MARLTON, N.J. — The chauffeured transportation industry depends on an active support network of local associations that keep tabs on all types off issues affecting operators. Here are some of the latest updates from up and down the East Coast:
Florida Limousine Association
Avis Update: The FLA has obtained the documents in which the Miami Dade Consumer Affairs and Avis/We Drive You discuss the legality of using We Drive You chauffeurs in the county. The documents render Avis under the jurisdiction of the county and require all of the same permits that a legal limousine company would require in order to operate a livery service in Miami/Dade County.
FLA President Bito Pimento said, “This shows how hard local associations work for their members as well as the industry as a whole. We are proud of our accomplishment and the input of our members and others in the industry who took on this cause. This could not have been accomplished without the help of many like our national associations and industry leaders who assisted us in our plight.”
Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association
The PRLA has expanded its executive board to add an additional vendor member position. Brian Engel of Wolfington Bus Sales and Richard Ackerman of PA Post Insurance have been appointed by the board to fill the two seats — the new one and previous one left vacant.
Limousine Associations of New Jersey
On April 29, LANJ will send a board contingent to meet with the vice-chairman of the Senate Budget Appropriations Committee, Sen. Paul Sarlo, and the Senate Republicans budget officer, Sen. Anthony Buco, to discuss the elimination of sales tax on service using a July 1, 2010 initiation date.
Additionally, the group will meet with the State Treasurer’s office to discuss the sales tax on service issue and hardship that operators are facing. The goal of this meeting is to get an amnesty program for those late in paying their sales tax to eliminate the fines.
LANJ is working with the assembly and senate transportation committees to incorporate language into the new limo bill that defines the Avis/WeDriveU template as limousine and limousine service so that they will be covered under the same rules and regulations as the chauffeured transportation industry. Additionally, the Port Authority of NY/NJ has stated that they will support and work on that legislation with LANJ.
LANJ continues to work on bills A3634/S2617 amending the limo law. The amendment allows that state police will have probable cause to go on to the property of illegal operators. It also will change the number of passengers allowed under New Jersey law for modified vehicles to be based on manufacturer’s certification. This will put New Jersey in a position to compete with operators in the surrounding states. The next meeting is May 13 to be held at Universal Limousine/Wayne Lincoln Mercury.
Charlotte Regional Limousine Association
The CRLA has invited its airport regulators to meet and attend its meetings in order for operators to voice concerns over issues occurring at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.
The issues to be addressed include:
Hours of availability for decal renewal
Parking for vans in the parking deck
Additional parking spaces in the commercial lane
Staging area for for-hire vehicles including larger vehicles
Responsiveness to concerns from the airport authority
Accounting and billing issues
Enforcement of non-solicitation policy at the welcome center
The next meeting of the CRLA is May 6, 2009. For more information, contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia Limousine Association
The VLA is developing a plan and has a formed a committee to attack the on going problem of addressing illegal operators. The group will be working with the DMV on this proposal. Next meeting: June 1.
Maryland Limousine Association
MLA members are embarking on a telephone campaign to Governor O’Malley’s office to get him to sign the new limousine bill which has been passed by both the State Senate and House of Representatives. The final step to making the bill become law is the governor’s signature.
Greater Orlando Limousine Association
GOLA members are contacting their Senators and Congresspeople to request support on the amendments to the Ride Accept. Previously, Congresswoman Corine Brown, D-Fla., has been an industry advocate. She chairs the Highway and Infrastructure Committee and is a member of the Transportation Committee.
Source: Linda Moore, LCT Magazine