CELL PHONE BAN: New York Operators Get Organized

Posted on October 28, 2009 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

NEW YORK — Operators in New York have all eyes on the World Series which will bring fans from around the country to watch the Yankees take on last year’s World Series winners, the Philadelphia Phillies.

While the World Series consumes operators in New York, both as fans and transportation providers, they still remain focused on a proposed Taxi and Limousine Commission ruling which would ban the use of all electronic devices while driving limo and livery vehicles, including hands free cell phones. The TLC contends cabbies and chauffeurs are creating safety hazards by talking on cell phones while driving.

Sergio Sanchez, president of the Luxury Base Operators Association of New York (LBOA) and general manager of Partners Executive Transportation, the official transportation company of the New York Yankees, is working to organize industry opposition to such a broad measure.

“I have never seen so many rules and changes to rules in such a short period of time,” Sanchez said. “Each of these affects us in how we operate our businesses and hits us on the bottom line. The proposed rule, which will eliminate the use of electronic devices, will be devastating to the for hire industry if it passes.”

Sanchez has a meeting with TLC Commissioner Matt Daus, a supporter of the proposed measure, on Nov. 4. Before that meeting, LBOA is attempting to organize all of the for-hire transportation associations whose members serve New York City to unify with one voice and position on this matter. “With the recent sales tax on service and now this new proposed rule, it will hit us directly in our pockets,” Sanchez said.

National Limousine Association President Ron Sorci said this week the NLA is working with the Taxi Limousine and Paratransit Association and its lobbying firm, Cornerstone Government Affairs, to devise a course favorable to the industry.

“We have a meeting planned with Commissioner Daus this week,” Sorci said. “After that, we will have a better feel as to which direction we will proceed.”

Source: Linda Jagiela, LCT Magazine

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