Sen. Marco Rubio, as well as several Florida state representatives, are trying to clear the road for a popular smartphone app called Uber to operate in Miami-Dade. The app, which allows people to hire a town car and driver through a few taps of their phone, has been meeting fierce resistance from the county’s taxi companies.
Uber says it can’t operate in the county due to rules designed to protect the taxi industry, such as a mandatory one-hour wait time to pick up a customer and a $70 minimum fee. But Uber opponents, mostly taxicab-operating companies, argue they won’t be able to compete with luxury car drivers if they’re held to more lenient regulation than the taxi industry. Uber was also the force behind a failed push in Miami-Dade to deregulate the county’s sedan-for-hire industry.
A panel of state lawmakers in Tallahassee narrowly approved a proposal on Monday that would allow companies like Uber to sidestep municipalities and get approval from the state instead.
On the same day, Sen. Rubio, who uses says he uses the app while he’s in D.C., attended an event at Uber’s headquarters and cautioned about regulation stifling the free market.
Read more from our partners at the Miami Herald.