Orlando Ridesharing Ordinance Will Limit Consumer Choice In Transportation
BECKERMAN: “Orlando is setting a dangerous precedent that entrenched interests, such as existing taxi operations, can use political pressure to advance policies that run counter to the public’s best interest.”
Washington, D.C. – The Internet Association submitted a letter to Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer today, expressing the Internet industry’s serious concerns with anti-competitive provisions that target Orlando’s ridesharing companies, found in the recently passed Ordinance 2014-64.
“Ridesharing has been embraced in cities all across the country, as companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar revolutionize the way we travel within our communities,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association. “Orlando is setting a dangerous precedent that entrenched interests, such as existing taxi operations, can use political pressure to advance policies that run counter to the public’s best interest.”
The ordinance codifies into law minimum fares and excessive vehicle and driver permit fees that serve no practical purpose other than to diminish transportation competition in Orlando. The city is demanding that consumers pay 30 to 50 percent more per ride than they would in other locations. Additionally, the legislation requires vehicle and driver permit fees that do not take into account the reality that many of the Orlando residents who partner with ridesharing services often work part time, making such steep fees a significant barrier to starting their own business. In fact, if this legislation is permitted to stand, ridesharing companies would be required to pay Orlando licensing fees that amount to double the cost to operate in the entire state of Colorado.
The Internet Association is urging Orlando’s public leaders to amend this ill-advised ordinance, affirming Orlando’s commitment to embracing innovation and competition over entrenched interests that limit consumer choice in transportation.
The full letter can be viewed here.