Blog

The Frederick Area Bridal Network Bridal Show – November 4th 2012

On The Town Limousines, Inc. staff participated in the FABNet Bridal Show on Sunday November 4th, 2012.  It was a great event and we met with many wonderful couples who are planning on getting married in 2013.  This was a great event and really well attended, Len, DEanna, Becky and Tyler had so much talking with everyone, and spending some time with other vendors, as well as tasting all of the great food samples available that day.  We took our big buses for couples to preview, so they know exactly what to ask for when making their reservations.  This is an amazing show, and we will be back again next year for sure, and we hope to see you there too!

 

On The Town Limousines Booth at FABNet Show

 

Len Joseph, the owner of On The Town Limousines, Inc. at our booth at The FABNet Bridal show held on November 4th, 2012.  Photo courtesy of Kelly Hahn Photography.

 

 

Chauffeur vs Driver

On The Town Limousines, Inc. prides itself on not only our fleet and the level of customer service that we offer to each and every client, we also pride ourselves on our chauffeurs.

What is the difference between a chauffeur and a driver, or a private car service and a cab company?  A driver may well be excellent at getting you from point A to point B safely, but a chauffeur goes well beyond driving a car.  He is knowledgeable about restaurants and points of interest, he is discreet about what he may or may not hear in the vehicle.  He will provide his cell phone number to the client for ease of contact prior to the pick-up time.  He arrives early for his pick-up time, his vehicle is always clean, he will hold the door for you, and help you into the vehicle.  He will always deal with your bags for you.  If you need to make an unscheduled stop for a cup of coffee or a newspaper, none of that is a problem.  He is always professionally attired and is mindful of his clients needs and desires while they are in the vehicle.  Cab or taxi companies offer a vehicle that may or may not be clean, a driver who probably will arrive exactly at the time you requested, but with no way of contacting the driver should you have a last minute change in plans.  Additional stops will just cost you more money, because you are “on the clock”.

On The Town Limousines, Inc. has some of the best chauffeurs in the area.  They love to offer our clients only the best service possible.  So if you want a driver, hire a cab, but if you want the best call us today 301-829-7999 and treat yourselves to a Chauffeur driven limousine or sedan.

 

 

 

 

WE HAVE A SECOND LOCATION IN FREDERICK!

On The Town Limousines, Inc. is excited to announce that we have recently opened a second location.
Our new Frederick address is:

25 East Patrick Street, Suite 202, Frederick MD 21701 Telephone: 301-695-LIMO (5466)

This office is for by appointment only meetings at this time, so please call ahead to schedule a meeting for this new office so conveniently located right in the heart of downtown Frederick.

Our primary location and phone numbers have not changed, and we are excited to be able to offer our clients yet another option to meet with us to discuss all of their needs.

We constantly strive to offer both our existing and future clients only the best customer service and fleet options available in the area, and we feel that the addition of this second location is just another way to help us achieve these goals.

We look forward to meeting with you soon, either in Frederick or Mount Airy to discuss all of your transportation needs, whether it is for a wedding, night-out, airport or cruise terminal transfer or for one of the many other services that we are able to offer.

See you there soon!!

 

Silver Alerts

I was driving on the highway recently and saw an advisory for a Silver Alert, and I will be completely honest and say that I did not know what a Silver Alert was.  I asked around and no-one I know had ever heard of a Silver Alert either, so I decided that I would just give everyone a little heads up on what this is!

We have all heard of Amber Alerts and know they refer to missing children, well a Silver Alert refers to missing adults, usually seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other mental disabilities.  So if you see or hear about a Silver Alert on your local radio, please take a moment to listen to the information being broadcast, or make a note of the information you are reading on the highway.  With many pairs of eyes looking for someone it may well save a life.

Hot Weddings in June and July

The summer is well underway now with some sizzling temperatures and dramatic weather conditions here in the mid-Atlantic.  So far we have escaped reasonably well with the power outages, but that cannot be said for all of our clients.  Some of our wedding couples have had to deal with venues that have no power which has caused some fairly serious headaches!

On The Town Limousines tries very hard to make sure that we are there on-time, everytime, even when the road conditions are bad.  We have dealt with road closures, delays and torrential down pours but still manage to get our clients where they need to be on time, or as close to on time as we can possibly be.  We always factor in extra time to allow for the unexpected, but even we were caught a little off-guard recently when we arrived at the hotel to find the parking lot full of fire engines, and all of the guests assembled in various states of dress and undress in the parking lot! No matter how hard we try there are just some things that we cannot predict!!

So, a big thank you to all of our recent clients for working with us in extreme conditions, and a really big shout out to our classy drivers for the amazing job they have been doing to ensure the safety and comfort of all our clients, whether they are headed to the airport, having a night on the town, or are brides and grooms trying to get to their weddings.

Do you have an interesting story about your wedding – let us know, we would love to hear from you.   We look forward to helping all of our wedding couples arrive in style and comfort! And..in the meantime enjoy the rest of this very warm summer.

 

Passport Information

The summer season is just about here so we are thinking vacations!!  If you are leaving the country you will need a current passport, so here are some tips about passports, from when you need one to getting one renewed.

If you are applying for a passport, send in your application as soon as possible, especially if it is nearing its expiration date.  Some countries require that your passport be valid for six months after  a traveler’s entry or return date.  Passports issued to passengers 15 years old and younger are valid for five years, for those 16 and older  are valid for ten years.

Processing times in May are about four to six weeks for regular service and two to three weeks for expedited service.

You must apply in person if:

  • You are a first time applicant.
  • Your passport was lost, damaged or stolen and you must also  complete form DS-64 if the passport was lost or stolen.
  • Your old passport expired and was issued more than 15 years ago or before you turned 16.
  • Your name has changed since your last passport was issued and you have no documentation reflecting the change.
  • You are 14 to 17 years old . A parent or legal guardian, with his or her own ID, must be present if you do not have acceptable identification. Parental consent is required for children 16 or younger. Both parents must appear and present acceptable identification and proof of relationship (e.g. their names on the child’s certified birth certificate. Newborns and toddlers need a passport and must be present when their parents apply on their behalf.

You will need to fill out form DS-11 (but do not sign it until the passport official tells you to). You will need proof of U.S. citizenship e.g. an original or certified birth certificate, personal ID such as a valid driver’s licence or military ID. (Please be aware that the full names of the applicant’s parents must be listed on the certified birth certificate.) You will also need one 2″x2″ passport photo which was taken in the last six months.  The fees are (as of May 2012) $135 for age 16 and over or $105 for younger than 16.

If your passport is running out of pages, and you are down to two to four visa pages, you need to add some more pages.  Send your passport, Form DS-4085 and the $82 fee to National Passport Processing Center, PO Box 90106 Philadelphia PA 1910-0106.

For expedited renewal service by mail, send in the necessary forms and documentation plus an additional $60.00 and overnight delivery costs.  Write “Expedite” on the envelope and the departure date on your application.  To ensure timely delivery add the cost of two-way overnight delivery.

If you are leaving in under two weeks, make an appointment with a Regional Passport Agency.  In Washington the center at 1111 19th Street NW is open from 8 am to 3 pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and  on Friday  from 9 am to 3 pm on Wednesday.  To schedule an appointment call 877-487-2778.

For faster, but more costly service, use a private company.  You will pay a flat rate based on the speed of service, plus government fees.  Search online for companies and their prices.

You can find official passport information from the State Department Web site, www.travel.state.gov/passport.  For a status report on your application, contact the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778 or check online at www.travel.state.gov/passport/status/status_2567.html within five to seven days of your application.

Not sure if you need a passport?  You need a passport for all foreign travel with a few exceptions.  Since 2009 the United States has required Americans to carry a passport or an acceptable alternative when traveling to Bermuda, Mexico, Canada and 17 Caribbean nations.  US territories such as Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Guam are exempt as are cruises that begin and end in US Ports.

Childen younger than 16 traveling to the above destinations by land or sea cans still use their US birth certificate (original or copy) or another proof of citizenship to reenter the States.  US Pasport Cards valid for sea and land crossings, but not for use in air travel, are acceptable for travelers of all ages.  Cost is $55 for first time adult passport applicants, $40 for those younger than 16 and $30 for valid passport holders.  For application information go to www.travel.state.gov/passsport.

Acceptabl;e alternative documents include Trusted Traveler Cards (Fast Cards), US Military ID with travel orders and Native American photo ID cards.

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day – Do You Know It’s True Meaning?

Memorial Day is almost upon us again.  It is the official start to the Summer season, beach visits, BBQ’s and long warm days in the sun.  High School Seniors have graduated and looking forward to graduation parties, beach week, and possibly getting ready to start college. But what is Memorial Day really all about, it is so much more than just a day off.  So as we start to look forward to those Memorial Day parties and BBQ’s we hope that you will take a moment and also remember those that are currently serving us and all those who have given their lives for us.

 

Memorial Day was first celebrated on May 30th 1868, and was observed by placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers during the first national celebration.  General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetary, after which about 5,000 people helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried there.

The reason that Memorial Day is celebrated on 30th May every year is because three years after the Civil War ended on May 5th, 1868, the head of the Grand Army of the Republic established Decoration Day as a time for the Nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Major General John A Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on 30th May.  The date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

Since the late 1950s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, about 1,200 solddiers of the 3rd US Infantry place small American Flags at each of the approximately 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetary.  They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.  In 1951 the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 gaves at Jefferson /Barracks National Cemetary as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day.

Starting in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Girls and Boys Scouts place a candle at each of the approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program).

In the year 2000 the National Moment of Remembrance Resolution was passed.  At 3pm on Memorial Day all Americans are asked to voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect by pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to taps.

Some interesting facts about Memorial Day:

  • New York was the first state to officially recognize Memorial Day
  • The South refused to honor the dead until after World War 1 when the meaning of Memorial Day changed from honoring the Civil War dead, to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.
  • Memorial Day was declared a federal holiday in 1971.

“Your silent tents of green

We deck with fragrant flowers;

Yours has the suffering been,

The memory shall be ours.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Preferred Vendor Lists – Should You Trust Them?

No matter what your event you will need a number of vendors to make the day go off without a hitch. So where do you start to find the best vendors for you and your special occasion. Once you have the venue established, that is usually a good place to start. Every venue normally has some kind of preferred vendor list whether it is published or not. You just need to ask to see it! But the question is are all preferred vendors as good as each other, and should you assume the quality of their work and product will be acceptable to you?

Vendors can get on a preferred vendor list in a number of different ways, so there are some points that should be considered when making your selections.

1. They can be invited on to the list by the venue compiling the preferred vendor list.

2.They can ask to be put on the preferred vendor list.

3. They may pay to be on the list.  This is fairly usual for advertising in a venue’s on-line and print brochure.

Questions you should ask the Venue are:

  • How long have you known the individual vendors?
  • Do they offer consistent high levels of service?
  • Would they use this vendor themselves?
  • Are there other vendors that they know who are not on the list but would recommend (this can happen especially if a brochure is in print and a new vendor was not available when the brochure went to print)?
  • Are any of your preferred vendors not going to be renewed when the list is redone?
  • Have you received any negative comments or complaints about any of the vendors on the list?

Over time the quality of a vendor’s work and the level of their customer service may change for many reasons, therefore it is important to make sure that you ask the right questions, and also ask other vendors on your list who they would recommend, they can be a really useful source of information. Professional vendors will normally never say something bad about a competitor, but they will usually manage to convey potential problems that you should be aware of.

All reputable vendors only want to provide you with their best service for your event, it gives them an opportunity to showcase their abilities and hope for future work or referrals, so it is not in their best interests to recommend another vendor who will not perform at the same level as they do.  Most vendors  work very hard in order to be part of the preferred vendor list and offer something a little extra special for their clients, but do not assume all preferred vendor participants are created equal and that their services should therefore be hired just because they are on a preferred vendor list.

If you have had a great experience, or not so great experience let us know – we would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

Len Joseph Interview with Andrea McCarren Channel 9 News

Len Joseph video interview with Channel 9 News

 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WUSA)–In Montgomery County last year, fatal drunk driving crashes were up, and here are some eye-opening statistics related to those crashes:

The average Blood Alcohol Concentration of the victims aged 21 or over was .17– more than twice the legal limit of .08.

But under the age of 21, the average was a .24–three times the legal limit! That’s the equivalent of consuming about 15 drinks!

With prom season now underway, Montgomery County Police will be out in full force trying to keep our kids safe.

9 Wants You To Know how some teenagers have gotten downright clever when it comes to sneaking alcohol into the night’s festivities.

“We do make all the backpacks, purses and everything go in the trunk, no matter what,” said Len Joseph, the owner of On The Town Limo in Mt. Airy.

Sleek limos, fancy dresses and sharp tuxes aren’t the only signs that prom season is here.

“There’s a new alcohol bra that actually has little compartments in it and there’s a straw down the strap,” said Officer William Morrison of the Montgomery County Police Department.

Every year, Montgomery County Police alert limo drivers to the latest trends among resourceful teenagers. The alcohol bra appears to have replaced another fad: sandals with a built in flask.

“Last year, I had a limousine driver come to me and say, ‘Hey, do you mind talking to this kid? He’s got the mintiest fresh breath you’ve ever seen!’ And sure enough, what he was actually doing was drinking Scope,” said Morrison.

Police say some mouthwash contains as much as 40% alcohol!

“They’re very creative. Very creative,” said Joseph.

Limo driver Len Joseph remembers one prom night when the kids made what sounded like an innocent request: a brief stop at a local convenience store.

Recalled Joseph, “I pull in, two of the boys get out, they run in and they come out with two big huge bags of Snapple.”

That seemed odd, since the limo was stocked with water and soda. But Len listened closely and didn’t hear the popping noise that usually comes when bottles are opened.

“I said, hey, you guys got Snapple? Pass one of those up for old Mr. Len, that’s great. Great stuff. Well you could see the look go over every face,” he said.

The teens had planned in advance with a friend who worked at the convenience store.  Each bottle had been opened and pre-filled with alcohol.

“I pulled over, grabbed a Snapple and said, we’re going back to Mom and Dad’s and we did,” said Joseph.

Whether in a standard limo or in a 32-passenger deluxe model, Len’s company has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking or drug use.

“We just can’t have it,” he said. “Parents put their trust in us and we have to bring them back the same way we found them.”

Veteran limo company owners say parents shouldn’t book a limo simply based on price. Make sure the company is licensed and has the proper insurance.

In Virginia, you can find a list of registered and insured limousine companies on DMV’s website: www.dmvNOW.com.

For other jurisdictions, put the name of the limo company in the search box at:

http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CompanySnapshot.aspx

Written by Andrea McCarren

9NEWS NOW & WUSA9.COM

 

 

 

 

PROM EXCITEMENT AND SAFETY!

The prom season is almost upon us and our phones are starting to be very busy with prom reservations.  This is a very exciting time for our juniors and seniors as they plan their big nights.  What to wear and of course the agonizing over will he ask me or should I ask her!!  However, as much as we all want our children to enjoy this rite of passage in their lives, there are safety aspects to this big night that they may not want to address, but as parents we need and have to address.

On The Town Limousines, Inc. takes very seriously the safety of all our clients whether they are students or not.  However, when dealing with minors we do have a number of rules that we strictly adhere to.

  • All bags and packages, other than a clutch purse, will be housed in the trunk of the car
  • We have a zero tolerance for alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, even if there are passengers over the age of 21
  • The only person able to make changes to the itinerary is the parent who made the booking
  • No changes will be accepted from anyone in the car, unless they were the adult making the booking
  • No unscheduled stops will be made
  • No additional passengers will be added to the vehicle for the return trip, and the same number that leaves with us has to return with us.
  • The divider between the back cabin and the driver will remain down at all times
  • All members of the Prom party will sign the Prom promise
  • Our chauffeur will make his cell phone number available to all parents and to every member of the prom party
  • No hanging out of the vehicle through  a sun roof or windows

The staff at On The Town Limousines, Inc. have undergone extensive prom safety and awareness training and all our chauffeurs are aware of signs of drug and alcohol use.  If our chauffeur suspects there has been any breach of any of these rules the evening will be terminated, and students taken to members of staff at the school or returned home to the original point of departure.

 

We would also draw your attention to the following graphic video of the last moments of some teenage girls who were tragically killed after an evening out drinking.  It is a difficult video to watch, but for those parents who allow their children to drive themselves to Prom, or are allowing them to go on Senior Week to the Beach, we hope you will watch this with your children in the hopes that this will save a life.  This is courtesy of Channel 9 news.

http://www.wusa9.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=1521414048001

 

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