ROUGHER ROAD: Tighter economic times can heighten competition even as businesses and consumers suffer. One limousine company in the Los Angeles region has sent out a card mailer that states: "Why take a taxi when you can ride in luxury for a comparable price?" It then includes a detailed price list on the other side that shows rates to area airports from various cities. In all cases, the rates are either the same or slightly more than a cab.
This isn't an original idea, but there definitely needs to be more of it. The limousine and chauffeured transportation industry must be more aggressive in marketing chauffeured sedan conveniences to the traveling masses. Most people simply DO NOT KNOW about the benefits and conveniences of a chauffeured sedan compared to a taxi or shuttle van. Once experienced, many likely would never go back to the lurching yellow beasts. There is a misperception that chauffeured vehicles cost too much, and are the exclusive preserve of the wealthy. To counter this, operators should seriously pursue the increasingly frustrated, exhausted, and exasperated air traveler who could use the comforts of a Town Car to offset the miseries of coach sections. -- M.R.
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On my trip to Chicago last week for the 2012 BusCon Expo, I had the pleasure of experiencing a new ride — the 2013 MKT Town Car.