New England ‘Patriots’: Members of the NELA gathered Tuesday night for the association’s annual quarterly meeting that included three National Limousine Association (NLA) Board of Directors. Left to right, Dawson Rutter, NLA Director, Northeast Region (Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation); Michael Campbell, NLA Director, Northeast Region (Grace Limousine); Scott Solombrino, NLA At-Large Director (Dav El Boston); Michael Callahan, president, NELA (Able Limousine); Rick Szilagyi, CEO, NELA.
BOSTON, MA— The New England Livery Association (NELA) continues to press its fight in Rhode Island supporting a $40 minimum charge for all “public motor vehicles” that are not registered taxi companies — basically killing Uber as a competitor to taxis. By default, the minimum charge also protects the luxury transportation industry from Uber, or any other app-based car service, because the company’s business model is based on undercutting taxi and registered private transportation services.
At Tuesday night’s quarterly meeting here, NELA Chief Executive, Rick Szilagyi, informed members that despite efforts by Uber to fight the proposed regulation under consideration by the state’s Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, the proposed minimum is still alive.
“The PUC plans to move ahead with another hearing on the issue,” said Szilagyi, “The $40 minimum charge we believe is in the public interest because it keeps them (Uber) as a non-taxi service, and that protects our industry and consumers from such things as surge pricing, and ensures the public is provided transportation in vehicles that meet safety and compliance regulations.
In other business, the NELA is gearing up for its annual Seminar and Trade Show, to be held April 22 at the DCU Center, Worcester, Mass. The annual event features all-day seminars, roundtable discussions, presentations and exhibitor area.
Seminars will focus on DOT regulations and compliance, email and social media marketing, office quality control, and other topics of interest to New England operators. The event also includes lunch and evening social hour.
— Tom Halligan, LCT East Coast Editor