Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sentinel: Gov. Scott says he will sign Uber bill: Sentinel

Will St. Augustine and other cab-regulating cities stand up to the State of Florida, its Governor and Legislature? Will the Federal Trade Commission? Will the Department that calls itself "Justice?" Who among our elected officials will be supporting worker rights and competition. Will there be investigations and litigation against special interest legislation favoring UBER and LYFT? UBER is a controversial multinational $70 billion monopolist market capitalization behemoth that may be on its way to violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. What do you reckon?

Gov. Scott says he will sign Uber bill

An Uber bill could lead to cheaper airport options and possibly more drivers.
Gray Rohrer
Tallahassee Bureau

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TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Rick Scott revealed via Twitter on Monday that he will sign a bill preempting local regulations of ride-for-hire app companies like Uber and Lyft.

“I look forward to signing the @uber/ @lyft bill,” Scott posted on Twitter.

The bill, HB 221, sets minimum insurance levels of $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per accident and $25,000 for property damage. Uber and Lyft will also have to conduct background checks for drivers.

Taxicab and limousine companies have fought against similar bills the past three years, saying the new digital companies that connect drivers with riders don’t have to comply with the same safety, vehicle inspection, background checks and license fees as they do.

The legislation also eliminates regulations passed by local governments, including Orlando, which passed an ordinance in 2015 imposing a $250 registration fee for ridesharing vehicles. According to city data, 290 permits have been issued and 305 tickets for noncompliance have been issued since it was passed.

Orlando International Airport patrons could get cheaper rides as a result of the bill as well. Currently, only Uber’s more expensive Uber Black service can operate out of OIA, but the legislation calls on airport authorities to enter into agreements with the ride-for-hire app companies that aren’t more onerous than their deals with traditional taxicab companies.

Scott can’t sign the bill until it officially reaches his desk, which could happen in the next two weeks. The bill doesn’t take effect until July 1.

grohrer@orlandosentinel.com or (850) 222-5564

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