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New Forest limo operator forced off road by new fee

A LUXURY limousine operator from New Milton is angry that New Forest District Council has introduced licensing for operations such as his during the recession.

Nick Trussler, who runs New Milton Limousines, said: ?I don?t have an issue with what they?re trying to do.

?But it?s completely the wrong time to do it.

?It?s going to put my costs up by nearly ?700 a year at a time when my revenue is sinking like a stone because people are not hiring limos.?

Up to now the district council has not licensed limousines carrying up to eight passengers.

But now it has decided to do so to ensure vehicles used for the purpose are well maintained and safe, have the correct reinforced tyres and are properly insured.

The cost is ?173 for each vehicle and ?276 for an operator?s licence plus, said Mr Trussler, ?133 for each driver.

He said because he is recently divorced and business is poor, he cannot afford to pay the extra in one go.

?I operate only one car and in the last couple of months we?ve only taken enough money to cover my costs,? he said.

?I don?t have the money in my account to pay for the licence so I will have to stop trading.?

He suggested to the council that a sliding scale of payments is introduced. If that is impossible, paying in 10 monthly instalments like the council tax could be an option, he said.

However, his ideas fell on deaf ears.

Before agreeing to the licensing scheme, the council carried out consultation with the New Forest Taxi Association.

Licensing committee chairman Cllr Lee Puttock said: ?The new licensing of stretched limousines by New Forest District Council is to be welcomed as it will give reassurance to users that both the vehicle and the driver are safe.?


Dated: Apr-08-2010

Baracks Obama's Limousine

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President Barack Obama's official limousine - nicknamed 'The Beast' - has been flown into London as he visits the UK for the G20 summit.

This is the all-new custom-made limousine built especially for the 44th President of the United States of America.

And 'The Beast' is capturing headlines in Britain as Obama uses it on his first ever visit to the UK. His ?250k Cadillac Limousine is a completely new design, featuring all the latest Cadillac styling cues, and an interior fully equipped for presidential use.

Unsurprisingly, details of the limo's extensive security features remain shrouded in the utmost secrecy - as they have done throughout what's been described as "an extreme testing regime". The car clearly has to withstand virtually any kind of attempt on the President's life.

But, we can tell you that the cabin area Obama occupies includes an "extensive executive compartment". This features seating for important meetings on the go, a good view of the outside world (through several inches of bulletproof glass, no doubt), and "useful mobile office features".

The presidential seal is embroidered on the rear seatback and door panels, and also displayed on the outside of the rear doors. Two flags are flown on the front fenders whenever the President is in residence - so to speak - the US national flag on the right, the presidential standard on the left.

Secret Service call it 'the beast'

LED spotlights illuminate these flags at night - demonstrating the Cadillac is more high-tech than its appearance might suggest. Flashing strobe and emergency lighting will almost certainly built in, along with run flat tyres, and immense armoured plating. Don't expect the windows to open. It is also four-wheel drive - and it needs to be as the doors are as heavy as 747's.

Changes compared to the previous presidential car, the 2004 Cadillac DTS Presidential Limousine used by President George W. Bush, include a more upright stance for better visibility. But otherwise Obama's ride is of similar size and proportion. The US Secret Service reputedly refers to these heavyweight machines as 'The Beast'.



Luxury and security?
President Obama?s new Cadillac Limousine (Image ? PA)President Obama?s new Cadillac Limousine (Image ? PA)President Obama?s new Cadillac Limousine (Image ? PA)

 

By Admin
Dated: Mar-27-2010

Luxury Limousines Remain Outside of New York‚s New MPG Rules ‚ For Now

‚ On April 17, the New York City & Taxi Limousines Commission (TLC) did what it said it would do: adopted a regulation requiring new fleet vehicles purchased after Jan 1, 2009 by operators in the ‚black car‚ category to meet a minimum of 25 miles per gallon, and for 30 mpg after Jan 1, 2010.

 

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Major ‚black car‚ operators such as corporate transportation group and executive transportation group have supported the decision.  On the other side of the coin, some ‚luxury limousine‚ category companies are concerned about what the TLC will decide to do next, especially since companies in the luxury limousine category are often considered essentially the same as black car operators with their fleets and customer bases.

 

Sergio Sanchez, executive vice president of Mineola, N.Y.- Based partners executive based transportation, a luxury limousine operator, testified before the TLC on April 17 on operator concerns about the TLC rules.  Sanchez said many corporate clients use both ‚black cars‚ and luxury base operators, and generally want to ride in larger Lincoln town cars, BMWs, Mercedes 550s, and large SUVs. ‚They speak about favoring green cars as long as it doesn‚t sacrifice their comfort,‚ Sanchez said.

 

Another major concern for partners is that its chauffeurs are independent operators who finance their own vehicles.  The cost of hybrids that the TLC has recommended for fleets is prohibitive for theses chauffeurs, and some of there hybrid vehicles lack client appeal.  ‚Cars like the prius or the Mercury Mariner are just not acceptable for them,‚ Sanchez Said.  ‚Just imagine, Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez (team members of the New York Yankees) in a Prius together.‚

 

During his testimony, Rodriguez also questioned the reality of higher mileage vehicles having lower carbon dioxide emission than Town Cars.  ‚Consider a gasoline-powered car that is rated 25 to 30 mpg stuck in traffic by Wall Street,‚ he said.  ‚Its not getting 25 mpg, but emitting greenhouse gases as much as a car rated at 15 mpg.

 

Similar points were made by Ian Lipton, CCO of Green Ride Global Inc., a Toronto-based company that creates and implements environmental sustainability programs for companies in ground transportations industry, including Partners Executive Transportation.  During his testimony before the TLC, Lipton pointed out that reducing idle time to 10% or less, adopting a program to ensure proper acceleration or a reduction in ‚jackrabbit‚ driving, and the usage of aftermarket fuel efficiency devises or conversions to alternate fuels, would reduce emissions to same level, or less than, that of a hybrid vehicles.

 

For Justin Raymond, president of Green Ride Global, transportation companies and government regulators need to look at four levels of green house gases emissions, and how they should be reduced.  The first level is driver behavior modification, which involves reducing vehicle idle time; The second is fleet transition ‚ bringing in the right low-emission vehicles in the right time; the third is monitoring operations facilities, which includes service garages; and the fourth level is future technology and alternative fuels, which can motivate operators to stay informed on what‚s happening in bio-fuel and alternative-fuel vehicles.

 

The TLC has no plans at this time to bring the luxury limousine category into the 25 mpg rule, said Mathew Daus, commissioner/chair.  One of the issues that the TLC has considered is that luxury limousine operators pay more for auto insurance than black car operators, which already makes their operating costs more challenging in New York City.

 

The TLC has met with the NLA and the Limousine Association of New Jersey to talk about these issues, he said, and leadership from both industry associations seemed comfortable with the situation.  The TLC is also moving toward start-up pilot testing programs of vehicles, included in the CNG-powered stretch limousine being created by Empire Coachworks, based in East Brunswick, N.J.

 

Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas are looking at adopting a similar program, but taxis are the main focus right now, Daus said.  ‚We may include operators in the livery category (which are usually high mileage Town Cars) under the new mileage rules,‚ he said.  ‚We have no current plans to do anything with luxury limousines, but would alert anyone if it were to happen.‚
By Admin
Dated: Mar-27-2010

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