Uber’s debut into the Portland market created many uber-important questions. Like, shouldn’t all transportation companies adhere to the same rules? What’s the best way to ensure passenger safety? How can the industry safeguard fairness and accessibility?
A coalition of Portland-area taxi companies put HMH in the driver’s seat for creating a traffic-stopping campaign advocating uniform City-mandated safety regulations for all for-hire transportation companies. Why? Taxi companies must accept all rides and follow strict regulations regarding vehicle safety, driver background checks, insurance, ADA accessibility and pricing, while transportation network companies like Uber don’t. Obviously this creates a significantly unbalanced operating environment that compromises passenger safety and creates an inequitable application of regulations to transportation companies that provide the same services.
We began by unifying the cab companies to form an alliance, created a brand identity including name, logo and tagline, and developed key messaging. Once the brand and strategy were in place, we created a marketing and PR campaign that included a website, drivers’ support materials, signage, media and government relations, and a broadcast media event.
The media event was a significant milestone. It featured more than 50 Transportation Fairness Alliance cabs caravanning to Pioneer Courthouse Square, at the center of downtown Portland where taxi industry leaders spoke about the necessity for the development of equal public policy governing private for-hire transportation.
The response was an unmitigated success. The Transportation Fairness Alliance secured more than 700 petition signatures, nearly 1,000 followers on social media, and broadcast publicity value upwards of $150,000 with mentions on CNBC, Washington Times, Geek Wire and more.
Of course, this is just the beginning of our journey together. We’re continuing to work with the Transportation Fairness Alliance to help shape public policy, influence public opinion and task force members, counter communication and lobby efforts by transportation network companies, and broadcast the taxi industry’s priorities. We’re honored to support the Transportation Fairness Alliance. Together, we’re working to keep Portland safe. And fair.