The ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft are here to stay in Hillsborough County - for now.
The Public Transportation Commission on Wednesday approved a temporary operating agreement for the two companies to operate in Hillsborough for the next 13 months.
Lyft Attorney Steve Anderson is happy the agreement passed, but said it doesn’t change the ridesharing model.
"Uber and Lyft - and I'll just speak for Lyft - have never recognized your jurisdiction,” Anderson said. “We are not a public vehicle. We were not six months ago, we are not now."
Uber and Lyft operated for more than two years in violation of laws governing taxicabs and limousines. The 4-3 vote approved a middle ground for the companies to operate on.
PTC Chairman Victor Crist said the agreement is a win-win.
"I wish to make the motion that was outline to move forward as quickly as possible to ensure that we have a safe environment for all of our riders in Hillsborough County and a level playing field for all of our providers,” Crist said.
Under the new agreement, Uber and Lyft drivers have to background checks on drivers, but not the FBI fingerprint-based check required of taxicab and limousine drivers.
The agreement also requires drivers carry additional insurance and have their cars inspected yearly.