Last week, Uber emailed its Miami-Dade customers to not so subtly threaten to pull out of the county if the commission passed an ordinance that the ridesharing company viewed as unfavorable. Well, at today's commission meeting, that ordinance's sponsor, Chairman Jean Monestime, announced he was pulling the legislation.
“Based on the complexity of this issue, I do not want this board to be overburdened by reconciling multiple proposals for the legislation of ridesharing in Miami-Dade County,” Monestime said, according to the Miami Herald.
Commissioner Esteban "Steve" Bovo has also put forth a bill, which Uber considers more favorable.
The app-based company has been operating illegally in the county, though Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has allowed the company and its main competitor, Lyft, to stay while the legality is worked out.
Monestime's proposal would have required the company to provide more extensive insurance coverage for its drivers and would have given the power to vet Uber drivers to the county. Bovo's proposal required lesser insurance coverage and allowed Uber to vet its own drivers.
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Uber called Monestime's proposal "one of the most hostile ridesharing laws in the country" and claimed it would "make it impossible for Uber to continue operating."
Uber, which has contact and address information for its users, sent an email blast last week to Miamians asking them to email their commissioner to support the Bovo bill. The email provided a link to do so that also copied Monestime on all the correspondence. Uber also took out online and radio ads blasting Monestime's proposal and encouraged its drivers to call Monestime's office. Several Uber drivers also showed up at this morning's meeting in black T-shirts provided by Uber.
Monestime has now called for collaboration on Bovo's proposal and, according to the Herald, will plan a special workshop to make changes.
It still could be several months before the proposal is passed.