Tampa Uber Rules (Hillsborough County PTC)

When it comes to transportation in Florida, the Tampa Uber rules made by the Hillsborough County PTC seem to be less than solidified. As of right now the rules regarding Uber and Lyft as transportation services state that the vehicle must not be more than ten years old, drivers must undergo a mandatory level two background check (by way of using fingerprints in order to identify an individual’s criminal history), the vehicles must be inspected every year, and the drivers and companies must hold the state minimum levels of insurance.

While these may be the rules for now, there’s no guarantee that they won’t be changing in the future. While the rules seem detailed, they leave out the controversial debate of what the minimum fare and wait times for each customer should be (the issue is over a $7 minimum fare and a seven-minute wait time as of right now). This being said, the PTC plans to hold a public hearing to address the issues of executing a governing framework for the industry on October 13th. Both Uber and Lyft plan to request a public hearing on the issue at hand.

Due to this, the general framework that was laid out by the previous meeting establishing the aforementioned rules, is still a fluid entity. During this hearing, the rules can again be changed. The decision and vote on the different rules occurred after a zealous debate that clearly set the Uber and Lyft industries against the taxi and limousine industries. Over 50 people signed up to speak on the issue at hand and while almost 30 were unable to attend, there were 12 who expressed views against the projected rules while there were nine who were in favor.

PTC board chair, Victor Crist, ended up asking people to stand either in favor of or against the proposed rules in order to settle the issue until further debate. The difficult aspects of this is that the number of hearings that could be requested down the line could leave these issues tabled and processing for months. Should the Uber and Lyft companies choose to continue to operate as they were before the rules, they could face multiple fines, however if an injunction (a judicial order that restrains a person from beginning or continuing an action threatening or invading the legal right of another) is reached, the Uber officials have agreed to leave the county in compliance.

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