Miami-Dade commissioners to vote on legalizing ride-sharing services

MIAMI (WSVN) — A big vote awaits on an ordinance that would allow ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate legally in Miami-Dade.

Uber and Lyft may finally become legal in the county on Tuesday. "I use it on a daily basis, like all the time," said Uber customer Nicole Monserrta. "I think it’s great."

Thousands use the service, but as of Monday, the ride sharing services are technically illegal in the county. There are no actual regulations in place for the popular, high-demand business. "Tomorrow is a huge day for Miami-Dade County residents and tourists," said Kasra Moschkani, General Manager at Uber in South Florida.

Miami-Dade commissioners are also set to vote on a proposed law that beefs up safety rules for Uber. "This is an issue that’s been top of mind for a lot of people here in Dade County," Moschkani said. "The commission has been working, and we’ve been working very closely with them. We’re hopeful that tomorrow is the final vote to create a permanent home for ride-sharing here."

In a packed commission meeting in January, taxi drivers expressed their frustration. "I’m totally against legalizing Uber and Lyft," said one taxi driver.

Another cab driver was also against the legalization. "These ordinances have no accountability," he said. 

Despite the dissenting voices, one commissioner said, users of these companies should also have a say in the matter. "The clientele base of Lyft and Uber has spoken loudly," said Miami-Dade Commission Vice Chairman, Esteban Bovo. "Uber is here to stay."

If the ordinance passes in Miami-Dade, the following will happen: 

  • Uber and Lyft must get a license issued by the county as a company, not the individual drivers. 
  • Drivers must undergo background check at Uber’s expense.
  • All drivers must get their vehicles inspected by an ASE certified mechanic. 
  • Drivers must have insurance of at least $125,000 per person and $250,000 per incident for all trips. 
  • Drivers are not required to have commercial insurance when using their vehicle for personal use.  

One user wanted to make the company officially legal in the county. "I would vote ‘yes’ for that," he said.

As these customers wait on the commission’s vote in hopes Uber and Lyft keep driving forward. "I walk a lot, too, but Uber is what I do," Monserrta said.

The Miami-Dade County Commission is set to vote on the ordinance, Tuesday, at 9 a.m.