Illegal Limousine Services
San Francisco officials, scrambling to cover an expected $17 million shortfall in the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency budget, are planning on cracking down on parking scofflaws and illegal limousine services to help balance the agency’s budget. Ed Reiskin, SFMTA director of transportation, said recently that increasing the city’s taxi medallion program fees, aggressive action on unpaid parking tickets and stepped-up enforcement on illegal San Francisco limos and town car services should help bridge the funding gap for the agency. Reiskin was quick to point out that despite prevailing public opinion that his agency was out to get car owners in the city, his agency wasn’t against all drivers, only drivers who park illegally and ignore parking tickets.
“There is always going to be a concern about that,” said Reiskin. “But everybody benefits, including motorists, when we enforce the laws that we have. We’re not anticipating these revenues from more meters or extending meter hours — it’s enforcing the rules we have.”
We fully support the city’s tougher stance against illegal San Francisco limousine and town car services and applaud any efforts that protect people from these unscrupulous operators. Regular readers of this blog know that we often pass along stories about illegal limo services here in the Bay Area and elsewhere, as we want people to know about the risks of doing business with these outfits. The vast majority of their clients do not know they are doing business with an illegal business, but they are at serious risk due to the following:
- Lack of insurance
Illegal limo services do not have required insurance coverage to protect passengers in case of an accident. Passengers injured while riding in an illegal limo could face many thousands of dollars in medical bills that they would have to pay themselves.
- Unlicensed drivers
Lack of proper training, drug screening and criminal background checks is just a few of the many reasons why it is important to have a professional chauffeur from a legitimate San Francisco limo service.
- Lack of safety inspections
Unlicensed operators are looking to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible and disregard safety inspections and other measures to safeguard passengers.
Every Bay Area limo, party bus, limo bus, corporate coach and other type of vehicle in our fleet is subject to regular safety inspectors to ensure that they are safe to carry passengers, and we will gladly provide proof of insurance to any of our guests. If you would like to rent a luxury vehicle for a special event from an ethical, legal and affordable San Francisco limo service that puts the safety and satisfaction of their guests above all other considerations, call us at NLS Limo today at 800-339-8936. We look forward to hearing from you!
Recently, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the state agency that issues licenses for passenger carriers such as limousine companies, charter bus services and other carriers, took legal action against scores of illegal limo operators throughout the state. The CPUC diligently ensures that all carriers are properly licensed, carry the required amount of insurance coverage, maintain their vehicles to state standards and ensure compliance on many other aspects of the industry to protect passengers. Many of the outfits receiving fines and cease and desist orders were illegal San Francisco limousine companies. These fly-by-night outfits put profits above all other considerations, including their guests’ lives, and make it harder for legitimate Bay Area limo companies like us by painting us all in a bad light.
During the third quarter of 2001, the CPUC took legal action against at least 25 companies and fined them a total of $27,500 for a wide range of different violations, including the following:
- Advertising a revoked permit number
- Engaging employees without procuring evidence of workers’ compensation insurance
- Failing to enroll and/or pre-employment test drivers in a mandatory drug and alcohol program
- Failing to enroll drivers in DMV Pull Notice program
- General Order 157-D violation (failing to maintain a current equipment list, no sub-carrier agreement and incomplete waybills)
- Operating without a valid authority (suspended or unlicensed)
- Operating vehicles that are not insured at the required minimum level of public liability and property damage insurance
The CPUC also filed criminal complaints against many other passenger carriers throughout the state for illegal activities such as robbery, threatening to strand passengers unless they produced more money and other illegal acts.
We would like to reiterate that we post stories about illegal San Francisco limousine companies in order to educate our readers and prevent them from becoming targets of these criminals. In most cases, the guests who do business with these operators don’t know that they are doing business with an illegal and unethical operator. Here’s one sure way to ensure that you don’t end up riding in an illegal Bay Area limousine: limo carriers in California can only pick up guests if they have made a telephone reservation. If you are standing on a street corner or at the airport and a “chauffeur” offers a limo ride, don’t get in! That limo is illegal.
For a professional, luxurious and completely legitimate San Francisco limousine experience with a locally owned company that operates in full compliance with CPUC regulations, call us at NLS Limo today at 1-800-339-8936. We have set the standard for superb customer service, affordability and selection for many years now, and we understand that our reputation is on the line with each guest. If we sound like your kind of Bay Area limo provider, please call us to reserve your limo, party bus, antique car or other type of luxury transportation today!
In an unusual move certainly intended to be a warning to illegal limousine operators, the Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA), which is the agency that regulates the limousine industry in the United Kingdom, recently seized, crushed and shredded two luxury limousines. The Ford Excursion SUV limousines were seized from an illegal limousine operator in South Wales because they did not meet VOSA safety regulations and were transporting passengers illegally. The agency that registers, licenses and oversees San Francisco limousines and other limo services in California is the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). While they have not yet taken drastic steps like VOSA to address illegal limo operators, this might give them some ideas.