Industry Association News Round-Up

LCT Staff
Posted on May 6, 2009

MARLTON, N.J. — What’s going on at an association near you? Every two weeks, Driving Force provides a round-up of recent newsworthy association developments. We can’t include every one every time, but we’ll get around to you.

Effective today:

For association news east of the Mississippi (except Kentucky), please contact LCT East Coast editor Linda Moore at [email protected] or call her at (856) 596-0999, x18. Linda works out of LCT’s field office in Marlton, N.J.

For association news west of the Mississippi (plus Kentucky), please contact LCT editor Martin Romjue at [email protected] or call him at (310) 533-2489. Martin works out of LCT’s main office in Torrance, Calif.

Luxury Base Operators Association (LBOA)

LBOA, along with the MLA and LANJ, developed a tape through an investigator of the Avis/WeDriveU chauffeurs in action. The tape was presented to NYC Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Matthew Daus to help the commission in establishing a position on the Avis/WeDriveU model.

LBOA played an intregal part in working with the NYC TLC in the new rules which were just introduced in NYC by the TLC. The rules will govern the luxury-based operators and other transportation services. Sergio Sanchez, president of LBOA, testified on behalf of LBOA on Thursday, April 30 to City Council Chairman John Liu of the Transportation Committee. He opposed the methodology of development for the new rules. LBOA wants more industry participation in the future when rules and regulations are developed for luxury-based operators.

On June 16, the chairman of the NYC Public Safety Committee and City Councilman Peter Valone will speak at the LBOA meeting about his support of LBOA with regards to the Avis/WeDriveU issue and its request to be included in the future development of rules and regulations.

LBOA has organized a panel of the three taxi and limousine commissioners from Nassau County, Westchester County, and New York City to have an open question-and-answer session with members in September.

LBOA is participating in meetings with other local associations in New York to combat the new New York state sales tax on service. LBOA wants an even playing field for the scope of the new sales tax, since it now exempts taxis and buses but not limousines and livery vehicles.

Limousine Associations of New Jersey (LANJ)

LANJ members attended the State Limousine Advisory Board meeting and discussed the Avis/WeDriveU program. Although LANJ has a clear victory with the recent decision from the Port Authority, LANJ wants to be certain that the Avis template is not used by other companies as a way to circumvent the rules. LANJ believes that this may be achieved with the new bill that they have introduced (A3634/S2716) which amends the current limo law. They believe that if they change definitions to cover the Avis/WeDriveU template, it will forestall future occurrences.

LANJ will be holding its annual Luncheon and Auction May 13 at Wayne Lincoln Mercury sponsored by Universal Limousine Distributors, Capacity Insurance, and T-Mobile. The guest speaker at the event will be State Sen. Anthony Bucco, Republican budget chair and member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. Bucco will discuss the efforts being made to rescind sales taxes on service for limousine companies in the state.

Greater Orlando Limousine Association (GOLA)

GOLA has received notice from the city of Orlando that a position letter has been sent to Avis from the city stating that Avis is not able to operate in the city under its current model without the proper permits that other legal limousine companies must obtain, said Mike McKenzie, president of GOLA.

“We are happy to hear the news from the city and are waiting to obtain a copy of the letter for our records,” McKenzie said.

GOLA is working on its upcoming golf tournament which will be held on July 10 at the Omni Champions Gate. All industry members are invited to participate in this event.

“We will max out at 128 participants,” said McKenzie, who encourages everyone to register early. Along with the golf tournament, there will be a silent auction and a luncheon. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Threshold, which is the Center for Autism’s local Orlando-based organization. For more information, CLICK HERE

GOLA also is organizing a fishing trip on July 28 from Ponce Inlet, Fla., just south of Daytona Beach. Buses will leave from Orlando the morning of the event. This is a prize tournament.

New England Livery Association (NELA)

CONNECTICUT: On April 3, Executive Director Rick Szilagyi, along with Connecticut NELA representatives Eric Anderson, Rick Saks, and Mark DiChiara, met with the Connecticut Department of Transportation, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Connecticut State Police at the DOT headquarters in Newington, Conn. to ask for an aggressive enforcement period during the heaviest seven weekends of the high school prom season.

DOT agreed to produce a letter, as they have in the past, to principals of the high schools advising them about using correctly licensed operators and state-approved vehicles. There was discussion of a potential press event between DOT, DMV, State Police, and the NELA.

Although the respective departments admitted they have limited or no funds available, they all seemed to agree that something needed to be done after neglecting this issue for the past couple of years. NELA recently learned from the CT DOT that letters have been sent to high school principals but is waiting for an update on the other ideas discussed in the meeting.

MASSACHUSETTS: Following an alleged incident involving a livery company last prom season, there was ensuing interest from Massachusetts Rep. Brian Dempsey to develop new livery regulations. Representatives from the NELA Board of Directors met with Dempsey and will continue to work with the transportation division of the state Department of Public Utilities to assure that legislation is not developed without NELA’s knowledge. On April 14, NELA president Mike Pazzaneze and Szilagyi met with Brian Cristy, the director of the division, to review language.

RHODE ISLAND: Proposed legislation has been introduced in Rhode Island stating that livery companies may not accept a telephone or other electronic solicitation for service within a three-hour window, unless such service is part of a written contract.

NELA submitted a written response and was granted a meeting on April 14. NELA representatives, Mike Pazzaneze, John Olinger, and Rick Szilagyi met with Terry Mercer and Bill Lueker of the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission. After a lengthy discussion, it was agreed that the NELA would draft recommended language.

NELA has postponed the Chauffeur Challenge until May 2010, due to the economy.

Maryland Limousine Association (MLA)

The MLA will hold its Second Annual Golf Classic on Wednesday, June 3. The event will be held at Renditions Golf Course in Davidsonville. The format is Best Ball and will be a Shot Gun start at 2 p.m.

For more information visit, CLICK HERE to visit the MLA website. MLA will be donating a portion of its proceeds to the MADD, Chesapeake Region.

Source: Linda Moore, LCT Magazine

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