NEW YORK — The Port Authority has kicked to the curb a chauffeur service connected to rental-car company Avis — but safety advocates and city limo drivers are hoping for more action.
The program — launched in New York a year ago — allows Avis customers to rent chauffeurs from partner company "WeDriveU" for an hourly rate of $35.
The Port Authority banned the program from its local airports last month, concluding it violates Avis' lease and "has been detrimental" to the limousine industry, according to a May 12 letter to Avis.
But the program is still operating unregulated in the city, and some want to slam the brakes on what they consider little more than an illegal taxi service.
City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said it is "definitely a public-safety issue. There are background checks on drivers for a reason. This arrangement allows companies to get around those checks.
"This program is essentially a taxi service, and it should not be allowed to operate without any regulation," he added.
Avis spokesman John Barrows said the company offers the service as an "exclusive benefit for Avis customers . . . we have no stake in WeDriveU."
Source: The New York Post