With Uber and county commissioners trying to hammer out a proper ordinance to allow the ride-sharing company to operate in Broward comes news that since the county ordered Uber to cease operations, drivers have been fined a total of $35,000.
For its part, Uber says it will pay off any fines its drivers are charged by the county, even as it works with the county to get the regulations in place.
Last month, the county sent Uber and Lyft a letter ordering them to comply with county driver and chauffeur laws, such as having their drivers obtain chauffeur licenses, permits, and decals. There are also requirements for a separate set of decals to be allowed to transport customers to and from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport as well as Port Everglades.
Weeks following that letter, Uber still had not complied. Earlier this month, county commissioners voted to regulate Uber and Lyft and to come up with a set of rules to be hashed out in 60 days.
A day before that vote, Broward County cab companies sent the commissioners a letter asking the city to level the playing field when it comes to regulations. Even after being asked last month by the city to stop operations, Uber continued to do business in Broward, which irked cabdrivers, who are held to strict regulations.
Uber says it will work with the commissioners to put down a proper ordinance.
Aside from wanting Uber to comply with the same regulations enforced upon them, cabdrivers expressed concern over the company's apparent lax attitude toward a lack of insured Uber drivers.
Since receiving the letter from the county last month, Uber has been cited a total of 250 times for a total of $35,000 in fines. Ninety-six drivers have been cited.
Uber has said it will continue to defy the cease-and-desist letter, even as more fines pile on. The company, which is reportedly worth $42 billion, has said it will pay off the fees for the drivers.
"Targeting driver partners for simply providing safe, reliable rides to the community and contributing to the economy is counterproductive," Kasra Moshkani, general manager for Uber in South Florida, tells New Times. "We stand by our partners, will cover the costs related to unjust citations, and will continue to deliver access to the choice and opportunity the people of Broward County deserve."
On Tuesday, commissioners voted to schedule the amended taxi law for a February 10 final vote.