The City Council passed an updated amendment to the vehicles-for-hire ordinance. The new changes allow Uber and Lyft to operate legally with their current business model and without having to charge any more than taxis.
At last week’s City Council meeting, a new livery category was introduced to include transportation networking companies (TNC) like Uber and Lyft. At today’s meeting, several changes were made. Before those changes were read, the Mayor provided a statement that emphasized the City would not compromise on public safety.
Major modifications to the first reading of the City’s proposed:
- Pricing has been leveled for all vehicles for hire, which include luxury, limo, taxi, and livery. These changes propose a minimum and a maximum fare that apply across the board.
- The permit fee for vehicles for hire has been reduced from $500 to $250, with a $200 annual renewal fee. These permit fees will help fund the operations and enforcement of the City’s vehicle for hire program.
- Permits will be based on an independent inspection from any ASE certified mechanic.
- As per the State of Florida’s definition of vehicle for hire, drivers are required to have commercial-grade insurance in order to be permitted by the City of Orlando. This is required for any vehicle for hire picking-up within the City of Orlando.
These changes will be effective February 1st, however, Mayor Dyer has said the City will continue to work with Uber, Lyft, and local taxi companies to see if any additional changes need to be made.
Following the City Council vote, Lyft issued a statement.
For months, we’ve been working closely with the City on a framework that prioritizes public safety and consumer choice. While city officials have recognized the benefits Lyft provides, they continue to push for rules that would make it extremely difficult for ridesharing to thrive, including a demand that Lyft charge artificially high rates. Imposing a minimum fare makes Lyft less affordable for riders, protects entrenched industries, and stifles competition at the expense of Orlando residents. While we appreciate the collaboration we’ve had with the City, we urge the Council to revisit this ordinance and continue conversations focused on crafting common-sense rules for ridesharing.
The ordinance passed unanimously.
Updated December 16, 2014: The story was updated to include the statement from Lyft regarding the City Council vote.
idriveorlando Hello IDriveOrlando, Uber and Taxi drivers do have a very thorough and conclusive background check conducted on them. As a taxi and Uber driver I can attest to this. The 3rd party company that Uber uses to conduct our background checks even allows us to receive copies of each report as they are conducted which ranges from criminal/misdemeanor background (all states, county/city), driver’s license check (it will even pull driver license checks from previous states if the driver previously lived elsewhere), DUI check, resisting arrest from an Officer, moving violations, social security number/green card check, county clerk local and nationwide checks.
Not only did Hireease check my Florida background history in which I’ve been here for 12 years, it pulled background information from when I resided in California and Maryland from the time I was 18 until now.
As a Taxi Driver and Uber Driver, I will confirm that Uber does an intense background check through a 3rd party company named Hireease. While completing the Uber application there’s a box that the applicant can check off if they’d like to receive copies of their background check as they are reported back to Uber.
I checked this box while completing the Uber application and for 5 consecutive business days I received email from Hireease with the following reports: criminal & misdemeanor background report (county/city/statewide), nationwide criminal & misdemeanor background report, driver’s license history (I provided them with a copy of my Florida driver’s license and their report not only checked my driver’s license history for moving violations, DUI’S, resisting arrests, etc., it even checked my former California and Maryland license history from the 90’s). They also conducted a social security number trace.
Please know that Uber drivers are having their backgrounds checked and the Uber app allows passengers to rate their drivers. If they continue to receive low scores they are terminated from being able to drive for Uber. Drivers are also able to rate passengers; for if a passenger is continuing to give Uber drivers a difficult time, they can rate them 1-5 stars as well and be removed from using the Uber app if they continue receiving low scores from drivers.
AlAlozna There are only about two dozen cities that actually have laws that allow Uber and Lyft to operate legally based on their current business practices. See http://www.ridescore.org/
Would love to see the background checks on some of the Taxi Drivers I have seen on http://www.I-DriveOrlando.com – they don’t even have a green card.
Mears monopoly finally will fall – Much rather have Uber driver than a Haitian pretending to not know where he is going and milking fares.
Taxis aren’t even a thing in Orlando. A typical local sees 2 or 3 taxis on the street per month, I-Drive excluded. Why is the city so protective of the taxi industry when MAJOR cities around the country welcome Uber with open arms?
Why are they setting prices private businesses?
The city is setting minimum rates, they are not setting maximums.
Did they lower the minimum fare? Because otherwise this is not a win.
The big difference with Uber/Lyft is that you find out the higher price BEFORE you get in the cab, so you can just choose not to take it or maybe wait until later. The alternative to peak pricing is rationing so basically whether or not you can get a taxi on new years eve is a crap shoot or you can pay more and be guaranteed (or at least have a higher chance) to find one. The higher prices should encourage more drivers to come out and allocate the cabs to whomever is most desperate; also encourage ridesharing.
How is forcing Uber to charge the same per rate per mile as a taxi a good thing for consumers? I guess its more important to protect Mears than to provide a low cost ride to those who might otherwise have no way to get to work, or that might chose to drive drunk because they can’t afford the cab.
Prices are regulated to ensure consistent prices and to prevent/reduce price gouging. Ubers rate hike can be crazy expensive. I have heard they charge 6x at peak times.
Price regulation is only needed for monopolies, like with utility companies. Uber and Lyft are providing the competition now, so this makes no sense.
what ever happened to the free market?…telling someone what they should charge for a service is ridiculous..
because mears lobbyist are in all thier pockets..
Why do rates have to double? Please explain this. The city has added nothing to this relationship. They will accept the background checks that Uber and Lyft are already doing.
I’m in. And Long. Live. Uber and Lyft.
Charging more will ensure our safety and prevent us from getting ripped off..… Duh!
They made the right choice! The taxi business needs to evolve or bust just like any other business susceptible to technological advancements.
can someone explain to me why this city feels the need to regulate taxi prices.