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I haven't dug into this topic personally but do feel that there is an unfair advantage for taxis. The costs to ride even a short distance keeps most of us from using them and those who do are basically left with no choices.

The times I have used a cab while without my car and no quick transportation option available, I have used a cab and the expense was outrageous and for the most part, poor service.

As long as these others are providing safe, legal transportation, I support them. We need some competition and instead of the cabs ( parked for hours ) waiting on prey with their cars running and dripping from their ac being on, they would actually have to go out and earn their money.

They also have a power trip both with other drivers and passengers, down by the convention center, they will even yell out at you.
 

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The spirit of rate regulation has a lot to do with Hillsborough County's 1020 square mile size and the 240 square miles of water in the middle that makes travel time-consuming. Taxi provider service choices come down to A) having vehicles idle around the county until someone requests service, or B) make passengers wait an hour or two until a cab drives in from another area. The former costs money in terms of paying drivers to stage around the county. The latter costs money in terms of extra mileage and wear & tear on vehicles. Assuming you're paying cab drivers a living wage of $12 (commercial drivers tend to make much more than this), paying for commercial passenger liability insurance (easily $400/month), paying for phone/internet infrastructure/dispatch to take/assign requests for service, maintenance on vehicles being run into the ground, and the cost of replacing said vehicles (a vehicle in Taxi service in this county will easily run up 150k miles in 3 years)... adds up pretty quick.

Driving commercially with a clock ticking is incredibly stressful in Tampa. That said, it's never an excuse to treat passengers poorly. And also not an excuse to have a dirty/smelly vehicle. Power trips are also not acceptable.
 

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There is plenty of room for reasonable rate reductions. No one needs to be stressed, if the cost is reasonable, the passenger won't mind some traffic. The driver has potential for more trips with more passengers. He gets nothing just sitting around.
 

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There is currently a zone rate in effect for Downtown/Hyde Park/Davis Islands where taxi cabs are subject to much lower maximum rate regulations. This is due to high demand for short trips in the area, which can be performed rapidly at minimal cost to taxi operators. At this point (in my opinion), another such zone is overdue for Westshore, as well as a discount rate for traveling between the two zones. Other areas are questionable, as people tend to take realllly long trips to go to places of their preference instead of the closest destination.

This is basically what HART is trying to do with HARTFlex, implementing new routes in areas where short trips are common ($1 fare vs $4 fare for HARTPlus). I would say that it's the county's best interests for PTC to do the same and create more zone fares, with the Ubers/Lyfts able to provide service in these discount zones... just require them to come in for a vehicle inspection every so often and secret shop when complaints are received.
 

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Any reason HART or PSTA doesn't get more involved with smaller transportation such as taxi ( car) services.

This could really fill in the gaps for people who need more flexibility and honestly don't see using taxis on a regular basis as being financially doable.

What I am thinking is, let's say you want to go to the mall but then have a doctors appointment, maybe the mall gets you to and from home but no good route to the doctors office from the mall.

Sort of a flexible ( on demand ) service and you might lets say have more than one set of passengers getting dropped on 'flexible' stops not necessarily on a route.

The difference would be fair rates but not quite as fast as a taxi maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
^^
I've been wondering about that for a while Brian. I'm sure there's tons of government and legal regulations behind that though.
 

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Any reason HART or PSTA doesn't get more involved with smaller transportation such as taxi ( car) services.

This could really fill in the gaps for people who need more flexibility and honestly don't see using taxis on a regular basis as being financially doable.

What I am thinking is, let's say you want to go to the mall but then have a doctors appointment, maybe the mall gets you to and from home but no good route to the doctors office from the mall.

Sort of a flexible ( on demand ) service and you might lets say have more than one set of passengers getting dropped on 'flexible' stops not necessarily on a route.

The difference would be fair rates but not quite as fast as a taxi maybe.
You basically described HARTFlex and North County Connector services. If you call in advance, we can do door to door pickups and dropoffs to destinations inside the flex zone. For example, HARTFlex Northdale runs north/south along Dale Mabry from Fletcher to Van ****. If you call at least 2 hours in advance, you can be picked up at any destination within 3/4 of a mile, including Jimmie B Keel Regional Library, Bob Sierra YMCA, Northdale Community Center, Carrollwood Cultural Center, etc.. I'm not sure on PSTA's policy, but with HART you can also request courtesy stops off-route when boarding from a flag stop, which we will try to accommodate if the manifest is open. Off-route pickups always have to be done by phone. And it's always $1 per trip.

Current HART/PSTA Flex areas:
Northdale: 3/4 of a mile zone along Dale Mabry from Fletcher to Van ****
South County: 3/4 of a mile zone along College Ave/Sun City Center Blvd from 15th St SE to Edina St
South Tampa: zone bounded by Kennedy, MacDill, Euclid, Manhattan, with a scheduled side trip to Cypress/Reo
Town 'n' Country: zone bounded by Linebaugh, Hanley, Hillsborough, Montague
Brandon: zone bounded by Brandon Blvd, Parsons/John Moore, Bloomingdale, Providence
Oldsmar-Tampa: 3/4 of a mile zone along Countryside Blvd/Tampa Rd/Hillsborough Ave/Sheldon Rd from Westfield Countryside to HART Northwest Transit Center, with a connecting stop at Shoppes at Boot Ranch
East Lake: 3/4 of a mile zone along East Lake Rd and Keystone Rd from Shoppes at Boot Ranch to US19/Tarpon Mall
Dunedin-Palm Harbor: wandering route from Westfield Countryside to Alderman/US19 Walmart, with a scheduled side trip to Klosterman Rd/St Petersburg College

Proposed HARTFlex areas for the next 10 years:
Temple Terrace
Seffner
New Tampa
Airport Industrial (area to the west of Raymond James Stadium)
Gibsonton
Big Bend
Interbay
Port Tampa
Carrollwood
Keystone
Odessa
East County (x2)
 

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That's great for 'planned' trips but was thinking more real time requests. I do understand the difficulty in costs to do that. Wasn't aware of that program though.
 

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Hillsborough County says Uber is illegal

Hillsborough affirms 'no' to ridesharing, Uber attorney asks county to update the rules
Nov 12, 2014, 2:57pm EST UPDATED: Nov 12, 2014, 3:05pm EST

Wade Millward
Reporter-
Tampa Bay Business Journal

An Uber attorney asked Hillsborough County to make new rules to fit the trendy ridesharing movement pioneered by his company and Lyft, but was told flatly on Wednesday that Uber is an illegal taxi service.

The county's Public Transportation Commission unanimously affirmed that an appointed officer had enough evidence to fine Uber, based in San Francisco, for providing hiring and public taxi services without proper licensing.

Uber attorney Drew Sorrell held to the company's argument that it isn't in transportation. As a technology company, it doesn't need to follow transportation regulations as they are written.
Continue here:

http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2014/11/12/hillsborough-affirms-no-to-ridesharing-uber.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not surprising.

At this point, since the PTC has continued to blatantly show that they are against working with Uber and Lyft, the PTC needs to be abolished ASAP.

This is one of the few issues I agree with the Calverts on. GET RID OF THE PTC! :mad2:
 

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The entire PTC board is made up of elected officials. Either Uber and Lyft have to meet the PTC's demands (and try to push for change within that framework), or voters have to take this up with their elected representatives.

Either that, or said companies have to work with HART on proposed rideshare solutions. HART is interested, but it seems like Uber/Lyft would prefer to do things their way instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, the latter needs to happen because I don't think Uber and Lyft will just simply conform to what the PTC wants.

As for HART, I initially was in support of having everything under one umbrella and all, but I think its clear that not everyone wants to go that route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
PTC rules could force Uber and Lyft to flee Hillsborough

Source: TBBJ

The fate of Uber and Lyft in Hillsborough County can only be described in one word: uncertain.

A series of decisions are scheduled over the coming weeks that could spell the end of Uber in Hillsborough County.

The Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission has been trying to negotiate a deal with transportation network companies for two years. Uber and Lyft have refused to budge on two key issues – fingerprint-based background checks and vehicle inspections.
Full Story: http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay...ules-could-mean-the-end-of-uber-in-tampa.html
 
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