Tomorrow morning, there will be an important Palm Beach Board of County Commissioners meeting at 9:30 a.m which will impact private driver service Uber’s operations in Palm Beach County.
For the past 5 months, there has been a Temporary Operating Agreement (TOA) in place to regulate Uber in Palm Beach County. Under this TOA, public safety is a priority and local drivers are able to seamlessly make a living and provide users with safe, reliable and affordable rides.
Tomorrow, the Palm Beach County Commission is taking a final vote on a set of new and more burdensome rules that – if passed – would force Uber out of Palm Beach County.
So what’s the scoop?
The claim is that this is a matter of public safety. The truth, however, seems more likely that this is a push by the taxi industry who has done nothing to improve its efficiency, ease of use or customer service in decades simply because it has never had competition.
Uber’s reliability, accountability, ease of use and cost make it a superior product. Does it have lower standard of background screening than taxis? Yes, and not disclosing that would be wrong. However, if the community is made aware of that fact and still opts to utilize Uber, then that should be our right to do so. Additionally, the TOA passed by Palm Beach County is actually in line with the more than 20 states and dozens of other U.S. jurisdictions.
On a separate note- by delivering a superior, more cost efficient product, the number of individuals who utilize a driving service when they have consumed alcohol increases significantly. That means less intoxicated and dangerous drivers on the roadway. Some may believe that if Uber were not available, these individuals would just opt for a taxi, but unfortunately that’s not accurate. These same impaired drivers, left without an easy way to order, access and pay for a ride, will climb back in their car and get behind the wheel on our roads.
Don’t let that happen…attend the meeting and speak up….
Time: 9:30 a.m.*
Date: Tuesday, August 18, 2015
County Commission Chambers
301 N. Olive Avenue, 6th Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
*To speak, complete a “Comments by the Public” card and give it to the Public Affairs representative seated near the speaker’s podium.