We’re All Bozos on This Bus

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I’m sure the good folks with Firesign Theater had something else in mind when they came up with the title of this album, but I tend to reference “We’re All Bozos on This Bus” whenever I am in a “unique” situation with a group of friends.  For example, a few years ago, as a busload of industry partners were enjoying a ghost tour in Chicago and things were turning…boring…I blurted out “we’re all Bozos on this bus”.  I don’t know why, but I’m guessing somewhere in the inner reaches of my mind, I filed away this title under “IN CASE OF EMERGENCY – REFERENCE OBSCURE ALBUM TITLE”, and I did.

Lately, I’ve blurted this title out more frequently.  I think it has more to do with the challenges we’re facing in the limousine industry than anything else, because regardless of what size limo service you’re comparing, we face many of the same obstacles on a daily basis.  For instance, O’Hare-Midway Limousine Service fights the same fight that our partners across the nation fight on a daily basis; to educate potential customers about differences in luxury ground transportation options.  It’s important for us to make sure potential customers know the difference between an established limousine service and a gypsy operator or vehicle broker.  While each may provide a “ride’, one provides quality, safety, and reliability, while the other does not.  Can you guess which is which?

Right now, the hot topic in our industry is “on demand” limo services in Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and other major cities.  Several companies offer this useful technology, but it is truly just technology.  The actual service is supplied by any number of operators, and there is very little control or regulation at the moment. It’s as if ComEd sold you electricity but didn’t actually supply it, deferring that part to people running generators in their garages or giant gerbil wheels filled with hungry dogs chasing fake rabbits.  I won’t mention the names of these on demand alternatives, because they have huge bankrolls behind them to fund their enormous marketing schemes. However, you have probably heard about one or more of them, and you have probably heard how great these apps are.  I say this because WE have.  But like true geniuses of marketing, they don’t point out the negatives regardless of how substantial those may be.  This keeps people flocking to them, willing to risk receiving poor service from an uninsured operator just because the on demand app is “cool”.

In the end, all limousine companies – and when I say “limousine company” I mean any luxury ground transportation provider – will be employing the same technology.  Most are holding back to see which way the laws are written to deal with these apps.  So I guess I can again say “We’re All Bozos on This Bus”.  I wonder where this one is headed?

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Dale Schahczinski
Goal driven team leader, with industry experience spanning all aspects of operations and administration.