The digital ride-share service Uber can continue its operations in Tallahassee, but under more regulations. cities and counties are moving to enforce their own rules after the legislature failed to pass legislation for ride-share services like Uber and Lyft.
Uber and Lyft are apps that connect drivers to customers needing rides. The drivers are more like independent contractors, with the companies acting as the facilitators. But they've ran afoul of traditional cab companies who accuse them of having an unfair advantage when it comes to customers. And Uber has been the target of local government and state regulation aimed at trying to level the playing field.
Tallahassee Attorney Lewis Shelley says the fix won’t please everyone.
“I think unfortunately, we’ve not been able to satisfy everyone on every issue, and I don’t think that will be the case in terms of the comments.”
The City of Tallahassee is the latest municipality to try to regulate the ride-share services. The move comes after a bill to regulate ride-share services failed in the Florida legislature earlier this year. The Tallahassee ordinance requires all drivers to obtain city licenses and adhere to insurance regulations.
Under a new Tallahassee ordinance, Uber must obey city insurance and permitting processes, like traditional taxi cabs. But Uber drivers won’t be held to the same standards when it comes to pricing. Speaking to the commission, Uber driver Zachary Coda asked commissioners to regulate lightly:
“I am a sole proprietorship to Uber," Coda said. "Uber does not pay me, I pay Uber, and with having permits and regulations, its not hurting Uber at all, you’re hurting me.”
Taxi and Uber drivers won’t have to be drug tested as a condition of employment, but they will have to follow taxi rules for airport pickups. The Tallahassee ordinance goes into effect in August, and the commission will review its new rule in a year.