UberX and Lyft Could Get Closer to Legal Status With County Commission Vote Today UPDATED

Categories: Road Rage

uberpressshot.jpg
Courtesy of Uber
For nearly two months, UberX and Lyft have been operating their app-based ride-share services around Miami in direct violation of the county's limo laws. In turn, the county has hit the services with dozens of citations and has even impounded drivers' cars. All of that carnage could end if county Commissioner Esteban "Steve" Bovo has his way.

Bovo will bring an ordinance to the county commission today that would allow UberX and Lyft to operate legally. But in the face of heated opposition from the taxi union, he's not exactly optimistic his colleagues will play along.

See also: UberX Will Launch in Miami Today, Defying Miami-Dade's Taxi Laws

Update: The Commission has passed the ordinance 10-2, the Herald reports; it now heads to a transportation committee for a second vote later this year.

"It's going to go to a very difficult committee that has shown no desire to move forward," Bovo tells the Miami Herald.

Bovo's legislation will come up for a vote today for a first pass from the commission. If it passes, it heads back to a transportation committee, which last month couldn't reach a consensus on whether to change the laws to accommodate the new services.

His bill would create a new category of ride services, the Miami Herald reports, called "transportation network entities," which would be governed by a set of rules different from those for taxis and limos. It would require drivers to register with the county and companies to pay for thorough background checks, and would bar the app-based services from picking up customers from the street or from cab stands.

Bovo worked with Lyft to create the new rules, which are similar to those found in other cities where the services have found a way to coexist with cabs and limos. The City of Miami Commission has already passed a resolution asking the county to find such a solution.

See also: Why Taxi Drivers Don't Want Uber in Miami

But Miami's taxi union seems unlikely to budge in its firm opposition to Lyft and UberX. Cab drivers, who pay hefty sums for medallions, believe the app-based services would cut into their customer base without contributing the same fees to the county.

"I just don't see the taxicab industry existing in Miami-Dade County if someone gets to do what we want to do and not doing what we have to do," Diego Feliciano, president of the South Florida Taxicab Association, told Riptide earlier this year. "It's just not a fair playing field."

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9 comments
Andy Gonzalez
Andy Gonzalez

Seriously, Miami, it's time to welcome these amazing services and companies to South Florida

ctator
ctator

It is not the job of government to balance the role of unions vs citizens.  The question is what is the best regime for providing reliable, affordable, ubiquitous car coverage.  Having used Uber in many cities, it's obvious that the time has come for Miami to have this option.  It will result in better, cheaper, faster service. 

waltnice
waltnice

I took a cab from MIA airport to downtown which is probably less than a 5 mile drive and and after the airport fee, the highway fee and the paying with a credit card fee the bill was over $30. Cabs are a ripoff in Miami.

Brad Beaty
Brad Beaty

Milwaukee faced the same exact issue. Only difference is, they continued to let them operate until they could find the proper legislation that would allow Uber and Lyft to run in a free market.

Acerichards
Acerichards

Does your Uber driver pay a fee to MIA to pick you up @ the airport?

I don't think so!

He just ripped off the county for $2.00

All taxi's pay this fee for every fare picked up at the airport!!

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

Credit card fees are against the agreements vendors have with the credit card processing companies. If that happens again, report the cab company to your credit card. I don't know if they're the right ones to complain to or if anything will be done (most likely not), but hey, it won't hurt.

Some gas stations and others get away with this by offering a "cash price" for goods or services.

charles74.cs
charles74.cs

No issues in indianapolis cabbies and uber and lyft working together

charles74.cs
charles74.cs

I love lyft and uber it is helping people not get ripped off by cabbies.

I think it is ridiculous that they charge $2.00 to pickup at airports

but instead of hatred toward lyft and uber drivers we can coexist it is what the people want anyway.

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