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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Uber, Lyft ordinance pushed to next month in St. Pete



The nearly two year process to legalize ridesharing companies in St. Petersburg will take at least another month.

The City Council unanimously voted Thursday to defer an ordinance to regulate companies like Uber and Lyft. Newly-installed council chairwoman Darden Rice said the proposal could be brought back as soon as February.

Mayor Rick Kriseman said he appreciated the council's action and expressed optimism about neogtiations with the ridesharing companies. 

The sticking point so far has been the city's business tax, which officials want to apply $65 per vehicle. The ridesharing companies have objected, saying their drivers are often temporary and part-time and such a tax would be unduly burdensome.

Taxi companies have complained about the insurance requirements in the new ordinance give Uber and Lyft an undue advantage. 

Although the issue has been discussed and deferred for months and first surfaced in February 2015,  council member Steve Kornell said the process has been smooth, He said" the media" had sensationalized the issue to  "sell newspapers." 

[Last modified: Thursday, January 5, 2017 1:33pm]


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