MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Uber, the ride-sharing service, is suspending operations in Broward County at the end of July.
The company, in a statement, said that Broward County officials made it, “impossible for us to continue providing the standard of service people have come to expect in Broward County.”
Operations will be suspended as of July 31, according to the company.
Uber said Broward’s laws are oppressive to require each driver to obtain a county chauffer registration, a car permit and county-run background check plus carry state required commercial insurance.
Uber said it does its own car inspections, its own driver background checks and objected to subjecting the drivers to the counties bureaucracy.
Commissioner Barbara Sharief said it’s an issue of safety.
“Broward County put in place legislation that protects our riders and tourists here in Broward,” she said. “So if someone gets in a, God forbid, really bad accident there’s no protection for them.”
Before the commission broke for summer three weeks ago, they voted 7-2 to up the fines on Uber drivers. If caught operating in Broward the first fine was $750 and $1000 after that.
Drivers had stopped picking up passengers from Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades hoping the gesture would persuade county commissioners to back off, but it did not work.
Commissioner Chip LaMarca said everyone he knows who has tried Uber enjoyed it and the county is over regulating.
“They have insurance to comply with state law, that’s all we ask them to do,” he said. “They get background checks. Seven out of 10 drivers don’t make it as Uber drivers.”
Emails have flooded county commissioners over the past year from customers saying they enjoy Uber’s lower fares, cleaner cars and friendlier drivers.
“We hope the Board of County Commissioners will revisit the issue when they return from break and work with us to bring Uber back to Broward,” Uber said.