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Floridians for Ridesharing Coalition pushes for statewide bill to get passed this year

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Last year in the Florida Legislature, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill to create statewide regulations regarding ridesharing, but the bill died ignominiously in the state Senate. Similar bills are winding their way through committees in both chambers already in 2017, and on Wednesday, the group Floridians for Ridesharing Coalition announced their support for that legislation, being sponsored in the House by Palm Harbor Republican Chris Sprowls and Tampa Republican Jamie Grant and in the Senate by St. Petersburg Republican Jeff Brandes. “We fully support legislation that…

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Ridesharing bill advances 21-1 in House committee

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A bill to create statewide regulations for ridesharing companies easily advanced in its last committee stop Tuesday in the Florida House, but not without some dissent from a handful of Democrats on the panel. The bill (HB 221) is sponsored by Tampa Republican Jamie Grant and Palm Harbor Republican Chris Sprowls, and officials with Uber and Lyft are hoping that this is finally the year that such legislation is finally passed. The bill would require transportation network companies to have third-parties conduct local and national criminal background checks on drivers. People would…

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Ridesharing smoothing the roads in Florida

in Peter by

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber; it’s also no secret that I am NOT a big fan of the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission, a bully of a governmental entity applying 19th-century thinking to a 21st-century innovation. The PTC’s blatant quest to stifle ridesharing while clinging to the outmoded taxi and limo industry has been as disgraceful as it is misguided. This should be the final nail in the coffin of…

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Ridesharing bills could pave the way for transformational changes

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

On the same day an Uber- and Lyft-friendly ridesharing bill passed its first committee stop in the Florida House, state Sen. Jeff Brandes was presenting his vision of where he believes the transportation industry is headed. “We’re in a generational shift from the horse and buggy to the Model-T,” Brandes said Wednesday evening at the James Madison Institute in Tallahassee. The St. Petersburg Republican was the main presenter at a public event focusing on emerging transportation technologies. He’s also sponsoring…

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House advances bill for statewide ride-sharing regulations

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A Florida House committee advanced a bill Wednesday to implement statewide regulations on ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. Sponsored by Republicans Chris Sprowls of Palm Harbor and Jamie Grant of Tampa, HB 221 addresses issues that have been vexing state lawmakers for the last three Sessions. If passed, drivers would need to carry insurance coverage worth $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per incident and $25,000 for property damage when picking up passengers. Coverage would…

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Super Bowl serves at peacemaker between Uber and Houston

in Sports/Top Headlines by

Anybody using Uber in Houston during Super Bowl week can thank the big game for their ride. Up until a couple of months ago, it was unclear if the popular ride-hailing service would be helping shuttle many of the more than 1 million people expected to take part in Super Bowl-related activities in the host city. Uber had threatened to leave Houston ahead of the festivities, insisting various city regulations, including fingerprint background checks of drivers, were too burdensome and…

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Joe Henderson: Uber, Lyft here to stay – time to level the playing field with taxis

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

I have spent a lot of words arguing that Tampa and Hillsborough County should welcome the ride-share companies Uber and Lyft instead of fighting to preserve a monopoly that has been enjoyed by traditional cab companies. I still feel that way. However, if Uber and Lyft are allowed to operate the way they want, taxi companies should have a greater latitude to do the same – lest the free market put them out of business. That led to an exchange…

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