With the ongoing litigation of the National Federation of the Blind alleging discrimination by Uber, another ride-sharing company, we are keeping our eye on this issue with Lyft. Uber and Lyft contend they are not transportation companies and, as such, not covered entities subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ruling by a Hillsborough County (Tampa, Fla.) hearing officer that they are acting as a taxi company subject to the rules of the county’s Public Transportation Comission (PTC) contradicts this assertion. Here is the latest on this issue.
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Lyft plans to appeal Hillsborough ruling Hedly news offlead runs @ 2/42/2, plz. By Steve Contorno Times Staff Writer TAMPA Lyft officials say they will appeal a hearing officer’s decision to uphold a citation against the ride-sharing company issued by Hillsborough County. “Lyft’s peer-to-peer model is fundamentally different than a taxi or limo and we intend to appeal the decision to the Second District Court of Appeal,” spokeswoman Chelsea Wilson told the Tampa Bay Times. On Monday, a hearing officer upheld a $200 citation against Lyft issued during a December sting operation. The ruling said that while Lyft may not own any cars, it operates similar to a taxi company. And without the proper permitting, it wasn’t allowed to do business in Hillsborough. “Although the vehicle involved in the citation was not an actual taxicab, it was functioning in the same capacity,” hearing officer Susan More wrote, noting also that Lyft approves the drivers, completes background checks and provides commercial liability insurance. More issued a similar verdict against Lyft’s competitor Uber last year. The Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission is weighing how to regulate ride-sharing companies here. Lyft said it wants to find a solution. “People in Tampa have made it clear they want Lyft as an affordable, reliable way to get around their city,” Wilson said, “And we remain committed to working with the PTC toward a solution that secures a future for ride-sharing. Contact Steve Contorno at firstname.lastname@example.org or @scontorno.