From April 9, 2013 Press of Atlantic City
It is most unfortunate that Tom Woodruff, the president of the Atlantic City Jitney Association, originally refused to abide by the recent federal “cease and desist” order. On the one hand, we can certainly appreciate his desire to expand jitney service due to the economic restraints and failing business in Atlantic City. But to risk the safety of the public is another matter.
Jitneys are not properly insured to do charter, bus or limo work. Further, jitneys are operating as buses in communities near Atlantic City, and the governing bodies don’t realize that they are possibly exposing themselves to liability if unfortunately the jitney should have an accident. Passengers could potentially turn around and sue the municipality because it authorized jitney operation that was actually beyond the scope of what they were originally chartered for.
We are disappointed that City Council in Atlantic City recently voted 8-1 to introduce an ordinance allowing jitneys to do charter work even though the council was made aware that jitneys are not supposed to be doing charter or limo work. The Limousine Association of New Jersey previously tried to work with council to draft a stronger limousine ordinance to deal with illegal operators, but unfortunately local politics came into play, putting riders at potential risk.
It is imperative that officials at all levels recognize that passenger safety is paramount and that jitneys at this present time do not meet legal and safety requirements required for vehicles doing intrastate or interstate transportation.
If Woodruff wants his Jitney Association members to conduct business like a limousine or bus service, then he needs to change the jitneys’ whole business model and meet all the state and federal requirements to ensure the public is protected.