TAMPA (FOX 13) - Mayor Bob Buckhorn is calling for an end to the Public Transportation Commission (PTC) and a new beginning for ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft operating out of Tampa. Buckhorn says that the PTC is outdated.
"I continue to believe that [the PTC] is a dinosaur in a society that doesn't lend itself to dinosaurs anymore. Dinosaurs become extinct,” said Buckhorn. “The PTC should be extinct."
The PTC is proposing for stricter regulations for ride-sharing services. In an attempt to even the playing field with taxis, the PTC is calling for a fingerprint background check for all drivers, a $7 minimum fare and for drivers to wait at least seven minutes before picking up riders.
"If you can't compete, you don't deserve to be protected, and if you can't compete, you're going to die. That is the nature of the Capitalist system,” said Buckhorn.
Companies like Uber are now threatening to leave Hillsborough County if those regulations pass Wednesday. Now, Buckhorn is urging citizens to speak out.
"It's more convenient for people, especially if you've been drinking or you've just been out and you want to get home quickly,” said former Uber driver Jerald McGarr.
Some riders, however, wouldn’t mind the tougher regulations on companies like Uber and Lyft.
"They should do probably a little bit more checking,” said Uber rider Ashleigh Stembridge. “I have heard of some people getting some strange Uber drivers, but I personally have never had that."
Last week, Buckhorn tweeted out a petition against the PTC’s regulation proposal. So far, the petition has over 3,000 likes.
The PTC will be voting on the tougher regulations Wednesday at 9 a.m.