Uber drivers rally to keep the right to ride

A compromise may end the battle between ride-sharing service Uber and Hillsborough County's Public Transportation Commission.

Wednesday both sides said they would work on coming up with regulations to allow Uber to operate within the county legally.

Last week, a judge ordered Uber can operate while a lawsuit filed by PTC is pending. The lawsuit seeks to have Uber come into line with current regulations for transportation companies or leave the county.

PTC Chairman Victor Crist says the commission is willing to negotiate with Uber on a set of special regulations. Crist says the regulations would have Uber agree to regular vehicle inspections, proof of commercial insurance for drivers and proof of county-approved background checks on drivers.

Crist blames Uber for not showing up to negotiations, but Uber says they have tried to work with the county body, but have not received responses to their own proposed regulations.

Uber believes its own "stringent" background checks and insurance should be enough to satisfy the county.

"What we're asking of the PTC is that they embrace ride sharing as it has been embraced across the country and work with Uber to develop modern regulation," said Christine Mitchell, Uber Tampa Bay general manager.

Protestors picketed outside the PTC meeting Wednesday saying the commission represents government regulation gone too far.

"We're not opposed to new business models. We're not opposed to companies like Uber and Lyft. We're just opposed to them coming in setting up shop and disregarding our basic requirements for public safety," added Crist.

Meanwhile, the service will operate with a judge's blessing while the issue is resolved.