Hillsborough Fight Shows Why Florida Needs One Set of Rules

State lawmakers believe Uber and Lyft’s fight with Hillsborough County’s Public Transportation Commission in 2016 underscores the need for Tallahassee to create one set of rules to regulate ridesharing statewide.

Last year, Hillsborough regulators tried to impose new rules on ridesharing services that would have made it more difficult and expensive for drivers to join Uber and Lyft while driving up costs and wait times for passengers.

While more agreeable rules were eventually passed in Hillsborough, State Senator Bill Galvano recently penned an op-ed that explains the problem this “patchwork” approach to regulating ridesharing services:

When local officials in Hillsborough County look to adopt one set of regulations and those in Miami approve another set, while those in Orlando enact yet another, we create a patchwork quilt of regulatory schemes that confuses the public and pushes innovative companies away — not just in this industry, but all industries seeking to follow their own path.

The patchwork approach to regulating ridesharing services has resulted in local regulations that have made it impossible for Uber and Lyft to oeprate successfully if not outright banning their services. This is why State Senator Jeff Brandes has called on fellow legislators to pass one set of ridesharing rules for the entire state:

[A Ridesharing company] should have the same level of background checks statewide, the same level of insurance statewide and not have to worry about the county you’re in.

Floridians for Ridesharing was formed to pressure lawmakers in Tallahassee to cut through the red tape created by local authorities so that services like Uber and Lyft can operate throughout Florida — just as 38 other states have done.