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Ride-Sharing Companies Might Face Stricter Regulations

Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft could see stricter regulations after Wednesday's Public Transportation Commission meeting.

Hillsborough County might see the end of ridesharing companies like Uber or Lyft if stricter regulations are passed.

The county’s Public Transportation Commission (PTC) is meeting Wednesday to decide if passengers will have to wait seven minutes before being picked up and if they’ll have to pay a $7 minimum fare.

In addition, the ridesharing companies would have to implement fingerprint-based background checks and an annual vehicle inspection for drivers.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said at a press conference Tuesday that these proposed rules won’t help the city stay in competition with other cities.

“For me as the mayor, I want this competition,” he said. “I want this city to be able to compete with any city in America and I want emerging technologies and disruptive technologies to be able to compete and succeed and there are ways to do that.”

Buckhorn was joined by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Tampa Bay Business Leaders to voice their support of Uber and Lyft.

PTC vice chair, David Pogorilich said he’s more focused on providing safe rides to passengers. Even if Uber and Lyft choose to pull out of Hillsborough County, he said there will be more companies to provide transportation.

“I think that the traveling public, while they may have to download the new app will still be served and that they will be served safer than they have been in the past,” he said.

Uber spokesperson, Bill Gibbson doesn’t think the PTC is concerned about safety at all.

“This has never been about public safety for them,” he said. “Why waiting seven minutes, mandated by rules before somebody can come pick you up? I don’t know who that protects other than special interests.”

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