Uber, Lyft bill heads to governor
Rideshare firm regulations would be uniform statewide
After years of debate, the Florida Senate on Wednesday quickly passed a bill that would create statewide regulations for ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft.
The Senate voted 36-1 to approve the bill (HB 221), which already passed the House and now goes to Gov. Rick Scott.
Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, cast the only dissenting vote.
Companies such as Uber and Lyft heavily supported the bill, which would prevent varying local regulations across the state on the fast-growing “transportation network company” industry.
Local governments and the taxicab industry, which often is regulated locally, have long opposed a statewide regula--
Local laws, such as those charging fees in South Florida counties, would all go away if Scott signs the bill.
tory framework for ridesharing companies.
But the bill easily moved through the Legislature this year and drew virtually no discussion on the Senate floor Wednesday.
Local laws such as those charging fees in South Florida counties, Orlando and other large metropolitan areas around the state would all go away if Scott signs the bill.
The state law would demand drivers carry insurance of $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per incident, and $25,000 for property damage. The companies would have to conduct background checks, with the following issues preventing someone from being a driver:
• Three or more moving violations in the past three years.
• A felony in the past five years.
• A misdemeanor for DUI, reckless driving, hit andor fleeing from a police officer in the past five years.
•A misdemeanor for a violent offense, sexual battery or indecent exposure in the past five years.
• Driving with a suspended license in the past three years.
• Appearing in a sex offender registry.
• Not having a valid driver’s license, the proper insurance and a vehicle registration.
Local governments still would be able to keep pickup fees charged by ports and airports, as long as those ports charge taxi companies the same amount.
Uber, Lyft and major business groups issued statements praising passage of the bill and urging Scott to sign it.
“Florida lawmakers voted today to remove the roadblock constructed by years of entrenched interests and ensure residents and visitors alike have choices when it comes to transportation,” Brewster Bevis, a senior vice president of Associated Industries of Florida, said in a statement.