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wrong. They failed the community with too
much red tape.”
inconvenienced, drivers will lose their
For Darrow and Fort Lauderdale resident
Sean Samson, Uber is the perfect way to
supplement their income.
Samson is a full time preschool teacher
during the school year and since summer
started he’s been working full time for Uber.
“I’m disappointed in our local government
for not embracing innovation,” Samson said.
“This is the perfect job for someone who
wants a rewarding career that doesn’t pay very
much. I can make $100 an hour during special
With the suspension looming Samson has
no idea how he’ll extra money going forward.
“I’m currently job searching,” he said.
Darrow is a full time real estate agent.
“It’s really an outstanding part time job. I
have the ability to just turn on the app to work
whenever it’s convenient,” he said.
work as much or as little as I want. I have the
But if Uber accepts these new regulations
this part time job will no longer be worth it.
“Seventy percent of drivers are part time
— working 10 to 30 hours a week,” Darrow
said. “Requiring them to have commercial
insurance, which can be $1,000 a month is
Another part timer Uber driver, K.C. Guy,
has a slightly different view.
“Sometimes private businesses can fulfill
roles better than our government. Florida’s
current weekly unemployment is $275,” he
said. “Even out of season you can make double
that as a full-time Uber driver. Between more
gainful employments, Uber helped me to
pay my bills on time. It’s unfortunate that the
Broward County Commissioners are voting
away what could be viewed as a social safety
net for the residents of Broward County.”
Even though County Commissioners are
claiming safety concerns are the primary
reasons for their strict regulations, Uber
supporters are flipping the script on them,
by claiming safety as a reason to support the
As a driver Guy loves picking up drivers who
were too drunk to drive on their own. It gave
him a sense of pride.
“As an Uber driver, I loved hearing, ‘I am
too drunk to drive so I called Uber.’ Hearing
that made me feel proud of the work I was
doing,” Guy said. “If Uber is pushed out of
Broward County, could one in ten future
drunk driving fatalities in Broward County be
attributed to the vote of the Broward County
According to Uber the company has seen
a reduction in DUI arrests in the cities where
they operate. Some news organizations have
also noted this. However the Washington Post
“Any number of other things may have
changed in the city over the last few years
affecting DUI arrests. It's possible police
have changed how they conduct DUI stops
and arrests, or that public pressure on them
to crack down on DUIs has ebbed with time.
Other changes in public transit service may
have impacted alternative routes that bar-
hoppers take home.”
Samson also shares Guy’s concerns.
“I fear DUIs will go back up,” he said.
There are many riders who would never use
a traditional taxi service and Darrow believes
ridesharing companies are bringing new
customers to the marketplace. Many of those
folks, he said, aren’t going to automatically
switch to taxis if Uber is not available.
“They would ordinarily drive,” he said.
“Uber has pulled people into the marketplace.”
Drew Zyla, a Palm Beach County driver, said
the Broward suspension wouldn’t affect his
job since he’ll still be able to drive through the
county and/or drop off riders within Broward.
But that could change soon as well. In
March of this year the Palm Beach County
Commission narrowly passed, with a 4-3 vote,
to an agreement that allows Uber to continue
operating through September 31 while staff
works out how to best regulate the ridesharing
Zyla hopes the backlash against the Broward
commission will serve as a warning to Palm
Beach County to think twice before attempting
to overregulate the service.
“It’s such a great service for people. I don’t
understand why anyone is against it,” he said.
The Broward County Commission is out of
session right now so a possible reconsideration
of the new laws won’t take place until at least
September. But for now the commissions
seem confident in their decision. Since
the controversy erupted they have mostly
expressed shock at the backlash and have
defended their positions.
In fact, Leonard Valpondo of the
Environmental Licensing Division of Broward
County has posted an online You Tube video,
intended to prevent the misrepresentation
of facts related to this discussion. He stated:
“Broward County has not banned Uber. We are
one of the few counties which has instituted
regulations to insure transportation network
companies can flourish in our county. We
passed ordinances to meet their demands and
accommodate their needs, even more generous
than other locations. We even allowed Uber
drivers to use cutting edge technologies to
download chauffeur’s registrations from their
The county also sent out a press release
“The Facts About Transportation Network
Companies (TNCs) in Broward” clarifying the
new regulations and emphasizing the county’s
commitment to public safety (see sidebar).
The Facts About Transportation
Network Companies in Broward
County's press release
Here are the facts:
• Broward County welcomes TNCs to our community. The County
Commission's proactive adoption of TNC regulations has created an
environment in which TNCs can operate legally and safely.
• The County Commission's primary concern is with public safety.
The TNC requirements rely on independent regulation, instead of
The County's TNC regulation complies with Federal Trade Commission
guidance. It contains fair and reasonable requirements focused on
passenger and driver safety and security.
• Requirements of the ordinance do not force TNCs to either provide
substandard service or leave the market, just as more stringent
regulations required by other jurisdictions have not forced Uber to
abandon popular markets such as New York City or Houston.
• Broward County remains open to continued conversations about
appropriate regulations that help TNCs flourish, but also protect
On May 4, 2015, Broward County
Commissioners approved a regulation
that allows transportation network
companies (TNCs), such as Uber and
Lyft, to legally operate in Broward
County. It consists of three basic rules:
provide safe drivers, safe vehicles and
the same insurance that state law
already requires. The new regulation is
less stringent than those Uber operates
under now in New York City and
Houston and it meets all TNC demands
for non-interference in fares and the
number of vehicles allowed.
The action followed months of research,
discussion and debate, with public
comment from TNC officials, their
employees and representatives, and
other drivers for hire. In conjunction
with the regulation, as an added
convenience, Broward County expedited
the TNC/driver permitting process,
providing for online regulation and
printable temporary chauffeur licenses.
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