Industry News

TCI spy with my little eye a new tax

Nov 13, 2019

TCI spy with my little eye a new tax

BOSTON MA. – OCTOBER 8: Massachusetts Joint Committee on Transportation hearing about the MBTA with Gov. Charlie Baker on October 8, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Jim Mahoney/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)


https://www.bostonherald.com/…/tci-spy-with-my-little-eye-…/

Replacement Driver's License/ID Card/Professional License

May 08, 2019

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE LICENSING OF CERTAIN MOTOR VEHICLE INSPECTION STATIONS.

Jan 15, 2019

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Section 7W of chapter 90 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the second paragraph the following paragraph:-

The registrar shall, upon request, issue a vehicle inspection station license for the inspection of motor vehicles pursuant to section 7A to a person holding a Class 1 license pursuant to section 58 of chapter 140 if that licensee has invested not less than $2,500,000 into the construction of a dealership and service facility or into the reconstruction or rehabilitation of an existing dealership and service facility; provided, however, that the licensee shall be properly equipped to conduct such inspections under the relevant rules and regulations; and provided further, that the licensee shall provide evidence of its investment in a form and format approved by the registrar.

Approved, January 10, 2019.

Updated: City holds firm on proposed flavored tobacco ban despite Chamber pushback

Apr 19, 2018

City Manager Ed Augustus Jr. is holding to a commitment to a partial ban on flavored tobacco products after the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce blasted the proposal in a recent letter.

“A sales restriction is not going to properly address the problem of underage tobacco use, it is just going to harm those law abiding, local businesses who comply with the letter of the law,” wrote Stu Loosemore, the Chamber’s director of government affairs, in the letter sent Wednesday.

But in a statement sent today, Augustus said the approach is evidence-based and widely adopted across the state.

“The restriction has the unanimous support of the City Council as well as the strong support of our administration,” said Augustus in the statement.

The Board of Health is weighing whether or not to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products at establishments without an age restriction to enter, like convenience and corner stores. Businesses like liquor stores and smoke shops, however, will not face the same restriction because of the age restriction at entry.

The proposal has the backing of the City Council, which voted in favor at its March 20 meeting. The proposal has been discussed by the Board of Health but has not been voted on. The next Board of Health meeting is next Monday, but an agenda has not yet been posted. Board of Health members could not be immediately reached for comment.

The council praised the item at the March meeting as a way of keeping tobacco clearly marketed to children out of their hands. The tobacco products, which are mostly for e-cigarettes, include flavors like cotton candy, Kool Aid and Hawaiian punch.

In a recent interview, Councilor Gary Rosen argued the city needs to do what it can to keep tobacco products from the hands of children, and that the retailers affected will have to adjust their business plans.

Similar measures have been adopted by more than 100 cities and towns in Massachusetts, including local towns like Holden, Spencer, Grafton, West Boylston and Gardner. Augustus argued in the statement the policy is backed by the 2015 Worcester Regional Youth Health Survey, which found that 76 percent of area youhs would not use e-cigarettes if flavors were not available.

Loosemore argues the policy is well-intentioned, but could have negative consequences for convenience stores. By his total, 266 businesses will be affected by the proposed ban, of which 85 percent are independently owned. The businesses, he said, have a 96 percent compliance rate with state tobacco laws.

“Obviously that’s going to be painful for them, but we have to think of the youth of the city of Worcester,” said Rosen.

“It seems counterintuitive to punish these retailers,” he wrote.

Instead, Loosemore advocates for the adoption of a possession ordinance, which would allow the city to issue civil fines to minors found to be in possession.

“This approach is the more appropriate manner by which the Board of Health and City of Worcester should be addressing the underlying issue at hand,” Loosemore wrote, adding the measure has been adopted in Lynn and Seekonk, and Hopkinton is proposing it.

Oct 17, 2017


Dear Registrar Deveney,

The New England Service Station and Automotive Repair Association (NESSARA) would like to express our extreme disappointment with the rollout of the new MA Vehicle Inspection Program.   Mis-assembled and locked-out work stations, incorrect sticker deliveries, lack of stickers at all, printers that wouldn't work, etc… have left the industry feeling let down.  The statement from DOT released on Oct 3rd contained language blaming our industry that only further angered the station owners.  We feel it is a misrepresentation of the facts to state, “The Registry’s goal was to have at least 1200 hundred stations in the state with new equipment and ready to conduct inspections by October 1. The Registry’s vendor, Applus, met that goal, as 1347 stations had new equipment operational for public inspections by October 1.”  I think it is clear by this point that many of those 1347 stations were anything but operational. The experiences of our Board members who conduct inspections and the vast number of calls we took from member stations contradicts the statements in the press release. The set-up and training process have proven to be woefully inadequate despite everyone’s best efforts. 

Now is not the time to assign blame, it is the time to get each and every station properly performing inspections, and the motoring public serviced to the levels they’ve come to expect.  

Under each of the previous iterations of the inspection program, NESSARA has worked with the state and the program administrators to ensure a program that our members and the MA motoring public have a program that works for all parties.  When the previous Dyne testing (AGBAR) program was about to collapse and be shut down, we, NESSARA, were an integral part of the workgroup that developed the "rescue plan" to salvage the program and keep stations operating.  We stand ready to do the same now.

We would like to request a seat at the table when any discussion takes place regarding any significant change in the program that could impact our member stations. We stand ready to meet with the Mass DOT, DEP, and Applus at any time to work on a solution and preserve our member’s businesses.

Thank You.

Rusty Savignac

President, NESSARA 

DOG PARKS AND THE GLOBAL TRANSPORTATION MARKET

Sep 11, 2017

Who are the alphas, and what may transpire as the market evolves? The latest Fuels Institute blog explains a shifting global transportation market.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – At a dog park, it’s easy to spot the dominant, confident dogs strutting their stuff and the yippy, high energy pups nipping at their heels. Well, not to be disrespectful, but we can apply this scene (to an extent) to better understand the global transportation market.

First, we need to understand who the alpha dogs are in the market, and to do that, we need to understand market share. Second, we need to recognize the noisy dogs that seek to make up for their smaller stature with vigor and energy. And finally, we need to understand what might transpire down the road and how the dog market might evolve in the future.

Let’s set the stage. We live in a global market. As such, the auto industry would like to implement a global vehicle architecture through which it can improve the efficiency of its operations to supply various markets throughout the world. Petroleum products, both crude oil and refined products, are shipped among continents to ensure supply matches demand. Regulations are increasingly being developed in a cross-border, collaborative fashion. And governments are always looking at each other to coopt ideas about how to guide their economies.

The independent actions of individual government entities (sometimes nations, sometimes cities) can disrupt the flow of the market, just like a skirmish among terriers can rattle the dog park. But these types of governmental actions often serve as distractions from what is really driving the market.

For example, recent announcements by France and Britain to eliminate petroleum-only vehicles in 2040 have made people take notice, but are they likely to have a huge impact?

First, keep in mind that both countries have left themselves a safety net by exempting traditional hybrid vehicles from these bans (these vehicles are powered by petroleum and supported by an on-board rechargeable battery). Second, France and Britain do not oversee markets that most would consider significant in size. They bark a lot, but they are not the dominant forces at the dog park.

To put this in perspective, let’s compare them to the big (sometimes angry) dog at the park: the United States. When it comes to comparing their markets with the U.S., there simply is no comparison and it would be foolish to think the U.S. could follow in their footsteps.


But if France and Britain are joined in their foray by the rest of Europe, things may look different.

When trying to understand where the most influence resides, let’s look at global market share. The Asia-Pacific is far and away the largest market for light duty vehicles, more than North America and Europe combined. Yet, unified government actions would be required to dramatically influence the direction of the market. Imagine a Siberian Husky teaming up with a Chinese Chow Chow, a Japanese Akita and a Tibetan Mastiff. Watch out, they could do some serious rearranging at the park. But what are the chances of them coming together like that?

The third largest market, Europe, would similarly require combined efforts like Asia to have any chance of wielding the market influence of the United States.


But before U.S.-centric Americans start to beat their chest, the future may not be quite so red white and blue. When considering population growth projections and long-term market potential, it is not within North America or Europe that the auto industry will find its greatest growth opportunities, nor will it likely be in Asia. It will largely occur on in Africa. The global population is projected to grow by more than 2 billion people by 2050, and Africa is expected to house more than 1.2 billion people. Numbers are not as easily found for the vehicle market there, but according to WardsAuto, in 2016, South Africa (the largest market) sold 547,000 light duty vehicles. Clearly, there is room to grow.


In the short term, however, I think there are great opportunities for the market in Latin America. It does not represent a significant share of the world’s projected population growth, but it is currently underserved. This is a market that boasts 20% of the world’s oil reserves but produces only 11% of its supply. The vehicle market currently counts one vehicle per five people; the U.S. is close to a one-to-one ratio. And the potential for economic growth in general, assuming political turmoil will stabilize, is significant.

Overall, it is important to understand what regions compromise the most influence and how that balance might change in the future. If we are not paying attention to the balance of influence, we can be whipsawed around by various announcements and initiatives. That said, if the governments of key regions come together and harmonize their approaches, the tables can turn quite quickly.

The Fuels Institute this fall will publish an assessment of global efforts to influence the market, ranging from the multi-national level all the way down to the individual cities. And this fall, we are teaming up with NACS and Conexxus to explore further the potential direction of the markets in Latin American with the first ever NACS Fuels Summit Latin America, November 7-8, in Buenos Aires.

This is a global world and it is time we all look at it as such, and we plan to provide some dependable, objective analysis to help with the transition. The dog park will evolve and the dominant pups are likely to change in the long term. It is important to stay vigilant as we monitor progress. Stay tuned!

John Eichberger is the executive director of the Fuels Institute. He can be reached at jeichberger@fuelsinstitute.org.

Shops cough up for emissions requirement

Sep 01, 2017

Tony Rice, a mechanic at Art's Auto Service, poses in a vehicle inspection bay in Milford on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. Changes to the state's vehicle inspection program will require individual inspection stations to foot the $5,710 bill for new computer equipment, which includes the cameras, wireless equipment, robust tablets that can withstand an auto shop environment, two printers, and anti-fraud technology to make it more difficult to produce counterfeit stickers. Staff photo by Christopher Evans