Information about anything concerning the limousine and livery industry

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National Limousine Association Partners with Jobs With Justice a Leading Labor Advocacy Group

For years, drivers who work for ride-hail app companies like Uber and Lyft have been coming forward with claims of poor working conditions, including one driver who gave the infamous quote regarding being treated “only a little better than slaves“. Every major ride-hail app company opts to categorize its workers as independent contractors, thereby sidestepping their obligation as the employer to provide adequate healthcare, workman’s comp, insurance, and vehicle maintenance reimbursements. Uber has been sued by many of its drivers for multiple reasons, including poor treatment and misrepresenting the earning potential of their drivers, which they settled with the FTC for $20 million.

They are also settling a separate case with the FTC over claims of predatory leasing offers which Uber has claimed will help get drivers in cars and on the road at the best rates possible. These claims have proved to be utterly false, with court documents containing damning statements like “Uber’s communications with at least one auto company have acknowledged payment terms and conditions that are inconsistent with Uber’s promises to Drivers.”

“In a society that increasingly values convenience over safety and responsibility, it is the obligation of the NLA to raise awareness about how ride-hailing services, for financial gain, are circumventing fair labor laws and are not adhering to the same safety standards and regulations that are often applicable to taxis and limousines,” said Gary Buffo, President of the NLA. “Our partnership with Jobs With Justice is a vital step towards bringing these urgent matters to the forefront of conversation here in the United States. Ride-hailing services are misleading passengers, exploiting drivers and putting our economy at risk.”

Read the rest of the article here 

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FORMAL COMPLAINT AGAINST TEXAS GOVERNOR ABBOTT, LT.GOV PATRICK AND ATTORNEY GENERAL PAXTON and REP. PADDIE

Abe Martinez US Attorney

Dear Limousine Operators,

The limousine operators in Texas are very disappointed and angry because of the approval of the State of Texas HB 100, State Regulation of the UBER Transportation Service without including them in the process and with mandating the basic requirement, imposed on limousine and taxi industries, while disregarding the customers safety and well being supposed to be protected by the state legislators.

One of the Limousine operators is fighting back using the legal way to pursue the Governor of Texas and other concerned elected officials. Joe Jordan has send a letter to the U.S Attorneys Abe Martinez & Brian Stretch to seek an injunction to halt the implementation of the HB 100 bill.

Below id the letter he sent.

 

—-Start of the letter—-

Abe Martinez
U.S. Attorney
Southern District of Texas
1000 Louisiana St. Suite 2300
Houston TX 77002
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May 24th, 2017
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cc: Brian Stretch
U.S. Attorney
Northern District of California
Federal Courthouse
450 Golden Gate Ave 11th Floor
San Francisco CA 94102
 

Dear Mr. Martinez:

We are contacting you today to seek an immediate Federal Injunction to halt the vote or implementation of State of Texas HB 100, State Regulation of the UBER Transportation Service.

It is our contention that UBER is a Continuing Criminal Enterprise as defined under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Statute (CCE/RICO).

We further contend that UBER’s “Unusually Large” campaign donations have caused the Governor and the Texas Legislature to not perform normal due diligence in investigating potential illegal conflicts of interest on contractors seeking to be licensed by the State of Texas.

WE SPECIFICALLY ACCUSE THE ABOVE PARTIES OF:

  • Malfeasance of Office
  • Deprivation of Civil Rights While Acting Under Color of Law
  • Money Laundering
  • Human Trafficking
  • Investor Fraud
  • Consumer Fraud
  • Reckless Endangerment of Public Safety
  • Promoting Employment of Illegal Aliens
  • Gross Negligence

Salient Points:

  1. The Texas Attorney General is under State and Federal indictments and must be recused in this matter. (Eg. Letting the fox guard the hen house)
  2. HB 100 does not provide for DPS/FBI/NCIC background checks of drivers. Police agencies at all levels have emphatically said that background checks without finger prints are “Totally
  3. Worthless”
  4. HB 100 does not provide for adequate 24/7/365 verification of driver’s personal auto insurance with a TNC rider.
  5. HB 100 does not provide for verification of a driver’s right to work in the USA, Green Cards, I-9 or E-Verify. This is a flagrant abuse of President Trump’s efforts to halt illegal immigration of people stealing jobs from Americans.

ONGOING FEDERAL CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS OF UBER BY USDOJ NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

  1. UBER proprietary software called “Grayball” that enables drivers to evade police and transportation inspectors.
  2. Intellectual Property Theft of Google Alphabet, Waymo and Otto where UBER allegedly enticed an executive of Alphabet to quit and abscond with 14,000 highly technical emails on driverless cars.
  3. Intellectual Property Theft from Apple regarding personal information on customer’s Apple phones.
  4. Violation of the Privacy Act where UBER used its “Godview” software to track and harass women, competitors, and politicians.

SUMMARY:

Time is of the essence. HB 100 must go to the governor by May 29th to be signed. We feel that this bill is flawed and highly illegal under numerous Federal Statutes and should be halted by your office unless and until these issues can be properly resolved.

Please take immediate remedial action

Joe L. Jordan

—-end of the letter —–

If you have any questions for Mr. Jordan, you can contact him using the information below.

Joe L. Jordan, Editor
Limoinsider Report
14173 Northwest Freeway #166
Houston TX  77040
713 680-3181
limoinsider@aol.com
www.limoinsider.net

 

Jon Ouazdi
Admin
TransGates Limousine

 

 

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The European Court of Justice Advisor Said Uber is a Transport Company

UBER Transportation Services

In a preliminary opinion, an advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said Uber is a transport company, meaning it should be covered by the laws that govern taxis, minicabs and other similar services.

The  non-binding decision from Maciej Szpunar, the advocate general to the court, says the firm is “undoubtedly” a transport firm and “the service offered by Uber cannot be classified as an ‘information society service.” Instead, he added the service amounts to the organization and management of a comprehensive system for on-demand urban transport.

Subsequently, “the service offered by the Uber platform must be classified as a ‘service in the field of transport'”. If classified as such, Uber would fall under and abide by the rules and regulations of each EU country that cover how taxis and minicabs should operate.

Uber is currently used in 21 European countries and has suffered legal set backs in individual courts. In June 2016, French judges slapped the firm with a £625,500 fine for its UberPop service using unlicensed drivers.

Later this year, the ECJ will issue its final decision on the case, which will replace Szpunar’s opinion. In many cases, the ECJ follows the preceding opinion but it is also possible the court will rule in Uber’s favor. If the full decision agrees with the opinion, it could cause expansion headaches for Uber across the continent.

The change would not necessarily mean Uber has to change its business model, nor would it affect all of the European countries it operates in as, in many cases, the company already complies with transport laws. The original case in front of the ECJ stems from a 2014 complaint by a Spanish taxi firm that argued Uber’s operation wasn’t fair due to it not having to comply with the same laws.

Uber says it is waiting for the final decision to be issued later this year but said “being considered a transportation company would not change the way we are regulated in most EU countries as that is already the situation today”.

“It will, however, undermine the much-needed reform of outdated laws which prevent millions of Europeans from accessing a reliable ride at the tap of a button,” added an Uber spokesperson.”

Read full article here 

Jon Ouazdi
Admin
TransGates Limousine

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The on-demand economy is a bubble—and it’s about to burst

Uber Bubble Will Burst Soon

Enjoy on-demand services while you can.

Whether it’s getting a lift whenever you want or ordering pad thai from the comfort of your couch, the rise of the on-demand economy has made a lot of people’s lives more convenient. But many of the services we know and love might not be around in a few years. Those that survive will continue to make aspects of your life as easy as touching a button but there will be many more that will die a swift, quiet death.

After the rapid growth of Uber and Lyft, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs saw major opportunities to apply the principles these ride-sharing apps embody in other verticals. Food and grocery delivery on-demand services such as Instacart and Doordash quickly followed, along with dozens of others such as parking service Luxe and dry-cleaning delivery Rinse.

But just because massive companies like Airbnb are finding success in the travel sector doesn’t mean that on-demand delivery of goods and services in other areas has been solved. Other than ride sharing, lodging, and food delivery, mass-market adoption for on-demand uses is shaky at best. (In fact, we re not even sure if the on-demand economy is technically legal.) Instead, venture capital is fueling the space and essentially subsidizing services. But VC money does not make your company invincible, and you can only finance growth through venture money for so long even  Uber and Lyft are burning through a ton of cash

 

The on-demand bubble is poised to burst and soon. This is because of our lack of brand loyalty, episodic customer use, and the use of precarious business models. The services that survive will focus on locking in customer and suppliers, objective outcomes (such as getting from point A to point B), a high frequency of use (you need food every day, for example), and services where automation can eventually help play a role to bring down costs.

Lack of loyalty

Consumers of on-demand products feel no inherent loyalty to a specific brand, especially when the outcome of the service is objective (such as ordering food from the same restaurant) and similarly priced. For example, if you want groceries delivered to your house, do you really care if you receive the goods from  Amazon Prime, Google Shopping Express, or Instacart? How many times have you flipped back and forth between Uber and Lyft to find cheaper rates? If you have a single bad experience with one service, you’ll likely switch to another there’s no shortage of them for you to try out, after all, and there are always new ones cropping up with cheap sign-up offers.

The same goes for the employees at these companies—if you can really call them that. (Uber doesn’t.) The on-demand economy isbuilt on 1099 employees, who are independent contractors. These workers are not allotted the same level of benefits of full-time employees and are considered self-employed. This is both a strength of the model and a weakness.

By making Uber drivers (despite efforts to unionize) and Lyft drivers 1099 workers, these companies are able to maintain low-cost structures because they don’t have to pay benefits such as healthcare; you are also not on the hook for unemployment payouts if a 1099 employee is fired. But the flipside is that Uber and Lyft are constantly competing for workers, as good drivers aren’t tethered to a single company by an employee contract: There is no reason for a Lyft driver to remain loyal to Lyft, just as there is no incentive, other than ride-milestone bonuses, for an Uber driver to solely drive for Uber. Your next Doordash delivery might be completed by someone who also delivers for Instacart, and you can often find the same apartment listed on both Airbnb and VRBO. This concept, on both the supply side and the demand side, is known as “multi tenanting.”

Every on-demand company that supplies services using people faces this problem. Companies like app-based restaurant Sprig have tried to solve this by making its delivery and logistics teams employees, thereby incentivizing them to stick to the service. Sprig employees of all levels are also entitled to perks, like stock options.

Service is episodic and expensive

Even services that have amazing reputations sometimes conclude that customer behavior is too episodic and inconsistent to predictably figure out realistic revenue goals to be profitable. For example, you may love Luxe’s service, but how often are you willing to actually use an on-demand valet? Many people are happy a service exists to serve a niche purpose, but they won’t use it on a regular enough basis to bring in a reliable cash flow and keep it afloat.

Read the rest of the article

 

Jon Ouazdi
Admin
TransGates Limousine

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If S.B. No. 176 Passed, It Will Radically Change TNC & Limousine Business

TransGates-Limousine-at-Capitol-Hill-Meeting.
Austin 05/02/2017. 9:00 AM
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On Tuesday May 02, 2017, The Limousine Coalition of Texas has gathered in Capitol Hill in Austin to meet with State Sen. Charles Schwertner  to discuss his State bill S.B. No. 176. The meeting started at 9:00 am and six Limousine operators were representing different geographical areas of Texas, with different companies sizes from a one car operator to a 200 vehicles operation.
 
The Houston Limousine Association was represented by Matt Matt Assolin, VP of Nikkos Worldwide Chauffeured Services and Jon Ouazdi, owner of TransGates Limousine.  Austin was represented by Mark R. Sweetland, president of Carey of Austin. Dallas was present by Todd Davis, Business Relations manager of, Premier Transportation of Dallas, Jason L. Smith is the president of Lone Star Executive Limousine out of the Woodlands, Conroe area and Ed Herndon, president of Esquire Limousine out of Round Rock , TX.
TransGates-Limousine-at-Capitol-Hill-Meeting.

Texas Limousine Operators at State Sen. Charles Schwertner  office in Capitol Hill Austin. —  From Left to right: Jason L. Smith, Ed Herndon, Jon Ouazdi, Mark R. Sweetland, Matt Assolin, Todd Davis.

The Texas S.B. No. 176 introduced by State Sen. Charles Schwertner District 5 (R-Georgetown) is another bill that would allow the TNC Providers to be regulated by the State. If passed this bill will radically change the limousine business model as we know it today. The TNC will enjoy so much freedom and flexibility, and a state wide reduced overhead, and a huge saving when it comes to administrative work concerning licensing vehicles. The Limousine operators raised concerns about many issues that was overlooked and forgotten and we have a great meeting with Mr. Joey Halbert which is the person who wrote the actual bill.

Just an example compared to Limousine, the TNC  will pay $10,000 for a license for up to 50 drivers, and the license is valid for 2 years. which means $5000 per year. If we do the math, that’s a $100 per driver. Most Limousine companies in Houston pay between $700 & $1200 per vehicle, so we are already losing when it comes to the first expense to be paid to start driving, and the rest is on the way.

The stand of the Limousine Coalition of Texas is the fact that Texas TNC Bills  176 address the needs of a few, not the many.  It only accommodate the needs of the new players in the transportation business (TNC’s), while totally ignoring the classic providers of livery, charters, and other mode of transportations services. Moreover, Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) have a poor track record when it comes to public safety that bills do not entirely address.

Limousine, Shuttle, Charter, Airport Shuttle, jetney and other for hire vehicle companies (FHVs) in Texas support the following measures in general terms:

  1. Drug Testing Requirement
  2. Fingerprint Background Checks
  3. Full Time Commercial Insurance
  4. Vehicle Safety Checks

The regulatory power of cities and municipalities has been increasingly overreaching for the past decade.  Many regulate beyond their scope as provided by Texas Transportation Code Section 215.004.  Such infringements include regulating and levying fees on vehicles that seat 16 passengers and more, creating burdensome laws that result in poor business practices and municipalities with less than 1.9 million people regulating transportation.  For instance, small cities in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area are popping up with their own fees with less than the 1.9 million people requirement.  

Many FHV fleets in Texas have a mixed fleet of vehicles that end up falling under multiple regulatory agencies, such as several municipalities and under Texas DMV.  As an example, in the DFW area, companies must register and pay fees for their vehicles that seat 15 passengers or less to five different regulatory jurisdictions; then, they must also add Texas DMV for their vehicles seating 16 passengers or more.  In the case of Houston, the city regulates FHVs, what’s to stop Montgomery County (north of Houston) to begin levying fees arbitrarily.  Moreover, there is an increasing amount of travel between Austin and San Antonio due the close proximity of the cities and shared industries.  City officials in both cities are unduly harsh on FHVs requiring permits for each city, even in violation of the RIDE Act set out by US Congress five years ago regulating ground transportation with regard to interstate commerce.

It is the view of the current Limousine, Shuttle, Charter, Airport Shuttle and any for hire vehicle companies (FHVs) in Texas that having multiple jurisdictions of regulation is burdensome, punitive towards providers and consumers and stagnates growth of revenue and jobs.  Limousine Coalition of Texas can support SB176 with the following changes to the bill

  1. Re-writing of SB 176 to include all FHV categories and removing the ability for cities and municipalities to regulate and levy fees to the FHV industry with exception to public airports.  All regulation would be enforced by the Texas DMV.  This would include removing the term “Limousine” from Texas Transportation Code Section 215.004.
  2. 10-point fingerprint background check and criminal history report for all drivers.
  3. Implementation of 5-panel Drug Testing for all drivers of FHVs and TNCs.
  4. Change of fee levied upon FHVs and TNCs to a percentage of gross revenue directly related to vehicles operated in Texas or implementing a different category of fee for companies who own their own vehicles.
  5. Requirement of full time, primary payer, commercial liability insurance for no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence.
  6. Adding all FHVs would add funds to the general fund to support the activities of the DMV enforcement.
  7. We would like to reference California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) section 5371 as a framework for a new Texas Transportation Regulatory Authorization.

Most recently, to prove how ineffective, burdensome and economically depressing our current system is, during the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston, companies in Houston had to jump through enormous hoops to bring other in-state licensed chauffeured vehicles into the market to satisfy demand.  It cost thousands of dollars and hours of time to satisfy the demands of the City of Houston regulatory burden.  

At the end of the day, all we ask for is a fair and level regulatory playing field.  Our position is that TNCs are here to stay and compete in the market.  However, they should not have a government given advantage.   We ask that any further consideration to SB176 would include ALL for hire vehicles in the State of Texas and can provide for a new regulatory environment.

Please read the bill and become familiar with your future. If you have any questions or suggestions for the bill, please join us on the Houston Limousine Association meeting, Tuesday May 16, 2017 at 6:30 pm, there will be a detailed discussion about the bill and other issues related to this matter.


State Sen. Charles Schwertner

State Sen. Charles Schwertner

85R2901 JTS-F 

By:  Schwertner   S.B. No. 176

  

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT

relating to the regulation of transportation network companies; requiring an occupational permit; authorizing a fee.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Subtitle C, Title 14, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Chapter 2402 to read as follows:

CHAPTER 2402. TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 2402.001.  DEFINITIONS.  In this chapter:

(1)  “Commission” means the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation.

(2)  “Department” means the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

(3)  “Digital network” means the online-enabled application, software, website, or system offered or used by a transportation network company to connect passengers and drivers.

(4)  “Passenger vehicle” means a motor vehicle designed to carry fewer than 16 passengers, including the driver.

Sec. 2402.002.  DEFINITION OF TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY.  In this chapter, “transportation network company” means a corporation, sole proprietorship, or other entity that enables a passenger to prearrange a ride in a passenger vehicle with the driver of the vehicle exclusively through the company’s digital network.  The term does not include an entity that provides, in addition to rides prearranged through a digital network:

(1)  street-hail taxicab services; or

(2)  limousine or other car services arranged by a method other than through a digital network.

Sec. 2402.003.  CONTROLLING AUTHORITY.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, transportation network companies and drivers accessing a transportation network company’s digital network are governed exclusively by this chapter.  A municipality or other local entity may not:

(1)  impose a tax on or require a license for a transportation network company or a driver who has access to a transportation network company’s digital network; or

(2)  subject a transportation network company or a driver who has access to a transportation network company’s digital network to the municipality’s or other local entity’s rate, entry, operational, or other requirements.

SUBCHAPTER B.  PERMIT REQUIRED

Sec. 2402.051.  PERMIT REQUIRED.  (a)  A person may not operate a transportation network company in this state without obtaining and maintaining a permit issued under this chapter.

(b)  The department shall issue a permit to each applicant that meets the requirements of this chapter and pays the fee required by Section 2402.052.

Sec. 2402.052.  FEE.  A transportation network company shall annually pay a fee to the department to maintain a permit under this chapter. The amount of the fee is:

(1)  $10,000 for a transportation network company whose digital network is used by 50 or fewer drivers;

(2)  $30,000 for a transportation network company whose digital network is used by 51-200 drivers;

(3)  $75,000 for a transportation network company whose digital network is used by 201-1,000 drivers; and

(4)  $125,000 for a transportation network company whose digital network is used by more than 1,000 drivers.

Sec. 2402.053.  PERMIT APPLICATION.  (a) An application for a transportation network company permit must be on a form prescribed by the department.  The application must include information that meets the requirements of this chapter and information the commission by rule determines is necessary to determine the applicant’s qualifications to adequately serve the public.

(b)  The applicant shall notify the department of any material change in the information included in an application not later than the 10th calendar day after the date the change occurs. The department shall prescribe a form for the disclosure of material changes.

Sec. 2402.054.  TERM; RENEWAL. (a) A permit issued under this chapter is valid for two years. The department shall prescribe the form and requirements necessary to apply for a renewal of a permit.

(b)  The department shall notify each person holding a permit under this chapter of the date of permit expiration and the amount of the fee required for permit renewal. The department shall send the notice not later than the 30th day before the date of the permit expiration.

SUBCHAPTER C.  DRIVER REQUIREMENTS AND POLICIES

Sec. 2402.101.  DRIVER PREREQUISITES.  (a) Before allowing an individual to act as a driver on the company’s digital network, a transportation network company must:

(1)  require the individual to submit an application to the company that includes information regarding the individual’s address, age, driver’s license, driving history, motor vehicle registration, motor vehicle liability insurance, and other information required by the company;

(2)  conduct, or have a third party conduct, a local and national criminal background check for each individual that includes the use of:

(A)  a commercial multistate and multijurisdiction criminal records locator with primary source validation; and

(B)  the national sex offender registry database maintained by the United States Department of Justice or successor agency; and

(3)  obtain and review the individual’s driving record.

(b)  A transportation network company may not permit to act as a driver on its digital network an individual who:

(1)  has been convicted of:

(A)  more than three offenses classified by the Department of Public Safety as moving violations in the preceding three-year period; or

(B)  one of the following offenses in the preceding three-year period:

(i)  evading arrest or detention under Section 38.04, Penal Code;

(ii)  reckless driving under Section 545.401, Transportation Code;

(iii)  driving without a valid driver’s license under Section 521.025, Transportation Code; or

(iv)  driving with an invalid driver’s license under Section 521.457, Transportation Code;

(2)  has been convicted, in the preceding five-year period, of driving while intoxicated under Section 49.04 or 49.045, Penal Code;

(3)  has been convicted at any time of:

(A)  fraud;

(B)  a sexual offense;

(C)  use of a motor vehicle to commit:

(i)  a felony;

(ii)  a crime involving property damage;

(iii)  theft;

(iv)  an act of violence; or

(v)  an offense of making a terroristic threat;

(D)  an offense listed in Article 42A.054(a), Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(E)  invasive visual recording under Section 21.15, Penal Code;

(4)  is a match in the national sex offender registry database;

(5)  does not possess a valid driver’s license;

(6)  does not possess proof of registration or financial responsibility for the motor vehicle that will be used to provide rides prearranged through the company’s digital network; or

(7)  is younger than 19 years of age.

Sec. 2402.102.  DRIVER DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE POLICY.  (a) A transportation network company shall adopt and implement a policy prohibiting drivers from using or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the driver is logged on to the company’s digital network, regardless of whether the driver is providing a ride prearranged through the network.

(b)  A transportation network company shall post on the company’s Internet website:

(1)  notice of the drug and alcohol policy; and

(2)  procedures to report a complaint about a driver with whom a passenger was matched through the digital network and who the passenger reasonably suspects was using or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the course of the trip.

Sec. 2402.103.  DISCRIMINATION POLICY.  (a) A transportation network company shall adopt and implement a policy prohibiting driver discrimination against passengers and individuals requesting rides using the company’s digital network based on:

(1)  a characteristic protected from discrimination under state or federal law, including race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression; or

(2)  the geographic location of a person requesting a ride.

(b)  A policy adopted under Subsection (a) must include provisions prohibiting drivers from:

(1)  refusing to accept a ride request based on the geographic location of the person requesting a ride if the passenger’s destination is 30 miles or less from the passenger’s departure point;

(2)  refusing to accommodate service animals; and

(3)  charging an additional fee or higher rate based on a factor described by Subsection (a).

(c)  A transportation network company shall post on the company’s Internet website:

(1)  notice of the discrimination policy; and

(2)  procedures to report a complaint about a driver who:

(A)  accepted or declined a person’s ride request; and

(B)  the person reasonably suspects discriminated against the person on a basis described by Subsection (a).

Sec. 2402.104.  POLICY ENFORCEMENT.  (a)  On receipt of a complaint alleging a violation by a driver of the drug and alcohol policy under Section 2402.102 or the discrimination policy under Section 2402.103, the transportation network company shall:

(1)  conduct an investigation into the reported incident;

(2)  immediately suspend the driver’s access to the company’s digital network for the duration of the investigation; and

(3)  permanently suspend the driver’s access if the company determines that the driver has violated the policy.

(b)  The transportation network company shall maintain records relevant to a complaint for a period of at least two years after the date the complaint is received.

Sec. 2402.105.  NO STREET HAILS.  Unless authorized by other law, including Section 215.004, Local Government Code, a driver authorized to access a transportation network company’s digital network may not solicit or accept street hails.

SUBCHAPTER D. TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY REQUIREMENTS

Sec. 2402.151.  DISCLOSURE OF RATES; ESTIMATED FARES.  A transportation network company shall, before a passenger enters a driver’s vehicle, provide the passenger with:

(1)  the applicable rates being charged for the ride; and

(2)  the option to receive an estimated fare.

Sec. 2402.152.  ELECTRONIC RECEIPT.  Within a reasonable period of time following the completion of a ride, a transportation network company shall transmit an electronic receipt to the passenger that lists:

(1)  the origin and destination of the ride;

(2)  the total time and distance of the ride; and

(3)  an itemization of the total fare paid, if any.

Sec. 2402.153.  IDENTIFICATION OF VEHICLES AND DRIVERS.  A transportation network company’s digital network must display to a passenger, before the passenger enters the vehicle:

(1)  a picture of the driver; and

(2)  the vehicle’s license plate number.

Sec. 2402.154.  ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORTATION; SURCHARGE. (a) A transportation network company shall provide passengers an opportunity to indicate whether they require a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. If a transportation network company is unable to arrange wheelchair-accessible service, the company shall direct the passenger to an alternate provider of wheelchair-accessible service, if available.

(b)  The department may impose a fee, not to exceed $20,000 annually, on transportation network companies that have more than 200 drivers and that do not provide, at a minimum level determined by commission rule, wheelchair-accessible service. The department shall remit the fees to the comptroller for deposit in a trust fund outside the state treasury to be held by the comptroller and administered by the department to provide grants to transportation network companies to provide wheelchair-accessible service.

(c)  A grant distributed under Subsection (b):

(1)  may be in an amount not to exceed $15,000; and

(2)  may be distributed only to a company that meets the minimum level of wheelchair-accessible service as determined by commission rule.

Sec. 2402.155.  RECORDS.  A transportation network company shall maintain:

(1)  individual ride records for at least two years after the date the ride was provided; and

(2)  driver records at least until the second anniversary of the date on which a driver’s activation on the company’s digital network has ended.

SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.

Jon Ouazdi
Admin
Transgates Limousine

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Hudson Bus Sales

576_HudsonBusSponsorAd

Meet Our Sponsor: Hudson Bus Sales

The Houston area Livery & Charter Association (HALCA),  is pleased to welcome our sponsor and friend Mr. Brad Hudson to our quarterly general meeting on Tuesday May 16, 2017. Texas Proud Hudson Bus Sales is a full service bus dealership and service provider operating in the Texas area that serves large and small groups all across the US. Launched by industry veteran and expert Brad Hudson, the company seeks to provide transport solutions for organizations looking for vehicles that can move people in large groups.

We sell new and used buses made by the most trusted manufacturers. When you walk into our facility, we’ll make sure that all you need to give us is information on your seating capacity and feature needs. Our team of experts will take care of finding models that fit your budget and requirements. We also offer bus rental services to accommodate customers who only need buses for a limited period.

Hudson Bus Sales also provides after sales services such as repairs and periodic maintenance. We specialize in keeping your vehicles in top shape to maximize their service lifespans while keeping their reliability and safety levels high.

Our customers include government agencies, religious groups, schools and non-profit organizations. People have come to rely on Hudson Bus Sales for our integrity, responsiveness and expertise in buses.

Meet the Owner: Brad Hudson

Brad HudsonFor the last 15+ years, I’ve worked hard as an employee of another bus dealership to solve your transportation needs. Starting January 1st, 2015, I made the decision to go all in and start my own bus dealership.

As the owner and president of Hudson Bus Sales, I intend to raise the bar to a new standard and to bring to each of you a customer experience that exceeds your transportation needs on every level.

This begins at the point of sale and continues through the complete cycle of ownership. Thank you for taking time to visit my website and I look forward to having you as a new customer here at Hudson Bus Sales.

Meet Team Members from Hudson Bus Sales

A bus driver driving a bus

 

Brad Hudson Owner

Kevin Kilgore Commercial Sales Manager

Matt Linde General Manager

Eric Verdugo Sales Manager – MFSAB National Accounts

Dan Baldwin Sales

Rod Maxwell Sales

Ann Enderby Sales Administrator

Jean Jones Receptionist/Sales Coordinator

Greg May Operations Manager

Jeff Newkirk Chief Creative Fella


Service Area for Hudson Bus Sales

Hudson Bus Sales is a full service bus dealership and service provider headquartered in Texas and proudly servicing entire United States.

If you’re looking for transportation solutions anywhere in the United States, contact Hudson Bus Sales today.

All Our Office Locations:


Dallas sky view

    Hudson bus sales

    Cleburne, TX

Austin sky view

Hudson bus sales
Austin, Texas

houston sky view

Hudson bus sales
Houston, Texas



Connect with us in Facebook to gain valuable up-to-date information.

Jon Ouazdi
Admin
Transgates Limousine

 

 

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How to Contact Your Elected Officials

How to Contact Your Elected Officials

How to Contact Your Elected Officials

Learn how to get in touch with your federal, state, and local elected leaders.

Contact Federal Elected Officials

  • President Donald Trump – Contact the President of the United States by filling out the online contact form or by calling the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414 or the comments line at 202-456-1111 during business hours.
  • Members of the U.S. Congress
    • U.S. Senators – Get contact information for your Senators in the U.S. Senate.
    • U.S. Representatives – Find the website and contact information for your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Contact State Elected Officials

  • State Governors – Learn how to get in touch with your state governor.
  • State Legislators – Find the names and current activities of your state legislators.

Contact Local Elected Officials

  • U.S. Mayors – Locate mayors by name, city, or population size.
  • County Executives – Search on a map or by your zip code to find the head of the executive branch of government in your county. (The county executive may be an elected or an appointed position.)
  • Other Local Government Officials – Get contact information for your city, county, and town officials in your state.

Jon Ouazdi
Admin
TransGates Limousine

 

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Seven Tools for Highly Successful Limousine Businesses

7 tools to Increased Limousine revenue

Many small limousine operators believe that there are secrets about the business that only large companies acquire and they do not want to share it and have been deliberately kept from them, to keep them small and reduce their competition.

In reality there are no really secrets, and they certainly have not been kept from limousine business owners. They are readily available to any limousine operator who desires them. In fact, this is not the total list of secrets of the highly successful; it is simply the seven most common ones that I can share given the space limitation of this article.

Conduct an Annual Audit

Large corporations, both public and private (Hertz, Greyhound, Carey International), have annual audits in addition to annual reports to shareholders and management. Most medium-sized companies (local banks, a Ford dealership, the local utility company) perform annual audits for the same reasons, and also to ensure accuracy, compliance to standard accounting procedures, detect fraud and ensure that the company is performing to industry standards and company forecasts.

Successful small companies (less than $20 million in annual revenues, i.e., local equipment rental companies, local furniture stores and limousine companies) in this case, Houston Limousine companies will have less formal and less expensive audits by accountants, industry specialists and consultants. The purpose is the same as with the large and medium-sized companies; however, the results can often be more impacting. Why don’t limousine companies take advantage of this important tool?

The limousine business is just like any other business. It is very easy to get too involved in the day-to-day operations (selling, reservations, dispatching), and all the crises that require the owner’s attention. It is easy to find yourself working in the business instead of on the business.

Another reason that limousine businesses don’t conduct annual audits is the misconception of the cost, and under estimating the business value of the audit. Yes, audits for large and medium-sized companies can cost tens of thousands of dollars. However, audits for limousine companies and other small businesses can cost as little as a few hundred dollars, usually $500 to $1,500.

In January of this year, while performing a financial audit and budget review for a Houston-based client, it was discovered that $72,000 could be saved on one line item. This client runs a highly successful company, and does less than $5 million in annual sales. Time, technology, tradition, customer demands, personnel changes and being too close to the business all make a case for annual audits, and in turn create opportunities for limousine companies to improve profit performance.

Focus on Closing Sales Inquiries

The owner of that same company reported that couple years ago, he promoted a great secretary to the position of manager of his limousine company. The company was doing a lot of marketing and advertising, and one of the goals for the new manager was to make outside sales calls to complement his sales and marketing efforts.

The manager convinced him that her time would be better spent by first improving our ability to close the inquiry calls that our sales and marketing efforts were already producing. She was absolutely correct.

He was so focused on growing his business by increasing sales and marketing, that he forgot one of the fundamental principles of sales ‘ maximize closing the inquiries you currently have before spending money to get more inquiries.

It is far easier and less expensive to improve the skill level of your current sales staff and close a greater number of your current inquiries than to spend more money and effort getting more inquiries, and only closing a smaller percentage of the inquiries. Example: Would you rather close 10 percent of 20 inquiries and obtain two $150 reservations, or close 30 percent of 10 inquiries and obtain three reservations totaling $450 in sales. Why spend the time, money and effort to get the second 10 inquiry calls’

Highly successful limousine companies provide the proper training and sales environment conducive to closing the highest percentage of inquiry calls received. Successful companies recognize how precious each sale opportunity is. If you sell an inquiry, it is worth $150. If you do not close the inquiry, you lose $150. One hundred and fifty dollars each day for 365 days equals $54,750 in lost sales. Nine lost sales out of 10 inquiries each day totals $492,750 in lost sales in one year!

What should you do? Start by measuring your inquiries each day. Measure the number of sales your staff actually sells out of the total inquiries for the day. Set some expectations. Hire professional sales trainers if you do not have that expertise.

Town & Country Limousine in Houston was able to increase closing percentages from nine percent to 33 percent in a few weeks by implementing a simple sales system involving measuring, training, reinforcing, encouraging and setting goals for his reservation turned sales department.

Hire Coaches, Account-ability Partners, Expert Advice.

Sometimes it feels that limousine operators believe that they have to do things the hard way ‘ figuring things out by ‘the school of hard knocks.’ It is almost as if it isn’t fair if they use someone else’s experience or expertise. There is this mentality that, ‘if I don’t do it myself, I can’t really take credit for the success.’

One of the most common conversations I have with limousine business owners involves the owner explaining to me how different, unique and difficult his or her business is, and how only he or she can do things right. Yes, each business has its own personality and nuances. It is sometimes rewarding to be able to say, ‘I did it my way.’ However, at the end of the day, the purpose of business is to make a profit. Business is, after all, business.

Highly successful limousine businesses have come to the conclusion that ‘doing it my way’ involves securing every talent, expert, coach and business partner necessary to accomplish goals and desires for the long term.

Most limousine business owners will never reach their full business potential because they will not seek experts, be accountable nor will they measure their activities and results. If you examine highly successful limousine businesses or any other highly successful business, the owners have probably committed to training their people, being trained themselves, being accountable to someone outside the business, hiring the best experts and measuring results regularly.

Hire Professional Business Brokers to Sell Business

Ron Sorci, president of Precept Transportation, discussed selling businesses in his presentation at the LCT Show. At one point, Sorci said, ‘Business owners who don’t use business brokers to sell their businesses usually sell for 20 to 40 percent less than those who do.’

I agree with his statement. The same is true for professional real estate brokers. Real estate brokers consistently sell homes for more money than ‘for sale by owner’ transactions. Highly successful limousine business owners are experts in the limousine business. They recognize that they are not experts in selling limousine businesses. They also understand that selling their business is probably going to be the largest financial transaction in their entire life.

The successful sales transaction will be their single most significant accumulation of wealth obtained during the owner’s lifetime and the key to a content retirement or transition to another career.

Collect Loss of Use Down Time and Diminished Value from Wrecks

How much are you collecting from the insurance company for each day your car is out of service’ Zero’ $100′ $500′ Many operators collect nothing. Highly successful operators use professionals to collect loss of use, minimize charge backs from third-party insurance companies, collect storage, collect towing, receive higher appraisals and save time and money administering claims.

Are you collecting for diminution of value’ Diminution of value is the difference in value of a vehicle before it was wrecked and after it is wrecked. If you are trying to sell two identical 2011 Town Cars and one has been wrecked, you might get less money for the one that has been wrecked. Insurance companies should pay you for this loss.

A large operator could literally leave hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table by not collecting for diminution of value. A subrogation claim for a Houston client resulted in the client collecting $23,000 for diminished value.

Collecting loss of use and diminution of value is difficult. Insurance companies employ thousands of attorneys and other professionals to keep limousine operators from collecting fees. It is no wonder why it has been so difficult to collect. Subrogation companies study tort law relative to insurance claims and often are more versed than general-practice attorneys.

Don Petroski, owner of Air Brook Limousine in New Jersey, used an attorney for years to collect third-party insurance claims. He has found that attorneys do not always achieve the best results. Petroski has been both surprised and pleased by the amount of money he has received using a subrogation service. Other industries, such as the rental car industry, have been using subrogation companies for years. Subrogation services can easily be found on the Internet.

Perform Regular Business Valuations

(A way to Increase Personal Wealth) In 1996 a client on the East Coast paid The Geneva Companies $35,000 to perform a business valuation of their business. In the agreement Geneva agreed to:

Recast the financial statements of the client’s business to present the past financial history of the business.

Research the client’s industry and markets.

Develop revenue projections and a pro forma financial statement for the future five years.

Determine the fair market value of the business.

Prepare a document that describes the client’s operation including (as applicable) its product, service customers, sales and marketing efforts, organization and facilities.

As it turns out, the best service provided by Geneva was getting the company owners to understand what the value of their business really was and to understand items that affect the value of a company. Today that company is worth $8 million instead of the $1 million it was then.

There are limousine companies operating today with the same sales volume as this East Coast Company, but only worth $2 million ‘ 75 percent less! There are major differences in the efforts you make to increase the value of the business, as opposed to the efforts you might take to increase growth in general.

Valuations are available for $2,500 to $5,000 for most limousine companies. Highly successful companies will do valuations every two to three years, or when major events happen that could significantly affect the company’s value. Owners that are within two to 10 years of retirement or exiting the business for any reason should have a valuation done.

Valuations should be secured before any sale, purchase, merger, partnership and divorce or estate settlement. A valuation is an excellent tool to help obtain and keep personal wealth.

Study Best Practices and Benchmark

The International Benchmark Clearinghouse in Houston exists for the sole purpose of benchmarking companies.

The automobile industry has used 20 Groups since 1947 to benchmark and study best practices. The Ford Motor Company did not have industry standards for dealerships. However, in 1947 a group of independent Ford new car dealers banded together to collect industry standards, benchmark, study and exchange information with each other to improve their individual dealerships. The original ‘Ford 20’ group became the first highly successful Ford dealerships in the United States.

The rental car, motor coach, retail furniture and many other industries have some form of benchmarking and best practice organization for their businesses to participate in.

Benchmarking is the idea that you can study another company’s best practices and use those observations to improve your own business.

 

Jon Ouazdi.
Admin
TransGates Limousine

 

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Houston Ranked Top For Minority Entrepreneurs

Top Cities for Minority Entrepreneurs Infographic

Texas may very well be the place to be if you are a small business owner. In fact, Texas’ major metros are experiencing job growth, and income growth far above the national average. In fact, two Lone Star State cities, Dallas and Houston, held the No. 1 and No. 3 spots, respectively, among the top 25 cities for small businesses.

Minority entrepreneurs were responsible for the majority of new businesses in the Houston metropolitan area between 2007 and 2012, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

In fact, Houston ranked third in the nation for minority-owned start-ups, surpassed only by New York and Los Angeles.

Three Texas cities rank among the top 10 cities for minority entrepreneurs, with Houston topping the list, according to a report by Expert Market.

Houston took the top spot because of startup opportunities and affordable living costs, according to the business resource company.

Dallas came in at No. 7 and Austin at No 8.

Houston is the Best City for Minority Entrepreneurs

Affordable living costs combined with a strong prevalence of world-class incubators has made Houston the most appealing city for minority entrepreneurs.

Houston is home to the most diverse population in the US and emerged as the top city for minority entrepreneurs to live, work and start up a venture. When it comes to business leadership, the Texan city has actually reversed the racial bias – residents in Houston are in fact more likely to work with or buy from a business owned by a minority.

When results are broken down by state, Texas is the clear diversity champion with three cities ranking among the top 10 including Dallas and tech hub Austin.

The report studied the corporate landscape for minorities in more than 40 business hubs, looking at the number of minority-owned enterprises, economic opportunities for minorities, access to financial resources, the startup ecosystem and costs, and the rate of new entrepreneurs.

Houston’s affordable living costs, diversity and business incubators make it the most attractive city for minority entrepreneurs, according to the report.

The study also shows that Houstonians are more likely to work with or buy from a business owned by a minority.

According to the report, 40 percent of new entrepreneurs in 2016 were African-American, Latino, Asian or other nonwhite ethnicity, and that the number of new Latino entrepreneurs more than doubled since 1996 to 20.8 percent from 10 percent.

Click here to see the full Expert Market report.

The Rise in Latino Entrepreneurship

Interestingly, the report also found that the number of businesses owned by minority entrepreneurs are on the rise nationwide – an astounding 40 percent of new entrepreneurs in 2016 were African-American, Latino, Asian or another non-white ethnicity.

Latinos in particular are more represented among new minority entrepreneurs than ever before. The share of new Latino entrepreneurs has more than doubled since 1996 from 10 percent to 20.8 percent.

The Top 20 Cities for Minority Entrepreneurs

Overall Rank City
1st Houston, TX
2nd Miami, FL
3rd Atlanta, GA
4th Riverside, CA
5th Baltimore, MD
6th San Jose, CA
7th Dallas, TX
8th Austin, TX
9th Orlando, FL
10th New York, NY
11th San Antonio, TX
12th Las Vegas, NV
13th Tampa, FL
14th Washington, DC
15th Los Angeles, CA
16th Charlotte, NC
17th Jacksonville, FL
18th Denver, CO
19th Chicago, IL
20th Detroit, MI

Jon Ouazdi
Admin
TransGates Limousine