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HALCA General Meeting Announcement

The Houston Area Livery & Charter Association (H.A.L.C.A)

 

Mark your calendar for your HALCA meeting

View this email in your browser

The Houston area livery & Charter Association

Sep 12 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Free Pass to 2017 Chauffeur Driven Show in Orlando
Free Gas Cards & a free Membership Giveaway

Please click to donate $10 to Help your fellow limousine operators affected by the hurricane. The money raised by this campaign will go directly to affected limo operators.

The Houston Area Livery & Charter Association is holding their second quarterly general members’ meeting for 2017 on:
•Date: Sept 12, 2017
•6:30pm – 7:00pm Networking
7:00pm – 9:00pm Meeting
•Location:  Crowne Plaza Northwest-Brookhollow
12801 Northwest Fwy – Houston, TX 77040
Our Guest of honor: Chris Weiss
President & publisher of Chauffeur Driver Magazine

Agenda:

l Introducing the board members

l Introducing new members

l Read out the agenda

l Chauffeur Driven Magazine presentation

l Discuss the currents issues with the City and the airports

l WAV requirement renewal for 2018 – Data Submission requirement 

l NLA Hurricane relief program 

l Take questions from the members

l Take suggestions and thoughts from members

 

Please come to the meeting to support your fellow operators who were affected by the hurricane, and are going through hard time, it is time for moral support. The NLA is offering financial help to the limousine operators affected by the hurricane Harvey, come get information about how to apply and receive help.

Please support your Houston Limousine Association by joining us today. The Association spend lot of time and effort to support the limousine industry in Houston, and to advance the interest of the diligence, and without your support, we won’t go far.

http://houstonlimos.info/event/halca-members-meeting/

Together we stay strong

Please doante to help your fellow limo operators


 

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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
.
May 24th, 2017
.
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

 

 

City of Houston ARA List of Approved Limousine Vehicles

Limousine Vehicle List

Dear Limousine Operators:

Below is the City of Houston List of Approved Limousine Vehicles,  Please refer to http://www.houstontx.gov/ara/vfh/ to ensure the vehicle you may purchase qualifies. (Vehicle List Subject To Change)

List of approved Limousine Sedan-Type Vehicles List of approved Limousine SUV-Type Vehicles
MSRP $32,866.52 MSRP $39,987.48
Make/Model Make/Model
Lincoln MKZ Lincoln MKT
Lincoln Continental Lincoln Navigator
Chevrolet SS Sedan Chevrolet Tahoe
Hyundai Azera Chevrolet Suburban
Cadillac ATS Cadillac Escalade
Cadillac CTS Ford Expedition
Cadillac XTS Lexus RX
Cadillac CT6 Lexus GX
Lexus IS Lexus LX
Lexus GS Mercedes GLE-Class
Lexus ES Mercedes GL-SUV
Lexus LS GMC Yukon
Mercedes C-Class Acura MDX
Mercedes E-Class Infiniti QX60
Mercedes S-Class Infiniti QX70
BMW 3 Series Infiniti QX80
BMW 5 Series Toyota Sequoia
BMW 7 Series Toyota Land Cruiser
BMW M Model Jaguar F-Pace
BMW Alpina B7 Audi A4 All Road
Acura RLX Audi Q5
Infiniti Q50 Audi SQ5
Infiniti Q70 Audi Q7
Toyota Avalon Tesla Model X
Jaguar XE
Jaguar XF
Jaguar XJ
Audi A4
Audi A6
Audi A7
Audi A8 L
Audi S3
Audi S4
Audi S6
Audi S7
Audi RS 7
Audi S8
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model 3

purchase qualifies. **If you are interested in a vehicle that is not listed, please contact our office at 832.394.8803 to determine if the vehicle is authorized as a permitted limousine vehicle**

 

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
 .
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

 

 

This New Tax Bill Could Help Your Small Business

This New Tax Bill Could Help Your Small Business

Last week, a pair of senators introduced a tax bill that would ensure the tax rate for small businesses is never higher than that of a large corporation.

The Main Street Fairness Act, offered by Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, a Democrat, and Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican, aims to provide federal tax parity between pass-through businesses and C corporations.

Most small businesses — maybe yours, even — are organized as “pass-throughs.” That means that profits are passed to the business owner and then taxed on individual income tax returns.

Under current law, the top individual tax rate is 39.6 percent, while corporations pay a much lower corporate tax rate of 35 percent.

This makes an already uneven playing field — where corporations tend to have more access to funds and other resources — even less competitive.

The Main Street Fairness Act would prevent these pass-through companies from being taxed at a higher rate than C corporations. Instead, income from pass-through businesses would be treated like corporations’ income.

Collins notes that keeping small businesses healthy keeps Americans employed and the economy strong.

“Small businesses employ more than half of all workers and have generated approximately two-thirds of our country’s net new jobs since the 1970s,” said Senator Collins in a joint statement. “Unfortunately, our nation’s small businesses face a higher tax burden that affects their ability to compete with large firms in the marketplace. Our legislation will help keep small businesses strong by ensuring that they do not pay a higher tax rate than large companies.”

According to the same joint statement, small businesses generate half of the U.S. GDP, 54 percent of all U.S. sales, 41 percent of private sector payroll, and one-third of the country’s export value.

The legislation comes as Congress works to pass tax-reform legislation. A version of the senators’ bill was previously introduced in the House of Representatives by Florida Representative Vern Buchanan. House Republicans’ tax-reform blueprint states that it builds on concepts from that small-business bill, according to The Hill.

The tax-reform blueprint aims to lower taxes across the board but doesn’t seem to provide for tax parity between small businesses and corporations. The blueprint aims to lower the top tax rate for individuals to 33 percent, the top tax rate for pass-through businesses to 25 percent, and the top rate for corporations to 20 percent.

As we all know, legislation can take a long time to become law. (If you need a refresh on the process, here is our favorite video of how that works — cue the nostalgia.) But we’ll follow this piece of legislation and let you know when it hits any big milestones.

And if you feel strongly about this legislation, make sure to reach out to your representatives and senators and let them know.

Jon Ouazdi
Admin
TransGates Limousine

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Hobby Airport No Standing Zone

Houston Airport System

To all Limo Drivers:

Hobby Airport Landside Operations Manager Dawn Hoffman, has invited the Houston Limousine Association to a private meeting last week to discuss some concerns about Limousine drivers and some other issues concerning the airport system.

The major issue that was brought up by Hoffman was the illegal solicitation at Hobby Airport and how this issue is affecting the airport travelers and the overall general outlook of the airport. The manager stated that the airport is working on some of the serious solutions to fight the illegal solicitation at the airport, and here is some of the propositions they have on the table.

 

No standing zone: The airport administration designated 2 areas where the driver can not stand to wait for their clients, which is the area by the exit doors, and the area in between the glass doors. Drivers standing in this area are blocking the traffic, and they are only standing there to solicit client.

Limousine drivers are not allowed to wait on the second floor (Departure terminal)

Limousine drivers can not wait on the curbside or at the limousine parking to solicit client.

The Landside Operation will be increasing enforcement by issuing violations, Revoking HAS Permits, towing vehicles, and they are also working with the HPD, and the ARA to curb solicitations.

Drivers who get caught soliciting, can be issued a trespassing citation which will ban them from coming to the airport for ever.

 

The manager also brought up that some drivers are not complying with the manifest requirement, or they are trying to be hostile toward the HAS employees, please when you go to the airport make sure that you have always wear your LL badge and have your manifest, with the correct information, if any information is missing,  you may be issued a citation. Please be nice and professional when approached by the HAS employees, and remember they are just doing their job, just like the rest of us.

There are two designated areas for drivers to stand and wait for their clients, one is by the information screens, and one is by the left side arrival hallway as you can see below on the diagram

Hobby Airport No Standing Zone

Below is the letter we received from Hoffman

Attention Limo Drivers:

Hobby Airport is committed to reducing solicitation. Landside Operations is taking steps to increase enforcement through issuing citations, revoking HAS permits, and working closer with the Administration & Regulatory Affairs (ARA) department. In addition, we have established a limo driver free area as marked in red below. This area is the main walkway for passengers and must not be occupied by drivers. Drivers are expected to wait for their passengers along the wall out of walkway, see the green areas below. Drivers are also not allowed upstairs, in between the exit doors, or curbside. If you are approached by any HAS employee to relocate or present manifest/license, you must comply. If you have any comments or questions please contact the Landside Operations Supervisor on duty.

Thank you,

Dawn Hoffman, Hobby Landside Operations Manager

The second issue that was brought us by the manager, was the potential HAS system updates about the payment concerning the access to the airport by all the ground transportation providers. Right now we are paying a fixed annual fess for the HAS permit, which range from $350 for a sedan to $950 for a coach bus, The Houston Airport System is looking to implement a new system that charge by entry to the airport (just like the old system we used to have about 7 years ago for those who were operating back then). Basically the airport will charge you every time you enter the airport, the system use your EZ Tag to track your entries to the airport, and at the end of the month will charge the credit card on file, or send you an invoice for the monthly usage. When we asked her about the base charge for every entry, she said they did not set up the rates, but she believed it won’t be more than $5 for each entry, which translates to a new annual fee that a way higher than what we are currently paying. The system might be operational by the end of the year.

Please be advised about the changes coming to the airport, and always be ready when you go to pick up your client. Companies who are using electronic apps, or changed their manifest sample, need to update it with the ARA as soon as possible to avoid citation for non-compliance.

Hobby-Airport-No-Standing-Zone-pictures

Hobby-Airport-No-Standing-Zone-pictures

If you have any questions about this issue, please contact HALCA for more details.

 

Jon Ouazdi.
Admin