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Mears Transportation

Legislation covering Uber, Lyft filed for 2017

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Online car services such as Uber and Lyft got a preliminary win in Florida after favorable legislation was filed Wednesday in the Legislature. The bills (SB 340 and HB 221), which would apply to ridebooking companies like Uber and Lyft, combine parts of previous measures that have been introduced but not passed over the last few years. Still, “transportation network companies,” or TNCs, pretty much got what they wanted, including a provision for driver background checks that don’t require fingerprints, which are more expensive…

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Uber delivers to Andy Gardiner thousands of pro-ridesharing petition signatures

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A representative for Uber personally delivered what he said was 32,588 petitions to Senate President Andy Gardiner on Thursday morning, continuing the intensifying fight between Senate leadership and the ride-hailing industry over insurance regulations and the preemption of local ordinances. The two parties are locked in a heated debated over whether the Senate should vote on a House-approved pro-“ridesharing” plan sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, or whether to take up a more modest bill that would settle outstanding sticking points on insurance crafted by Senate…

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Uber ad blames Andy Gardiner for failure of ride-sharing legislation in Senate

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Uber is publicly blaming Senate President Andy Gardiner for the collapse of a deal that would create a legal framework for the ride-hailing technology company to operate in Florida. LobbyTools reports that the San Francisco-based company is holding the Senate president personally responsible for blocking the bill. “Senator Gardiner’s actions raise a very important question,” Uber spokesman Colin Tooze told reporters. “Is Senator Gardiner going to listen to the voices of the people of Florida, or is he beholden to one special interest…

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Uber blasts Andy Gardiner as being impediment in getting ride-sharing bill passed

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Will 2016 finally be the year the Florida Legislature implements rules of the road for ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft? In late January, the Florida House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill (HB 509) addressing Transportation Network Companies (TNC), but its fate in the state Senate is unknown, and officials with Uber on Tuesday blamed President Andy Gardiner’s intransigence for that holdup. “We are calling on Senator Gardiner to set his personal self-interest aside, set special interest politics aside, and follow through on…

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Taxi group: Survey says, regulate Uber

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida Taxicab Association issued another broadside against Uber on Tuesday, this time focusing on a new University of South Florida-Nielsen poll that suggests most Floridians are in favor of legal restrictions on so-called transportation network companies. According to the new poll released Tuesday, 89 percent of Floridians believe ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft “should be required to have liability insurance as is required by current state law.” The level of insurance TNCs must carry has been a major sticking point between them and both Florida…

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July 4th Weekend is brought to you by these lobbyists and political organizations

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

It doesn’t get much more American than the Fourth of July. After all, the holiday commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It was then 239 years go our founders took great personal risk to declare their independence, and created this democratic republic out of their blood, sweat, and philosophical determination. The politics of 1776 were void of “registered lobbyists” but the things that we associate with Independence Day today, however — trips to recreational locales, beer &  spirits and even…

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Andy Gardiner casting long shadow over Uber debate

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Speaker Steve Crisafulli called adoption of ridesharing legislation to recognize and regulate so-called transportation network companies like Uber “inevitable” in a pre-session talk with media. Yet for the second year in a row, a full-court press by key Republican legislators aimed at smoothing the way for ridesharing came up short. The reason why, according to sources familiar with ongoing budget talks: Crisafulli’s counterpart Senate President Andy Gardiner. Earlier this week state Sen. Joe Negron inserted a last-minute budget item into the budget  that…

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