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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lyft and UberX closer to being approved in county

County Commissioner Esteban "Steve" Bovo brought an ordinance to the County Commission on Tuesday that asks to legalize UberX and Lyft, the app-based car services. They have been illegally operating in the county and drivers have been fined and had their cars impounded, but they keep on operating.

The Commission passed the ordinance 10-2 and now a second vote later in the year by the transportation committee is needed. The committee would have to set up new laws for a "transportation network entity," which would regulate the service, if approved.

The taxi lobby is of course against the new-type car service. They're worried about losing customers. Perhaps if they cleaned up their ways they wouldn't lose customers as the fares are about the same and it's really not about money, it's about traveling in comfort with better drivers. I wrote recently about the filthy and unsafe taxi cabs in Miami-Dade County.

Taxi Medallions are a huge business.  In New York, one guy, Andrew Murstein owns most of them, they go for over $1 million each! But the price is plummeting thanks to Uber and Lyft and other services that are taking over. There is talk of a government bailout for Murstein's Medallion company called Medallion Financial.  More on that here.

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