Rick Hewatt Named President of TLPA
Richard (Rick) C. Hewatt, President of Atlanta Checker Cab Company, voted President-Elect of the International Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA).
The Taxicab, Limousine, & Paratransit Association (TLPA) formed in 1917, is an international organization representing owners and managers of taxicab, limousine, sedan, airport shuttle, paratransit, and non-emergency medical fleets throughout the world. TLPA consists of more than 1,000 member companies operating more than 100,000 passenger vehicles, which transport over 2 million passengers each day, more than 900 million passengers annually. These industries, integral parts of the public’s transportation, are vital to a community’s commerce and mobility, aiding in the relief of traffic congestion while promoting environmental improvements. The specialized paratransit services furnish more than half of the transportation needs of the physically challenged, while other facets of the industry provide feeder services to major transit stations and airports. The elderly and economically disadvantaged rely on the industry for fast, affordable transportation.
Richard F. Hewatt, Sr., Rick’s grandfather, started Atlanta Checker Cab in 1947 with one car. During the 50’s, Rick's father, Richard F. Hewatt, Jr. assumed management of the company, which flourished, under his directive for over 40 years, until his semi-retirement in 2000. Rick Hewatt, born into the taxicab business in 1959, started working for the company in 1973 at the age of 14. He spent his summers and holidays pumping gas and cleaning cars. He continued working for the company part time as a mechanic and driver while attending high school and college. Mr. Hewatt graduated from Middle Georgia College in Cochran, Georgia, after earning his degree in Business Administration. He came to work full time for Atlanta Checker Cab in 1982, and during those years worked in every facet of the taxicab business: call taker, dispatcher, driver, mechanic, public relations, business promotions, and administration.
When asked what distinguishes Checker Cab from other taxi services, Rick simply states, “Service.” Adding, “The Hewatt family considers customer service our top priority so Atlanta Checker Cab provides the very best taxi service in Georgia." He defines his philosophy in running the company in one word, "Pride. Pride in your company, pride in your industry, pride in your character." His goal for Atlanta Checker Cab is to "continue to grow with Atlanta and to maintain the Hewatt family-owned and operated status through generations to come." He enthusiastically asserts, “Atlanta Checker Cab continues to lead the way when it comes to adopting the latest technological advances for operating the company at maximum efficiency. Checker Cab was the first company in Atlanta to install computerized dispatching, in-vehicle security cameras to maximize customer and driver safety, utilize Global Positioning System (GPS), a satellite-based navigation system, and real-time credit card processing for customer convenience.”
Rick Hewatt proudly states Checker Cab Company has been a member of the TLPA for 40 years, and he attended his first meeting almost 25 years ago. A member of the TLPA Board of Directors since 2001 he serves on the Board of Directors of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Foundation, the non-profit charitable organization of its counterpart. Named the TLPA’s 2003 Large Fleet Operator, he has co-chaired both its Technology and Contracting Steering Committees.
Rick’s involvement in community and civic affairs include attendance at Atlanta Conventions & Visitors Bureau, Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and the Atlanta City Council meetings. His membership on the Technical Committee of the Atlanta Regional Commission helps coordinate the growing needs of the city’s 10 county metropolitan area. As a Board member of Team Georgia, an anti-drunk driving and driver safety coalition, and the Atlanta Taxicab Company Owners Association, Rick has spent more than 22 years promoting and participating in the Free Ride Home Program, providing free rides to inebriated patrons of Atlanta’s Bar and Restaurant industry.