Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The 2019 GOLA Board of Directors honored longtime peer Al Castagna of Quick Transportation (second from left) Orlando — Nearly 60 members, family members, and supporters came out to celebrate the holidays with the Greater Orlando Limousine Association (GOLA) during its annual party, held this year at Westgate Lakes Resort on December 10. GOLA President Cliff Wright reports that “a good time was had by all.”

The holiday event was the debut of the newly elected 2019 board, the members of which led a special presentation to recognize longtime fellow board member Al Castagna of Quick Transportation for his many years of service to GOLA.

"Al has been a GOLA member since 2004, and served on the board for five years as secretary, as well as the treasurer for the past four years,” said Wright. “We honored him for his outstanding leadership service and dedication to the association.”

Nearly 60 guests joined GOLA for its annual holiday party December 13 Wright added that everyone went home with a gift, which ranged from sweets to big-ticket tech items, including a 55-inch SmartTV.

As GOLA looks ahead to the future, its goal for 2019 is to increase its ranks and educate members on local and national issues.

Its next meeting will be January 8.

Visit getaroundorlando.com for more information.

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BCAC New York — On December 4, the NYC TLC Board of Commissioners gathered to vote on two sets of proposed rules.

The first proposed financial transparency and protection rules which would mandate a minimum pay rate for app-based/High-Volume For-Hire Service (HVFHS) drivers—or just over $17 per hour after expenses. Second were the proposed rules on HVFHS base licensing regulations; however, until just a few days before the meeting date, another topic that was set to be voted on—the proposed congestion pricing rules—were omitted from the agenda.

The TLC Board of Commissioners declined to vote on the proposed congestion pricing rules for a few reasons. Commissioner Meera Joshi made a statement about why the Board declined to vote, as they are not entirely convinced that this is the most comprehensive policy to have put in place to address the congestion issue.

The reason being, according to the Commissioner, is because of the unjust imposition of such fee mandates on only the ground transportation industry in New York City, when there are various other industries not only heavily contributing to the city’s congestion issues—primarily in Manhattan's central business district—but also are in no way liable for any congestion pricing surcharges. The Commissioner added that there are so many current unknowns that the only sensible thing for the Agency to do is to postpone any vote.

BCAC also encourages any operator accepting work in New York City that time is running out to ask questions about the looming congestion pricing surcharges that will begin to be implemented January 1, 2019.

Tthere are still some specific situational, yet key, the industry still needs clarification on. BCAC members have been coming forward with various questions related to the congestion pricing surcharge, such as whether or not the surcharge is applied to empty FHVs entering the Manhattan congestion zone (below 96th Street).

The association’s goal is to collect as many specific questions as possible to bring to the appropriate individual in the Governor's Budget office for clarification. Members are encouraged to send an email to jfromberg@nybcac.org to let BCAC know what specific questions you have about the congestion pricing surcharge, when it is to be applied, or anything else.

Visit nybcac.org for more information.

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L to R: WFLA Vice President Ryan Hilberth, David DiDomenico of Showtime Transportation, WFLA President Jeremy Jenkins of His & Hers Limousines, and Shawn Brown of Showtime Transportation St. Petersburg, Fla. — The West Florida Limousine Association (WFLA) recently teamed up with the 127-year-old Tampa Bay-area charity Children’s Home Network to purchase and accept bicycle donations for the region’s underprivileged youth. The initiative supports the Bikes for Children program, which is geared toward giving local kids of all ages their first bicycle; WFLA’s December 13 holiday party doubled as a Bikes for Children donation night.

Previously, WFLA’s toy drive has traditionally filled a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or two with toys to give to children via local charities. This year, the group joined forces with local businesses that have also been assuming the role of Santa Claus for less-fortunate children—including Kelly’s Chic-A-Boom Room in Dunedin, Stroker’s in Palm Harbor, BobCAD-Cam, and Showtime Transportation—to make a bigger impact.

“We’ve been buying bikes for underprivileged kids as a small group, so when the WFLA proposed joining forces with us, I was all about more bike donations,” said Shawn Brown of Showtime Transportation, who has been a driving force for the cause as a contributor and bike donor for many years.

Prior to the event, the WFLA went on a shopping spree of its own to buy a few bikes for boys and girls of different ages. WFLA’s President Jeremy Jenkins of His & Hers Limousines and Vice President Ryan Hilberth of Rental Limo, Book.limo, and LMS filled a Sprinter with various bikes they purchased on the association’s behalf as donations that they hope inspire the same holiday cheer they experienced as children.

WFLA collected 90 bikes to donate to local children in need “I remember getting a bike for Christmas as a kid, and it was one of the best feelings,” said Jenkins.

On December 13, Bikes for Children met at Kelly’s Chic-A-Boom Room in Dunedin, Fla., with many representatives from the Children’s Home Network in attendance as dozens of bicycles, toy donations, and attendees alike poured in all night long. In total, more than a hundred toys and 90 bikes were collected on behalf of the benefitting charity. Among them, Dave Shaw and Steve Gould of Olympus Limo showed up with a pink chrome trick bicycle as their donation, while Jerry Hval of Luxor Limousine donated a Batman bike that delighted attendees’ inner children.

The WFLA board considers the event a resounding success.

“Imagine all the positives from giving so many children a bike this holiday season,” said Hilberth. “It was amazing to see the overwhelming amount of support that Bikes for Children received not only within the WFLA but also outside of our industry, and I’m so excited to be a part of this.”

Anyone interested in further supporting either Bikes for Children or Children’s Home Network can find out more at either bikesforchildren.org or childrenshomenetwork.org, respectively.

Visit wfla.org for more information about the WFLA.

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