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Sandy Murman doesn’t want Hillsborough PTC to raise penalties on ridesharing drivers

Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman said Wednesday she doesn’t want the Public Transportation Commission to raise the penalties on ridesharing drivers from $700 to $900.

“I think their fines are high enough,” she told her colleagues on the county commission at the end of their regular meeting. “If the fines are being raised to control a certain business that’s trying to operate in our community, I think that’s probably not the right way to do it.”

The PTC’s Rules and Policy Committee was poised to vote on the rate hike Tuesday, part of a package of new “emergency rules” that, if approved, could have taken effect within 30 days of being approved by the full PTC board.

The increase in fines was opposed by Uber and Lyft, both of whom have been operating outside the PTC’s guidelines since they began offering service in the spring of 2014. The ridesharing companies’ attorneys also objected to the new rules being implemented on an expedited basis.

Ultimately, the committee meeting ended without a vote.

Murman emphasized it was just her opinion she wanted to express to the other board members who sit on the PTC board.

Commissioner Victor Crist (who was not present at Wednesday’s meeting) chairs the agency, while Ken Hagan and Al Higginbotham also sit on the PTC board.

The proposed new emergency rules were crafted last month by DriveSociety, a new ridesharing company in Hillsborough County.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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