Industry Research

"Cushy Car Service" Report Slams Chauffeured Industry

Posted on March 11, 2009 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

NEW YORK — A TV report on New York-based financial sector employees using chauffeured sedan services has drawn the ire and criticism of chauffeured transportation operators, according to web posts and e-mails.

The consensus among industry critics is that it puts chauffeured sedans in the same extravagant category as chartered jets, and thereby potentially hurts the image and revenues of chauffeured transportation companies.

For industry feedback to the NBC-TV report, click here.

Here is the print version of the video report:

Bailed-Out Bankers Still Prefer Cushy Car ServiceWhy pay $10 for a ride to the suburbs when you can pay $90?

Despite the failing economy and billions given to U.S. banks in federal bailout money, many employees are still getting cushy car service.

Four of the largest American banks received a total of $75 billion in the recent federal bailout, so it's safe to assume they're limiting some of their luxury expenses.

Who Foots the Bill for Wall Street Bankers? Watch Video here

While not as costly as perks like corporate jets, town cars are still expensive. And now all of us are chipping in as Wall Street bankers keep riding. . .

You'd assume otherwise if you spent Thursday in front of the offices of Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. If you'd have done that, you'd have seen suit after suit hopping into black car after black car, hustling off into the evening.

From Battery Park City to Midtown, the locations may have been different, but the scenes were similar. Buses and yellow cabs passed on by as fancier, roomier, more expensive modes of transport were snapped up by bankers in need of a ride to presumably a nice restaurant or a house in the suburbs.

Drivers told News4 that some of the rides were round-trip to and from bars or restaurants, others out to Westchester or Fairfield County at the end of another long day.

"It's not even cool, man," one taxpayer told News4. "They need to get me one."

A train to towns like Greenwich, Scarsdale, or Garden City shouldn't cost more than $10, but the nicer cars to the same locations command a fare closer to $90.

Morgan Stanley issued a statement that said employees "are only permitted to use black cars for travel with clients or to client-related events, or if employees work past 9 p.m. in the office."

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez said the banks might want to re-evaluate certain practices.

"When you have the taxpayers' money ... at the end of the day, you have to look at your entire operation and say, 'I need to be ... more responsible,'" he said.

Report Source: JONATHAN DIENST and JOHN P. WISE of NBCNewYork.com

Driving Force source: Martin Romjue, LCT Magazine

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