Uber and Lyft drivers intimidated with fines up to $800 in Tampa

It's barely been a month since Uber and Lyft started their services in Tampa, Florida, that the companies are facing the brunt of officers with the Public Transportation Commission. News is that the authorities are cracking down on the drivers of the ridesharing companies, and will no longer be issuing warning but handing out direct fines.

The fines can range from $30 to $800; for example if the driver is found to be operating without a certificate issued by the agency, then they will attract around $500 in fine. Currently the Florida legislature has two bills that are pending, but once passed they will officially allow the operation of the ridesharing services. The taxi and limousine drivers are opposing the bills since it threatens their livelihood.

One of the main issues here is the safety and background checks of the drivers. Apparently registered taxi and limo drivers are required to pass stringent government-imposed licensing requirements. They are also required to drive approved cars and of course charge approved rates. With Lyft and Uber, both the companies' charge 20% lower rates than the open tariff of taxis and recently Lyft went on to lower their rates by a whopping 30%.

With stiff competition from this new sector, naturally the traditional modes of transport will be greatly affected. Uber recently revealed that they employ rigorous background checks on the drivers. County, state, city, sex offender registry, motor vehicle checks and of course a $1 million insurance cover for all rides are included in the business model. Since both Uber and Lyft have proceeded with a soft launch in Tampa, rather than waiting for the official word, the commotion is causing a bumpier ride for the commuters.

SOURCE: Business Insider