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Proposed rideshare rules move forward over objections of Uber/Lyft

New rules to govern rideshare firms in Hillsborough County cleared another regulatory step Tuesday despite the threat from rideshare giant Uber that it may stop operating in the county.

A Public Transportation Commission rules committee voted 2-1 to send the new regulations to the full PTC governing board on Sept. 14.

They include a $7 minimum fare and a seven minute minimum wait time. Rideshare firms would also have to conduct regular vehicle inspections and adopt mandatory fingerprint-based background checks for drivers, a requirement that prompted both Uber and Lyft to abandon the Austin, TEXAS, market in May.

The meeting was attended by state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. Brandes. A fan of rideshare, Brandes said allowing a government agency to drive firm like Uber and Lyft out of the market would be a national embarrassment for Tampa Bay.

He plans to file bills to regulate ridesharing statewide and to curb the PTC's authority in the next legislative session.

"I've moved beyond angry to simply being disappointed and sad for Hillsborough that this it he kind of leadership they have."