It’s been a big month of renovations at Black Car News… both in our print and online editions.

Most prominently, you may have noticed our new logo on the cover of this issue. Our logo remained mostly unchanged for all of the years that I have owned the paper, but we felt it was time to update it  –  and it happened to coincide with the launch of our newly redesigned website (www.blackcarnews.com).

Our new website is more user friendly, with easier access to articles by author and topic, as well as a PDF of the current newspaper that can be easily downloaded. To read the online edition, just open the PDF, and you can scroll through it page by page.

We will also be dynamically adding articles to the website over the course of the month, to give our readers important updates prior to our next print edition. Additionally, we will be introducing web ads for the first time (call me at 856.751.0656 or email neil@blackcarnews.com for information).

This month also saw the introduction of articles that specifically relate to business travel. Since a high percentage of Black Car base clients are corporate executives and business travelers, we will be running articles every month that feature new trends and helpful information. In the current environment, which becomes more competitive by the day, it’s important to know your clients – whether you are the driver, base owner or manager. We will be covering topics like bleisure (a term used for travelers who add some leisure to their business trip), duty of care and staying fit on the road, among other things.

If you happen to see an article that might interest your business traveler clients, we would encourage you to keep a copy of the paper on-hand for them to read. You can even print pages from the online edition, or email me directly to request PDFs of particular pages for distribution to clients.

Now, onto important industry updates…

The topic on everyone’s mind is of course the TLC’s new 25% WAV rule. Although there haven’t been any major changes since last month, the FHV Industry Coalition remains united, and has said that they are exploring all possible causes of action in state and federal court. Their goal will be to make sure that the FHV Industry Coalition’s WAV plan is properly launched and given a chance to succeed. The way the rule is currently written, the TLC can shut down the FHV Coalition plan on a whim. Clearly, that is unacceptable, so the Coalition is working on a Memorandum of Understanding that would hopefully make the “poison pills” written into the rules more palatable.

The FHV Coalition is also hoping to narrow down the number of acceptable WAV dispatchers from three to two. The Coalition is concerned that three WAV dispatchers would dilute the supply of available drivers to such a degree that none of the participants would be likely to survive. Two WAV dispatchers allows for competition, and gives the Coalition plan a real chance to better serve riders needing WAVs.

Congestion Pricing is also a big topic of discussion, which is no surprise, considering the historically heavy traffic in NYC. The leaders of the Black Car industry have stated that they will support a version of the plan, as long as the sales tax that is currently charged only to Black Car customers is removed – and all TLC-regulated industries are treated equally.

For up-to-the-minute updates, we recommend visiting our newly redesigned website (www.blackcarnews.com). If you want news delivered to your inbox, you can request to be placed on our email list at our website. We also recommend that you “like” us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter.