Thursday, January 17, 2019

Allen John Serafin : November 20, 1945 - January 10, 2019 Allen Serafin, one of the original owners of Flyte Tyme Limousine, passed away on January 10, 2019.

Serafin founded Flyte Tyme in 1979, and was part of the company until his retirement in 2008. In addition to being a devoted member and active advocate for the Limousine Association of New Jersey, Serafin was one of the founding members of the National Limousine Association, and remained a committed member until his passing.

Serafin was father to four daughters, three of whom followed his footsteps in the luxury ground transportation industry. His familial ties to the industry spread further when his daughter Michelle married David Seelinger of EmpireCLS in 2002. The following year, Serafin became the father-in-law to industry veteran Tim Rose, whom his daughter Doreen married in 2003.

With the family involved with two of the largest and most successful companies in the industry with EmpireCLS and Flyte Tyme Worldwide Transportation, Seelinger and Rose acknowledged that Serafin created a limo family dynasty and was a true father figure.

Serafin is survived by his wife Teresa, four daughters, 21 grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

Despite close affiliation with luxury cars thanks to his long tenure in the industry, Serafin loved to be on his boat on the water, and was a member of the Coast Guard auxiliaries in New York and Florida.

The Chauffeur Driven team would like to extend their condolences to Serafin’s family and friends.

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TEMSA CEO Hasan Yıldırım announcing the launch of TEMSA North America at the UMA Expo 2019 Fort Lauderdale, Fla — TEMSA, a leading global manufacturer of buses and coaches, announced the launch of TEMSA North America on January 6 at the United Motorcoach Association Expo 2019. As part of the company’s strategic vision and investment for rapid regional growth, TEMSA North America will work directly with bus operators to furnish parts, service, and warranty support as well as to connect them with new vehicles from the company’s innovative line of coaches.

With more than 1000 vehicles already traveling the roads of North America, TEMSA is among the largest and fastest-growing manufacturers of coach buses operating in the United States and Canada today. As part of the company’s strategic vision, TEMSA is intensifying its focus on the North American market.

To support its growth plan and its growing North American customer base, TEMSA opened a national service center in Orlando, Fla., and in the first quarter alone, will open dedicated service centers in New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, and California. TEMSA North America’s field service technicians and mobile service vans are positioned and poised to provide service across all five regions in North America. TEMSA’s partner network will rapidly expand over the course of the year, with more than a dozen third party service and warranty locations planned to open by the end of 2019. 

“As a global manufacturer, it’s critical that every customer has a truly excellent experience when working with the TEMSA brand, regardless of where they are in the world,” said CEO Hasan Yıldırım. “By establishing a more direct relationship with our North American operators, we’re setting a customer-centric foundation for major growth in the years ahead.”

In addition to product quality and a clear focus on the customer, TEMSA is known in the commercial vehicle market for a steady stream of innovation and for its strides to support smart city initiatives. TEMSA represents one of the few automotive manufacturers offering alternative models of electric coaches, with two vehicles ready for serial production and plans an autonomous bus for 2022.

 “Our focus on the changing needs of bus operators and passengers is making TEMSA one of the most sought-after transportation brands in the world,” noted Yıldırım. “We look forward to building upon our tradition of product excellence to capture the increasing demand for both coach buses and for TEMSA’s transit buses, which will help us serve even greater numbers of customers across America.”

Visit temsa.com for more information.

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Meera Joshi Commissioner Meera Joshi New York — Commissioner Meera Joshi, the head of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), made an announcement that she will step down from her position in March. Since being unanimously confirmed in the role in 2014, Joshi was celebrated by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, transit experts and taxi advocates for expanding services to the disabled, reducing fatal crashes among for-hire vehicles and taxis, and pushing for regulation that allowed the agency to collect data from app-based companies like Uber.

Her resignation has rattled an industry that continues to struggle in the midst of the proliferation of Uber, Lyft, and other TNCs.

While the TLC declined to comment, Joshi issued a statement that highlighted the “increased accountability, safety, access, modernized taxi regulation, protected drivers and increased consumer protections” achieved by the organization during her tenure.

“The timing of commissioner Joshi’s resignation is concerning because the crisis for New York City drivers is far from over and the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s work to fix it is just beginning,” said Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, an association representing professional drivers.

Joshi’s announcement comes after several weeks of public disagreement between her and de Blasio in regards to the congestion fee imposed on for-hire vehicles (FHV) by the state government and scheduled to go into effect this month until a lawsuit stalled it. The commissioner said the fee would be “potentially devastating” for cabdrivers, while other sectors of the industry would have more flexibility to absorb the fee.

de Blasio last month supported the fee in an interview with WNYC, saying it would reduce traffic while funding repairs to the transit system.

In a statement, de Blasio said Joshi left behind an “unparalleled legacy.”

“Under her leadership New Yorkers who use wheelchairs can get service, passengers are assured that every driver and vehicle is safe, our city has detailed records of the one million daily trips, and New York City is the only place where app drivers have pay protection,” said de Blasio.

Mitchell Moss, director of New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, believes that Joshi’s departure is a loss for the city, as the collection of data from app-based companies, which was instituted under her oversight, has allowed the city to regulate a rapidly growing sector.

“She has understood the importance of ensuring privacy but not letting the private firms control the information,” Moss said.

According to city officials, a replacement will be announced in coming months.

“It’s no secret that we have often disagreed, but Chair Joshi has always remained committed to the facts and policy over politics,” said Uber spokeswoman Alix Anfang. “No matter the political environment.”

Visit nyc.gov/taxi for more information.

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