The Board of County Commissioner’s transportation and aviation committee met this week to talk taxis, Uber and Lyft. The ride-sharing apps have been facing resistance from the taxi industry and some county commissioners.
“I have a problem with companies coming into the area and setting up shop when they’ve been told that what they’re doing is illegal,” said Dennis Moss, chairman of the committee.
Many taxi drivers and drivers of for-hire vehicles, such as limousines, spoke against Lyft and Uber at the meeting. They say the new companies should be required to have the same licenses and permits they do.
Safety concerns were also discussed at the meeting, primarily about the depth of Lyft’s background checks and the validity of their excess liability insurance plan.
Kenia Borges, a Statefarm insurance agent, says: “We don’t ensure any vehicles that pick up passengers, like taxis or limousines.”
Meanwhile, proponents of Lyft say that current county code doesn’t allow for the app, because it was conceived at a time such technology didn’t exist.
But now Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo says there is a demand for Lyft and Uber.
“There is a segment of the population out there that is willing and wanting to use these kind of services,” says Bovo. “What we’ve done, as a government, is basically block them.”
Bovo continued to say that until the county moves forward, they’re “making criminals out of people who aren’t really criminals.”
To read more about the meeting, go to: MiamiHerald.com