Saturday, May 25, 2019

VLA Executive Director Philip Jagiela (left) and DFHV Director Ernest ChrappahWashington, D.C. — On February 13, the Government of the District of Columbia’s Department of For-Hire Vehicles (DFHV) invited members of the Virginia Limousine Association (VLA) to its annual meeting before D.C.’s city council. The hearing serves as a report card of sorts to determine how the agency is performing, and VLA’s Executive Director Philip Jagiela—who also serves as CD’s Industry & Brand Ambassador—provided a testimony on behalf of the livery association.

And it was a largely successful endeavor that showed that the district is listening to the operators working under its jurisdiction.

“Our industry regularly attempts to meet with legislators, regulators and airport officials and are often given a deaf ear,” Jagiela said. “That has not been the case for the VLA.”

He added that most participants were from the general public addressing their challenges while also expressing their “pleasure in dealing with the DFHV.”

During his opportunity to speak, Jagiela acknowledged the promising “new direction, efforts, and successes the VLA has experienced while working with Director [Ernest] Chrappah since September 2016.” He also addressed the member-provided feedback from the VLA regarding areas the DFHV would do well to improve, such as enforcement limitations, a lack of renewal notifications for District Operating privilege stickers, and how a lack of access to staging areas often lead to loitering violations.

Jagiela believes this is “a first for any regulatory agency to want stakeholders to speak about their business relationship,” and found both the opportunity and the DFHV’s willingness to hear about its successes as well as its deficiencies an optimistic development.

The next VLA meeting will be April 2.

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