Palm Beach County: give Uber two more months

020115-UBER-3UPDATE: March 1, 9:40am: At the start of today’s Palm Beach County Commission meeting, County Administrator Verdenia Baker said the proposal has been changed to end the temporary operating agreement not at the end of September but to instead extend it just another two months to the end of April.

Palm Beach County Commissioners are set at their next meeting, March 1, to extend for another six months the operating agreement with Uber app-based ride program and similar outfits that already is approaching a year and a half.

Palm Beach and other South Florida counties, and the entire state, have been wrestling with rules for Uber and other operations. Taxi and limo firms have said a person’s in just as much danger getting into a stranger’s private car as a taxi and that the app-based firms’ drivers should have the same background check and insurance rules. Uber argues it’s a different animal.

Uber wasn’t helped by this week’s shooting binge by a Michigan Uber driver that left at least six dead. Uber has said the driver had no criminal past and had passed background checks.

The county commission set the 1-year temporary deal in September 2014. In September 2015, it voted to extend it to March 31 or until the Legislature passed uniform statewide rules for such providers. But the Legislature still is wrestling with proposals; thus the commission’s proposed stopgap.

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