Wednesday, January 27, 2021

PRLA President Steve RhoadsKing of Prussia, Pa. — The Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association (PRLA) met up July 19 for its most recent membership meeting, which President Steve Rhoads of Rhoads Limousine describes as “a short one where we got a lot done.”

With the association focusing its efforts on a level playing field—especially in terms of being granted the same 1-percent-of-revenue operating fee that taxis and TNCs are privy to instead of being charged per car—lobbying efforts dominated the conversation.

While the PRLA did see its members’ Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) fees reduced at the end of 2016, it is now working with a lobbyist from the firm Malady & Wooten to continue making Pennsylvania’s operational fees fairer for luxury ground transportation companies.

“We hired a lobbyist and are going through the process now of going through the Senate Appropriations Committee,” Rhoads said, explaining that the members of PRLA had to submit some operational numbers for analysis, which should result in an assessment for how to proceed. “The problem is we’re only 30 members and there are 200 limo operators in Philly. We did explain that but it seems like they’ll have enough information to evaluate how they want to proceed.”

He added that “there was a good response from most of our members” in terms of providing the data that would help PPA get a clearer picture of real numbers from chauffeured transportation operators.

“We had to move forward and get these guys to provide their numbers, or we’d have to roll the dice with what the PPA does next,” Rhoads said. “I was happy to hear that we had a great response.”

Rhoads further explained that, on the taxi side of transportation, medallion owners and drivers are at odds over who’s on the hook for the aforementioned PPA fees determined by overall revenue: “Nobody wants to pay it—we don’t want to pay it, either, but at least only paying 1 percent would put us on a level playing field.”

He added that there has been a newly proposed PPA per-ride fee—“like the hotel taxes you pay on the final bill”—under consideration as an additional line item, but that “it’s not quite there yet.” As it would be a very small fee to pass on, Rhoads surmised that the PRLA membership would be in support of it when the time comes for serious consideration.

The next PRLA meeting is tentatively scheduled for September 13.

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