Sen. Jeff Brandes, Rep. Chris Sprowls Announce 2017 Ridesharing Legislation
– Top Business and Tech Organizations, Uber Working to Achieve Meaningful Regulations-
(Tallahassee, Fla.) – At a press conference today State Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) and Rep. Chris Sprowls (R-Clearwater), joined by the Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Technology Council, the Tampa Bay Partnership, and Uber, announced the 2017 ridesharing bill (SB 340/HB 221).
This year’s proposed bill establishes the regulatory framework for the operation of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) in the State of Florida. The bill also establishes minimum insurance requirements for TNCs, requires thorough background screening standards for TNC drivers, and includes consumer protection provisions that strengthen the community of riders and drivers in Florida. In addition, the bill provides regulatory certainty for TNC services in Florida by replacing a patchwork of conflicting local regulations with a unified statewide framework.
“Ridesharing is a part of our transportation future, and it is time Florida embrace these services,” said Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg). “This is something that Florida businesses demand, tourists expect, and our residents deserve. It is time to end the patchwork of regulations across the state that stand in the way of transportation innovation and adopt a uniform, common sense law focused on safety and access to the new technology.”
“Floridians deserve a thriving and innovative transportation marketplace,” said Rep. Chris Sprowls (R-Clearwater). “This bill provides certainty to a growing transportation market, by putting consumers in the driver’s seat of their transportation options, not special interest regulators. Not only is this bill good for consumers, but also it provides jobs for many Floridians still looking for work, or supplemental income to families struggling to make ends meet.”
“Innovation is essential to the growth of businesses and communities alike,” said Brewster Bevis, AIF Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs. “Transportation network companies have shown us that one idea can transform lives and the way we live, work and play. Without a statewide law on the books, Florida will fail to compete in the ever-growing transportation sector.”
“Florida’s vibrant economy has been bolstered by forward-thinking businesses and industries such as transportation network companies,” said Frank C. Walker, III, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Our laws, however, have failed to keep up with this innovation and technology. This legislative session, we urge lawmakers to support these free-market regulations for the benefit of our communities.”
“In order for Florida to grow and attract new business it is imperative that tech companies like Uber Technologies be embraced. The Florida Technology Council believes Uber pushes us beyond politics and business, providing an outstanding example of how technology can directly affect and improve our daily lives,” said James Taylor, Florida Technology Council Executive Director. “Having fully addressed rider safety, insurance and consumer protection, the FTC encourages our legislators in both the House and the Senate to support the Ridesharing Bill, promoting a free-market economy and creating new jobs within our state.”
“Rideshare is a critical component of a regional transportation system that offers a wide range of mobility options, and it promises to be a major part of future transportation solutions for Tampa Bay,” said Ryan Patmintra, Vice President, Public Policy and Advocacy of the Tampa Bay Partnership. “Our region and state will benefit from a uniform, comprehensive policy on ridesharing, and we thank our own Senator Brandes and Representative Sprowls for leading the charge on this important issue.”
“Thank you to Sen. Brandes, Rep. Sprowls, and Florida’s top business organizations and leaders for their unwavering support of Uber and a modern regulatory framework,” said Matt Gore, Uber Florida General Manager. “This year’s legislation aims to create more opportunities for Floridians so they can move, work, and flourish more safely, easily, and affordably.”
“I enjoy driving with Uber because it gives me a chance to get to know the Tampa Bay Area and the wonderful people that live here,” said Marla Garris, Tampa Bay Uber Driver-Partner. “It has also allowed me to earn money and establish myself in the area when I first moved here.”
To take a look at how Uber has been “Moving Florida” (#MovingFlorida) over the past three years visit uber.com/info/florida.
Uber is evolving the way Florida moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make communities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers.