Few issues facing the Broward County Commission are as controversial and complex as the emergence of the new services Uber and Lyft -- online corporate dispatching services that connect customers with self-employed individuals with vehicles.
On April 14th at 2pm the Broward Commission will hold a public hearing on an ordinance creating a new regulated class called Transportation Network Companies or TNCs.
Uber and Lyft, the international companies providing the match-up services, have operated in Broward County for several months. They ignored the county’s insistence that they and their drivers submit to a licensing and permitting process, much as is done with taxi companies, thereby violating the county’s Motor Carrier’s Ordinance.
Commissioners’ overarching concerns are ensuring the safety of our residents, the integrity of the drivers and the safety of their vehicles, among several issues.
Uber, Lyft and their drivers say they are not a taxi service, but simply a ride-hailing service that uses cutting edge technology on smartphones to hook up customers and drivers.
Taxi drivers and their employers counter that these firms have created an unfair situation in which taxis must submit to strict regulations, consistent fare prices and stiff operating fees. Conversely, many Uber customers say they like the ease of use and lower fares.
I want to hear your opinion of how the County should proceed. What are the advantages and disadvantages and the pitfalls we need to avoid and what regulations should we consider? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and identify if you have ever used Uber or Lyft.