Regulations

NY, NJ Industry Groups Gel To Provide Strength in Numbers

Posted on November 11, 2011
Former NYTLC Commissioner and transportation attorney Matt Daus will chair the newly formed Coalition of Transportation Associations, based in New York.

Former NYTLC Commissioner and transportation attorney Matt Daus will chair the newly formed Coalition of Transportation Associations, based in New York.

Former NYTLC Commissioner and transportation attorney Matt Daus will chair the newly formed Coalition of Transportation Associations, based in New York.
Former NYTLC Commissioner and transportation attorney Matt Daus will chair the newly formed Coalition of Transportation Associations, based in New York.

NEW YORK — Limousine operators in the New York and New Jersey region got a boost of political and lobbying clout this week with the formation of the Coalition of Transportation Associations (COTA).

The umbrella organization will include representatives from five major limousine industry associations that have been fighting many of the same regulatory battles on behalf of chauffeured transportation operators:

Luxury Base Operators Association (LBOA)
Limousine Association of New Jersey (LANJ)
Black Car Assistance Corporation (BCAC)
Limousine Association of New York (LANY) 
The Long Island Limousine Association (LILA)

    The announcement was the top newsworthy development to come out of the annual Limo Digest Show in Atlantic City, N.J. this week, where industry associations routinely piggy-back their meetings on the conference agenda to maximize attendance.

    COTA’s mission is universal to its member associations:

    • Advance, support and preserve the integrity and economic viability of the for-hire ground transportation industry;
    • Promote environmental sustainability;
    • Foster job growth and inter-modal transportation solutions;
    • Support reasonable government regulation; and
    • Enhance customer service and explore viable advances in technology to assist businesses, passengers and the industry.  

    COTA will be chaired by Windels Marx partner, Matthew W. Daus, Esq., who leads the firm’s Transportation practice  and has a long legacy of service to the transportation industry, including 10 years as Commissioner of the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission.

    In addition, COTA will meet periodically, and as needed, to respond to important industry issues, pursue a regulatory agenda, further matters of common interest, and participate in joint forums and other events.

     “COTA is a result of growing cooperation within the industry on issues that affect all of our member associations,” Daus said in a statement. “We believe that there is strength in numbers and indispensable advantages to communicate regularly, share [more information] and raise our collective profile through participation in various forums and events.” Daus will provide pro bono legal and consulting services to COTA, and he also serves as general counsel to LBOA and LANJ.

    During a LBOA meeting Monday morning, Daus joked that COTA represents the industry’s top five “families” of the metro area. “They will advance and support the integrity of the ground transportation industry,” he told LBOA attendees. Meetings will be held in his law office, he added. “Limos and black cars are all part of the same family. We look forward to working together and making it a better industry, not just at the local level, but on the national one as well.”

    Daus later told a LANJ meeting that COTA will provide “power in numbers” and focus on matters related to “everything on four wheels that transports people.”

    COTA also will work with the two major national industry groups, the National Limousine Association and the Taxi Limousine Paratransit Association.

    The formation of COTA drew advance praise from top association leaders in New York and New Jersey:

    • LBOA President Sergio Sanchez said in a statement: “We could not have chosen a more appropriate and capable chair than Matthew Daus who was instrumental in bringing our groups together. He brings his expertise to the table by graciously donating his and Windels Marx’s time to advance COTA’s universal mission."
    • Barry Lefkowitz, executive director of LANJ, on behalf of LANJ President Tim Rose, said, “It has been the philosophy and goal of LANJ for the past 14 years to work closely with the industry, since issues are not just local but tend to be regional. It is important that we share our knowledge and resources with one another.”
    • LANY President Jeff Rose added, “It is long overdue that New York’s ground transportation industry speaks with a unified voice on the issues and objectives that concern all of us. We are a job creation machine. It is imperative that we work together and pursue policies, procedures and best practices that avoid a misfire of this economic engine.”
    • Douglas Schwartz, president of the Long Island Limousine Association, said, “There is nothing more powerful than knowledge, and nothing easier than sharing that knowledge with people you know.”

    In addition to the trade organizations, Ira Goldstein, the executive director of the Black Car Fund, will attend and participate in COTA meetings and activities, to provide organizational assistance and, where appropriate, to ensure that Workers’ Compensation coverage issues are addressed.

    Sources: COTA, Windels Marx; Martin Romjue, LCT editor

    Related Topics: Barry Lefkowitz, BCAC, COTA, LANJ, LANY, LBOA, LILA, limo associations, Matt Daus, New Jersey operators, New York operators

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