Being an Uber driver has become an option for many people seeking to earn extra income. The new service has also brought with it obstacles like impounded cars, and fines because of the regulations surrounding the transportation services industry. Miami-Dade County Chairman Jean Monestime hosted a press conference on Jan. 15 to explain his ride-sharing services legislation to legalize companies like Uber and Lyft.
“Today, I would like to tell all ride-sharing drivers and customers that the County is about to begin a legislative process that will ultimately make these services legal,” said Chairman Jean Monestime. “It deeply troubles me that we have thousands of drivers working for these companies who are currently subject to significant fines. Many have had their vehicles impounded. Unfortunately, our current code does not allow for these services, and individuals are being fined for trying to make a little extra money for their families.”
Chairman Monestime’s legislation proposes a streamlined chauffeur registration process to allow an individual to become a legal driver by filling out an online application, without the need to appear in-person at a government building to be authorized to drive. A review of a person’s driving record and criminal history would be the only requirement – no language testing, fingerprints, geography tests or map-reading quizzes.
“If a company wants to do the background check and certify it, I would consider using that to register a driver,” Chairman Monestime added. “I just want to be able to assure the public that the drivers who are picking them up are good drivers and trustworthy citizens.”
The legislation also would require ridesharing companies to maintain one percent of their fleet as wheelchair accessible. Chairman Monestime believes everyone should have the benefit of these convenient ridesharing services, including individuals who use wheelchairs.
Under the Monestime proposal, all vehicles permitted for use by a Transportation Network Entity (TNE) provider would have to be properly insured. “Due to the fact that other start-up TNEs may not be able to negotiate a special insurance that activates only while the ridesharing app is in use, I have asked for standard insurance for all ride-sharing vehicles,” Chairman Monestime said.
The legislation will be co-nsidered for initial approval at the Jan. 20 Board of County Commissioners meeting. The public hearing for this legislation will be during the March 2016 Committee Week.
“I urge everyone to be considerate of each other’s opinions, stay engaged with the process, and join us in shaping lasting legislation that will benefit the people of Miami-Dade County,” Chairman Monestime said.