Miami-Dade commissioners want to make some big changes to the county’s taxi industry.
A slew of reforms are on the table, and county leaders are going to be taking a hard look at them on Tuesday.
Here’s the rundown on what might change:
- All taxis that service PortMiami and Miami International Airport would be required to have credit card machines.
- All cabs would be equipped with GPS, SunPass transponders and security cameras.
- Caps on limo and luxury sedan driver licenses would be removed.
- The one-hour minimum wait time for sedan drivers to pick up customers would be eliminated.
- The minimum fare requirement would be removed.
South Florida Taxicab Association Director Diego Feliciano says his organization supports the push to require credit card machines in taxis because without them cabbies are losing customers, people like Melissa Good, who only takes transportation that allows her to pay with plastic.
“I travel for business and it makes expense reports much easier – especially if I lose the receipt,” Good told us through the Public Insight Network. “I don’t like to carry a lot of cash and often don’t have time to stop in the airport for some.”
But it’s that wonky-sounding item on the list that’s getting the most push-back from parts of the taxi business. A San Francisco startup called Uber is the force behind changes that would deregulate the luxury sedan-for-hire industry.
Uber is an app that allows customers to hire and pay for a town car or SUV through their smartphone. In some cities you can use Uber to hire a cab, but that feature isn’t in the company’s initial plans for Miami-Dade.
Uber’s founder, Travis Kalanick, says the app won’t work in Miami with current regulations on luxury car drivers and permits.
But Feliciano, the head of the taxicab association, says that the heavily regulated taxi industry won’t be able to compete with luxury car drivers if they’re held to lesser standards.
This article includes comments from the Public Insight Network, an online community of people who have agreed to share their opinions with the Miami Herald and WLRN. Become a source at MiamiHerald.com/insight.