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Taxis are Uber Mad

March 25th, 2015 by flanews

The boom of ride sharing services through smart phones has ruffled some feathers in the traditional cab company community.  As Matt Galka tell us, taxis say ride sharers are breaking the rules, and the legislature is trying to fix that.

Tom Villaverde says he used to work 80 hours a week selling cars.

“And I missed the first year and a half of my son’s life,” he said.

Villaverde made the change to catering, and started working for Uber – a smart phone based ride sharing service.  He’s not a traditional cab. He has his own car and works when he wants. But companies like Uber are causing some road rage within the taxi community.

“Their language in their thing, they don’t guarantee you a safe ride, they don’t guarantee you a safe car, they don’t guarantee you insurance, they don’t guarantee you anything,” said Louis Minardi, President of the Tampa Yellow Cab Company.

Cab and limo companies say Uber’s playing by different rules and that their insurance requirements are a grey area which puts taxis at a disadvantage riders at risk.

Rep. Matt Gaetz says the companies are worried about a competitor.

“If someone develops a better mousetrap and innovates a new technology, they oughta get benefit as a result of being able to capture more customers,” said Rep. Gaetz (R-Shalimar).

Gaetz is backing a bill that would require an insurance policy of at least $1 million dollars when a driver is transporting passengers for ride sharing to address some of the concerns.

Villaverde says he doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong and it comes down to money for the traditional companies.

“If somebody didn’t pick me for a team, yea I’d be upset, I’d call names, but they want more people on their side, and they want less uber drivers so they can capitalize more,” he said.

Cabs say both companies can exist, but they’re pushing for 24/7 insurance coverage. Not just coverage when the app is in use. Florida law currently requires limos and cabs to maintain insurance policies with minimums of 125,000 dollars per person in case of accident or injury.

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