Update: Uber Fans Lash Out At County Commission





Uber placed a message on its website over the weekend after pulling out of Broward County, urging frustrated would-be riders to send a form e-mail to Broward Mayor Tim Ryan and their local mayors complaining about the lack of service.

The suggested e-mail message in part reads:  “Dear Mayor Ryan, I just tried to request a ride in Broward County – and couldn’t. You said ‘the most pressing issue before us today and in the coming years is how to meet the demands on our county’s transportation needs.’ Please work to bring Uber back!”

At least one West Broward mayor reported receiving e-mails from two dozen Uber fans as Sunday evening.



An earlier post is here:



Some of her neighbors are angry with County Commissioner Stacy Ritter. 

They are fuming that they can no longer use the ride sharing service Uber and blame Ritter, their County Commissioner and fellow Parkland resident.

The ride-sharing company this week dropped service in Broward County because of new County Commission regulations requiring insurance and fingerprinting of drivers.  Ritter voted for the rules.


Stacy Ritter tweeting

Stacy Ritter


Parkland Today, a community website that has a website and a Facebook page, today launched a thinly-veiled attack on Ritter.

The news site is reflecting the views of some of its readers.  A number of West Broward residents, who used Uber, complain that the traditional taxi system doesn’t provide enough service in their area. They also complain about the condition of the cabs and the drivers.

The Parkland Today post states they are “not voting for any Broward County Commissioners currently serving.” It doesn’t use Ritter’s name. Since she is Parkland’s only County Commissioner and running for re-election next year, it is clear who the post is aimed at.

Ritter told Browardbeat.com earlier this year that she has tried to reach a compromise with the multi-billion dollar company, but they repeatedly stonewalled.

“I have spent sleepless nights over this issue,” Ritter said. “I have fallen asleep only to awaken and think about this. I have spent hours trying to figure out how to balance these competing interests, but the bottom line is the ordinance isn’t that onerous.”

Blasting Uber for repeatedly lying to the public and commissioners, Ritter said:

“They come in and tell me one thing, then put out an e-mail to their drivers and riders which is different from what they promised. Next, they come to the commission and say they are open to negotiation. Then the cycle starts all over again.”

Uber vehemently objects to the fingerprinting of drivers that is now required by the county. Fingerprinting is for the safety of the public, Ritter insisted.

The firm contended fingerprinting is unnecessary because they do their own background checks. However “it won’t share the report with the county. The question arises then: do you trust the company to do what it says it will do? The answer to that is no, based on their tactics to date,” the commissioner said.

Meanwhile, Ritter has received over petitions containing over 1,000 signatures favoring Uber and now the Internet posts.  She conceded the firm is winning the “social media war.”

This from Facebook on Saturday (click to enlarge):


Ritter attack


27 Responses to “Update: Uber Fans Lash Out At County Commission”

  1. Poor Little $50 Billion Company says:

    Good for Uber, standing up to unthinkable regulations like licencing, fingerprint background checks and the state’s insurance requirements.

    I’m just a little surprised that this same company put together this video for their drivers on the mean streets of Columbus, Ohio, instructing them to follow the SAME EXACT RULES.


    Watch the video, and tell me how those requirements are any different.

    The real question, Buddy, is what makes Florida so unique that the rules Uber is willing to follow in California, New York, Texas and Ohio are suddenly too onerous to even comply with in Broward.

  2. Sam The Sham says:

    Everyone knows what the problem is. The politicians want to protect their buddy, Cab King Jesse Gaddis. The politicians want to keep those easy (and large) campaign contributions rolling in from Jesse Gaddis. The politicians want to keep those airport and Port Everglades fees rolling in from the taxis. Everyone knows that if Uber was given free reign to operate, the taxi business would fall apart. People would always choose to ride in a new car with a driver who is polite and bathes regularly.

    We don’t want any of that freedom of choice thing going on around here do we? Good thing we have the county commission protecting us from ourselves. (sarcasm/off)

    If someone does not like Uber, don’t use the service. If an Uber driver commits a crime (like a taxi driver never would, right?) his identity is instantly known through Uber records. Uber is not going to hide him and shield him from the law.

  3. Talks like a politician says:

    If this Uber issue is what it takes to shake up the composition of the Broward County Commission, more power to them. It is about time voters woke up and roared a bit.

  4. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    I see people with this Uber thing acting like children who refuse to look both ways before the cross a street. Tantrums and grandstanding and ripping their hair out, etc. So silly. Let’s apply some basic common sense to this issue.

    Look, Level 2 criminal background checks should offend nobody at Uber and are essential to protecting the public. Otherwise, you might as well put up a sign on the Georgia border saying — “Attention Criminals: Uber drivers needed, no criminal backgrounds imposed, apply in Broward.” See what that brings here.

    It’s just silly. Why would any of those drivers object to the government doing a background check to ensure that the public is safe? Unless the obvious…

    Would you want someone with 5 recent DUI’s in Florida or any other state, a violent felon, or a sexual offender driving your daughter in a vehicle they control the steering and door locks to? I don’t. I want safety here first.

    And of course insurance is an absolute must in the event of an accident. I mean, have people gone insane now? Let’s not have commercial insurance requirements for taxi-like services? It takes your breath away.

    And yes, I want to see a picture of the driver on a County issued permit with their name, in a prominently placed location in the car, plus a phone number of where to call if I have a complaint. Is that not a good thing?

    Government licenses businesses and workers to protect the public. That’s the only reason to license them.

    I’m starting to suspect that perhaps Uber and Lyft have some hidden agenda for not wanting to do these things. Well guess what, no matter how nice the idea sounds, no matter what threats folks without common sense come up with, I don’t think it makes good sense. And officials are elected to make sense in the things they do. At least, they’re supposed to do those things.

    Besides, its been well documented that they agree to these and other reasonable licensing requirements in many places in the US. So why not Broward? What are we even talking about?

    I like the Uber and Lyft business model. I really do and hope they offer their services here.

    But in Broward, we put safety first and if these folks don’t want to get behind that concept, then don’t let the door hit you in the behind on your way out.

    Fear not, in a few months a new company named SHNUBER will come forward. Very similar model except they will embrace reasonable licensing requirements.

    I’m sure that idea has already occurred to many smart entreprenuers, and we have no shortage of those. If Uber and Lyft can’t get thier act together, lets do business with people that can. But let’s never abandon the most important job government has — to protect the people’s health, safety and welfare within reason.

    Seriously, this is a no brainer. Just tell them to comply or get lost.


  5. What's next says:

    How about directv, Comcast and pizza delivery people. Isn’t the public just as much as risk when you open your doors to these people? They have to drive on our streets. Let’s regulate them too?

  6. drink up says:

    LaMarca and Tim Ryan have prior dui convictions. Maybe there should be more regulations on those who serve us as elected officials?

  7. John Henry says:



    Reduce your diatribes to 25 words or less and maybe people will actually start reading them

  8. TimeKeeper says:

    Dear Little Angelo,

    As a taxpayer I am requesting that you immediately implement the time card and log sheet to track your time. I believe you are fleecing the Broward taxpayers.

  9. Let's Get Real says:

    Drinkup is 100% right. If history proves anything, it’s that we should require criminal background checks first for members of the Broward County Commission, then worry about the Uber drivers.

  10. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:

    Dear John Henry,

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Buddy Nevins provides our community a public policy blog where thoughtful analysis is invited. People who value public policy discussion in Broward read and participate in his blog. We benefit from the effort. Were that not the case, most of us would not waste time here.

    If you suffer from some form reading endurance incapacity, this is probably not a good blog for you as you might find the experience frustrating.



  11. Boca spin doctor says:

    Gaddis owns the commission period.

  12. Eric Hersh says:

    I have never seen an issue in all my years in and around politics where EVERYONE agrees except the elected officials.

    Young adults who don’t normally vote for County Commission will be energized in the next election unless they solve this very soon.

    Every County Commissioner will be replaced in the next election- take that to the bank.

    Uber is winning the social media war because it’s simply a service that people want, and in this case, money and political power are going to loose.

    Everyone I know and meet is talking about Uber- and is furious. That’s bad news for the commissioners- regardless of all the reasons and excuses they give.

    My suggestion to the CC- you represent the people- do what the people you represent want you to do- in overwhelming numbers. Stop trying to preach to the public, and be their representative. Otherwise, the 9 on the commission will ALL loose their jobs!

  13. Alberto Mejia says:

    Wow I can’t wait for bozo commissioners to get voted for being in the pocket of Jesse Gaddis. Let’s regulate every driver for every type of service if that’s the issue but it’s not. But it’s about corrupt commissioners protecting a service people don’t want. Don’t bs is with a explanation that is nothing but a public relations statement . County commissioners better understand that voters are united on this issue. The only commissioner that is right side of this issue is Chip LaMarca.

  14. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    You and I are friends and I respect you.

    You were an exceptionally good Mayor in Weston.

    I remember discussing city standards with you once and you said, “When a city starts looking and acting like a distressed city, it becomes one.”

    You were absolutely right on that issue. You’re wrong on this one.

    Broward has good standards for licensing businesses that are designed to protect people from foreseeable — not imagined — but forseeable harm. Cars for hire is an industry that we hae decades of national experience to look toward. Level 2 criminal background checks are essential to making sure drivers are safe, as are insurance requirements, and a variety of consumer protections.

    These things are not unreasonable and the public is placed at greater risk when these things are not in place.

    Why should Broward lower our licensing standards for companies like Uber, what possible gain does the consumer get from that action, especially since Uber follows those very rules elsewhere that they do business?

    Whatever sense this makes, on this one my good and respected friend, we simply couldn’t disagree more. My advice is to hold strong on standards, Uber and Lyft will come around or a competitor will surface willing to do the same thing while showing respect for consumer protections.


  15. @5 says:

    DirectTV and Comcast – Google them and with the word “background check” and you will see a diatribe of people complaining they were denied a job there because they have minor misdemeanor convictions. They also have an interview process, assessment testing and other checkpoint to review their employees. Uber has none of these.

    Pizza Delivery – Doesn’t come into my house. He comes to the door. However, we usually pick up from Anthony’s Coalfire Love their wings!
    Neither groups do I leave alone in my house nor do I enter a car with them were they are in complete control of my personal safety and destination.

    Most newer cars are equipped with door and window locks which are all controlled by the driver. I believe it is a pubic safety issue for drivers to not have a high level background check through the county. Drivers of taxi cabs, Uber, Lyft and whomever else would like to provide transportation services should have level two fingerprinted clearances that are verifiable by the county.

  16. Old Timer says:

    Are the next to be regulated neighbors who drive you to the airport, or condo folks who drive you to the airport and charge $25.

    Where is equal justice under the law?

    County Commission: please save us from ourselves!

  17. Real Deal says:


  18. Sam says:

    Wait, what badge number & license? You got a cab to actually show up when you called for one?
    I had to use yellow cab last night. Took them over an hour to arrive. Never had to wait more than 5 minutes to show up.
    Yellow cab will often not even show up, does the company call or text a person to let them know? NOPE
    They often do LIE to the customers all the time. Love the text that says your cab is 1 mile away. Then still takes 30 minutes in no traffic to show up.

    They do text you a complaint url but you need a cab number in order for it to work. How can one supply a cab number when it doesn’t show up?

  19. Sam says:

    Dear Angelo,
    The last time you road in a cab was when?
    Can you get one to show up in a timely manner?
    What happens when you call for one, they say it is on the way but it never shows up? Then what…..
    Well, I had to walk home in 100 degree heat with pneumonia & a fever from the drug store because the cab never showed up despite 5 calls to yellow cab.
    Tell me who gets the $350,000 fee for the medallion?
    Why do cabs have to be old cars with 300,000 miles on them?
    Who covers the cost of my missed plane ticket when the cab I arranged the night before shows up an hour & half later than scheduled?
    Who do I call when the credit card machine is broken & they insist on cash? Why do they get so hostile when you only have credit card for payment?
    Do I need to call the police every time I need to pay the cab driver?
    Who do I call, when the driver is on his phone the entire time? Do I call the police then & report them?

    If the driver stinks, do I refuse the ride, call the company & wait another hour for a cab?

    Uber/lyft would not be necessary if these companies actually cared about customer service. These companies would not exist if cabs were not old police cars with 300,000 miles on them. Oh, yeah, that is more money on the back end for the county.

    Take a cab all next week to work & back home. See exactly why we all switched to uber. Wish all the people who safe cabs are safer actually ride in them. Cause when I read your post, while I do appreciate you taking the time to read it, it is obvious you have not taken a cab ride in a long long time.
    As a female, I feel much safer with Uber than I have ever in a cab. Do you know how hard it is to file a complaint with cab companies? They hang up.

    I’ve NEVER met a happy cab driver, but all the uber drivers were. Explain that?

  20. Real Deal says:

    I love how Chip LaMarca is playing himself as pro Uber but approved of almost every Uber vote that passed and even threatened the company if they did not follow the regulations. Buddy can you document all of Chip’s votes? I watched the meetings on TV but don’t know how to track that info.

  21. Sam says:

    Did anyone read this? Who are driving those cabs? Criminals….Dear Angelo, put your family in these guys hands. Apparently the current system for safe cab drivers doesn’t work either.

  22. Chip LaMarca says:

    So called Real Deal says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    August 3rd, 2015 at 1:24 pm
    I’ll save you the time, because Brittany already did a story on the votes and published it a few weeks ago.

    I voted to create a TNC ordinance, which is what made these companies legal.

    I DID NOT vote for the level 2 (fingerprint) background checks because the third party company that was doing Uber’s (and hundreds of other comapnies such as hotel chains) background checks was more than sufficient.

    I DID NOT vote for the increased fines and penalties because Broward County Licensing had not even gotten the equipment setup that would enable drivers to get registered.

    Finally, I DID NOT vote to file a legal injunction against Über. I felt that this was going too far because we had not even worked throu the issues yet.

    So, as for the so-called @Real Deal who like most of your commenters will not use his/her name, that’s the vote tally…much different than they say.

    Best regards,
    Chip LaMarca
    County Commissioner
    District 4


    The “Brittany” that Commissioner LaMarca mentions is Brittany Wallman, a staff writer for the Sun-Sentinel who generally covers the County Commission.

  23. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Comm>Lamarca pays them no attention. I can vouch for Chip(he is accurate). He was supportive of Uber form the start. Lead next Tuesday Chip(you better b e the next mayor(appointed -its only fair). PS Buddy I sent you an email-work your magic…

  24. Chaz Stevens, MAOS says:

    Buddy: Brittany Wallman, a staff writer for the Sun-Sentinel who generally covers the County Commission.

    And who’s wearing what color of socks, and other scintillating tidbits of intel.

  25. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:

    Dear Sam,

    I’m all for Uber and believe the competition will improve taxi service also. I am very eager to have them in Broward, Lyft also.

    But if they can’t agree to insurance, backgrounds and consumer protections, then we should wait until they agree to follow reasonable rules.

    I don’t think there’s another way to look at this and still be responsible to the consuming public.


    PS — I’m originally from New York. I’ve been in hundreds of cabs. Here in Florida, not so much. The point isn’t how often I use cab service. The point is offering reasonable protections to those reidents that do, including our many visitors and tourists.

  26. Ana Gomez-Mallada says:

    Democrat government in action.

  27. Sam says:

    I have ridden in NYC taxi’s many of times. You go onto the street & hail one.
    Getting a cab to show up in a timely manner in Broward if at all is impossible.