Rick Versace (center left), president of the Florida Limousine Association, and Lou Minardi, president of the Florida Taxicab Association, make the case to the media that pending legislation regulating TNCs is not strong enough to protect the public.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-- Following a successful March 26 rally at the state Capitol by more than 100 Florida operators to make the case for stronger Transportation Network Company (TNC) legislation, a second rally will be held later this month in an effort to sway legislators to toughen up a proposed pro TNC bill.
“I think we made an impact with legislators, especially those who only thought this was an issue between cab companies and TNCs,” said Rick Versace, president of the Florida Limousine Association (FLA).
He added that operators met with their respective district legislators and made the case that the bill needs to protect the public by ensuring that TNCs have the same insurance, background checks and inspections as limousine companies.
Uber has spent significant time and money lobbying legislators — and the public — to craft a statewide bill that basically makes them exempt from existing rules and regulations that private transportation companies abide by.
“At the rally we had a press conference scheduled outside the capitol and Uber got wind of it and decided to hold their own press event inside right before ours to keep the media away from us,” said Versace. “But it backfired because the media also came to our event to get our side of the story — we probably got triple the press coverage because of their tactic.”
Versace noted that the association’s goal is to continue to work with legislators to make the point that they are not against TNCs “rather, this is a public safety issue and they need to know that TNCs need to operate under the same standard that we do.”