Since launching last May and June respectively, Lyft and Uber continue to thrive in Miami-Dade County. This is despite the fact they continue to do so illegally. No, you didn't miss any news. There have been no changes to the county ordinances.
Well, now the owner of a limousine service has filed a class-action lawsuit against both companies and the county government with the aim of forcing both companies to halt service.
Christopher Davis, CEO of Professional Chauffeur Transportation Services, has filed the suit with lawyer Ronald Guralnick. All licensed chauffeurs and taxi drivers in the county as well as the general public are listed as part of the class.
Miami-Dade's strict laws regarding taxis and car services remain in place, and any drivers of those cars must be licensed. Uber and Lyft drivers still operate unlicensed in a legal gray area.
"Uber and Lyft are knowingly, illegally, and intentionally violating the aforesaid ordinances and are therefore violating the law set out by Miami-Dade County, Florida, for the sole purpose of profit, causing monetary loss (loss of legitimate fares) to the plaintiff transportation companies which are regulated by said ordinance and to the detriment of the unwitting riding public and public at large," the lawsuit states.
The suit also notes that Uber and Lyft are in a fierce competition that regularly involves lowering their fares, but this ends up unfairly hurting other, licensed car services as well. Taxis, for example, cannot legally lower their fares.
The suit also blames the county for turning a blind eye to the activity. While the county had targeted some Uber and Lyft drivers early on in their operation, they now operate relatively freely.
"If defendant county enforced its codes against defendants Uber and Lyft," the lawsuit reads, "their drivers will lose the fares that said defendants provide, and therefore defendants Uber and Lyft would be out of their illegal transportation services or suffer the consequences."
The lawsuit seeks an immediate cease-and-desist order against Uber and Lyft. It also seeks restitution and punitive damages.
"The lawsuit is without merit, and we look forward to resolving it quickly and effectively," reads a statement from Lyft. "We are continuing to work with local leaders to come to a solution that preserve's Lyft's welcoming, affordable rides for people in Miami-Dade."
Uber did not reply to a request for comment.
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