CA Limo Operators To Confront Big Issues At Special Meeting

Posted on July 24, 2013

LOS ANGELES — The Greater California Livery Association has scheduled an unusual special meeting Aug. 20 as certain major issues affecting limousine operators gain traction.

The GCLA typically takes a break for the summer until its annual Expo in September, but given the urgency of certain regulatory matters related to limousine companies, GCLA leaders would like to provide updates and helpful information as they address key questions:

  • By Aug. 20 it is very likely that state investigators will have released an official cause of the fatal limousine fire on May 4 near San Francisco that killed five women. LCT has learned from sources that the explanation likely will flout the typical speculation and conventional explanations that have been floated in the news media since the tragedy. Q: What will the results mean for limousine operators and the national industry overall?
  • Related to the fire, the GCLA plans to detail risk management controls and policies related to pending limousine safety bills in the state Senate: SB338 (fire extinguishers) from Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and SB109 (emergency limo exits) from Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro. The presentation will be led by Leslie Dugan, vice president of risk management for the Philadelphia Insurance Company, the insurer of Limo Stop, the company that operated the stretch limousine involved in the fatal fire. Q: How would these bills help or hurt the limousine industry?
  • Mobile app, on-demand technology stands front and center at the California Public Utilities Commission as it holds workshops on how it should regulate Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and the growing app-based transportation businesses that are undercutting legal chauffeured transportation and charter-party carriers in California. Discussion will include cease-and-desist orders against the car services that were issued by the Los Angeles Bureau of Franchise and Taxicab Regulation. Q: How are these apps affecting operators and what needs to be done to ensure a fair regulatory environment for limousine operators?
  • GCLA vendor board director and limousine vehicle insurance expert Lee Martinez of TransCap Insurance will address the likelihood of the California transportation industry heading into a rough insurance market during the next two years and the effects of rapidly rising premiums without reason or notice. Q: How should operators select and evaluate insurance options and incorporate cost transitions to minimize effects on their business bottom lines?

“The GCLA is going to be taking a preemptive position for the California livery industry as we move forward after this tragic event,” GCLA President Mark Stewart told LCT. “I believe it’s the GCLA's duty to expand information in this special meeting on Aug. 20. It also will give us the opportunity to discuss both Senate bills and the issues behind them to our members.”

Stewart plans to put together an open panel discussion on UBER, Sidecar and Lyft, and how the mobile apps are affecting the California chauffeured transportation industry.

The GCLA Special Meeting, to include a cocktail reception and buffet sit-down dinner, will be held Tuesday, Aug. 20 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Proud Bird Restaurant, 11022 Aviation Blvd., Los Angeles near LAX.

With Early Bird discounts, the cost is $45/person for GCLA members and $60/person non-members. Early Birds must register online by Aug. 19. The regular prices at the door are $60/person for GCLA members and $75/person for non-members.


— Martin Romjue, LCT editor

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