Uber and Lyft now legal in Hillsborough

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Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft are now operating legally in Hillsborough County after reaching a final agreement with the Public Transportation Commission on Wednesday.

The agreement ends two years of litigation, almost monthly debate, and headaches for both the companies and the PTC.

The compromise requires both Uber and Lyft to strenghten background checks for their drivers, but allows the companies to avoid the most intense fingerprint-based background checks.

Uber and Lyft drivers will also need to have their drivers' cars inspected. The companies have also agreed to not charge extra during disasters.

Wednesday's final vote also met continued opposition from the taxi industry.

The agreement is technically temporary, ending next December, but Uber and Lyft hope the state Legislature will write ride-sharing into state law this coming session.

"I'm hoping that the legislature will provide the adult leadership that's so sorely lacking here and will do what 30 other states have done and create a permanent home for ride sharing in Florida," said Uber public policy director Colin Tooze.