Victor Crist claims PTC has 'radical' solution to deal with Uber, Lyft
Regulators are waiting for legislators in Tallahassee to solve the rideshare dilemma that has besieged the area for more than two years.
But Public Transportation Chairman Victor Crist said Wednesday that he has a “radical” solution ready to go in 90 days if the legislative session doesn’t provide a solution.
Uber and Lyft have been operating in Hillsborough County since April 2014. Regulators say they’re doing so illegally -- without the proper licenses, permits, insurance and background checks. Uber and Lyft claim they provide adequate background checks and insurance.
The PTC has attempted to address the disputes in court and through ticketing, but has not had success. Instead, the board decided to put a temporary stay on writing tickets and pursuing legal action in hopes that the state legislature will pass a bill this session regarding rideshare companies.
But Yellow Cab owner Louis Minardi asked the board during a meeting Wednesday to have a back-up plan ready to go in case the legislature does not pass a bill this spring.
That’s when Crist started hinting at a "drastic change” that the PTC would enact if nothing passes in Tallahassee.
Crist: "There is another way. I'm talking 90 days.”
Minardi was skeptical of the PTC’s ability to address the problem.
Minardi: "They've got your hands tied."
Crist: "We've got one hand loose."
MinardI: "Well, I wish you would sling it."
Crist: “"We're playing our cards close to our chest, but when we lay our cards down, it's going to be a royal flush. Trust me."”
What Crist’s plan is remains unclear. But the Hillsborough county commissioner brought the idea up again later in the meeting,
“They have the power to fix this,” Crist said of the legislature. “If they don’t fix it in the next 60 days, we will here.
“You may or may not like our fix, but this is not going to be a PTC problem anymore 12 months from now.”