BUSTED! The Cops Showed Up for My First Lyft Ride

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What happens when you’re caught using Lyft/Uber in a state where it’s “illegal”? Last night I found out.

Funnily enough it was also my first time using Lyft. I’d just flown into Tampa and wanted to try to get into Bern’s Steakhouse before it closed. Since it was late, I really didn’t want to mess with cabs, and I didn’t want to waste my free Uber ride up to $30 (thank you reader Denise!) on a $15 trip, so I decided maybe it was time I tried Lyft.

Lyft tampa

I pulled up the app, got a car that was only 5 minutes away and headed to the lobby to wait. My driver shows up and I pop over, pausing just long enough to clarify that with Lyft you do ride in the front seat, and jump in.

10 seconds later someone from the Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission was at the driver’s window showing her badge, asking if she was a Lyft driver and asking me if I had hired her. The officer had identified my driver at the airport and then followed her to my hotel to “catch her” breaking the law.

Both my driver and the officer were quick to assure me that I was not in any trouble, and quickly outlined my options. It was illegal for my driver to be operating and it would take her (the officer) about 15 minutes to process all the citations. That these were not criminal offenses, nothing would go on her record. I could wait with the driver, I was free to get a different ride, or she’d even call me a cab (I found that funny).

I’d wondered what happened when drivers were caught, so I decided to stick it out (even if it jeopardized my chance at the Harry Waugh dessert room).  My driver, an awesome single mother who was only on her 3rd day as a Lyft driver, and was doing it to support her kids, was incredibly nice and apologetic about the whole thing.

Eventually the officer came back and started handing out citations. $100 for not having the right license, $200 to Lyft for illegally hiring her, another $100 and $500 for two other violations. Up until then she’d been very nice — appreciating how cooperative my driver had been. Then for some reason she started intimidation tactics.

Tonight it was just citations, tomorrow she would be in her office filing the same charges as misdemeanors which meant my driver could be prosecuted on criminal charges if they followed up on it (none had so far). And she started referring to “all your little Lyft friends” and spreading the message that apparently Thursday (today) the Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission would have law enforcement status and if Lyft drivers kept running they’d start impounding cars and showing force.

And with that she left. I felt awful for my driver who had been polite and professional through it all, but clearly was a little shaken by that last information. I was also a little worried that the officer would pull her over again once we left because I’d chosen to stay in the car. (Fortunately she didn’t).

As luck had it, after dinner I got the same driver on the way back to the hotel and enjoyed a friendly chat. As a single female out late at night, I definitely felt safer riding with her than any of the random cab drivers I saw parked outside the restaurant. Its a shame this is how Tampa Bay has chosen to spend it’s time protecting its residents.

But if you’re interested in diversifying your Uber usage or want the chance at your own Lyft adventure, feel free to sign up using my code Keri1329.  We’ll both get a free ride (up to $20).


Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel


  1. Nick @ Personal Finance Digest

    July 31, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    I feel bad for the Lyft driver, but shouldn’t Lyft make sure that it’s obeying the law in areas in which it operates? Other companies have to comply with regulations and I don’t see why cool tech startups should be any different.

    • Torben

      July 31, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      yes would seem like the logical answer, however when you have something like a monopoly which is being actively protected from competition, however is not in the customers interest or even provides the services the customers want, you are often only left with civil disobedience. For lyft and uber, this is just overhead like parking tickets for UPS. Last I heard, they are both paying the fines for their drivers.

      Especially in tampa, getting a cab SUCKS A$$. 30 min lead times for a 20 min ride to downtown.

    • AllanAV

      May 29, 2015 at 2:51 am

      I’m not sure about Tampa but I’d guess it is like Orlando. I have managed a small taxi company and worked in many hotels, with that I have learned some industry secrets such as Mears transportation is the largest transportation company paying undisclosed amounts to many hotels (large and small) , Disney, Universal Studios Orange County Convention Center and the Orlando International Airport, to be the “preferred” transportation company. As far as the hospitality industry goes the guest is technically free to choose his transportation as he sees fit, but the concierge and front desk clerk are only allowed to call the contracted company if the guest asked for a different company we are encouraged to dissuade them from using any other company, and only if the guest is very insistent on using the non contracted company that we may call, but be sure that security and valet will give the driver a hard time (requesting to see driver Identification, licenses, not only the permit, sometimes even verify insurance) in the hopes of taking up time and making the guest unhappy with the delay. Yes they can do it because you are entering private property and they may implementation as many requirements as they see fit in order to permit entrance.

    • Victoria

      August 31, 2015 at 9:35 am

      In Tampa and other places they make regulations to make it hard to drive lyft. As the officer stated that day they just put a new regulations in place that day. This is to protect the taxi Bureau or as they try and call it “union” it really a bunch of unnecessary red tape. Uber went thru it as well. But lyft does pay all citation not the driver.

    • Robert

      April 16, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      Enough is enough we do have rules and regulations right I have to follow them and pay why don’t uber and Lyft think they are obove the law ?

      • Pavel

        November 29, 2016 at 7:06 pm

        I (the consumer) should have a choice what transportation I am allowed to use. If I decided to pay my neighbor next door to drive me to the airport what difference does it make? Uber, Lyft, Neighbor next door, or college kid down the street. Why should government dictate the type of transportation I should use. Government and officials need to be taken to court for violating consumers freedom to make a choice.

        • Dennis

          May 23, 2017 at 6:49 pm

          Yes but if your neoghbor robs you or rapes you then the city has no control over it. If a cab driver robs you or rapes you the city and the company may get sued for hiring the driver. My question to you is if Walmart decided to hire rookie drivers and start a service like uber or lyft or for instance they bought out uber and lyft and then you found out that Walmart didn’t do background checks on any of their new drivers would you trust the driver. Now remember Walmart just bought uber or lyft and you may now have to worry about if your driver has a past is it still ok to ride with them???? And how do you know that uber or lyft does background checks or do you just trust that they do cause they say they do. Do your research on these companies. And hire who you think is the best. Cause we already know that cab companies require a police check before their drivers are hired. The city and state require this. Why would you hire someone who has never driven anyone around and who has very little training in the first place. Cab drivers have to go through training for two weeks and still have to stay in contact with their trainers if they have problems where as a driver for uber or lyft can pick up after a days training and they can pick up in towns they know nothing about say if they was to go on vacation. During the kentucky derby many uber drivers and lyft drivers was here in Kentucky taking from cab drivers who have been doing this for years in Kentucky and were cheated out of money they worked all year for. Talk about your bonus for the year going down the drain. Uber is killing the cab industry all together. And I am sure if uber and lyft ever takes over the price of a ride will skyrocket. But let it be known other companies like uber and lyft will follow. This has to stop soon. This madness needs to stop. Why didn’t these people become cab drivers is my question. Maybe cause they couldn’t for one reason or another.

  2. Mike

    July 31, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    This post is horrible. So did u call lyft AGAIN after dinner even though u knew it was illegal!???!!

    • Dan Alban

      July 31, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      You understand there’s a difference between illegal & immoral, right? Do you ever drive over the speed limit or jaywalk? Ever place a bet in an office pool? Ever connect to an unsecured wireless network? Ever violate a copyright? Ever fail to promptly get a new driver’s license after moving to a new state?

    • Dojo

      July 31, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      Slavery was legal and it was illegal to hide black slaves. Everything Hitler did was legal.

      You get my point.

    • Tom

      December 22, 2015 at 2:00 am

      Illegal from the airport.
      Legal from the restaurant.

      Which begs the question:
      Why is it illegal from the airport and legal from the restaurant?

      • Dennis

        May 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm

        It is illegal from the airport cause the cab company has to pay for their cabs to sit at the airport. The spot is rented to the company. And for some reason an unknown comes in and takes an airport run and god forbid something to the passenger like kills or robs or rapes the passanger the airport will know which cab driver and can do something about it. If an uber or lyft driver does it the airport or the authorities don’t have much to go on. See most cab drivers who work at the airport do only airport runs they don’t work the streets. And they pay a rental fee for staying at the airport. Kinda like a beautician does and a beauty salon. He would charge a beautician for her spot or booth at a beauty salon and not charge someone unknown to come in and not pay a fee. It just wouldn’t be right to those who pay in. Kind a like someone in a union they had to pay their dues just like a cabdriver does they pay their dues basically what we’re saying is if you’re not paying your dues or following the rules you shouldn’t be allowed to drive or have a service that does not pay their dues. It’s just not right for those that do pay their dues.

        • CJ

          July 6, 2017 at 5:03 pm

          You do realize if a driver does commit a crime against a passenger, Uber/Lyft know the location of both people in a time frame. They have Bank or Credit/Debit information on all parties that can be used to confirm the presence of the individuals. I don’t hear often of Uber/Lyft drivers robbing customers, that would get them locked out of the system quick so for it to be worth it you’d have to get lucky enough to rob the one person that has so much money you could offset not being able to rob other people…Kind of like a real business. You don’t go out and rob your customers if you want to continue making money daily.
          Furthermore, it seems illogical for a rider to rob a driver. All transactions are digital and it would be really difficult for me to transfer all my funds to you immediately. As a driver I carry no cash on me (even put a sticker in the window saying driver carries no money).
          And if you want to know why people haven’t become cab drivers…Maybe I don’t want to drive around in your smelly Mercury Grand Marquis with a plexiglass window or cage between us. Or the fact that if I wanna stop at the gas station on my way home to get a couple drinks, You’re going to charge me to wait.
          Cab companies are overpriced, under delivered.

    • Jaaon

      May 1, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Look man its not illegal to make a choice. Its obvious its not something that can be won by criticising the consumer. We are all at the liberty of saying who will be driveing for us

  3. Joey

    July 31, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    So I guess your driver continued to pickup more Lyft passengers after the warning? Or did you ask her to pick you up at the restaurant after dinner? Oh and how was the steak?

    • Keri Anderson

      July 31, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Yes, she continued to operate afterwards, and Lyft covers the costs of all the fines. Same situation in all the other states where the Lyft/Uber business model hasn’t been approved yet.

      Didn’t have time to get steak, but loved the desserts. Next time I’m going for the full meal and bringing friends!

      • Torben

        July 31, 2014 at 9:26 pm

        great place isn’t it. make sure you take the kitchen and wine cellar tour.

        • Keri Anderson

          July 31, 2014 at 9:29 pm

          Didn’t have time for dinner or either of the tours (thanks PTC), but plan to go back again on my next trip!

  4. ptahcha

    July 31, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Harry Waugh is the dessert room, not steak. Still, a good choice.

  5. Art Carden

    July 31, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Uber and Lyft are getting in trouble all over the place, and frankly, that’s nonsense. Cities should be using this as opportunities to deregulate their transportation sectors. Instead, they’re shoring up regulations that have the unintended (?) consequence of making it harder for Uber and Lyft to do business.

    I for one do not sleep more soundly knowing I’m protected from the threat of someone like Keri or Jeanne getting a cheaper ride from someone who might not have the requisite pieces of paper. This battle is happening in Birmingham right now. I’ve weighed in here:


    and here:


    and here:


    • Dante

      July 31, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      “Instead, they’re shoring up regulations that have the unintended (?) consequence of making it harder for Uber and Lyft to do business.”

      That’s exactly the goal of cronyism and regulation: to eliminate competition. Nothing unintended about it at all.

    • Dennis

      May 23, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      How about the old saying you get what you pay for. Just saying is all for a reason and is been passed down for generations for a reason. Cab companies you’re paying for your security with Uber and lift you’re only paying for your ride. Regulations and rules are there for your security if you don’t have them then you have nothing. Your only to blame if something bad happens to you. You cannot blame anyone else. No matter how you see it that’s just how it is.

  6. Dan Alban

    July 31, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    The Institute for Justice is already suing the Hillsborough PTC (a state agency) over their minimum fare regulations for limos & sedans. See http://www.ij.org/tampafares

    As more and more people complain about the PTC being an archaic obstacle to transportation market innovation (including the mayor of Tampa and major Tampa travel executives), there seems to be growing momentum to abolish the agency…

  7. Aaron K

    July 31, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I believe it is our duty as Americans to use and support companies like Uber and Lyft as much as possible. The government taxi monopoly is a product that people really don’t like, but use as a necessary evil.

  8. Karen A.

    July 31, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I don’t get those government types: On one side they complain about unemployment figures, and on the other they leave no stone unturned in jamming up the gears of anyone actually finding new ways to employ people. It’s almost as if they don’t really care one way or another as long as they get their cut?

    • Dennis

      May 23, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      Huber and lift doesn’t care as long as they get their cut because the driver makes nothing compared to what the company itself does but that doesn’t matter though you’re going to keep complaining about the government

  9. Denise L

    July 31, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I feel bad for the driver but glad you got to your destination. It is a shame that some cities are giving Lyft and Uber such a hard time.

    Yep – that was me. I got a free $30 ride (thank you!)and so did you. I ended up paying only $22 from LGA to Manhattan and then used it all over Manhattan during my stay. Thanks so much for tuning me onto Uber.

  10. SS

    July 31, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Great post! The government didn’t try to save blockbuster when everyone realized Netflix was delivering the product much better. Atleast, the yuppie citizenry is finally awake after witnissing Uber/Lyft bullied by the government

    • Dennis

      May 23, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Don’t you think that if there was a better system for cabdrivers it would be in place. Why didn’t Uber or lift hire cabdrivers instead of regular people off the street? Cabdrivers have been doing this for a long time as for the guy next-door has never had an experience like this before in his life but all is said he’s an instant driver for passengers. Would you hire the Maytag repair man to drive you around if he knows nothing about the streets around him. This is not logical thinking.

  11. AlohaDaveKennedy

    July 31, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you for keeping Florida green! Our municipalities appreciate the ticket revenue and will not have to set up quite as many speed traps now. If Lyft and Uber really want to operate in The Sunshine State they need to pay for the proper permits, with cash, in unmarked white envelopes, in the prearranged drop off spots.

  12. John Maly

    July 31, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    If you’re not a taxi driver, do you even need to pull over for/talk to a Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission employee? Seems like there would be a lack of jurisdiction there.

    • Jim

      September 9, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      Exactly what I’m thinking. PTC is not law enforcement. They are a monopoly enforcement agency. They have contracts that cab companies have signed to have a medallion issued. A private contractor using a private vehicle is free to do as they please. I would have told this “officer” to have a nice day and drove off. You do not have to show proof of anything to a pretend cop.

  13. Maritza

    July 31, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    I feel bad for the driver. But I also shame Lyft for offering to hire the people if it knows that it is illegal in their area? So who is responsible for the citations, the driver or Lyft? I would probably think the driver would be dealt all responsibility. Hopefully cities who outlaw this will see that people actually like the service and work with them. Sorry for the experience I am glad I read this. Now I will check in my area to see if it is allowed to avoid getting both people in trouble.

    • Keri Anderson

      July 31, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      Fortunately Lyft covers all the fines so the driver is out nothing but their time.

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  15. Amber Anna

    July 31, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    We’re having a lot of legal issues with Uber and Lyft in Memphis as well. It’s ridiculous – cabs in Memphis are insanely expensive, generally very unsafe drivers, and, especially late at night, more often than not super creepy. Plus, we’re having a major budget crisis with our police services, and they’ve now dedicated a special “task force” to stopping these drivers. I can’t wait for all the local silliness to stop and for us to get the opportunity to use these services.

  16. DaninSTL

    July 31, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    I’m in the process of moving from STL to MCI area and I know in STL they are fighting. It seems that the cabbies are the ones fighting it. I don’t blame them. They have to put up with a ton of regulations which are dumb. If the city or local authority need revenue just tax lyft, uber, etc. and be done with it.

  17. FM

    July 31, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Why wouldn’t you just deny that you hired her? “A friend who picked me up for dinner”

    My guess is that the “incident” would have ended at that point and you’d have been doing the driver a favor by protecting her.

    I occasionally drive for Sidecar in SF and the folks at SFO are cracking down on ridesharing. The advice amongst the Sidecar online driver forum is to avoid airport dropoffs if possible. But if you want to do them, the advice to have your phone screen “locked” when entering the airport because then they can’t see any ridesharing app running and cannot prove what they think you’re doing — you really are just a friend dropping off a friend! Obviously the advice is to avoid airport pickups entirely b/c that’s way too easy for them to run a sting.

  18. Dante

    July 31, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Nothing like a little State cronyism to drive out competition and maintain their monopoly powers.

    Eliminate the State.

  19. Brian

    July 31, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    I live in Dallas. There’s been a very shady relationship between the largest medallion holder (yellow) and the city. Yellow was not complying with the requirements regarding insurance for years and getting away with it because it had the regulator in its pocket. When Yellow induced the City to go after Uber, all of this came to light. Thank you Uber.

    To those who mention that it’s illegal, it’s not illegal for you as the customer to hire Uber. It may be illegal for Uber to pick you up. Protection of customers is not what these regulators are after, they’ve forgotten their role and are now in the business of protecting the monolpolies that they are supposed to be regulating. It’s shameful.

  20. Paul

    July 31, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    “Its a shame this is how Tampa Bay has chosen to spend it’s time protecting its residents.”

    Tampa Bay’s local government (or any other government for that matter) has zero interest in protecting it citizens. The entire reason for the bust was to protect the taxi cartel from competition and a loss of profits. The cab companies want lots of regulations and barriers to entry to keep competitors out so they can maintain their artificially high profits. The cops are simply acting as mafia enforcers for the cab companies in this instance.

  21. Tocqueville

    July 31, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Growing up in the USA we are taught by parents/school/media that police are our friends and here to protect us.

    As we see more than ever, the police are most interested in themselves, and provide an illusion of safety.

    They are enforcers #1 and no matter how immoral, stupid, wrong, unfair, common sense, or un common sensical their job is to enforce.

    There are also tons of corrupt cops and the “good cops” do nothing about it because if they say something they will get fired/reprimanded/off the gravy train. Can they even be called good cops then?

  22. Grace

    July 31, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    You know you can tell the Uber app not to apply your credits, right?

  23. Grace

    July 31, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Here is the support article about saving your Uber credits. https://support.uber.com/hc/en-us/articles/201924307-Can-I-choose-to-save-my-Uber-credits-for-another-ride- With Lyft you have to apply them if you have them, but Uber lets you save them.
    If anyone wants to try out Lyft, my code is AIRLYFT7

  24. Tina

    August 1, 2014 at 1:46 am

    I want to clarify some facts in your article
    Had the new driver reached out to the Luft community on FB, she would have found out that we Lyft drivers are NOT required to give ANY information to the PTC, they are only code enforcers and have no LEO status and will not ever. They have as much “arresting” powers as the code enforcer that tells you to clean up your yard or else…
    BTW The PTC officer who wrote the citations has been background checked and has an arrest record…lol
    Ride sharing is not illegal per statute as no statue actually discusses rude sharing as it is a new concept.
    The taxi companies are running scared and they are using outdated laws and twisting them to suit their intimidation!

  25. ZL

    August 1, 2014 at 2:01 am

    I am a lyft driver in Tampa and that comment about law enforcement status is BULL! They are not police and have no rights to “arrest” someone. That PTC agents name is Sharon Stempowski and was a sheriff’s deputy until she lost her job she also has a DUI on her record and also used a racial slur when she was younger. Please don’t let this discourage your Lyft use as the PTC “officers” are just using intimidation tactics to scare people when they have no police powers.

    Use code ZAC6604662 for a free $25 ride gift certificate. Please try us out and you will see there is always a better option.

  26. Dinty

    August 1, 2014 at 3:40 am

    LOL, I just stayed at that same Hyatt.

    I was in nearby Orlando a few weeks prior and it seemed that there was no regulation of the cabs there, one time I called and some guy in an unmarked minivan with no meter showed up and told me he could only take cash. I told him I would be getting a cab that could take a card at least.

  27. Samantha

    August 1, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I got to read the driver side of this on out Lyft Tampa Bay fb page. I am a Pinellas driver and I try to stay out of Tampa because of the PTC :'(
    I just wish the PTC wuld stop trying to prevent innovation and GTF off our backs. We keep DUIs down which saves lives,no to mention, Lyft provides jobs ,we purchase more gas, get more maintenance, and may even buy cars more often which in turn goes back to the economy and on to of that we still pay taxes.Our passengers have 3X the insurance policy over them than if they were riding in a cab. they need to get over themselves.

  28. Arie

    August 9, 2014 at 7:32 am

    I’m just not very keen on people belittling others. It’s tiny thing in this article, but “all your little lyft friends”. I would love to ask “How are all your little enforcer friends?”

    I don’t know if that would put me in more trouble, but I’m kind of tired of having no power, or say in situations at the side of the road.

  29. Donnette

    August 14, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I am the driver Keri is referring to in this blog. I appreciate her waiting it out that night. We both learned first hand the PTC is an over zealous bully. When it comes to ride-sharing, we, as Americans should have the say as to whom we trust our rides to be with.

    If you would like to try Lyft…code: DONNETTE3 will get you a free ride up to $25.00, this code can be used with the free rides you get for downloading the LYFT.COM app. Happy Lyfting!

  30. Tom Dudley

    October 10, 2014 at 6:53 am

    I was set up tonight. I picked up a passanger in NJ bought him into the city. When I dropped him off he went into a building and The TLC People pulled me over they told me that they spoke (They Didn’t) to my passenger and he said i was a lyft driver. They asked me a bunch of questions and then told me i could lose my car and license and be arrested and its illegal to drive for lyft in NYC. It was typical good cop bad cop and then they let me go. After I left I remembered the passanger asking me if i ever picked up any NY customers and bring them to NJ. To many coincidences. I do it very rarely for a few extra dollars. What is the crime (there isn’t any) its the same as a friend giving you money for gas and tolls and a few dollars in your pocket for a ride. Its safe because all our info is shared and no money passes between anyone in the car. You rate the customer and he rates you. You dont pick up randomly its all preset through an app. Its typical NY and big city nonsense to regulate so they make income somehow beside the taxes tht i have to claim at the end of the year.

  31. Becky Weaver

    November 15, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    This is about the fees the city/county beaurocracy takes in from the cab monopolies, period. They’re lobbyists for the taxi industry. It’s funny how “smoothly” everything works when everyone’s been paid off! The moment a new company pops up with a great innovation, they can’t stand it. Especially when it’s an extremely popular company, with a bright future. These officials simply want their share of the billion dollar valuation of these new start ups, while trying to hinder innovation and step up regulation. This is exactly the same way these beaurocrats operate in communist countries, and why they have NO innovation there!

    But we are living in a free (?) country. The people who want to stop innovation and protect monopolies NEED TO BE VOTED OUT OF OFFICE! (Follow the money- are the iron fisted beaurocrats who sit on your city council much wealthier when they leave office than when they were elected?!) This is the problem with polititicians. They’re all the same!

    One county official’s sister started an LLC 10 yrs ago and bought a plot of land on the NE side of central FL FOR $6 mil that years later was purchased by the Orange County for $65 mil. How do u think they had the insight to buy that property? Things like this happen ALL THE TIME!

  32. Mr. Friendly Pants

    November 18, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    They need to start jailing the drivers. See if Uber et.al. will do the jail time as well.

    • anonimous

      June 23, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      To jail these drivers is unconstitutional as it prevents them from operating a business . It prevents them from having the right to own property . People who are unable to drive should have the right to use a taxi service in this country .

  33. uberNOT

    December 11, 2014 at 2:08 am

    if you transport people in your personal vehicle for compensation, you are operating commercially and are required to have commercial insurance. You get in an accident and your passenger gets hurt, they will own you, what little you have because your personal insurance will deny you and cancel you. if your going to be an independent contractor, you better have the right insurance. Uber insurance will not cover you because they are a “technology company”. And if they do cover you, than they are an employer and subjected to taxes. You can’t have it both ways…wise up uber moron drivers

    • AlexR

      May 29, 2015 at 3:59 am

      I understand that you are against Uber and alike. But your point is not correct as it concerns to the state of Florida, unless you own the transportation vehicle in which case you have to apply for a for-hire license ($$$) you are not employed by the transportation company. You are a sub-contractor that rents the taxi ($$$) from the transportation company which has presented a transportation insurance or a surety bond to the regulating agency covering the patrons (usually up to 1 million dollars) and the vehicle. It is clearly stated that you are not employed by the company and will not enjoy the benefits of such, you are entering a self employed contract and are required to file taxes as self-employed the taxi company has no legal obligation with you as an employee.

  34. DriverB

    April 6, 2015 at 1:05 am

    As usual on Internet posts there some idiot spewing bad info about something they don’t like or are against. uberNOT is,a perfect example having no clue about uber lyft policies n insurance coverage. In the privacy of our personal cars we the drivers are laughing at uberNOT knowing he has never even looked over insurance coverage. Try a bit of learning before talking out your butt. Hahaha dumby

  35. Don

    April 26, 2015 at 8:56 am

    You couldn’t of just been like “oh this is my friend” are you really that worthless of a person? That you don’t realize when you’re incriminating someone else?

  36. Michael

    August 3, 2015 at 2:50 am

    The biggest problem with uber is their rating system. Passengers who rate the driver anything less then 5 star are basically firing that driver. It’s rude. If a driver falls below a 4.6 star rating that are dropped and may no longer make an income with uber. Passengers, you fare it’s dirt cheap, it’s quick most of us carry around amenities at no charge to provide you the passengers with a little help. Please stop being rude and just rate your driver a5 star for making your trip a lot cheaper and more comfortable.

  37. Carl Nesler

    August 24, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Now we know who the ssebnile one is here. Great post!

  38. Single mom

    September 11, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Having raised my 4 kids on my own, 5oo, I feel bad for her. But, I became a cabbie in 2009 to pay the bills. When uber came, I became incorporated, insured & legal to “ride share” legally. If you’re not COMMERCIALLY insured, you’re not insured during trios.

    These drivers tell police they’re driving friends or cousins.., That’s a felony for Obstruction of Justice— for the passenger, as well, if they agree.

    It’s, also, Insurance Fraud to lie to the insurance company to use personal auto if an accident occurred. Last I read, that’s 5 yrs MANDATORY MINIMUM prison.

    If a beautician needs to be licensed to cut hair, how much more should ppl uphold the licensing laws when it comes to transporting human beings on the road?!

    The laws are there for a rewson. If you think it’s OK to break these for money, why not just rob a bank? A crime is a crime. And, these are pretty big ines. People die in car accidents!! (Duh)

    • Jessr

      October 13, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      What a complete imbecile you are

  39. kayla

    September 16, 2015 at 8:15 pm


    This is an incident when somebody got hit while using lyft.

    For 1. Your insurance should be full coverage 1st and for most to even be allowed to drive other individuals.

    2. Exactly the taxi cabs drivers are making bank by charging up the A** for a ride. 2 miles looking at $10 plus tips. Ridiculous . in my civic would cost me $2 to get 2 miles. Uber/lyft drivers are taking business away from the cab drivers. In my opinion this is great. Cabs are charging way too much money. They are not as comfortable, and most cabs are out dated (old) . lyft/ uber requires you to drive a reliable safe newer car. It’s like 6 years or newer. Also they do a background test on you to ensure you are a safe driver. They also do a check on your car to ensure it is in good condition. After the car check, you have a lyft inspector drive with you to see how good your driving is. Kind of like DMV when you first get your liscense. It is very safe. I know this because I am currently waiting on the approval application to become a lyft driver. I also have full coverage on my 2015 Honda civic which protects me and any other persons in my vehicle. Please tell me would you prefer to ride In an old beat up cab ? Or a brand new vehicle with new saftey belts, air bags ,etc? Not to mention way more roomy and comfortable.

    3. Lyft has a safety route they use in the event you do get in an accident. Read the web page I posted.

    Those of you bloggers who are against it. Its a shame because lyft and uber aren’t going anywhere. They will always be around. People prefer us over the cabs . good luck shutting us down. And don’t bash the saftey of lyft if you have no idea what precautions they take before hiring a driver.

    • Professional

      October 14, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      Imbecile for stating the facts? Grow up. Oh– you must be the imbecile driver trying to pretend you’re entitled to drive people for money because you have a car.

      Well, I have a table, bandaids, scissors & gauze, let me set up shop outside the bars & call myself the E. R.

      Wow. You really are a moran!

    • Professional

      October 14, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      You need COMMERCIAL insurance to drive people for money! Full coverage personal insurance is null & void!!

  40. Michael

    December 11, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    “Its a shame this is how Tampa Bay has chosen to spend it’s time protecting its residents.”

    This is well said. It’s like how cops bust kids holding marijuana but we all know they won’t ever hurt a fly for their life. It’s tough on cops in the end because some laws are implemented with reason. For example airport pickups. Some people arrive here with nowhere to go.. you don’t want the wrong person picking them up. In the end it’s for the passengers safety. And I’m personally one of those drivers yet I am siding with the cops in this case… But in the end if passengers want to help us break the law.. they should let us lol.

    About commercial insurance, there is no need to make a fuss about it. It’s just a fancy piece of paper that lets you make money from your services. Just like you require insurance on a car when you buy it from the lot. If you get in an accident and actually suffer injuries (hopefully this never happens and does it happen in a manner for it to be seriously considered? meaning is it routine for passengers to get Uber drivers to drive like idiots?) I believe that personal insurance should help cover for that.. Just because you are mentioning that it was a For Hire service then they will deny you any benefit because well you messed up saying it was For Hire service. Whenever a cop pulls you over, or if any trouble arises just say you are both friends traveling home. What can the law do to you? nothing.. You aren’t breaking the law and technically personal insurance should cover any damages in these situations.. if i’m wrong please someone let me know.

    I believe passengers should unite against the law by using their right to say “this is my friend he’s taking me home” when a passenger does that the cop shouldn’t detain the both of you for any reason he believes would be unlawful; which it isn’t because friends take friends home all the time. The tactic that cops use directing themselves to the passengers immediately instead of the routine “may i see your license and registration” is somewhat bullying the customer into saying yes this is a For Hire Vehicle service. It’s almost like entrapment if you bend it the right way lol

  41. Tammy Bailey

    January 16, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    We had the same issue when Lyft first came to Louisville Kentucky because yellow cab has a monopoly here and is outrageously priced. I used Lyft when it first arrived and was only allowed to take you to various places around town and wasn’t allowed to pick you up from our airport or hotels where yellow cab had a contract. I hadn’t used them in over a year because we had a car but recently our car broke down and my boyfriend works at Domino’s Pizza and gets off at 2 am on Friday and Saturdays so last night he downloaded the app after I sent it to him and took advantage of his $20 credit. Lyft now allows you to tip your driver when you pay in which he gave her a nice tip because he was so happy to have a reasonably priced and safe ride home.

  42. Tammy Bailey

    January 16, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    We just recently got Uber here and I have never used it. What is it like? I recently read an article about someone’s credit card being charged $628 for a 20 minute drive so I was kinda concerned about using it.

  43. Jennifer G.

    February 16, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Ha! That is great. At last you had a better experience than this guy: Sounds like this Uber driver got hit pretty hard. Hope this doesn’t happen with any of you drivers!


  44. Jasmine

    July 18, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    New ideas always have opponents. Tampa Bay sees this in between period as a money grab. Speaking to the residents, the riders, Tampa Bay Needs ride sharing. Transportation is a mess and women don’t feel particularly safe in taxis. The change will happen. It’s just a matter of time.

  45. Ramon

    December 14, 2016 at 2:37 am

    I hope this post os old as it could be. I drive UBER and LYFT in Tampa, pretty much everywhere. I am always on the road, Orlando, Miami, You name it. Never had any issues, If the app allows for the service to be requested, I am there!

  46. James Limo

    December 22, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Keri I really liked your article 🙂 Keep on sharing such articles related to vehicles or hiring

  47. lock Joslyn

    January 19, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    very touchy

  48. F

    November 12, 2017 at 3:42 am

    Lyft conduct background checks on their drivers that can take up to 2 weeks for verification. Uber does not however, they both require drivers to have vehicles in good clean working conditions. Lyft rates are also cheaper than Uber and there both cheaper than Taxi cabs. I’m all for the competetion especially in today’s economy. Hmmm, I really would not see a problem riding with them or even driving for them.

  49. Robert Suto

    January 23, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Update…January, 2018

    Lyft and Uber now legal at Tampa International Airport, with the companies agreeing to pay gov’t a per/car fee. of $3. now, to increase to $4. and $5. over the next 2 years..

    Treat previous posts as history, with a lesson to be learned.
    “Do your research, where possible,
    BEFORE you step into something.

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