Broward County

New laws in Broward could drive Uber out of town

Limousine driver Florian Bucea checks his Uber service.
Limousine driver Florian Bucea checks his Uber service. MCT

Uber, which has had its share of issues operating in Miami-Dade County, is now hitting another roadblock in Broward. Commissioners approved a law late Tuesday that places harsher regulations on Uber and other similar app-based ride-sharing services.

Uber and Lyft have been operating illegally in Miami-Dade and Broward for months. The new law in Broward legalize the services, but Uber representatives say new regulations make it impossible for them to operate in the county.

“We are very disappointed in some of the decisions that were made,” Kasra Moshkani, Uber’s South Florida general manager told the Sun Sentinel after the vote.

Uber’s biggest concerns are the changes to background checks and insurance requirements for drivers. Each driver will now be required to submit to a fingerprint-based background check. They will also have to be covered by Florida’s commercial car insurance.

Broward Commissioner Stacy Ritter takes exception to claims that these new regulations will run companies out of town.

“If Uber leaves the county it’s Uber’s decision to do so voluntarily,” she told the Sun Sentinel. “There’s nothing in this ordinance that is onerous. Uber can comply with this ordinance without any problem. This is a company worth $40 billion, with a ‘B’.”

The company says it has to review what passed before making any decision to leave.

In Miami-Dade, the commission is set to take up Uber regulation next month.

Taxi companies and drivers have mobilized against Uber’s move into South Florida. They cite safety as concern. Meanwhile, riders like the convenience of using their phones to summon a ride as well as the cleanliness of the cars.

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