Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Montreal — Nearly 100 industry leaders met in Montreal, Canada, from July 16-18 for the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) 96th Annual Mid-Year International Leadership Conference.

CD0814 TLPA(Seated, L to R) Victor Dizengoff, Judy Griffin, Judith Potter, Robbie Werth, Margie Wilcox (Second row, L to R) Berj Haroutunian, Murray Rosenberg, Paul Rosenberg, Judy Swystun, Bill Scalzi, Ellis Houston, Sherry Watson, Fred Sweets, Jeb Corey, Tom Arrighi (Third row, L to R) Dave Reid, Jim Donnelly, Jim Bell, Dwight Kines, Bill Rouse, Bill Yuhnke, Jim Gillespie, Mike Fogarty, Brian McBride (not shown: Alfred LaGasse).The conference began with a meeting of the TLPA board of directors. It was noted that the fight with unlicensed transportation networking companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft was not going away. The board then examined TLPA’s continuing efforts to combat TNCs by reviewing its App Public Relations, Legal/Regulatory, Federal Legislation, and Member Education efforts. The day ended with a cocktail reception where networking opportunities renewed old friendships and established new ones.

After a group breakfast came the general session, where President Robert Werth welcomed everyone to the conference and then addressed Industry Priorities and Challenges: unlicensed—and, in many cases, illegal—transportation companies; enhancing customer service; the next transit reauthorization bill; one-touch mobile data terminal exemption from distracted driving provision; passage of the Passenger Safety and Security (PASS) Act; how to use social media; and technology in general.

President Werth reinforced TLPA’s message to regulators and elected officials as to what is needed to ensure a level playing field for fair competition, including how all operators should require the following: full-coverage primary commercial automobile liability insurance; law-enforcement-conducted background checks; motor-vehicle record checks; public vehicle inspections; non-discriminatory service; and payment of local taxes.

Michael Stiegel, Esq., from the law firm Michael Best & Friedrich in Chicago, Ill., gave the presentation “Illinois App Litigation, Regulation and Legislation.” Stiegel provided a history of Uber in Chicago, an overview of the four Uber-related Chicago court cases, and the city’s rideshare company ordinance. He concluded his remarks with an explanation of legislation passed by the Illinois House and Senate that is awaiting the governor’s signature. The bill is balanced, as it establishes basic safety and training standards as well as insurance minimums for rideshare companies.

The educational sessions concluded with a wide-ranging open discussion on our industry’s future.

The TLPA 96th Annual Convention & Trade Show will be from Oct. 15-19 in San Antonio, Texas, at The Grand Hyatt San Antonio and the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

Visit tlpa.org for more information.