Boston Chauffeur Driven Show
Thursday, June 20, 2019

TLPA Jack Perkowski of Green4U Technologies (left) and Matt Daus of Windels Marx An array of transportation operators, exhibitors, and experts gathered April 25-27 for the Taxicab, Limousine, & Paratransit’s (TLPA’s) Spring Conference & Expo in Palm Springs, Calif. The event was marked by a robust lineup of transportation operators, experts, panelists, and vendors pointing the way forward for the industry.

Sponsors of the conference, held at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa, included iCabbi, The Black Car Fund, CMT Group, and Autocab.

The first meeting of the year for the national multi-division transportation association, the spring conference provides a more intimate setting for operators and various TLPA committees and its board to discuss their most pressing issues while exploring possible solutions in a tight-knit group. TLPA’s committees also carried out the association’s agenda at meetings held throughout the conference.

TLPA L to R: Sam Amato of Gateway Global, Matt Assolin of Nikko’s Worldwide Chauffeured Services, Tarek Mallah of NuRide Transportation Group, and Berj and Greg Haroutunian of Vital Transportation Among the many subdivision, niche, board, and special interest meetings held during the event’s three days was the TLPA Limousine & Sedan Steering Committee, which addresses the specific needs of its members in the luxury chauffeured transportation industry and works to deliver solutions that include alternative business methods that operators can incorporate into their current practices. Co-chaired by Chuck Carns of City/Yellow & Mears Destination Services, Ira Goldstein of The Black Car Fund, and Terry O’Toole of Transdev on Demand, the committee also includes CD Publisher Chris Weiss.

In the interest of contunially strengthening ties within the transportation community, the West Coast-based conference was also an opportunity to host a joint event with the Taxicab Paratransit Association of California (TPAC), which was holding its annual meeting in the same locale.

“We are thrilled to join forces at this conference with our colleagues from TPAC,” said Alfred LaGasse, TLPA CEO. “Our agendas align on so many pressing issues of our time, and this sort of ‘big tent’ gathering is extremely valuable as we move our fleets forward through all of the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.”

TLPA TLPA CEO Al LaGasse (standing) helps attendees address their questions during a panel In his opening address, TLPA President Bill Scalzi of Metro Taxi Connecticut noted that the association’s most recent activities have focused on four key areas: addressing legal, regulatory, and legislative issues on a national scale; developing alternative business models for the industry; effectively engaging the media on the public safety failings of TNCs; and creating programs that foster public respect and recognition for the industry.

“Now is the time to keep our membership strong so that TLPA can continue to support our industry in the capacities that I just presented. If we all continue to work together through TLPA, then we will be successful and we will prevail,” Scalzi said. 

Green4U electric van The soon-to-be-released Green4U 14-passenger electric van was on display Nearly three dozen exhibitors showcased their products and services in the expo hall, while attendees were treated to meals, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres in the exhibit space. Some of the industry’s leading vendors showcased their newest products and services designed to help TLPA members grow their businesses.

The general session presented two major topics. One covered new insurance structures for the industry that are based on time and mileage to provide significant savings for operators. The second discussion focused on specific tactics for pursuing long-term competitiveness with TNCs. Both received overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees.

The conference also hosted six breakout sessions on topics such as fleet marketing tactics, driver recruitment, and the advent of autonomous vehicles.

During the multi-day conference, the TLPA received nominations from the floor for its 2018 roster of officers and directors, where 13 members were nominated.

 Up next for the TLPA is its July 12-15 Mid-Year International Leadership Conference in Anchorage, Alaska. The TLPA’s 99th Annual Convention & Trade Show will be held October 8-12 in Denver, Colo.  Visit tlpa.org for more information. [CD0617]