Inaugural Coverage, Livery Style

LCT Magazine
Posted on January 20, 2009

Thousands of limos traveling to D.C.

Washington Business Journal - by Tierney Plumb Staff Reporter

Richard Kane is president of the National Limousine Association and D.C.-based limousine operator International Limousine Service Inc.

Because chauffeured cars are able to whiz into the city on Inauguration Day with special permits, limo companies from far and wide are bringing a parade of cars to the town.

The National Limousine Association surveyed operators in the 300 mile radius of D.C. -- which spans the boundaries of Connecticut, North Carolina and Ohio -- and found that about 3,600 sedans and limos are driving to D.C.

The trade group, which has more than 2,000 members, is the biggest association representing chauffeured car owners in the world. Members include limousine owners and operators, suppliers, manufacturers, and regional and state limousine associations.

Out of 1,000 operators, the average company is sending three cars, according to Richard Kane, president of the NLA.

He is also president and chief executive of D.C.-based limousine operator International Limousine Service Inc., which has had a 40 percent increase in its fleet for the big event.

His 120-vehicle fleet will jump up to about 170 vehicles, he said.

For four or five occasions a year, the D.C Taxicab Commission allows chauffeur companies use rental cars to accommodate heavy business.

“This is one of those events, with special permits, when we get to turn any car that’s a rental into a limo car.”

International Limousine Service’s passengers will include a “lot of movie stars, media, and entertainers. Mostly entertainment,” Kane said. “We are doing entertainment for 8 of the 10 balls.”

Most are requesting the larger SUVs, which include Suburbans and Escalades.

Kane’s family has been in the transportation business since the early 1900s.

“My brother John runs Office Movers and I operate International Limousine,” said Kane, who is currently serving his one-year term as president of the NLA during a peak time for limo requests.

“I’ve had lots of fun doing it. I’ve talked to more operators in the past five days than in the last nine months,” he said. “All are sending equipment and want to know how to become legal in town.”

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