Uber Vs Taxis in PB

New Uber proposal to keep app operating in Palm Beach County; taxi drivers concerned

Taxi cab industry worried about public safety

Jenn Strathman

5:31 PM, Jul 13, 2015

Proposal To Keep Uber In Palm Beach County

WPTV

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – It’s been a bumpy road for taxi cabs in Palm Beach County.

Metro Taxi says it took a 25% hit in business when Uber cars hit the road.

“They have an extreme economic advantage over the rest of the industry,” said Brock Rosayn of Metro Taxi.

Taxi cabs rates are regulated. Uber rates are not, so they are often half as much.

Now taxi cabs are concerned about the economic road ahead.

Under a new proposal Uber and other non-taxi companies will do their own background checks.

The plan will split all car services into two categories.

Traditional taxi cabs will be held to county regulations, and non-cabs like limos and Uber will be mainly self-regulated.

Outgoing Palm Beach County Administrator Bob Weisman calls this a win for both industries.

However he adds it’s user beware. “They (passengers) are putting themselves in a circumstance where they may or may not be as safe because we are not running the most advanced background checks or detailed inspections but the public seems to want and use this service.”

But, NewsChannel 5 Consumer Watchdog Jenn Strathman has learned Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs is concerned this proposal doesn’t protect the public enough.

“Should the county be doing these more advanced background checks?” the Consumer Watchdog asked Weisman.

“That’s a policy call and since Uber won’t cooperate and says that’s unacceptable to them we might put Uber out of business in the county,” Weisman said.

The taxi industry says federal fingerprint background checks are done in other cities with Uber, but Weisman said he’s not sure what’s happening there and how the agreement is working.

Uber plans to pull out of Broward County, where there are tougher rules, at the end of July.

That’s something one Uber driver doesn’t want to see happen here.

“Losing access to ride share services like Uber and Lyft is like losing your cellphone people don’t want to deal without it,” said Uber driver and rider William Leneve.

The taxi industry is concerned the proposal under consideration is moving too fast. There’s a meeting this Friday for cabs and then it will be discussed next week at the county commission meeting.

Weisman said some of the new proposals, which will be discussed at Friday’s tax meeting, could actually lessen the regulation on the cab industry. He expects most cab companies will soon be operating like Uber does now in the future, where most of their requests for service will come through an app.

The county says it must move quickly because a temporary agreement allowing Uber to operate legally in Palm Beach County ends in September. Plus, the county is getting sued by some taxi cab companies over the Temporary Operating Agreement, and that trial is scheduled for mid September.

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For the latest consumer issues, or to report your own concern to Jenn, follow her on Twitter and Facebook .

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City Place Parking Already Difficult

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Palm Beach County commissioners are considering a plan that would take nearly 400 general parking spots in CityPlace and turn them into valet space for the new Hilton being built at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

Originally, the hotel’s developers planned to build a 630 car parking garage on-site. But now planners say they would like to save the space for potentially adding on more rooms in the future.

Developers are asking the county to allow them to instead provide 255 valet spots in a surface lot where the parking garage would have been and use 375 spots in CityPlace’s Hibiscus Garage for overflow valet parking as well.

Business owners in CityPlace say they’re excited for the new customers the hotel will likely bring in.

“It is a very, very convenient, strategic, fantastic idea of having a hotel right in the heart of CityPlace,” says salon and spa owner Anushka.

But people who already shop and eat at CityPlace say finding parking there is hard enough without having to share spots with hotel guests.

“It’s a pain,” says Emily Shotland.

The shopper says if parking becomes harder to find, she’ll stop going to CityPlace.

“They’re not going to have as much business if people can’t park there,” Shotland says.

Palm Beach County’s assistant administrator and a spokesman from CityPlace’s Community Development  District say the Hibiscus Garage is not being used at capacity and has room for more vehicles.

A spokeswoman for Hilton says planners don’t foresee the need to use the garage every day. She says the hotel plans to only have an overflow of parking during special events. The hotel would call ahead and have spaces held for its valet service for certain days only. The spokeswoman says the spots would not be blocked off for the hotel every day.

Service Animals or Pets? in a No Pet Building

New law punishes people with fake service dogs

from WPTV.com 3 day s ago

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Of the 130 new state laws going into effect July 1st, one is putting phony service dog owners on notice. Local businesses say it’s concerning when people pass their pets off as service dogs just to get them in a restaurant or movie theater, where pets usually wouldn’t be allowed. Don Chester, a West Palm Beach resident who depends on a service dog to help him get around, says he’s noticed the system being abused, and it’s hurting those who legitimately need a service…

I do not know the new laws but we have a real problem in the building. For years we have been a “no pet building” and then a few devious owners got their doctors to write a note and brought their dogs in. During the last board headed by M.Roefaro he tried to fight the puppy from the pound on the ninth floor but wasn’t very successful. Then last year the flood gates opened and more pets arrived. Even a couple that found the building through a board member and he knew they had a pet not a service dog arrived.The last time I looked we have only one legitimate service dog. There was a meeting and a vote on pets in the building but it was never decided or maybe decided but not told to the owners what our policy is going forward.

There was a discussion that this would help the value of our apartments to increase in value but has anybody seen the jump. What a pity we just finished re-carpeting the halls with very expensive carpeting. And what about the poor people that bought into the building because they were allergic to pets?

You are down there presumably and read local papers and if anything comes up about pets vs service I would love you to post it.

July 4th 2015 Blog is back online

It has been a very long time since I posted anything about the building. One reason was that the comments got very ugly and mean. This time around I will not post any comments or blogs without a known name with their email address attached. That might take care of the “nasties”. Second reason was that the building was supposed to build a website but like all things in the building it did not get done in a timely manner. Maybe it is coming? And lastly why I want to reopen this blog is that owners have no where to go with problems, questions, or to get anything done. The board has internal problems and the office is very hard to motivate.

I am a snow bird and not there for 6 months a year. When people such as myself are gone we never hear anything of the building. We are never called, emailed or sent any mail of meetings, changes or problems going on. My maintenance is 12 months but my service is 6 months and only when I am there.

About a month ago a neighbor told me that the power went off in the building. In the past, my air conditioning , that I leave on , does not go back on by itself. So she is kind enough to go to my apartment and put the air conditioning on again.  My neighbor does this for two other owners that have the same problem. I called the office to see if they knew of the outage and did someone go up to the apartments that the building has a list of that has this problem. I was very unhappy with the answer that they were not responsible. I then wrote a letter hoping that the board or the office would address this problem for some of us but a letter was received back with the same ” we are not responsible”. I then called the office and asked if they could research if there is a solution to this situation by putting in a device to the system. I was told they would get back to me. No one ever called or helped.

This is real hard to fathom when you write out your maintenance check each month and this was the first thing I asked the office to do since I left in the end of April.

Well I researched the issue and there is something that could be installed that would help with this situation. With 50 percent of the building gone during the summer you would think they would have time or interest to help the owners. If anyone wants to know what the solution is please email through the blog and I will tell you.

So this is what this blog is all about. If you have a problem and it is not addressed please lets share and see if we can help eachother.