Re: Don't forget: Ride by the rules (tbt* March 17)
I was disappointed to read that interim director of the Public Transportation Commission sent a letter discouraging the ride-share service Lyft from doing business in Tampa Bay. It would be very wise, before the PTC shuts Lyft's business model out of the Tampa Bay area, to take a look at the success Lyft has had in other areas. By telling Lyft that they must meet the same requirements as taxi and limo services (of which Lyft is neither) is simply ignorant and indicative of a political move that I'm certain has some sort of political and financial backing from the area's taxi and limo services.
The PTC can disguise it as a move to ensure safety, but I can assure you that is not the case. Lyft does vehicle inspections, thoroughly vets their drivers and offers a significant insurance policy above and beyond that of the ride-share driver. (All this is clearly spelled out on their website.)
By shutting out Lyft, the PTC is telling other start-ups across the country that Tampa Bay is not a friendly place to introduce new business models.
Will Young, Tampa
Re: 'Rambo' draws first blood, but is subdued (tbt* March 17)
Once again a cowardly individual attacks in a place where he knows that firearms won't be. I wonder what the outcome would have been had the two unarmed Europa Lounge customers in Palm Coast tried to run away rather than "engage" Daniel Noble and "render" him unconscious (I think that was the Associated Press reporter's euphemism for beat down). What could the body count have been if just a 911 call were attempted?
It is nice to know there are at least two people in Palm Coast who assume responsibility for their own safety. Can we still expect to hear the typical knee-jerk, anti stand-your-ground, mouth-breather reaction from those who think the customers should have tried to run, or will they keep quiet on this one?
Steven Hunt, St. Petersburg
On the tbt* Facebook page, we asked readers for reactions to Tuesday's cover story about the Walmart-backed push to allow liquor to be sold in grocery stores.
Jill Carini: Since when don't they sell liquor in grocery stores? .... Oh that's right I'm from Wisconsin.
Tyler Marshall: Not seeing what the big deal is ...
Miles Griffin III: The last thing Florida needs is more accessibility to alcohol.
Gregory Toth: Walmart wants to take over the world. Doing this will run every small liquor store right out of business.
Joe Bayliss: I don't see the difference. The first thing you pass when going to Publix is the door to their liquor store.
Dawn DeRossett: Why not, you can buy, beer, wine, & cigarettes. Supposed to be checking the IDs anyway.
Shannon Keen Bailey: You can buy guns at Walmart or hunting knives ... why not liquor? Makes no sense.
Chris Currie: Yes ... deregulate.
Lindee LaForest: It is in Michigan & AZ (where I've previously lived). Thought it was weird when I moved to Florida & you had to go next door to the liquor store by the same store, just a different entrance.
Christopher Hammonds: We sell lots of other things in grocery stores that are just as "dangerous" health-wise.
Mark Livingston: If Walmart is backing it, I will not.