- Category: Industry News
Burlington County, N.J.—Limousine Association of New Jersey (LANJ) Executive Director Barry Lefkowitz was honored with the 2013 Public Service Award by the Southern Burlington County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (sbcNAACP) on Nov. 1 in Cinnaminson, N.J. The award was presented to him by U.S. Congressman Rob Andrews and N.J. State Senator Diane Allen.
Lefkowitz, having grown up in foster homes and eventually putting himself through college at 18 toward a successful future, has dedicated much of his life to working for economic development in Africa and scholarship opportunities for disadvantaged inner-city youth. According to Rev. Dr. Ken Gordon Jr., President of the sbcNAACP, Lefkowitz was the unanimous winner amongst committee members amid the ten other nominees for this year’s award.
“We are extremely excited about Barry receiving the award,” says Gordon. “There is no one more deserving than him.”
- Category: Industry News
San Diego, Calif.—The Greater California Livery Association (GCLA) held a General Meeting in San Diego on October 22 amid a wave of new regulations from the state.
After updates regarding the San Diego Convention Center Expansion and Tourism Authority and San Diego Airport, members shared a detailed discussion on new safety regulations in California’s charter industry.
In response to the limousine fire that killed five women in May, the California legislature passed SB 109, which requires limousines to have emergency exits, and SB 338, which requires limousines to carry fire extinguishers. Only SB 109 was passed into law by Calif. Governor Jerry Brown, who requested that the legislature return a revised version of SB 338 in 2014.
SB 109 will be implemented incrementally over the next three years. As of January 1, 2014, emergency safety talks with passengers will be required. By July 1, 2015, six and eight-passenger limousines will be required a fifth door and one push-out window. And on January 1, 2016, all six and eight-passenger limousines manufactured prior to July 1, 2015, must be retrofitted to include either one fifth door and one push-out window, two side push-out windows, or one side push-out window with a roof mount window.
In a formal response to SB 109, GCLA President Mark Stewart of CLI Worldwide expressed opposition to the bill, claiming that the rules “will force many limousine operators to cease offering the service or take their business underground to avoid the cost of new vehicle modifications in July 2015 as well as the retrofit starting in January 1, 2016, thus putting more California's at risk and without the insurance protection licensed operators carry.”
Stewart also called for all California operators to comply with the new rules, though, and assured that the GCLA will be working with qualified coach builders and law makers to influence any further amendments to SB 109 and any future transportation legislation.
Stewart also conducted a Q&A session with association members regarding the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)’s proposed decision declaring ridesharing apps as legitimate charter operations under the new category Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). Despite its seeming victory, Uber has released a petition for a rehearing on the grounds that it is a technology company, not a transportation company, and should be regulated as such. Stewart suggests that the confusing array of reactions over past two months comes from the vagueness of the decision’s language.
“It’s going to be a continuing process to determine what [the proposed decision] really says and what requirements are really going to come out of it,” states Stewart, who also says that the GCLA will hold off on making concrete statements or plans of action until the components of the decision become more transparent.
Visit gcla.org for more information.
- Category: Industry News
Atlantic City. N.J.—The Minority Limousine Operators of America (MLOA) held a meeting at the Chauffeur Driven Show in Atlantic City on November 4 for an informative discussion on request for proposals (RFPs).
MLOA President Maurice Brewster of Mosaic Global Transportation welcomed the members and reminded them that there are many opportunities with large private and corporate enterprises that aim to do business with minority-owned companies. Brewster then gave the floor to Arthur Messina of Driving Results, who moderated an expert panel discussion on how to take on RFPs, led by Lenore D’Anzieri of Driving Results, Darrell Anderson of A National Limousine Service, and Sean Duval of Golden Limousine International.
The panel explained that companies release RFPs as an invitation to other companies, government or corporate, to competitively bid to sell their services—essentially making it clear what that company desires and specifically how those bidding companies can fulfill those needs. The panel also explained that to receive RFPs, companies should go onto other companies’ supplier lists and develop relationships with them—perhaps by networking at local, national, and international business travel associations (BTAs).
“It still is about who you know,” said Duval. “And it’s not even so much as getting out on a golf course with a guy who can make these decisions. You need to talk to a decision-maker in a company and try to create these relationships.”
The panel also recommended that you stay away from blind RFPs, or ones that are unsolicited or from other companies with no history with you, as they are usually a way of price checking a deal they already made with somebody else. Furthermore, companies should make sure they don’t get labeled as nonresponsive to RFPs as that will likely ruin opportunities for business.
“If you don’t do this,” Brewster said humorously at one point about responding to RFPs, “I’ll continue to take business in your area.”
The session ended with a series of questions from members for the panel as well as a thankful gesture from Brewster, who concluded that the next MLOA meeting would be a workshop on becoming minority certified.
Visit mlooa.org for more information.