Tampa Minimum Fares - Release 4-22-14

 

Survey: 78 Percent of Floridians Support Ending Unjustified Minimum Fare Requirements for Limousines

Legislators attempt to break decades-old anti-consumer regulation of Florida limousines

  

 

WEB RELEASE: April 22, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: J. Justin Wilson, (703) 682-9320 ext 206; jwilson@ij.org


[Economic Liberty]


 

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IJ Client Thomas Halsnik

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Watch: Gov’t Forces Businesses to Overcharge Customers
Backgrounder on this case: Hillsborough County Transportation Commission vs. Consumers, a Driver and a Small Business


Miami, Fla.
—A new poll commissioned by the Florida Chapter of the Institute for Justice found that Floridians overwhelmingly support current legislative efforts to outlaw minimum fare requirements for limousine drivers. During the current legislative session, the Florida Legislature has considered various bills that would either eliminate such minimums statewide or in certain counties, such as Hillsborough County.

“This poll demonstrates that Floridians recognize that protectionist regulations that only serve to harm consumers have no place in our state,” said Justin Pearson, Executive Director of the Florida Chapter of the Institute for Justice. “Floridians intuitively know that it should not be illegal to give customers a good deal, but for many years the laws governing taxicab companies and limousines in Tampa, Miami and Orlando have defied all intuition and common sense at the behest of a small group of politically-connected corporations who have relied on the government to protect them from competition. The purpose of Government is to protect public health and safety; not to protect businesses from giving consumers a better deal.”

Question:
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: It should be legal for Florida limo drivers to offer deals, including discounts, to their customers.

Strongly Agree
53.1%

Somewhat Agree
25.1%

Somewhat Disagree
3.1%

Strongly Disagree
22.7%

Three Florida cities currently mandate minimum fares for limousines: Tampa ($50 minimum), Miami ($70), and Orlando ($35).

In all three cities, the minimum fare applies no matter how short the ride. Most cities around the nation do not require any mandatory minimum limousine fares.

In August 2013, the Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit in state court against the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission. The suit argues that the PTC’s minimum fare rule violates the rights of entrepreneurs and customers protected by the Florida Constitution’s due process and equal protection clauses. The lawsuit is pending in the 13th Judicial Circuit in and for Hillsborough County.

“If the Legislature fails to the remove these burdensome restrictions on entrepreneurs and consumers, our lawsuit will serve as limo drivers’ last and best hope of breaking the transportation cartel that has locked-down Tampa’s system for too long,” continued Pearson. “We’re confident that if the Legislature fails to fix this, we will ultimately succeed.”

About the poll:
The poll was conducted April 18 - 22 using Google Customer Surveys. The survey had 720 responses from Floridians, of which 470 registered an opinion. It has a margin of error of ±4.2%.


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