On Tuesday, October 25, the Illinois Limousine and Bus Association (ILLBA) hosted their semi-monthly Coffee With ILLBA educational program via Zoom. More than 25 operators logged in for a discussion devoted to Chicago city updates.
“These meetings are a great way to stay connected, even post-COVID,” said ILLBA Vice President Tracy Raimer of Windy City Limousine & Bus, prior to introducing the ILLBA Board of Directors.
Raimer immediately kicked things off with a recap of a recent meeting the association had with representatives from both Midway and O’Hare airports. In addition to news about various terminal changes, she shared that limousines are now permitted to pick up in the terminals. However, Raimer did state that the airport is issuing tickets for vehicles waiting in the commercial lots.
Another hot-button issue at the airport revolved around the TSA randomly searching waiting vehicles. Initially, ILLBA Executive Director Paula DeBiasi of Chicago Coachworks said that black car/limousine operators would not be searched, but one participant stated that her limousine had been examined.
“It’s important to stay tuned [to these matters] to make sure that things remain consistent,” said ILLBA President Art Rento of Pontarelli Companies.
Other news involved the association being in the process of coordinating a meeting with the new commissioner of the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP). The ILLBA Directors agreed that it’s important to foster a positive relationship with BACP, particularly with the influx of illegal ride hustling at airports.
Other topics discussed included DOT issues and regulations, IOs (specifically, complying with the Department of Labor), and the never-ending challenges of insuring a limousine company. On a positive side, the controversial “security guard” regulations—where an armed guard is required to be present on buses where alcohol is served—appears to be on its way out. One meeting participant said that the law is currently not being enforced at all, although some on the call said they still will comply until the legislation is repealed.
A full recording of this month’s Coffee With ILLBA is available on the association’s YouTube channel, and can be accessed by clicking here. The next meeting is planned for December 20, and is open to all operators.
Visit illba.org for more information.