SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: Any industry of any size will have members with differences of opinion and outlook, but once in a while I'll hear a smoking little whopper that needs clarifying. In most cases, the incorrect statement reflects a viewpoint with wider currency that the sole person mentioning it. Let's look at the notion that "the NLA does not benefit small operators." You can refute that on numbers alone; the National Limousine Association as of today has 1,942 members. Most of them are small- to medium-sized limo companies, so if the NLA didn't benefit small operators, its membership would be down in the low hundreds. The facts are that the NLA helps operators of all fleet sizes, starting with offers of all kinds of discounts and reduced rates on key products and services. The educational tracks at the International LCT Show, led by the NLA, for years have offered ample seminars relevant to operators with 10 vehicles or less. NLA leaders and lobbyists advocate on behalf of legislative and regulatory matters affecting everyone, even if a small operator doesn't fully realize it. Political conflicts over business models, employee classifications, overtime wages on gratuities, inter- and intra-state ground transportation regulations -- those pretty much cover anyone with a license and a Lincoln. So the next time you hear the canard "the NLA does not benefit small operators," its likely being uttered for much less worthy reasons exclusive of stating a fact. -- Martin Romjue, LCT editor
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I did a test recently of two almost identical limo rides to and from the airport. It's time to talk about rates.