Boston—The Taxi, Limousine, and Paratransit Association held its 95th Annual Convention and Trade Show in Boston from October 27-31.
The event accommodated over 900 attendees, 27 educational sessions, and a trade show floor featuring 106 vendors. Sessions covered topics like marketing and technology. Throughout the event, however, there seemed to be a particularly strong emphasis on rogue apps.
"Year in and year out, TLPA does an amazing job of juggling and keeping all the balls in the air," noted TLPA President Bill Rouse in his State of the Industry speech. "This past year has been no exception, but this year has been more challenging. One issue, apps, has been almost all-consuming, so it seems right to start there."
The association announced its 2013 Limousine and Sedan Operator and Chauffuer of the Year awards to operator Barry Beall of First Class Executive Limo and chauffeur Richard Stockwel of Transport the People. Congratulations to both!
TLPA also used the show to hold elections for its 2014 Board of Directors, newly headed by:
President: Robert Werth of Diamond Transportation Services
President-Elect: Michael Fogarty of Tristar Worldwide
Philadelphia, Pa.—The Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association (PRLA) held a general meeting on November 12 in Trevose, Pa., to discuss regulations and upcoming events.
President Jim Salinger of Unique Limousine led a discussion on the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) proposed 200,000 Rule, which would require any limousine that exceeds 200,000 miles to be put out of commission. PRLA Secretary and Treasurer Jeff Shanker of A1 Limousine says that PRLA stands against this proposed rule and currently has an attorney trying to fight it. PRLA does not, however, contest the existing rule that requires limousines to be put out of commission after eight years.
Members then shared a discussion on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how it will affect the industry. Shanker says that PRLA will provide members with some informational material on the new law in early 2014.
PRLA is also preparing for its annual Monte Carlo Night at Twining Hall in Trevose, Pa., which will be held on December 11 at 6 p.m. Visit prlainc.com for more information.
Linthicum Heights, Md.—The Maryland Limousine Association (MLA) met this November to discuss Baltimore’s new tax that takes 25 cents per passenger for trips made by any vehicle holding 14 passengers or under in the city.
MLA Steering Committee Member Mark Thistle of FreedomCar updated MLA members on the tax, which was enacted in October. Since then, Thistle—along with MLA President Joanna Fridinger of The Limo Lady and Dwight Kines of Veolia Transportation—have formed the Baltimore Transportation Coalition (BTC) and attracted much attention to the issue from local media outlets.
"They really didn’t put a lot of thought into the way our industry works," says Fridinger, who notes that operators do not have capabilities to efficiently keep track of every time a run goes in or out of Baltimore. Furthermore, she states one of the larger BTC operators calculated that they would have to pay 50 cents for every 25 cents that goes to the city in determining if a pick-up or drop-off is located within the city’s limits.
Baltimore Councilperson Mary Pat Clarke recently proposed a 180-day delay on the tax to give more preparation time to operators who were not made aware of the new law until after it had already been implemented. In that time—from January to June—operators will be asked to pay an estimated tax.
Visit mdlimoassoc.org for more information.