About 56 years ago, in a county devoid of apps, smartphones and cars with pink fluffy mustaches, there lived a taxi industry that didn't rely on Miami-Dade County regulations.
That taxi industry without regulations is long gone, but ride-sharing apps Lyft and UberX are here -- and they're trying their best to stay. The smartphone-based companies connect users with drivers, and like Miami's old taxis, they don't rely on county regulations.
All Aboard Florida, the privately funded project that plans to connect Miami to Orlando with high-speed rail service, has been touted as an alternative to congested highways. It has also been criticized for concerns regarding safety and noise.
Brian Rick is on a crusade. As a spokesman for the Florida Department of Transportation he has chewed the ear of dozens, maybe a hundred people -- reporters, friends, anybody who refers to 95 Express as the “Lexus Lanes.”
“You don’t see a Lexus every two or three cars," Rick says. He notices the pickup trucks and work vans. "If you're delivering auto parts or you're delivering medical supplies... that's where reliability becomes essential. "
Since 2008, many South Florida residents have experienced the horror of finding surprise red-light ticket violations in their mailboxes. These violations are the result of red-light cameras, which were originally installed by cities as a so-called “safety precaution.” Fines for these tickets can come to as much as $200.
But, if any of these fines were obtained from 2008 to July 2010, many South Floridians may be getting a refund.
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.
Ride-sharing app Lyft has been operating illegally in Miami-Dade County for a little over two weeks now, and the app's directors and lobbyist Jorge Luis Lopez are trying to resolve their legality issue.
They are working on new model legislation that seeks to make room for apps like Lyft in county code. If the Board of County Commissioners approves, the service has the potential to become legal.
As part of our End of the Road series -- about the final 87 miles of I-95 -- we’ve asked a lot of questions: Why don’t people seem to get in trouble for speeding in the express lanes? What even is the speed limit in the express lanes? When you accidentally cut someone off, what should you do when they pull a gun on you?
Drivers for a new ride-sharing service, Lyft, are now facing significant fines and penalties from Miami-Dade County. The service has been around for about two weeks now, but it's operating illegally.
The fines don't seem to be scaring off Uber, the company that faced opposition from county officials last year. Wednesday, Uber plans to launch a service similar to Lyft, UberX, and will offer free rides through June 20.
MIAMI STATION: "Floating" and "shimmering" are two of the adjectives in All Aboard Florida's description of its Miami station and commercial complex. The tracks and terminal would be 50 feet in the air.
All Aboard Florida will be all about connections, hopeful developers of the high-speed passenger rail system told the city this week, and not just about the link from Miami to Orlando. Its Miami infrastructure, they said, would also become the glue binding downtown Miami to its special-purpose districts across today's barriers of blight and no-man's-land.
Rodrigo Rey del Castillo repairs and customizes mostly motorcycles that predate 1980. The machines lack on-board computers, fuel-injection engines, and anti-lock brakes. And they're the stand-out bikes of the growing South Florida vintage motorcycle scene.