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A luxury line for any occasion

Transportation: Lightning Limos provides sedans, limousines and party-bus services

Posted: October 8, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 8, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Lightning Limo Vice President Vin Bali, left, and his father and company president, Kuldip Bali, with their new 50-person party bus.

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In the highly competitive business of limousine rentals, a company “is only as good as their last pick-up,” said Vin Bali, vice president of Lightning Limos.

And now, the customer-driven, Santa Clarita-based transportation company is just entering its fifth year of business providing sedans, limousines and party buses to some 400 accounts, ranging from small to large companies, and a host of private passengers, as well.

Lightning Limos owns the five sedans and three party buses and employs 13 drivers, Bali said.

That’s no small feat for a small company that reportedly lost $100,000 its first year of business. Given the cost of luxury sedans and party buses, the overhead is huge, Bali said.

Two months ago, the company bought its third customized party bus, costly nearly $200,000, to accommodate growing demand for its charter services.

The highly stylized buses are like party discos on wheels and can hold up to 50 passengers, Bali said. Passengers can stand up and walk around.

“I never thought we would be this big this soon,” Bali said. “And I’m very lucky to have parents and family I have.”

High-end clients

Advanced Bionics of Valencia began using Lightning Limos as soon as it opened for business, said Jeff and Kim Greiner of Westridge.

Jeff was the former CEO of Advanced Bionics, and Kim was the event coordinator for all of the company’s events.

“They’re excellent,” Kim said. “I can’t say enough about Vin, his professionalism and his company.”

Lightning Limos and Bali take their jobs so seriously, and he gives the same five-star treatment to every customers he has, Kim said.

That was not true of another vendor the couple had also used since the Greiners left Advanced Bionics. “Vin still provides the best service. Lightning Limos is better than any other company we have ever worked with,” Kim said.

“It’s truly about loving what you do and making everyone happy,” she said.

It’s all about “promises made, promises kept,” Bali said of the business started by his father, Kuldip Bali.

Bali said the company’s goal is to provide the best service, have fun with its customers, not badmouth competitors and make sure customers get to where they need to go on time.

“We’ve used them several times; they’re excellent,” said Sandra Turley, executive assistant with Woodward HRT. “I would use them again.”

The executives like Lightning Limos’ service. They think the cars are very clean and always on time, Turley said. And Vin arranges transportation for all of Woodward HRT’s company events and off-site meetings.

“The drivers are just great, very courteous,” said Cedric Navarro, vice president regulatory affairs and quality for Advanced Bionics.

“Vin’s staff has picked up worldwide surgeons that fly in, as well as huge international groups that come into Advanced Bionics,” Navarro said.

Navarro, who commutes in to his company daily from Altadena, also uses Lightning Limos for personal use or to catch air flights, he said.

“They’re highly focused on clients and customers,” Navarro said. “They always provide exceptional service.”

Buyer beware

Consumers should be educated when renting a limo or party bus, Bali said.

There are scores of services and some serve only as brokers. They don’t actually own their own vehicles but contract with other companies or independent owner operators.

Brokers can promise one thing, but deliver another, sending the best party bus to the highest online bidder.

Consumers can go to the California government website and enter the company’s PUC number to see if the company is licensed, Bali said. The numbers are supposed to be on the left and right side of a bus.

It’s also advisable that customers look at the actual party bus before booking one for a party, to know what they will be getting.

Consumers should also look for a valid TCP, or Transportation Charter Party permit, number, Bali said.

Lightning Limos can be reached at (661) 607-0272 or (877) 870-2254. More information is available online at: www.mylightninglimos.com.

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