Judge or Jury will soon decide: Does a Lyft car meet the definition of taxicab?
*Lyft Technology on Trial in Tampa* Lyft ride sharing service is under attack by taxicab regulators. With Lyft, rides are arranged by smart phone app, drivers take no money from customers. fares are donations, riders can pay all of fare, part or none at all. Today in a Hillsborough County Courtroom, government offered to let a driver pay fines, but he refused the offer, opting for the jury trial.
Brave driver said, “We are not a cab,” he said. “We are not a transportation company. Lyft is a platform and I’m an independent contractor.” More information on the law in Tampa is here.
Here are a few Legal Definitions
Definition: “Taxicab” means any motor-driven Vehicle, equipped with a Taximeter, with a Capacity for 9 or less passengers, including the driver, for the transportation of For hire passengers, which Operates within Hillsborough County, but does not include Sight-seeing cars or buses, streetcars, or motor buses Operated pursuant to franchise. Taxicab includes the Taxicab classification of Standard Taxicab and Luxury Taxicab. Unless otherwise indicated, use of the word “Taxicab” within these Rules shall be meant to include “Standard Taxicabs” and “Luxury Taxicabs”, collectively.
“Taximeter” means any internally mounted device that records and indicates a rate of fare measured by distance traveled, time traveled, waiting time, or extra passengers which has been inspected and sealed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and which has been calibrated to the approved rates promulgated by the Commission.