Government Can’t Count Limo Vehicles

Posted on July 8, 2015 by - Also by this author

Oh, c'mon BIG GUV. It's not like counting hairs.
Oh, c'mon BIG GUV. It's not like counting hairs.

We're at that point on the annual LCT calendar when my stomach turns a knot or two. We are about to publish our most controversial and inflammatory content item of the year, the annual 50 Largest Fleets List in the August issue.

The annual List gets a lot of attention and makes money, but also brings plenty of criticism and grief. I’ve heard it all by now, my eighth cycle supervising this list. I won’t wander into the weeds on all sides and views, but I will assert two points:

1) If we don’t do the list, someone else will. All business magazines have Forbes-style lists as a key industry metric.
2) The list DOES NOT confer the quality of service, operations or financial performance. It only provides a snapshot in time of those companies that manage the most owned or leased vehicles. Any small limousine fleet company can surpass the operational quality of a larger one. [We keep saying that year after year].

With that said, we've tried different approaches each year. What keeps us relying on self-reported fleet numbers is the fact of government ineptitude. That’s right; we and you should blame the government for unverified fleet results.

In an ideal situation, we would simply report the total number of all licensed and permitted limousine fleet records based on publicly recorded registrations. Good luck with that.

This year, we tasked an LCT employee several months ago to contact all the agencies and departments that regulate and license limousine fleet vehicles to get the three largest limousine fleets in each state. That should be simple enough given that each state somehow manages to track, renew and revoke driver’s licenses via their respective DMVs. So, why wouldn’t government manage the same thoroughness with commercially licensed vehicles?

Of the near-50 regulating agencies that could be reached, and some local ones in states where vehicles are licensed at that level, only a handful actually supplied some coherent, usable numbers we could refer to. This is beyond pathetic, derelict, incompetent, lazy, disorganized. This is government as a pot-headed teenager at his worst.

My outrage is justified by the fact that state and local governments take upon themselves the right to license, regulate and extract money from limousine operators. ALL agencies that regulate limousine vehicles are funded by taxpayers and governed by public records laws. That means if a fleet company registers a vehicle for the purpose of conducting commerce, it creates a paper/computer paper trail of records available to the public. In the era of Internet, computers and micro-data records, such a failure for a taxpayer-funded organization to make available simple and basic public information underscores government inefficiency. As taxed citizens, we’re paying for this. That makes the poor recordkeeping and lack of accountability all the more appalling.

I realize this is all too typical of government, and tales of public sector travesties abound. But let’s at least keep calling things out for what they really are: A level of service and stupidity that no business could ever survive.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (5 Comments)

More Editor's Edge Blog Posts

December 14, 2016

Bad Driver Behavior Beckons A Driverless World

With or without gadgets in hand, drivers can do the most dreadful things behind the wheel.

November 30, 2016

Populist Peeps On The Rebound

The 2016 election year also marked LCT's own brand of anti-establishment activity.

November 29, 2016

No Sympathy For Passengers With First Class Envy

Air rage among coach class passengers resenting first class occupiers is not rooted in reality.

November 9, 2016

Enough Now: Facebook Hysterics Are Bad For Business

In a nation so evenly split, why do so many fall into the trap of publicly alienating the other 50%?

September 28, 2016

Why So Much Ta-Da, To-Do About Driverless Cars?

Separating hype from human reality will challenge even the smartest driverless technology experts.

See More

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (5)

Post a Comment



See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - January 2017 $12.95 THE MONEY ISSUE COVER STORY: * Dashboard Helps Steer Company Finances * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close