GCLA Takes “Members Only” Approach

Posted on April 20, 2011 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

BUT NO JACKETS REQUIRED: The association encourages its members to do business only with each other and to reel in state affiliates not yet supporting the GCLA, which is the voice of the industry in the state with the most limousine operators.

SAN FRANCISCO — As industry support becomes more crucial than ever in prevailing against damaging regulations, the GREATER CALIFORNIA LIVERY ASSOCIATION is trying out a new incentive to get more operators to join the group.

The GCLA is finalizing a list of members that strongly encourages them to only send affiliate runs to each other, and thereby persuade non-member affiliates to join the GCLA, said GCLA President Mark Stewart.

GCLA officers presented the plan during an April 13 meeting in San Francisco. Each member would be asked to send a form letter to all of their non-member affiliates in California stating that they should support the association if they want to continue being an affiliated partner of that member.

“If everyone did that with companies they do business with, our numbers would increase dramatically,” Stewart said. “If GCLA members stick to pressing companies they do business with to become members to get affiliate work, we’ll see larger number by end of year.”

The GCLA, which has 140 members as of April, has set a goal of 500 members by the end of the year. There are 5,050 companies in California that have valid TCP permits from the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates chauffeured transportation businesses in the state.

The membership drive coincides with efforts to beat back destructive proposed green regulations at San Francisco International Airport that would fine and discourage all luxury black vehicles that do not meet mileage and emissions standards far more stringent than current federal and state laws on the books. No large luxury black vehicles now in use, including most hybrid ones, would qualify for airport access under the proposed green rules.

A recent exchange of letters between GCLA representatives and airport officials indicate a likelihood that the two sides will meet again in May to work toward a reasonable vehicle policy at SFO, Stewart said.

“I think if we want to press this thing, it does have legal merit,” said Stewart, referring to recent court decisions that have invalidated green vehicle mandates for taxicabs in New York City. “It sounds like they want to have some type of negotiation.

“California already has the highest environmental standards for vehicle manufacturers,” Stewart said. “We really don’t understand what gives the airport the authority to impose something stricter than those [federal and state] standards.”

The next GCLA meeting will be held in San Diego on Wednesday, May 11 from 6 p.m. to 9 .p.m. Details: GREATER CALIFORNIA LIVERY ASSOCIATION WEB SITE.

— Martin Romjue, LCT editor

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