FLA To Governor: Require TNC Public Safety Measures

Posted on June 3, 2015 by Tom Halligan - Also by this author - About the author

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Florida Limousine Association (FLA) President Rick Versace (A1A Airport & Limousine Service, Boca Raton) sent a letter (read below) June 2 to Governor Rick Scott and Senate President Andy Gardiner urging the top legislators to reject Uber’s statwide agenda and comply with “common sense public safety measures.”

The letter is an initiative to keep pressure on government officials because an upcoming special legislative session could revist pro-TNC legislation that was not acted upon during the state’s regular legislative session.

Full text of letter:

June 2, 2015
The Honorable Rick Scott                                             
The Governor of Florida
The Honorable Andy Gardiner
The President of the Florida Senate

Since launching a few years ago, Uber has scorned public policy and safety in favor of profit. Across the country, in city after city, Uber has repeatedly refused to adopt basic safety, insurance or special service standards designed to protect drivers, passengers and other motorists. These same requirements have guarded the transportation industry and the safety of all citizens for decades.   Now as the legislature reconvenes for a special session to consider important budget related items, they presume to push their own agenda "to make money" over complying with common sense public safety measures.

Uber claims they have provide over 8 million rides in Florida yet they have repeatedly rejected state and local laws and regulations pertaining to commercial insurance requirements, Level II background checks or providing service to those individuals with special needs or those unable to afford a smart phone or credit card. These are basic consumer protections. Surely a company valued at $50 billion can afford to ensure the highest level of safety for the traveling public?

For-hire transportation is a very personal service. The "peer-to-peer" Uber model is even more personal. Drivers are picking up passengers in their own personal cars. Drivers and passengers are exchanging personal information, including cell phone numbers, pictures and home addresses. Level II (fingerprint) background checks are critical for a service that relies on such personal information and are 43 times more effective than the name-based checks currently used by Uber and Lyft.

Traditional "for-hire" drivers are required to carry commercial liability insurance at all times, pass government mandated background checks, wear an identification badge, provide service to everyone and register their vehicles with local regulatory agencies. Uber should have to adhere to the same standards.

Enough is enough. You should reject Uber's insistence that government adopt only their business plan, only on their timeline. When the time comes, we urge you to make Uber and other Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) better by requiring insurance requirements that protect all motorists. Ensure insurance is sufficient to protect all citizens all the time.  And require all "Ride share" drivers to pass independent fingerprint background checks before transporting the public. It is just good old plain common sense.

The Florida Limousine Association represents thousands of legal licensed fully insured ground transportation operators across the State.


Rick Versace
Florida Limousine Association


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