MIAMI - Miami-Dade County continues to have problems with the ride-for-hire industry and is looking to other cities for examples of how to legislate the growing businesses.
The county has given at least 36 fines and impounded at least seven vehicles of Lyft and UberX drivers. The companies allow customers to hire freelance drivers using smartphone applications. The companies are in violation of local regulations that legislates taxicab and limousine services.
"We fit somewhere in between," Veronica Juarez, Lyft's director of government relations, told the Miami Herald's editorial board. "These regulations simply do not address this model."
Similar conflicts have popped up across the country and overseas where there were recent cab protests in Paris, Madrid and Berlin.
Las Vegas and New Orleans have laws that have kept the companies from operating in those cities. California has regulations that require background checks, vehicle inspections and $1 million in commercial liability insurance.
Chicago requires drivers on the road more than 20 hours to apply for a chauffeur license and pass background checks and drug tests. Detroit enacted a two-year agreement with Lyft that requires drivers to pass background checks and have additional auto insurance.
Some Miami-Dade commissioners proposed an idea to cap the number of Uber drivers, but they couldn't agree on a number. Seattle imposed caps of 150 drivers per company at any given time.
The county commission gave preliminary approval last week that would consider any for-hire vehicle a taxicab.
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