The Colorado Limousine Association actively supports a local charity called the Stink Bug Project, formed by an 8-year-old girl with a brain tumor who called cancer a “stink bug.” The girl received a dog which helped her during years of successful treatments. She decided all child patients should get a dog, hence the Stink Bug Project, which raises funds to donate trained dogs to child patients. Pictured (L to R) are CLA supporters: John Hafer, A Custom Coach; Jody Cowen, Carey Limousine; Cathy Bosier, Pioneer Limousine; Allison Winn, Stink Bug Project recipient of the $1,000 from the LCT Association Award of Excellence; Franci Ouzounis, White Dove Limousine; Shane Stickel, Presidential Worldwide Transportation; and Ste
DENVER — Colorado operators are dealing with a vexing regulatory matter that often challenges limousine companies everywhere: Who exactly regulates what areas and by what authority?
For the Colorado Limousine Association, it is a priority issue this year as the group gains a national industry profile with its recent achievement of the 2012 LCT Association Award of Excellence. The annual award was announced Feb. 14 during the International LCT Show in Las Vegas.
Operators in the Denver area are trying to make sense of rules surrounding the issuance of “Herdic” licenses by the City of Denver Excise and Licensing Division that allow ground transportation providers to pick up and drop off clients within the city limits of Denver, which includes the Denver International Airport about 25 miles east of the city.
An unresolved gray area is whether limousine operations based outside of the Denver city limits who serve the metro region are subject to Herdic licenses for their chauffeured fleet vehicles, said Shane Stickel, Chairman of the Board of the CLA and owner of Denver-based Presidential Worldwide Transportation.
“We’re dealing with Tom Downey, the head of the Excise and Licensing Department in an effort to eliminate it or make it relevant to our industry,” Stickel said. “Herdics have a heavy slant toward the taxi industry. We want to eliminate it altogether, but if we can’t, then at least make the changes necessary for the law to be relevant to the chauffeured transportation industry – not just the taxi industry as it is now.” The license rules are unclear in that they state a company must be based in the city of Denver, but then licenses must apply to any limousine company that rides on Denver city and county roads, he said.
“They need to clarify who needs it and who doesn’t and what the purpose of the license is for. We are regulated by the state. What is Denver providing to the public that the PUC has not? There have been occasions in the past where companies based outside of Denver, although driving on streets within the city and county of Denver (Denver International Airport), have received tickets for not having their Herdic license.”
The confusion over Herdic licenses could be cleared up with administrative decisions, but the CLA may need to pursue a remedy through the state legislature if an equitable solution cannot be reached, Stickel said.
State level results
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In clarifying the Herdic rules, the CLA hopes to capitalize on its success with a limousine license plate bill that was passed by the state last year and went into effect Jan. 1, 2012. The bill requires limousine operators to put distinct livery license plates with red insignia on all chauffeured fleet vehicles. “Like many locations, illegal [operators] are a big issue here in Denver,” Stickel said. “We believe this won’t solve the problem, but it alerts the police and Public Utilities Commission from a distance whether [operators] are legal or not.” The state PUC regulates all limousine vehicles in the state of Colorado. The license plate bill also allows Denver police to issue a ticket instead of just the PUC. “Hopefully, we can have more regulatory bodies out there policing that than the limited resources of the PUC,” Stickel said. CLA support of the license plate bill was cited by the awards committee as one of the group’s key successes.
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