Regulations

LANJ Tackles List of Local Issues Involving Limo Service

Posted on March 22, 2013
LANJ President Tim Rose (L) and LANJ executive director Barry Lefkowitz updated New Jersey operators on several key issues at an association general meeting in Monroe Township, N.J. on Wednesday, March 20, 2013.


LANJ President Tim Rose (L) and LANJ executive director Barry Lefkowitz updated New Jersey operators on several key issues at an association general meeting in Monroe Township, N.J. on Wednesday, March 20, 2013.

LANJ President Tim Rose (L) and LANJ executive director Barry Lefkowitz updated New Jersey operators on several key issues at an association general meeting in Monroe Township, N.J. on Wednesday, March 20, 2013.
LANJ President Tim Rose (L) and LANJ executive director Barry Lefkowitz updated New Jersey operators on several key issues at an association general meeting in Monroe Township, N.J. on Wednesday, March 20, 2013.

MONROE TOWNSHIP, N.J. — The Limousine Associations of New Jersey held its quarterly board and general membership meetings March 20 at the Crown Plaza in Monroe Township, N.J. It is moving forward on several key actions, including introducing legislation about the encroachment of lawless jitney operators and the group's participation in the upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII.

Jitneys
Jitneys have become a real problem in the state of New Jersey. Originally intended as a means of beach-town transportation, many jitney companies have begun operating as limousine services, outside their intended jurisdiction, and in violation of regulatory authority.  

To make matters worse, Atlantic City is also looking to pass a bill that will allow jitneys to operate as limousines, yet outside New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) regulations. “We will testify against the jitney legislation in Atlantic City,” said LANJ executive director, Barry Lefkowitz.

In an attempt to level the playing field, LANJ is working with State Assemblyman Charles Mainor, D-31st District to introduce legislation that would require jitney operators to abide by the same rules and regulations as limo companies, including minimum insurance requirements, criminal background checks, and MVC authority. “They should be made subject to the same rules and regulations we are,” Lefkowitz said.

Jersey City Fees
Lefkowitz has met with the Jersey City Department of Commerce regarding fees the city has been inappropriately assigning to companies conducting any business in Jersey City. “The law specifically says principal place of business,” Lefkowitz said. “If you’re already registered in a municipality, another municipality cannot charge you.”

Jersey City has been assigned licensing fees of $500 per vehicle as a mercantile license. Furthermore, municipalities are limited in how much they can charge by New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) statutes. Lefkowitz distributed a letter to LANJ membership from the MVC that confirms that “municipalities may require a licensing fee up to and including a maximum amount of $50 per limousine service plus $10 for each limousine…”

Major LANJ meeting sponsor Don Brown Bus Sales, one of the leading national sellers of buses to the chauffeured transportation industry, brought several vehicles to the March 20 general membership meeting in Monroe Township, N.J., including this new high-end minibus from Grech Motors Inc. of Riverside, Calif.
Major LANJ meeting sponsor Don Brown Bus Sales, one of the leading national sellers of buses to the chauffeured transportation industry, brought several vehicles to the March 20 general membership meeting in Monroe Township, N.J., including this new high-end minibus from Grech Motors Inc. of Riverside, Calif.

Super Bowl
LANJ has been approached by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to sit on an advisory committee for transportation logistics for the Super Bowl for the 2013 season. The Super Bowl XLVIII will be played at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. LANJ will provide guidance and advice for to the committee, which will meet April 9. “LANJ is very pleased that we’ve been asked to assist the Port Authority,” Lefkowitz said.

One upper hand that New Jersey operators have in supporting Super Bowl ground transportation is that New Jersey chauffeurs already have gone through criminal background checks, as required by state law. Coordinating ground transportation for the Super Bowl recently held in New Orleans faced some delays from background checking all the chauffeurs without previous checks.  

Government Sequester
Lefkowitz updated the board about the anticipated problems of the ongoing government sequester — the automatic cuts that were supposed to frighten Congress into making a crucial budget decisions. Pending cutbacks affecting such things as air traffic control towers are expected to greatly limit the number of flights nationwide. Lefkowitz fears a dire scenario similar to what ground transportation companies experienced after 9/11.

Chauffer Training Program
LANJ is developing a chauffeur training certification program with Burlington County College. The goal is to enlarge the pool of qualified chauffeurs, stem the significant turnover rate in the industry, and ease the process of evaluating and hiring new employees. Still in its planning stages, the program will likely combine online coursework with a hands-on capstone experience.

— Denis Wilson, LCT East Coast Editor

Related Topics: Barry Lefkowitz, don brown bus sales, jitneys, LANJ, New Jersey operators, state regulations, Super Bowl, Tim Rose

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