Hillsborough County cracks down on Uber, Lyft drivers

Uber
AP file photo

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Hillsborough County is once again cracking down on so-called ride-sharing drivers, including those for Uber and Lyft.

This week the Public Transportation Commission began issuing tickets to drivers without the insurance and permits that are required by the county. The tickets can amount to hundreds of dollars for the drivers.

John Molesky began driving for Uber just three weeks ago as a way to add to his income. “It’s nice in a way because you actually get to meet a lot of different people out there, and I’m real courteous when I’m out there driving,” Molesky said.

When he found out how expensive the tickets are, Molesky started reconsidering his part-time job.

“Now that I’m hearing that they are getting ticketed and everything, I think I’m going to park my vehicle for a little but until things get resolved from the ticketing and everything because I’m not going to put anything at risk out there,” he said.

Uber claims it’s drivers are being unfairly targeted.

“Despite a judge’s decision and their own concession that the rules on the books today do not apply to the Uber model, the Hillsborough PTC insists on using public funds to harass and intimidate our driver partners. We will continue to standby our partners and defend their right to provide this safe, reliable and valuable service in their communities,” Uber spokesperson Bill Gibbons said.

Cab driver Jim Little has another opinion. He’s watched ride-sharing drivers slice his income.

“We’ve dropped quite a bit of business, especially in the areas of University and SOHO, Ybor, even at the airport where they shouldn’t be picking up,” Little said.

He believes the ride-sharing drivers should work by the same rules that he does.

“They don’t undergo the same background checks. They don’t have the same examination of their vehicles. They are never personally face-to-face interviewed so Uber doesn’t know what the character and the quality of the people are,” Little said.

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