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Uber And Lyft Under Sunshine Scrutiny

Uber users use mobile apps to arrange their rides.

A new poll shows that a majority of Floridians think that ride sharing services should be regulated.  

The fifth annual University of South Florida Nielsen Sunshine State Survey asked Floridians about regulating drivers and prices for ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. 

USF Professor Susan MacManus said people are divided on the issue. 

"On the one side there are people who are in favor of a 'let the market speak,' economic viewpoint, and on the other you've got a more pro-regulatory group,"MacManus said. "They tend to be more in favor of unions and protecting workers and having licensing." 

Of those surveyed, 68 percent want licensing, much like taxi companies are required to do. 

Minorities, the elderly and people without access to their own transportation depend most on ride sharing services, but the survey says they are least likely to want more rules.

USF student Chris Johnson uses Uber, and appreciates the innovation of ride sharing apps. 

"I think that we need to recognize that it is more of a priority to provide something that is needed than to preserve traditional methods of providing that need," he said.

"If those traditional methods don't cut it anymore, which I don't think taxi cabs do, then we need to go ahead and say that Uber is a good thing."

Johnson says lawmakers should set regulations, but not too many. 

"The state needs to have an interest in making sure that the vehicles are up to code and Uber's personal regulations are being complied with by the people who offer their cars as car sharing services," he said.

WUSF News intern Ariana Matos is a senior studying mass communications at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Before joining WUSF, Matos worked at the USF’s student newspaper, The Oracle, as a correspondent and as editor of the Lifestyle section.
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