(Tallahassee, Fla.) – Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Shalimar), and Florida’s top business organizations joined Uber at the Florida Capitol today to announce the 2015 Uber economic impact numbers for Florida, and to urge the Florida Senate to take up House Bill 509.
A bipartisan supermajority in the Florida House of Representatives voted for the comprehensive statewide regulatory framework for ridesharing, (HB 509), sponsored by Rep. Gaetz. If passed through the Senate and signed into law, Florida would join the more than 20 states across the country that have welcomed innovation and consumer choice in transportation.
Uber’s 2015 Impact Profile
- With Florida tourism numbers at a record 105 million visitors for 2015, Uber announced that visitors from 46 states across the US and 78 countries around the world used Uber in the Sunshine State.
- More than 40,000 Florida entrepreneurs are active drivers with Uber, earning money to support their families on their own schedule.
- More than 1.5 million Floridians across the state rely on Uber for transportation.
- In the last year alone, Uber driver-partners have provided more than 24 million safe rides throughout the Sunshine State.
“It is clear that Uber and other ridesharing services have become an important part of Florida’s economy and our transportation systems. As a state, we should be welcoming innovative companies like Uber and ensuring that everyone in Florida has access to safe transportation options and flexible work opportunities,” said Senate President-Designate Joe Negron (R-Stuart). “I support a standard, statewide set of modern regulations to create a permanent home for ridesharing here in the Sunshine State.”
“Transportation network companies should be able to operate without crippling regulations that serve only to shield taxi companies from competition,” said Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg). “Uber has transformed safety on our roads by dramatically reducing DUIs, and ridesharing provides a new level of mobility to countless Floridians. This legislation is long overdue. It is time that we stop bowing to the interests of a handful of powerful taxi companies. The Senate should take up and pass the House Bill to ensure Floridians have access to the transportation options they deserve in the 21st century.”
“This issue isn’t just about ideology; it’s about real measurable economic outcomes for our local communities,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Shalimar). “Just a few short weeks ago, the Florida House, in an overwhelming show of bipartisan support, passed HB 509. We urge the Florida Senate to stand up for the free market and innovation and take up our good bill.”
“Transportation network companies are part of Florida’s business culture, regardless of how hard special interests try to stop it,” said Brewster Bevis, Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Associated Industries of Florida. “At AIF we are focused on promoting policies that allow our businesses to thrive. It’s time to allow all transportation network companies to operate everywhere throughout our state so they can continue to inspire entrepreneurship and positively impact our economy.”
“In order for Florida to compete in the 21st century marketplace, we must support a robust free enterprise system that cultivates innovation and strengthens our economy,” said Frank Walker, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, The Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Uber and other transportation network companies represent the spirit of innovative entrepreneurship. Our regulatory climate should welcome, not hinder, their contribution to our economy and quality of life for Florida’s 20 million residents and the 100 million plus visitors we welcome each year.”
“At Uber our goal is to help empower entrepreneurs to take charge of their own economic futures and to provide people with safe, reliable transportation options,” said Matt Gore, Florida General Manager for Uber. “The impact numbers for Florida help tell that story. Floridians want to keep moving forward and we urge the Florida Senate to take up the House bill on behalf of their constituents.”
Uber launched a statewide petition drive last week urging Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando) and his colleagues to pass modern, sensible ridesharing legislation. To date, thousands of Floridians have taken a stand in support of Uber. The petition can be found here: Support Uber Florida.
Uber is evolving the way Florida moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make communities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers.