On June 10, the Wisconsin Limousine Association held a monthly conference call to discuss issues encountered by Midwest operators in the face of COVID-19. Operators from throughout the region took part in the meeting, along with CD Editor Rob Smentek, and discussion was moderated by WLA Vice President Larry Epstein of Gallant Knight Limousine and Secretary/Treasurer Karen Lotts of A Knight Rider Limousine.
The reopening of the Midwestern states was the chief matter discussed on the call. Director Paula DeBiasi of Chicago Coach Works—who also serves as executive director for the Illinois Limousine & Bus Association—provided an update on what’s happening in her state. As Illinois begins to open, there has been confusion because of differing guidelines between the counties. Curfews that were in place due to protesting have been lifted in Chicago, but city offices remain closed. However, the long-awaited O’Hare Travel Plaza, located at the airport’s limousine lot, is ready to open, with full amenities including gas pumps, a convenience store, and electric car chargers. Although Minnesota was ground zero for the protests and unrest during the past several weeks, the Minnesota Chauffeured Transportation Association has reported no major issues, and the state is moving forward with the reopening that started in May. Operators in that state are seeing an uptick in retail and leisure bookings.
The installation of sneeze guards in vehicles was also debated on the call. While a few members have tried them out to give passengers peace of mind, the “slippery slope” of whether this constitutes vehicle modification, and any insurance issues because of their use, is concerning to some operators.
The next WLA call is scheduled for Wednesday, July 8.
Visit wisconsinlimo.org for more information.