By Lucy Chabot Reed
Broward County commissioners agreed last night to rewrite a new local law regulating ride-sharing companies to make it easier for companies like Uber to operate in the South Florida county.
Uber suspended operations on July 31 after what it called “unnecessary regulatory barriers” that the county passed in April, including background checks with fingerprints and additional licenses for each of its drivers.
The new law would remove the need for fingerprinting as well as the extra licensing rules that taxi and limo drivers in the county must follow. It is expected to be ready for a vote at the commission’s regular meeting Sept. 1.
The new law also requires ride-sharing companies to pay a fee for every port and airport pickup, same as taxi and limo services do, and for Uber to pay a $3 fee retroactively for all the rides it picked up at the airport since operating in Broward from August 2014 to July. That comes to about a half a million dollars, airport officials said.
A request for comment from Uber executives was not immediately returned. According to a story in the Sun-Sentinel, Uber’s public policy director for the Southeast United States, Trevor Theunissen, said he was “optimistic” Uber would return to serving Broward County in September.