Be careful what you wish for, Victor Crist.
In the ongoing struggle at the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission over what to do about Transportation Network Companies (TNC) Uber and Lyft, Crist — the commission chair — threatened a “radical solution” if the lawmakers didn’t act during the 2016 Legislative Session.
“If they don’t fix it within the next 60 days, we will here,” Crist said, as reported by FloridaPolitics.com. “You may or may not like our fix. But this is not going to be a PTC problem 12 months from now. We are not going to put this agency’s existence in jeopardy anymore.”
One solution has appealed to some Tampa Bay-area lawmakers. And it is not one Crist will like.
Repeal the PTC.
Consider this: Sarasota County deregulated taxi companies to allow TNC’s a chance to operate. Broward County successfully dealt with the Uber issue; as did Jacksonville. Orlando recently struck a deal with Uber, which allowed the ride-sharing service to operate at the airport.
What makes Hillsborough so special?
Since the commissioners can’t (or, more accurately, won’t) play nice with TNCs, compelling Crist to ultimately dare the Legislature to do something — hinting that he will do “something drastic,” in turn, if they don’t — it begs an obvious question.
Why have the PTC in the first place?
Disbanding the PTC would thrill a number of people. UBER, for one. It would make Jeff Brandes happy, too. He has been calling for a disband for years. And it certainly wouldn’t ruffle the feathers of Andy Núñez over at the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (or those at Mears Transportation, either).
Also, a breakup could not be considered “pre-emptive,” because the PTC itself was created by the Legislature. With that, it can easily be shut down, too.
Of course, it would be nice if someone suggested such a plan.
As Victor Crist cannot (or will not) act, and something “radical” needs to happen as a result, perhaps eliminating his job might do the trick.