NEWARK, N.J. — The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission and a self-insurance proposal continued to dominate the slate of issues for the Limousine Associations of New Jersey.
Charles LaSala of the New York City Drivers Assistance Corporation said at a recent LANJ meeting that he was optimistic that the association’s pursuit of Tier 1 Base Station status from the NYTLC would be realized by summer.
This designation offers many benefits to New Jersey operators, including the ability to offer point-to-point trips within New York. LaSala warned, however, that operators must still pay per vehicle fees to the TLC and abide by its rules.
With the Tier Two system no longer needed by operators based outside of New York because of the passage of the U.S. Interstate Commerce Law last autumn, LANJ Executive Director Barry Lefkowitz reminded members that they still must register with the U.S. Department of Transportation if they are doing interstate trips, or risk being ticketed.
“The one-time [registration] fee is small and the process is easy, but it’s very important,” he added.
On the issue of self-insurance, the association’s officers said they are continuing to look for ways to establish a program that would offer an alternative to members’ spiraling insurance costs.
The recent insurance crisis, which has been devastating to operators nationwide, spurred efforts by the association to develop a self-insurance program that would offer relief to members.
But the process has not been an easy one. LANJ leaders said the only apparent option that would allow the organization to establish a self-insurance program costing less than $3,500 a year per car involves the formation of an insurance company by an investor group.
Lefkowitz said he was optimistic that a cost-effective self-insurance program can be established and a tentative launch date has been set for mid-summer.
In other LANJ news, vendor member Paragon Federal Credit Union rose to “platinum status” when Paragon’s Charlie Featherstone presented a $2,500 check to the LANJ. Paragon is the fourth vendor to become a platinum member.