Driving Transactions
Thursday, July 18, 2024

L to R: Chauffeur Driven Circulation Coordinator Jessica Crismond, TLPA CEO Al LaGasse, and Chauffeur Driven Sales Manager Darren SaatSan Antonio — The Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) held its 96th Annual Convention & Trade Show in San Antonio from October 15-19. Sales Manager Darren Saat and Circulation Coordinator Jessica Crismond both attended the multi-day event, where they also raffled off a Samsung Bluetooth headset that was won by Peter Park of Janus Cam.

While the show was punctuated by meetings, educational opportunities, exhibits, general sessions, award ceremonies, open committee meetings, industry-specific addresses, and social events, it also saw the premiere of TLPA’s short documentary about Uber. The 10-minute film, which aims to debunk some of Uber’s most stubbornly persistent myths, is part of the association’s Who’s Driving You? campaign to raise public awareness about the dangers of unlicensed and unregulated transportation companies, and can be watched by visiting the initiative’s website at whosdrivingyou.org.

Many of the discussion groups, breakout sessions, and general sessions also explored the ongoing TNC issue from various angles, though other topics included fleet management, improving customer service, industry innovations, small-business tips, and the benefits of utilizing technology.

The show floor hosted an array of vehicles and vendors. Among the many paratransit and taxi offerings on display were Mobility Ventures’ two new models, the 2014 MV-1 SE Taxi Edition and the LX luxury vehicle, which are modified versions of the company’s wheelchair-accessible MV-1. Mercedes-Benz Sprinters designed for handicap accessibility were also available for vehicle tours. Technology companies were well-represented on the show floor with payment and hailing apps, dispatch programs, booking software, and tracking services all among the products signifying ground transportation clients’ changing demands.

Separate award ceremonies were held to recognize TLPA’s outstanding operators and drivers. Among those honored were Dawson Rutter of Boston’s Commonwealth Worldwide, who was named Limousine Operator of the Year, and the Limousine Chauffeur of the Year was Syed Islam of GO Executive Car Service in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

On the event’s last day, Michael Fogarty of Tristar Worldwide was sworn in as TLPA’s new president, marking the first time in the association’s history that it has a limousine-industry president at the helm. In his speech, Fogarty outlined his “ABC Agenda” for the upcoming year: addressing the ground transportation industry’s image; battling to get legally operating transportation companies and unregulated TNCs on a level playing field; and collaborating across associations and industries.

TLPA will hold its 2015 Spring Conference & Expo April 29 to May 2 in San Diego.

Visit tlpa.org for more information.