PRLA Pushes Forward On Shifting Rulemaking Authority

LCT Staff
Posted on April 20, 2011

ABOUT PHOTO: PRLA President Philip Jagiela (L) hosted guest speaker Arthur Messina, who advised Philadelphia operators on the importance of consistent branding.

SUMMARY: New state bills would clarify which government agency gets to tell limousine operators what to do.

PHILADELPHIA — The PHILADELPHIA REGIONAL LIMOUSINE ASSOCIATION (PRLA) is moving ahead on bills that would enable city operators to be regulated under a state agency that governs all other Pennsylvania operators, instead of the stricter Philadelphia Parking Authority.

At the April 13 association meeting, President Philip Jagiela congratulated the group on getting both House and Senate bills reintroduced at the Capitol in Harrisburg. The bills, which are identical to bills introduced last year, would restore primary rulemaking authority to the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC), but still allow the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) to enforce those rules.

“We believe that the PUC rules which were properly reviewed by [an independent committee] and are used in the remainder of the state should be the base line for the rules the PPA uses to regulate the City of Philadelphia,” said PRLA President Philip Jagiela. “We want to be on an equal playing field with the rest of the state. If you put the fees and fines that the PPA employs side by side to the PUC’s fees and fines you will see the blatant disparities.”

Recently, a lawsuit brought by an association member against the PPA resulted in a ruling that favors the state authority. The PPA, a city agency, had taken over regulatory authority from the PUC five years ago.

That ruling has further effects: The PPA must now get its rules, regulations, fees and fines reviewed by the Independent Regulatory Review Committee (IRRC), which has conducted an initial review. Industry members and the associations presented their comments to the IRRC which used them to respond to the proposed PPA rules. Many of the association’s concerns were addressed by IRRC.

Limousine operators who serve Philadelphia and are located in the state are put at a disadvantage compared to companies based in New Jersey and Delaware who also serve Philadelphia. Out-of-state operators are not subject to the same fee and licenses as those in Pennsylvania.

The PRLA will host a golf outing Aug. 2 to raise money for its legislative initiatives. This event will be the second of its kind. Michael Baretto of Flyte Tyme Limousine chairs the golf outing committee. He is accepting sponsorships for holes, tees and other events at the golf outing.

More information: Michael Baretto at [email protected]

Also at the meeting, PRLA members heard from Arthur Messina, owner of CREATE-A-CARD INC. in New York, on how they can better brand their companies. Messina showed examples of consistent branding throughout a company and cited examples of association members who do that successfully.

“Look at your business card and see if your logo explains who you are,” Messina said. “Your card is what tells who and what your business is. Start fresh by evaluating the basics. Make sure your card has the information that people are looking for. Include your physical address so other operators know where you are based when you attend trade shows. Many limousine operators like to appear global but by not including their address they could be losing business. There is no one answer in marketing to obtain business. You need to look at everything: digital, collateral, and promotional to get your message out there.”

Among the attendees at the meeting were Alex Pope, owner of LSA Corporate Car in Maryland, and Julio Fabre, vice president of marketing at Worldwide Limousine in Miami. Both individuals have been visiting association meetings nationwide to bring awareness of their company and obtain affiliates in those cities in which they farm business.

“Every meeting I attend gives me the opportunity to learn something new and to grow my business," Pope said. "Our industry is comprised of many great operators. By visiting other cities and attending association meetings, I can get new perspectives on issues which face my company on a daily basis.”

— Reported by Linda Jagiela of Aries Transportation, Philadelphia, for LCT Magazine

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