Gov. signs off on dissolving controversial Hillsborough County transportation agency

County to take over PTC duties
Posted at 11:58 PM, Jun 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-08 23:58:04-04

Drivers for Uber and Lyft are celebrating this week after Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill eliminating the agency that tried to keep ride sharing services out of Hillsborough county. 

After operating for more than 40 years, the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission will dissolve by the end of the year. 

"It saves us the aggravation of them bugging us and telling us we can't go to certain places," said Uber driver Deborah Corrado. 

The agency came under heavy scrutiny in recent years, even becoming the focus of an F.D.L.E. investigation for its controversial tactics to kick Uber and Lyft out of the county. 

"I never had trouble getting rides for the most part, but there was a lot of animosity," said Corrado. "You could feel it."

"I vowed to change it or shut it down," said Hillsborough county commissioner Victor Crist, who served as chairman for the PTC for four years. 

Crist tells ABC Action News, cab companies had too much control over the policies administered by its regulating agency. 

ABC Action News has learned, the commission's duties will shift to Hillsborough county. 

"There will be some aches and pains during the transitions," said Crist. 

It's unknown right now which PTC rules will carry over as the county regulates cabs, limos and tow truck companies. 

"Right now the PTC requires $1 million worth of liability insurance in the event somebody gets injured," said Crist. "I'm not sure the county is going to require that because Uber and Lyft don't have to have that."

The Hillsborough County Tax Collector will screen drivers and perform vehicle inspections. 

Code enforcement will investigate complaints filed against tow trucks, cabs and limo services.

"Some basic, good vehicle inspections left in place and some good background checks left in place because I wouldn't want to put my wife or my 5-year-old daughter into a vehicle that wasn't safe," said Crist. 

A detailed plan for how the county will absorb the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission's duties is expected in August.