- Category: Industry News
The literally ship-shaped Captain James Seafood Palace was host to the Maryland Limousine Association (MLA) membership meeting on March 29. Twenty-five members and guests were in attendance for the afternoon event, including CD President Chris Weiss and Editor Rob Smentek. In addition to a healthy mix of new and veteran members, the MLA welcomed guest speakers from Madison Capital and the Baltimore County Department of Health.
MLA President Len Joseph from On the Town Limousines kicked off the busy agenda by having each attendee introduce themselves with a short elevator pitch. He then introduced Allan Levine and German Ruiz from Madison Capital, who discussed the financial services they offer to the luxury ground transportation industry. The pair was asked by Joseph to address the challenges they are currently seeing in the marketplace, which led to a talk about rising interest rates (currently at 8-12 percent).
Next, Kayla Wright from the Baltimore County Department of Health, Bureau of Behavioral Health was invited to speak about the Safe and Sober Prom Pledge Program. This volunteer initiative encourages ground transportation companies to sign a pledge that they will protect minors from drugs and alcohol while in the vehicles. The MLA has long been a partner in this program, which has successfully promoted the industry as a safe means of transportation during the prom season. During her presentation, Wright shared some staggering statistics about drug and alcohol use among high school seniors.
After a short break for lunch, which allowed MLA members to network, Joseph provided a bit of “housekeeping” for the membership, including lot relocation at Baltimore Washington International (BWI) airport and PSC assessments. Also mentioned was a crackdown on “hack” operators at the airport, which have becoming increasingly brazen. MLA members were encouraged to photograph the plates and contact BWI police.
Then Weiss was introduced to say a few words about the recent CD/NLA Show in Vegas as well as upcoming events.
“It’s great to see the MLA resuscitated,” he said. “I’ve had a relationship with this association for close to 30 years.”
Weiss enthusiastically discussed the record-breaking attendance at the Vegas show, and offered up a description of the programming for CD/NLA Executive Retreat in Nashville this June 4-6. He emphasized the intensive, high-level education and unique networking opportunities available during the event, not to mention the fun local flavor.
Following a brief conversation about Limo Anywhere, spearheaded by Deanna Joseph of On the Town Limousines, Board Member Ray Gavino of Translogic Executive spoke about the opportunities in nonemergency medical transportation.
Finally, Joseph concluded the meeting with some takeaway he received from Bruce Heinrich of PAX Training at the CD/NLA Vegas Show, namely “hire slowly, fire quickly.”
The next MLA meeting is scheduled for May 23 at a venue to be determined.
Visit mdlimoassoc.org for more information.
- Category: Industry News
One of the industry’s best-known and most respected attorneys has been named to City & State New York’s 2023 Law Power List, featuring a lineup of the most influential counsel in the Empire State…and often, the politics of the state. Coming in at the dead-center spot (#51) was Windels Marx’s Partners Matt Daus, Tony Coscia, and Sanjay Mody (who also made the list in 2022). The esteemed group joins such notable names as Letitia James, New York’s Attorney General, and President & Dean of the New York Law School Anthony Crowell.
Matt Daus is a familiar face to many in the industry, spearheading the firm’s Transportation Practice Group, which he founded. He is an in-demand speaker on all things transportation related as well as a frequent contributor to Chauffeur Driven. He is also the current president of International Association of Transportation Regulators, a nonprofit association of government transportation officials. Daus is also the former chairman of the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission, which regulates and governs the for-hire transportation industry in the Big Apple.
Tony Coscia's practice focuses on corporate, commercial, and real estate matters, with a concentration on the financial elements of these transactions. He is the former chair of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the agency that oversees much of the bridges, tunnels, airports, and other important transportation infrastructure connecting the two states. He is also board chair of Amtrak, one of the region’s most heavily traveled rail systems.
Mody co-founded Windels Marx's infrastructure development and finance group. Previously a senior adviser at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, he counseled the board on development projects, including the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site.
“I am honored and proud to be named to this exclusive list of City & State top lawyers, alongside my esteemed partners, Tony Coscia and Sanjay Mody, who are not just accomplished counsellors, but dedicated public servants who care about improving mobility options nationally,” said Daus in an announcement from the firm. “The Windels Marx brand, with its almost 200-year history of successfully representing clients on a full-service platform with ‘Tradition, Innovation & Distinction,’ dates back to our representation of Thomas Edison in the 1800s, defending his claim as inventor of the light bulb. Of course, this is well before our time, but our history continues to inspire our team of transportation law professionals at the firm, as well as our many clients covering all mobility modes.”
The entire list can be found here.
Visit windelsmarx.com for more information.
- Category: Industry News
Could single permitting finally happen in Florida? That’s the goal of legislation currently moving through the Florida House and Senate, which has been supported by the Florida Limousine Association (FLA). Bills HB 807 and S 1700, nicknamed the Limo Reciprocity Bills, are aimed at eliminating the need for multiple licenses and permits in the various counties and municipalities that legally operating for-hire companies are currently required to possess to do pickups and drop-offs in those areas. If passed, the legislation could take effect as early as this summer.
The multiple permits requirement has long been an issue—an expensive one, as well—for Florida operators. In addition to the redundant permits, which quickly take up valuable space on vehicles, operators were often subject to extra inspections or for drivers to possess a special license. To make matters worse, TNCs operating in state aren’t subject to the same requirements, putting chauffeured transportation operators at an extreme disadvantage and often at a financial hardship.
According to the FLA, the stiff penalties attached to the citations the counties impose for noncompliance are even more of a burden. The association notes that it forces many operators to pick and choose which counties they will get permits for, playing a game of Russian Roulette when they dispatch a vehicle to another county.
According to a press release from the association: “The limo industry is a vital part of the infrastructure that moves the people and the businesses in our state, [and] the passage of Florida HB 807 is vital to the future success of the limousine industry in the state. By standardizing licensing requirements across counties and municipalities, the bill would promote competition, encourage innovation, and reduce compliance costs. It would also create a more consistent and unified regulatory environment for limousine operators, which would help streamline operations and benefit consumers. The industry's growth and profitability depend on the passage of HB 807, and it is essential that lawmakers in Florida recognize its importance and take action to pass it into law.”
HB 807 was introduced last month and is currently working its way through the Commerce Committee. S 1700 was introduced earlier this month and has been referred to the Transportation Committee. The bill’s progress can be tracked here.
FLA will also be hosting its Florida Ground Transportation Show at the Palm Beach Convention Center this June 12-13. More information is available here.
Visit floridalimousine.com for more information.