Thursday, January 21, 2021
tlpa Transportation fleet operators from around the country met with federal lawmakers June 13 in Washington, D.C., bringing with them messages urging safety measures on federal contracts and fair business practices at America’s airports.

Members of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) met with dozens of U.S. representatives, senators, and staffers as part of the trade group’s annual Legislative Fly-In. Members focused discussions on two major issues for the industry.

First, members discussed the importance of requiring that drivers who provide transportation services funded in part by the federal government submit to and pass a national fingerprint-based background check. More than 80 programs across the federal government are authorized to fund transportation services for individuals with disabilities, older adults, veterans, people with lower incomes, and others who require alternatives to traditional public transportation services.

tlpa “The public must feel, at all times, that safety is the primary concern,” TLPA President Bill Scalzi said. “Proper biometric-based background checks are the gold standard, and they definitively confirm that drivers are who they say they are. These checks can protect passengers from harm and serve as a deterrent to dangerous actions, including everything from assaults to terrorist acts.”

Second, members discussed the importance of ensuring a level playing field for transportation companies that provide service to America’s airports. Fees for airport access for such companies must be proportional to the use of such facilities, the members said. In addition, if passengers cannot find a carrier because it lacks equal access to on-site facilities, or if operating rules favor one provider over another, then airports risk artificially distorting the market.

“If companies abide by the same safety rules and pay a fair fee for access to airports, then passengers will decide for themselves what is the best mode of transportation, rather than the airport tipping the scale in favor of one company over another,” Scalzi said.

These issues and others will be topics of discussion at the TLPA’s 99th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Denver, Colo., from October 8-12.

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