Ridesharing service Uber is, if anything, tenacious.
Facing a newly filed lawsuit by Hillsborough County, with which the San Francisco-based company has locked horns since its Tampa launch last year, Uber sent out an email to customers saying they are still open for business.
Subject line, “Continuing to Operate in Hillsborough County.”
Spoiler alert: they are.
The Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission sued Uber – including several driver-partners — claiming the company is not adhering to established rules for taxis, limos, and other transportation services.
“Despite the lawsuits,” PTC chair Victor Crist told WFLA-TV, “we’re not trying to shut down an industry.”
According to Crist, legal action was necessary because of “complete disregard” for the county’s rules and laws.
Regardless, Uber’s email boldly declares ridesharing is here to stay.
“We want you to know,” it says, “as always … we will support our partners every step of the way … And we won’t let this fight stop us from moving Hillsborough County forward with innovation and consumer choice.”
Uber spokesperson Bill Gibbons blasted the PTC, telling WFLA that the county board is “yet again using public resources to harass and intimidate small business owners.” Gibbons added although it is a clear abuse of power, Uber will “vigorously defend” the right for its drivers to earn a living providing “safe, reliable and affordable transportation options Hillsborough County residents demand.”
Strangely enough, rival ridesharing company Lyft is not included in the PTC lawsuit, which raises even more questions.
Nevertheless, Uber assures its customers that they can continue to use the Uber app as normal. They ask supporters to work with driver-partners to provide the much-needed option for transportation in our community.
It may be unwise for Hillsborough to underestimate a company as popular, and persistent, as Uber.