WHAT'S NEXT? As I finished editing an article on van pools coming out in LCT's December issue, I thought about discussions I've had with operators in the past few months. For van pools, the issue is that luxury chauffeured transportation is not a hot commodity for corporations and government agencies using these services. They might not be willing to pay more for a plush van and a chauffeur. My thought: maybe this isn't such as a bad situation. There are many operators around the country who've grown and added subsidiaries in all scopes of transportation, and this includes ambulences, school buses, moving trucks, "black cars," and taxis. Yes, I said it: taxis. These operators are becoming large ground transportation companies. They also provide classic luxury chauffeured services, but can basically service any needed transportation in their market area. As the economy sours, it's important to look at viable options for your company. Van pools might be a good move to make, but it might require flexibility on your part. -- Jon LeSage
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