From humble beginnings comes the story of this local limousine service

From humble beginnings comes the story of this local limousine service

Say no to DUI and say YES to JMI!

In 1994, I was in my 10th year of Insurance when one of my clients walked into my office to cancel her limousine service policy saying she was tired of babysitting people under the influence of alcohol every weekend. Long story short, I said “How much for the limousine?”

I was only thinking about going out and playing with it on weekends but that only lasted about a month before I realized every Sunday morning, I had a big mess to clean up. So, I started charging my friends and acquaintances:

  • Friends $35/hour
  • Acquaintances $45/hour
  • Don’t know you $55/hour
  • Don’t like you $75/hour!

Suddenly everyone wanted to be my friend!

After handing out fliers to every restaurant, bar, and hotel around town, soon JMI Limousine was booked every weekend. To meet the demand, we found another limousine for half of the price so I added that to the service. And for the second driver, I dressed up my mechanic with a new suit and a tie. He looked great and I had myself a limousine service. Over the next 6 years we bought a new limo every year.

From rocky start to the first limo bus in Oregon

JMI Limousine almost went broke twice due to a big yellow page habit trying to outdo my competitors but with the millennium approaching, Portland was still the wild, wild west of limousine services. There were over 30 different limousine companies in the city all competing with one another. With no regulations on safety, it was a roll of the dice every time you jumped into a limousine.

Moving forward to the year 2000 when Y2K was going to restart all computers worldwide, I heard about a new type of limousine called the limo bus. They were built on a bus chassis and you could stand up on board giving it a whole new feeling. These buses were equipped with cocktail bars, lights, stereos, and perimeter seating. Basically, a mobile night club. That is when I said “I gotta get me one of these!”.

The only problem was they were around $200K. Then I had an epiphany: I was going to build one myself! I bought a used Hertz airporter and after remodeling it for $16K, JMI Limousine had the first limo bus in all of Oregon! Unfortunately, all the other companies started doing the same without thought of safety which lead to brand new regulations for the industry.

A perfect safety record

In 2019 the industry is regulated by 3 bureaus, ODOT, USDOT, and PBOT. All vehicles are inspected semi-annually, all drivers are criminally background checked, and randomly drug tested. Also, they require high limits of liability insurance. JMI Limousine has a perfect compliance record since the inception of business in 1994.

JMI Limousine wants to be your designated driver for any events that are on your calendar. Wine tours, game day, team building, or just a night on the town. With the holiday’s coming up remember, “Say No To DUI, and Say Yes to JMI.”

By Johnny Meeke. For more information, contact JMI Limousine at 503-643-6404. We are located right here in Beaverton at 3737 SW 117th Ave behind TJ Maxx. Visit: https://www.jmilimousine.com