MIAMI – Miami Dade County Commissioners introduced their proposals for changes to taxi cab regulations in the county.
The major changes include allowing unlimited town cars to operate in the county, mandating that cabs that service the airport and seaport accept charge cards, have GPS and Sunpass. Other changes demand that cars been updated and drivers adhere to dress codes and codes of conduct.
The first change clears the way for the tech company UBER to compete in the market. The UBER app allows riders to order a luxury car using their smartphone.
Drivers say UBER will flood the marker with more cars for hire and steal their higher paying customers.
"Uber does not own any cars or employ any drivers, we simply partner drivers in markets where we operate in order to connect riders that want efficient rides," said Nairi Hourdajian, a spokesperson for Uber.
Akhtar Kamal has driven a cab for almost 30 years. He purchased a taxi cab medallion for thousands of dollars years ago. He is furious about the proposed and thinks it would devalue his investment.
"The medallions cost about $350,000 on average, that's my retirement. How would you feel if you are about to get retired and the county changes the rules in the middle of the game? That's how I feel, " Kamal told Local 10.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez said it's time for Miami to get up-to-date. There are thousands of complaints every year about the condition of cabs and the lack of standards.
"I think the tide is turning, we have to make changes," said Gimenez. "We have to provide better taxi cab service, not only for our visitors, but for us," said Gimenez.