Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Mike Hartmann WLA President Mike Hartmann Madison, Wis. — Wisconsin Limousine Association (WLA) President Mike Hartmann of Stardust Limousines and WLA member Larry Epstein of Gallant Knight Limousine represented the Badger State’s livery industry at a January 31 meeting of the Wisconsin Coordinated Transportation Cooperative (WCTC). The WCTC is a collective of transportation associations representing the likes of rail, taxi, shared-ride companies, medical transport, and chauffeured transportation, all working together for a common goal.

The meeting, moderated by WLA lobbyist Gary Goyke, and Wisconsin Association of Taxicab Owners President Paul Bitorff, was meant to establish WCTC’s role in unifying various transportation groups, as well as how it will serve as an umbrella organization facilitating discussions and advocacy work regarding legislative initiatives that will affect all transportation providers in Wisconsin.

Additionally, the meeting covered not only the Legislature’s recent actions and how they will affect the state’s transportation industry but also the continued threat of TNCs—though to a lesser degree.

“Uber/TNCs were not talked about a lot,” Hartmann reported, adding that WCTC is working to add amendments to a proposed state TNC-related bill that the collective is just starting to work on. “TNCs want to get into medical transportation in Wisconsin because there are subsidies from the state they would receive if they get into this area of transportation.”

The WLA representatives addressed the 5-percent rental fee for higher-occupancy vehicles that they, the rest of the association, and Wisconsin operators have been inconvenienced by—and a fee that only affects luxury ground transportation.

There will be a Legislative Day for all transportation providers in Wisconsin on March 8 at the state capital of Madison. Hartmann strongly encourages those who operate in the state to attend, and the association is working on developing letters and brief talking points for those who will be speaking with elected officials during the event.

“We need to let them know what we are about so they stop taking stances against us,” Hartmann said. “We are part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

The next WLA conference call will be March 15.

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