Uber, Lyft Left Hanging For Another Month

Oct 10, 2016

Tampa's Uber and Lyft drivers won't know for another month if local regulators are going to authorize them to operate, legally, in Hillsborough County.

The Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission (PTC), a seven-member board of city and county elected officials, has been at odds with the ride-sharing companies over driver background checks.

A compromise deal - requiring everything but fingerprints - was set for a vote at the PTC meeting Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.

But the vote was postponed until  Nov. 9, 2016 meeting by PTC Chairman and Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist. He said, after receiving notifications from several members, that there may not be a quorum at October’s meeting.

“I don't want a situation where we vote on it - it passes or fails - and one side claims that it was a foul because there wasn't enough input from their perspective in the debate,” Crist said.

Crist called it a historic vote by the board that regulates taxi cabs, tow trucks, ambulances and limos, adding that the compromise deal will end ongoing lawsuits brought by Uber and Lyft.

“It's going to be a very, very important vote,” Crist said. “I believe if the board does not adopt this proposal and votes it down that the legislature will shut them down during this next session.”

The state legislature created the Public Transportation Commission to regulate the safety of public transports for hire. It is the only board of its kind in the state. Previous attempts to eliminate the PTC have failed.