Make us your home page

Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hillsborough Legislative Delegation moves forward with local ride-share bill



After several hours of debate and public comment, members of the Hillsborough Legislative Delegation voted Tuesday to move forward with a local bill to regulate ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft.

The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Dan Raulerson, R-Plant City, but amended by Florida Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, seeks to define rideshare companies (known as transportation network companies) and instill background checks, insurance requirements and vehicle inspections.

But what it doesn’t require is a level II background check -- the method that uses a fingerprint. It’s the same sticking point that has fueled debate since Uber and Lyft started operating in Tampa in April 2014. And that led to the state legislature failing to pass regulations during the past two sessions.

Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, and Reps. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, and Ed Narain, D-Tampa voted against the measure, arguing for stronger background checks and a more level playing field.

Regardless of how the bill proceeds, leaders in Tallahassee are taking another stab at passing a statewide measure regulating rideshare companies.

Attempts by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St Petersburg, to disband the Public Transportation Commission, which regulates for-hire vehicles, were set aside Tuesday. Brandes will likely make a similar attempt next year.

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 6:20pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours