelchair accessible taxi vehicles in the city,” she said.

Mayor Karl Dean’s Administration has offered Billy Fields, currently the director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods and long-time Metro employee, to serve as interim director, pending final approval by the board.

Moving Metro’s transportation licensing function to Public Works will require Council action in the form of an ordinance. A complete summary of conclusions and recommendations from RPM’s study is attached.

My Comment: There's not all that much in the consultant's report that is good for taxi drivers or customers of taxis and it's about the worst and most indefensible set of conclusions imaginable for the limo companies who want to charge less than the $45 minimum fare, but at least Director McQuistion appears to be "retiring" in the wake of the TLC's numerous scandals.

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