Taxi Industry Wants UberX and Lyft Drivers Put in Jail

Categories: Road Rage

lyft_courtesy_photo.jpg
Courtesy of Lyft
First Miami-Dade started ticketing Lyft and UberX drivers. Then they started impounding their cars. Apparently that's not good enough for the local taxi industry. No, they want drivers working for UberX and Lyft put in jail.

See also: Miami-Dade County Is Now Impounding Lyft Vehicles

Uber was recently valued at $18 billion. Lyft also has a hefty amount of venture capitalist funding to rely on. Both companies have treated fines and impound fees as part of the tricky business of launching and have reimbursed drivers who have been ticketed or seen their cars impounded. Such punishments are unlikely to stop the companies from operating in Miami.

"Put the drivers in jail," Rudy Gonzalez, the owner of U.S.A. Taxi, said before a Miami-Dade county commission committee on Wednesday according to the Miami Herald.

The comment came during three hours of heated public testimony on the companies' recent surprise entrance into the market.

Commissioners however weren't quite ready to put regular Miamians behind bars for the sins of San Francisco-based start-ups. However, they were divided on what to do.

Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, the leading opponent of Uber and Lyft, said the county should take the companies to court. Though, Commissioner Steve Bovo was more willing to consider changing laws to accommodate the companies.

The companies bravado-filled decision to operate in Miami outside the law have left politicians in an awkward place. Mayor Carlos Gimenez believes that the companies should have a future in Miami-Dade, but because they're currently operating illegally he's forced to enforce the law.

This is exactly what the companies planned on. Opening up shop in a legal gray area would force commissioners to make a move while simultaneously letting customers get a first-hand taste of their service and create more demand for it. With the companies paying their drivers' fines, perhaps putting drivers behind bars would be the only way to take a stand.

Then again, the idea of putting regular Miamians just trying to make a buck behind bars as a tool in a political fight seems just plain wrong.

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8 comments
gershman1
gershman1

UberX and Lyft are exposing the general  public to serious hazards while the debate goes on.  Not that they give a damn.  See what happened in San Francisco on New Year's Eve.  They claim to have adequate insurance protection but they don't make their policies available.  Pretty reassuring, isn't it?  Accidents are inevitable but real insurance is a necessity. 

They also claim to do a great job of vetting their drivers but a fair number of serious felons have managed to drive for the ride shares.


Bottom line: what gives them the right to enter a market flouting all existing laws BEFORE the rules are changed?

rredd
rredd

I just downloaded and signed up for Lyft and it sounds great! I'll give it a shot soon. :-)

AshleyWicht
AshleyWicht

Lyft is offering new users in Miami 50 free rides for two weeks with the promo code "2WEEKSFREE"

Just download the Lyft app and enter the coupon code in the Payments section.

lizmillerxc
lizmillerxc

In the kindest way possible, what do taxicabs expect? Their service hasn’t changed or gotten better in years. I’m surprised it took as long as it did for ride-sharing companies to take the spotlight. While I agree that the legality is in a gray area, I think its only because the laws can’t change fast enough for these revolutionary, innovative companies. To read more about Lyft and Uber, visit http://www.lyftvsuber.com/. The website has referral links to $25 FREE RIDE CREDIT to new passengers and SIGN-UP BONUSES for new drivers (drivers can make upwards of $35/hr - honestly). Ride-sharing services are affordable, fun, safe, and just make sense. I hope the laws can catch up!

Rhino44
Rhino44

I live in SF (San Francisco to you Miami folk!) and have also lived in Miami-dade as well as have a condo still on Hollywood Beach.

In SF I use UBER every time I want a car for hire EVEN a regular taxi! B/c on the UBER app in SF you have 5 choices of what you request to ride in including regular taxis that sign up with UBER.

For all these taxi companies in Europe and US who are fighting UBER and want the status quo I have a prediction for you; you will LOSE!

Why? B/c I don't want to wait on the street waving down a taxi or calling a dispatcher or worrying if I have enough cash or if the car takes credit card. I want to press a button on my phone app, wait, get in car, drive to my destination and get out!

The entrenched taxi industry should not be fighting UBER and Lyft, they should be innovating and putting there taxi service online and on an App. Adapt and stop complaining!

And also the regulating agencies should hold companies like UBER/Lyft to the same standards as regular taxis.

The future is here for taxi industry so get and move forward instead of looking in your rear view mirror!

jd.sotelo
jd.sotelo

Rudy and the guys upstairs remind me of the gangsters of Chicago. While they hide behind the law (all of them), something is getting handed under the table. Seen this same scenario numbers of time. So don't blame any of these people trying to earn an honest living.

Dont_be_one_to_talk
Dont_be_one_to_talk

Rudy Gonzalez, the owner of U.S.A. Taxi NEEDS TO HIRE dispatchers to serve the community and for his drivers to make a good living instead of driving around rapidly & aimlessly all these operating taxi companies need a dipatcher you ever try to call to get a cab ? half the #s on the car go to a fax machine this is why uber and lyft just came in they knew they could exploit this siuation. They also exploit there drivers

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