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People who want drive cars for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft will have to go through a Broward County certification process to be able to transport passengers and receive money to do so.
The Broward County Commission passed an ordinance on Feb. 10 that would require people operating vehicle on a for-hire basis to follow the same regulations and background checks that existing taxi cabs and limousine services do. They would also be required to pay for the same licenses and permits that other transportation operators do. The Commission will continue discussing this matter and will refine regulations on how transportation companies should be regulated.
A large number of people, mostly from limousine services and taxi companies spoke on the matter at the Broward County Commission meeting. Almost all of the speakers said that at least the transportation network companies should pay the same fees to operate in Broward County. Others complained that these companies were cutting into their business. And some said Uber and Lyft were criminal enterprises that were putting residents at risk. One man said their drivers should have their cars impounded.
A few speakers said they like Uber and Lyft and believe these companies provided a better and faster service. One man said his wife loves to use Uber and that he believes that this type of service will soon became a lot more common. He believes the Commission should accept this new development.
Commissioner Dale Holness said that transportation network companies are essentially a taxi service and if they are going to operate in Broward County, they should be under the same rules and regulations that apply to all taxis and limousines.
Commissioner Mark Bogen said he is most concerned about public safety and wants all drivers to undergo backgrounds checks.
Commissioner Martin David Kiar expressed concern about whether or not the drivers carry proper insurance for carrying passengers. Other commissioners raised questions about proper regulation of the drivers, background checks and public safety. The question was raised about surge pricing, an increase in prices for a ride when demand is high. Discussion on this matter will continue.