|By PR Newswire||
|April 22, 2014 05:11 PM EDT||
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- House Bill 1389 is expected to be voted on as a stand-alone bill or an amendment to a larger bill by the Florida House of Representatives. Dubbed the "Uber Bill," House Bill 1389 seeks to grant Uber Technologies a special state exemption from local vehicle-for-hire rules and regulations - laws that have been crafted, debated, implemented and enforced on the local level by cities and counties throughout Florida for decades.
The Uber Bill was assigned only two committee hearings in the House. It passed by "one vote margins" in each committee despite bi-partisan opposition. There have been numerous questions posed to the bill sponsor and Uber directly that have yet to be answered. In both committee meetings in the House, time expired on public input.
Uber is seeking to end local governments' ability to regulate luxury vehicles, specifically rules requiring a "minimum fare" for luxury trips. For decades a minimum fare has been required from luxury operators as the only regulation they must follow, while taxi operators are required to adhere to literally dozens of regulations including an obligation to serve 365 24/7, requirement to charge regulated fares, serve all areas of the community, prohibited from refusing a fare, no ability to "price surge" for peak demand, required to take all forms of payment (not just credit cards), and a requirement to respond to calls for service by phone (not just smart phone apps), among other regulations.
Testimony from Uber has proven the company wants to operate like a taxi for "fill in" fares when luxury business is slow or the taxi business is brisk, but do not want to be required to adhere to all regulations taxis must follow each and every day, nor minimum luxury fare regulations.
"Uber's model is to serve who they want, when they want, where they want and charge what they want with no interference by any regulations whatsoever," said Roger Chapin, an executive with Mears Transportation and Florida Taxicab Association Board member. "They can do that today, provided they follow the one rule in place for luxury operators – a minimum fare – that has existed for decades without controversy and is designed to prohibit precisely Uber's business model, which is to cherry pick taxi fares when it suits them, and not follow taxi regulations when it doesn't."
In an earlier committee meeting, State Representative Frank Artiles (R - Miami) sought assurances for consumer protection from the Uber bill. "Miami Dade does have regulations in place," he stated. "I have serious concerns regarding this bill. Rate increases, surge pricing, rate protection, insurance coverage, surplus lines. At this time I will support this bill, however, there is another stop, and I expect for this to be fixed, and if not, I will vote it down at the next stop."
State Representative and Chairman of House Economic Affairs Committee Jimmy Patronis (R - Panama City) asked bluntly, "Is surge pricing legal?" in reference to Uber's practice of increasing fares on passengers without warning for inclement weather or special events.
"If Uber puts these other car companies out of business, what will my senior citizens do for a ride?" asked State Representative Irving Slosberg (D - Delray Beach) referencing the fact that Uber does not provide ADA service, underserves the elderly and denies service to socioeconomically or otherwise disadvantaged individuals.
State Representative Mark Danish (D - Tampa) stated, "After listening to both sides I found out the gray area is huge. We need to put a pause button on this," then questioned, "Do we want a bill about a local issue on the floor of the House?"
Adding more trepidation pertaining to the lack of insurance and licensing, Uber is already advertising for driver positions in several cities across Florida for its "UberX" product, a service that encourages for-hire commercial transportation of passengers by non-licensed, uninsured every day drivers. State Representative Ed Hooper (R - Clearwater) asked, "Is a chauffeur-driven limo required to have specific class of commercial driver's license or just a regular driver's license?" (Click here to see Judge ruling to stop ridesharing practice in St. Louis)
"Uber wants to have it both ways," said Louie Minardi, President of the Florida Taxicab Association and Yellow Cab owner in Tampa. "They want to operate exactly like a taxi when there are good fares, but not provide service or follow the rules all other taxis must follow when times are slower."
Taxis are highly regulated in most every community they serve. They are prohibited from denying service to any consumer. In the City of Orlando for example, Chapter 55 (Sec. 55.31 "Driver Obligations") in local ordinance states: "No taxicab driver shall refuse any request for transportation from any orderly passenger where the destination of the trip is within the Tri-County Area."
The Florida Taxicab Association recently released a poll showing Uber's practice of only serving customers with "smart phones" and credit cards, leaves out roughly 50% of the public.
According to University of Central Florida Professor and PHD James Wright, "UBER-ineligible Floridians are disproportionately Hispanic (59%) and African American (55%), low income (70% not eligible among those earning less than 25K per year vs. 26% in the highest income group), and the elderly (64% not eligible among those 65 and older)."
Uber has also come under fire nationally for their practice of rating passengers. In testimony, the Uber bill sponsor, State Representative James Grant (R-Tampa), revealed to lawmakers that Uber rates passengers and the Uber "driver has the ability to see ratings of you." His testimony continued that Uber could then decide "if you are somebody" they may "reject service to" in the future. (Source: Florida House of Representatives, Transportation & Highway Safety Subcommittee – March 24, 2014)
"Why else would Uber 'rate' a passenger except to deny them service in the future?" asked Mr. Minardi. "Taxis in Florida and throughout the nation are expressly prohibited by local regulations from denying anyone service."
"Allowing Uber to operate without any regulation, then 'rate passengers' to ultimately deny them service in the future, takes us back to a dark place in history," added Chapin. "How do they rate poor tippers, an elderly person who requires more assistance, someone who regularly needs a short trip to the doctor or someone whom the driver may just not like the way they look?"
SOURCE Florida Taxicab Association
910Telecom exhibited at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and exchanges.
Feb. 23, 2017 03:00 AM EST Reads: 1,568
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Feb. 23, 2017 03:00 AM EST Reads: 1,800
China Unicom exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE FDD, TD-LTE), fixed-line broadband, ICT, data communica...
Feb. 23, 2017 01:15 AM EST Reads: 1,071
Zerto exhibited at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which took place at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, in June 2016. Zerto is committed to keeping enterprise and cloud IT running 24/7 by providing innovative, simple, reliable and scalable business continuity software solutions. Through the Zerto Cloud Continuity Platform™, organizations can seamlessly move and protect virtualized workloads between public, private and hybrid clouds. The company’s flagship product, Zerto Virtual...
Feb. 23, 2017 12:45 AM EST Reads: 1,299
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...
Feb. 23, 2017 12:00 AM EST Reads: 1,666
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
Feb. 22, 2017 10:45 PM EST Reads: 626
"We're bringing out a new application monitoring system to the DevOps space. It manages large enterprise applications that are distributed throughout a node in many enterprises and we manage them as one collective," explained Kevin Barnes, President of eCube Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 22, 2017 09:45 PM EST Reads: 6,696
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place in November in Silicon Valley, California.
Feb. 22, 2017 08:45 PM EST Reads: 1,864
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
Feb. 22, 2017 08:45 PM EST Reads: 1,396
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Feb. 22, 2017 08:45 PM EST Reads: 1,326
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
Feb. 22, 2017 07:45 PM EST Reads: 7,817
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Feb. 22, 2017 07:30 PM EST Reads: 1,202
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
Feb. 22, 2017 06:30 PM EST Reads: 7,520
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
Feb. 22, 2017 06:15 PM EST Reads: 1,577
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
Feb. 22, 2017 05:45 PM EST Reads: 1,404