T.J. Donaghy runs a chauffeured car hire service in Orlando, Florida. It's one of those services that you can call up and a driver turns up at your door in a big black sedan to shuttle you around and you pay by the hour. The Lincoln Town Car
has been the staple of such services for what seems like eons. In this age of $4+/gallon gas, Donaghy figured an alternative was in order, namely a Toyota Camry
hybrid. Unfortunately for Donaghy, the way Orlando regulates such services is a bit overly bureaucratic. Donaghy's company falls into one of the five classes of hire car services that Orlando's city code allows. Apparently, that class requires luxury vehicles
like the Town Car
to be used but leaves it to city officials to decide if a car is luxurious enough to be put into service. Like defining obscenity, this is a course clearly rife with pitfalls and here they have encountered one. While cities like New York are mandating that all such services switch over to alternative drive/fuel vehicles in the coming years, some clerk in Orlando feels it would be inappropriate to make an allowance for the Camry
hybrid to be used. This is clearly an area where the market should be allowed to decide. As long as Donaghy provides the level of service that customers expect, they should be allowed to determine if a car is suitable for their needs. If someone requests a larger car, they still can. But if they are content in the back of a Camry, have at it.
[Source: Orlando Sentinel