Regulations

Associations Target TNCs In Legislative Efforts

Tom Halligan
Posted on June 9, 2014
Super Uber Panel (L to R): Dawson Rutter, president and founder, Commonwealth Worldwide; Robert Werth, president, Diamond Transportation and president of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA); Alfred LaGasse, CEO of the TLPA: and David Lathbury, panel moderator (Black Tie Limousine) all discuss the effects of transportation networking companies at NELA’s Seminar and Trade Show on April 22.

Super Uber Panel (L to R): Dawson Rutter, president and founder, Commonwealth Worldwide; Robert Werth, president, Diamond Transportation and president of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA); Alfred LaGasse, CEO of the TLPA: and David Lathbury, panel moderator (Black Tie Limousine) all discuss the effects of transportation networking companies at NELA’s Seminar and Trade Show on April 22.

Super Uber Panel (L to R): Dawson Rutter, president and founder, Commonwealth Worldwide; Robert Werth, president, Diamond Transportation and president of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA); Alfred LaGasse, CEO of the TLPA: and David Lathbury, panel moderator (Black Tie Limousine) all discuss the effects of transportation networking companies at NELA’s Seminar and Trade Show on April 22.
Super Uber Panel (L to R): Dawson Rutter, president and founder, Commonwealth Worldwide; Robert Werth, president, Diamond Transportation and president of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA); Alfred LaGasse, CEO of the TLPA: and David Lathbury, panel moderator (Black Tie Limousine) all discuss the effects of transportation networking companies at NELA’s Seminar and Trade Show on April 22.

It’s been a busy spring for associations throughout the country, especially following a brutal winter for operators and business. In fact, the most recent quarterly economic performance report (Jan-Mar.) from the Commerce Department was underwhelming, due in good part to the record-setting cold, snow and ice that plagued most of the nation, disrupting travel and normal business and consumer activity.

But spring has seen renewed economic growth and associations have followed suit. Meetings and events are back on track, as well as members lobbying to fight unfair rogue app competition, and burdensome rules and regulations. From New England, Florida, Minnesota and Virginia, here’s a roundup of some of the association efforts that are making a difference in the industry.

Let’s start in New England, because, well, even during a normal winter it’s cold, snowy and dismally gray. But on April 22 the sun was shining in Worcester, Mass., when the New England Livery Association (NELA) held its annual Seminar and Trade Show. While the event featured educational seminars and exhibits, the highlight was a closing panel discussion on rogue mobile apps. Evidently, Uber got wind of the panel discussion and two young Uber employees paid admission to the open event just to listen in on the panel discussion and report back to upper Uber management on their recon mission.
 
Well, the Uberites certainly got an earful from panelists Dawson Rutter, president and founder of Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation in Boston; Robert Werth, president of Diamond Transportation and president of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA); and Alfred LaGasse, CEO of the TLPA. For a detailed report of the panel discussion, check out my East Coast View blog post at http://www.lctmag.com/blog/eastview/list.
 
Speaking of the bitter arctic weather, the coldest winter in 35 years didn’t deter the Minnesota Chauffeured Transportation Association (MCTA) from an all-out effort to update the state’s outdated limousine regulations.

The MCTA scored a victory in April — after a 10-year fight — when Gov. Mark Dayton signed the “limo bill” into law. The new regulations broaden the definition of a limousine — now any luxury transportation licensed vehicle that has a 15-passenger capacity, and is properly registered with LM (limousine) plates. In addition, the bill increases the per person liability insurance requirement from $300,000 to $1.5 million per person.

Victory! Members of the MCTA pose outside the Minnesota state Senate Chamber after passage of a bill to modernize limousine regulations. The bill was signed  into law in April. (L to R): Charlie Murray (Total Luxury Limousine), Gina Brennan (Corporate Car & Coach), Sen. Melisa Franzen (DFL-Edina) and Len Nelson (Valley Limousine & Coach).
Victory! Members of the MCTA pose outside the Minnesota state Senate Chamber after passage of a bill to modernize limousine regulations. The bill was signed  into law in April. (L to R): Charlie Murray (Total Luxury Limousine), Gina Brennan (Corporate Car & Coach), Sen. Melisa Franzen (DFL-Edina) and Len Nelson (Valley Limousine & Coach).

MCTA President Gina Brennan (CEO, Corporate Car & Coach) said the new regulations allow the LM plates to be placed on vehicles that previously were excluded, such as SUVs and cross-over vehicles.
 
“Fleet vehicles have changed over the years and to now have LM plates on these vehicles gives them a certain prestige because the public knows they are specially registered limousine vehicles,” Brenna said.
 
The association also fought to have the minimum per passenger liability insurance increase to $1.5 million to come in line with DOT and airport requirements. “Previously, $300,000 was for all passengers in a vehicle. We just felt that was not adequate and now our insurance requirements are more on a level playing field.”
 
Brennan noted that the victory was made possible when the association hired a legal firm with strong lobbying skills to help push the bill through the state House and Senate. “We’ve been trying to update this law for almost 10 years — it’s awesome!” Brennan said.

Further south in Virginia, Florida, and Texas, associations have been making news going toe-to-toe with Uber, Lyft and Sidecar in the legislative arena. The groups are trying to force the app companies to comply with the same rules and regulations that limousine and taxi services follow. Make sure you subscribe to our twice-weekly e-newsletters, where LCT brings you the latest updates on this important issue, and breaking industry news.

Well, it’s off to Chicago to attend and speak at the Illinois Limousine Association’s annual meeting. I checked the forecast and see no signs of snow — you never know after this crazy winter.

Tom Halligan is LCT East Coast editor, based in Marlton, N.J. He travels regularly to industry association meetings in the eastern U.S. Tom can be reached at [email protected]

Related Topics: Dawson Rutter, Minnesota operators, New England Livery Association, New England operators, TNCs, Uber

Comments ( 2 )
  • See all comments
  • Thomas Dave

     | about 4 years ago

    Business as open environment as mentioned above in good strategy to develop to do work for your business where ever you want, good to establish these types of work as you are in very remote to your office and want to get updates, those people just used apps. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ethernetpedia/id875589096?mt=8 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.skylite.ethernetpedia

More Stories
(LCT image)
Article

How To Keep Up With Labor Laws

SEPT. LCT: Complying with labor laws meant to protect employees gets tough since drivers can’t pull over and take a 30-minute break.