There has been a long, ongoing conversation about ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft in communities around the world. Since their arrival on the scene nationally, these new innovative start ups that match local drivers with passengers in need of a transportation have been met with both glee from frequent users, to challenges from existing traditional taxi cab companies, and by local, regional, and state regulatory agencies. Even though this is one transportation alternative that the MPO is not officially involved in, monitoring how the industry could shape our future transportation is of interest.
Here in Hillsborough County the agency charged with handling this difficult process is the Public Transportation Commission (PTC). The PTC is an independent Special District created by a Special Act. The Commission regulates vehicles for-hire as defined in the Special Act and these include taxicabs, limousines, vans, basic life support ambulances and those wrecker services that support government agencies such as the law enforcement agencies in Hillsborough County and non-consensual towing (private property impounds). Check out a recent article in the Tampa Bay Times on the process and ongoing challenges involving the PTC and ride-sharing interests in Hillsborough County.