A viral campaign image from Miami supporters of Uber who decry the poor service and conditions of Miami taxicabs.
ROCKVILLE, Md. — A new poll shows that Florida residents overwhelmingly want Uber to be regulated at the local level just like traditional taxi companies.
The poll, commissioned by Orlando-based Mears Transportation Group, shows a majority 78% of people want to impose stricter regulatory standards on the service. The research comes just as Florida lawmakers are being approached by Uber — possibly, some news reports say, to push for legislation that would permit the company to operate statewide wherever it chooses, rather than be subject to city-by-city “home rule” regulations that govern the taxi industry.
“This poll clearly shows that lawmakers in Tallahassee should immediately put the brakes on any attempt to give Uber a carte-blanche pass to open in any city in Florida," said Robert Werth, president of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA), a national trade association focused on transportation professionalism, safety and service. "If they don’t, they should get ready to watch as Uber runs rough-shod over every city’s streets, whether local officials want them there or not. Uber is providing taxicab service, not ridesharing. This legislative action would circumvent the ability of cities and counties to set regulations that protect consumers.”
The poll showed that among Floridians:
- 78% believe Uber should be subject to the same local city regulations as taxis.
- 69% said Uber’s fares should be regulated and therefore avoid Uber’s whimsical “surge-pricing.”
- 89% want to see Uber’s drivers go through the same background checks as taxi drivers.
- 92% insist that Uber carry traditional liability insurance the same as taxis.
The poll also points to troubling questions in terms of discriminatory service, quoting sociologist Dr. James Wright of the University of Central Florida as saying that “UBER-ineligible Floridians” are disproportionately Hispanic (59%), African American (55%), low income (70%) and elderly (64%).
The TLPA has been a vocal critic of Uber, its unlicensed amateur driver service, uberX, and of other unregulated transportation companies such as Lyft and Sidecar. The association has repeatedly warned that drivers for these services do not carry proper commercial auto liability insurance that is necessary in the for-hire industry; that drivers are not properly screened and fingerprinted in police-conducted background checks; and that residents in low-income neighborhoods and people with disabilities cannot avail themselves of the services.
Established in 1917, the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) is a non-profit trade association of and for the private passenger transportation industry. Its extensive membership spans the globe to include 1,100 taxicab companies, executive sedan and limousine services, airport shuttle fleets, paratransit services and non-emergency medical transportation companies. For more information, please visit www.tlpa.org.