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Uber, a popular Transportation Network Company (TNC) announced yesterday that it will suspend operations as of July 31 in Broward County.
This follows the recent approval of an ordinance by the Broward County Commission that allowed TNCs to operate in Broward County if they were willing to follow certain regulations. The ordinance requires that TNCs be licensed by Broward County and that their drivers undergo a national and state background check. The drivers must have state mandated insurance and have their vehicles inspected by a licensed mechanic. The Commission did not set limitations on the number of TNC vehicles operating in the county and did not regulate TNC fares.
County commissioners expressed disappointment that Uber is leaving but they believe the ordinance if fair to TNCs and protects the safety of county residents.
“The news that Uber will be discontinuing its service in Broward County at the end of the month is both surprising and disappointing. Uber and other ride sharing companies offer a good service that should be an option for Broward consumers. We worked for many months to develop simple, reasonable consumer protections – driver background checks, vehicle inspections and insurance requirements – to make sure our residents and visitors are safe when they get in a car for hire, whether it is operated by a ride sharing company like Uber or a taxi cab company. Uber is already complying with similar regulations in other markets, so it is difficult to understand why they would walk away from the Broward market. I am confident there are other entrepreneurs who will recognize the opportunity our market offers, and will step in to fill the gap and bring ride sharing service to Broward County,” said Mayor Tim Ryan.
“When it comes to the health and safety of Broward County’s residents and visitors, I will not be bullied by a $50 billion San Francisco company which wages guerrilla warfare against local governments all across the country. While I recognize the value and convenience of Uber’s technology and service, it needs to work with us,” said Commissioner Stacy Ritter.
“I am disappointed in Uber’s decision to temporarily cease operations in Broward County. I have been a supporter of this technology from the beginning. I have consistently worked to find the sweet spot between the need for common sense regulation and free enterprise. The fact is that we are very close to getting there. I will keep trying to move this process along until we get it right. I know this is a service that people want. It’s a welcome addition to our choices for transportation. This is a work in progress and progressive legislation takes time. I believe that we can and should make it happen,” said Commissioner Beam Furr.