Local ridesharing firm sues PTC over Uber/Lyft deal
TAMPA - The Public Transportation Commission is giving preferential treatment to Uber and Lyft, according to a lawsuit filed by a local startup ridesharing firm.
In a complaint filed in circuit court Friday, Tampa company DriveSociety claims that the temporary operating agreement approved by the PTC’s governing board Wednesday puts it and other competitors at a disadvantage.
The agreement allows Uber and Lyft to operate without having their drivers undergo a FBI fingerprint based background check or obtain public vehicle drivers licenses.
But it does not apply to other ridesharing firms like DriveSociety, which must fingerprint their drivers. The startup has also been joined in its lawsuit by several taxicab and limousine-rental firms that have indicated they want to offer ridesharing services.
The lawsuit also asks a judge to rule that the agreements are illegal and void because they do not follow the special state law that created the PTC that mandates fingerprinting.
“We’re hoping for the court to rule on these operating agreement as being illegal, which they are,” said DriveSociety CEO Marcus Carter. ‘These rules that were put in place were done because of Uber and Lyft’s ability to buck the system.”
Citing attorney advice, PTC Chairman Victor Crist said during last week’s board meeting that the exemptions for Uber and Lyft are legally defensible because they are part of a settlement of lawsuits filed by the two firms seeking to overturn $700 citations given to their drivers.
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