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Thursday, February 02, 2023
After an open voting period, members of the NLA have elected five new operators to serve on the 2014-2017 board of directors. The newly inducted members are:

At Large: Scott Solombrino, Dav El Boston in Chelsea, Mass.

Central Region: Erich Reindl, Avanti Transportation in Houston, Texas

Northeast Region: Douglas Schwartz, Executive Limousine in Bellmore, N.Y.

Southeast Region: Dave Shaw, Olympus Limo in New Port Richey, Fla.

West Region: Gary Buffo, Pure Luxury Transportation in Petaluma, Calif.

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Orlando, Fla.—Greater Orlando Limousine Association (GOLA) members took some useful notes on December 19 when Compliance Specialist Marc Knolt of Admin 2000 came by to lead an eye-opening seminar on DOT compliance.

Knolt explained that with the recent deaths and accidents of the past year, federal regulators have been pushing states to start enforcing existing laws that many operators did not even know existed.

“A lot of people think that as long as they’re good to go with the city, that that’s all they need to do,” says Knolt. As he explains, though, operators now need to keep up with these newly-enforced state and federal regulations. Knolt made clear on many points, including that federal regulations apply to all operators as passenger carriers—even those whose chauffeurs don’t cross between state borders.

“It’s a lot of little things that could add up to big things,” says GOLA President Cliff Wright of Royal Coach and Limousine about the wide scope of DOT criteria touched on in the seminar.

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Albany, N.Y.—Limousine Bus, Taxi Operators of Upstate New York (LBTOUNY) and Black Car Assistance Corporation (BCAC) have made significant progress in repealing N.Y.’s five percent tax on operators.

Just days after Former Gov. George Pataki and former Comptroller Carl McCall of Gov. Cuomo’s Tax Reform and Fairness Commission supported ending “nuisance taxes”—which was understood to include the five percent tax—BCAC and LBTOUNY representatives met with N.Y. Deputy Budget Director Mary Louise Mallick in Albany.

“They listened to everything,” says LBTOUNY Member Bastian, “because the issues that are going on downstate are different from how the tax affects the operators upstate.”

Bastian encourages N.Y. operators to contact their representatives—particularly those operators downstate where there are more representatives. Operators can also sign an online petition here (link:


BCAC has also won a battle of its own in New York, successfully halting a vote by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) on December 19 to cut New York’s E-Hail pilot program short and fully implement it into the city’s taxi industry. The E-Hail app would enable smartphone users to arrange for cab pickups.

TLC Commissioner David Yassky welcomed testimony on the program at the meeting, but announced that there wouldn’t be any vote after several commissioners requested that the pilot run its full course. The BCAC, along with having a sit-down with the Livery Round Table, received cooperation from taxicab representatives in the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) and the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade (MTBOT), who sent the letter requesting the vote’s cancellation to the commissioners.

As BCAC COO Ira Goldstein of the Black Car Fund points out, the E-Hail pilot program was approved by the TLC to be a one-year pilot program and insists that it endure the entire year so as to reveal the full effect it will have on New York’s industry. Goldstein also expresses concerns with the accuracy of the data the program has generated, which he included in a formal letter to Yassky.

“Everyone knows yellow cabs are street hails—you put your hands in the air—and the liveries and black cars are pre-arrangement,” says Goldstein. “We’re just trying to preserve that.”


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