Wednesday, February 20, 2019

FLA President Rick Versace of A1A Airport & Limousine Service (left) and Arthur Messina of Create-A-Card Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — The Florida Limousine Association (FLA) demonstrated that the chauffeured ground transportation industry is only getting more involved in the motorcoach world by hosting its January 9 meeting in conjunction with the United Motorcoach Association (UMA) Expo. To further solidify the connection, UMA offered all those who attended the FLA meeting free admission to the expo for the rest of the day.

During the meeting, FLA President Rick Versace of A1A Airport & Limousine Service announced exciting news: Legislation is being proposed that would create one statewide permit for luxury ground transportation operators in Florida—as operators currently need to be licensed in each of the state’s 67 counties, this would be a much more efficient move.

According to Versace, operators in every county are bleeding thousands of dollars paying for permits and fines while the likes of Uber and Lyft don’t. In certain areas of the state, companies need to have 11 different permits (and pay the related fees) to operate within the letter of the law. In Miami, a citation for one violation could be upward of $2,000.

“It's not right and it has completely eliminated any values our permits previously had,” he said. “Miami Dade permits that previously went for $30k are now going for $3,000. Business is tough enough: Why should we have to pay for permits and get citations left and right while the TNCs operate with impunity?”

This legislation will create strict guidelines regarding who can operate a luxury ground transportation company—but it will be a single set of guidelines, not conflicting rules determined by every county with a separate fee for every decal. Companies would obtain state authorization to freely operate anywhere in Florida. There will be stiff penalties for companies that do not comply.

As Versace has been meeting with other associations in Florida, their respective leaders and the entire board of directors of the FLA are 100-percent committed to getting this legislation passed. It will not be easy and it will not be cheap.

“We need your financial support,” Versace said. FLA members can renew their membership and make a contribution today at the FLA website, floridalimousine.com. “You can pay your county $250 to renew one car or you can contribute $250 to the FLA and never have to pay for another permit.”

The next FLA meeting will be March 23 in Las Vegas.

Visit floridalimousine.com for more information.

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