MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The future of ride services like Uber and Lyft in Miami-Dade could be decided this week.
Wednesday morning, county commissioners will meet to discuss, and possible vote on, new restrictions on ride sharing companies.
The proposals were made by Commission Chairman Jean Monestime. Among them is a requirement that the county perform background checks on the ride services’ drivers. Another issue under consideration is insurance. Uber says each ride by their drivers is covered by a one million dollar accident liability policy provided by the company.
Uber claims Monestime’s plans are too restrictive and put regulatory hurdles in place that would make it impossible for them to operate in the county. They have urged their riders to support competing legislation proposed by Commissioner Estaban Bovo which would allow Uber to continue performing its’ own background checks on drivers and make that information readily available to the county.
Bovo said he wants to look at insurance issues and make restrictions less intrusive cab companies as well.
Diego Feliciano, president of the South Florida Taxicab Association, believes Uber is trying to take the county for a ride. Feliciano believes the county should do background checks on Uber drivers and that Uber’s insurance isn’t enough to protect riders.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez wants to make sure that Uber stays in place. He’s in favor of taking a page from Broward or doing what is needed to update the transportation industry to be in line with new technology and service.
Last July, Uber stopped service in Broward after the county passed tough new rules for transportation network companies (TNC) like Uber and Lyft.
At issue were background checks on drivers and their vehicles, insurance and whether convicted felons could be drivers.
In the end, the county commission agreed that Uber would do background checks on their drivers and provide them the information. Uber was given a six month period to work with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to determine if the company’s insurance was sufficient. They also agreed to work out a list of felony convictions which may preclude a person from being a driver.
The app-based service was back on the road in the county in October.