As of Today, Uber No Longer in Broward

Tap 42 hosted a #SaveUber party on Thursday, July 30.
Tap 42 hosted a #SaveUber party on Thursday, July 30.
Photo by James Argyropoulos

Uber customers in Broward County will be listening to Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" on a loop today, because as of today, the mobile ride-sharing service is suspended here.

Keyword here is "suspended," because both Uber and the county have plans to revisit the sticking points that have caused this delay in Uber's service. 

Until then, catching a ride home is back to yellow-stinky-cab medieval times. 

The battle between county officials and the popular ride-sharing service hit its breaking point in April, when the County Commission passed a law that required all for-hire ride employees to pass Level 2 background checks, fingerprints and all, in addition to numerous other new hoops drivers must jump through. The County Commission has also instructed law enforcement to issue citations to any confirmed Uber drivers. Uber responded by halting service, effective today. 

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Uber maintains it had to cancel its service in the area due to the new restrictions, saying they would greatly impact the service provided. Broward County is asking that each Uber driver obtain a county chauffeur registration, carry a state-required commercial insurance, and have a car permit, in addition to the background check. Uber is scoffing at these new regulations because it feels the car inspections, background checks, and screening of employees already goes above and beyond what cab companies in the area do. 

“It is impossible for Uber to continue providing the high standard of service and affordability that the community has come to expect under the burdens of these unnecessary regulatory barriers,” Uber said in an email. “Rather than provide substandard service, we have decided to suspend operations while we seek a path forward."

Not all Broward politicians are on board with the Uber rules. Commissioner Chip LaMarca maintains that the way Uber has done business has worked all over the country just fine and that everyone he knows has enjoyed the service. 

“They have insurance to comply with state law; that’s all we ask them to do,” he said. “They get background checks. Seven out of ten drivers don’t make it as Uber drivers.”

It stands to reason that the service will be back — after the sides agree on regulations — at some point in the future. Some cities such as Coral Springs are even considering approving Uber inside their city limits and hope other cities in Broward will do the same, thus forcing the county's hand. 

“We can pass an ordinance to allow Uber, separately here inside the city boundaries,” said Coral Springs Vice Mayor Larry Vignola to CBS, “and if other cities around Broward County allow that, it would allow a network of communities that would allow Uber to operate.”

The hope is that Uber and the county can come to a compromise once the commission returns on August 11 from its summer break, and Uber has indicted it is also onboard with continuing negotiations. For now, however, Uber is no more in Broward County. 

In the meantime, alternatives still exist to drunk driving. Beyond the logical solutions exists a new service called BeMyDD that will actually drive your drunk ass home, in your own car, so no excuses while Uber and Broward figure this thing out. 

See you again, Uber. 

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