MIAMI (CN) - App-based transportation services Uber and Lyft should be fined and not allowed to continue servicing Miami because their drivers are unlicensed, a class claims in court.
Christopher Davis, CEO of Professional Chauffeur Transportation Services, sued Miami-Dade County, Fla., Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. in Miami-Dade County Court, on behalf of all for-hire transportation companies in the county and the public at large.
He says their drivers are not in compliance with local ordinances and regulations. Under Miami-Dade County code, public transportation companies need chauffeurs registrations for each driver, licenses, vehicle inspections, liability insurance, background checks and "adherence to established payment rates," according to the complaint.
"The defendants Uber and Lyft are rogue companies that are operating 'for hire transportation services' by the use of a telephonic app system by which they direct unlicensed drivers who are operating their own unmarked personal vehicles to pick up fares for delivery to specific destinations including but not limited to the Miami International Airport and the Miami Port Authority aka PortMiami," the lawsuit states.
Davis says Uber and Lyft are attempting to monopolize the local market by charging less than companies like his.
"Uber and Lyft are knowingly, illegally and intentionally violating the aforesaid ordinances and are therefore violating the law set out by Miami-Dade County, Florida for the sole purpose of profit, causing monetary loss (loss of legitimate fares) to the plaintiff transportation companies which are regulated by said ordinance and to the detriment of the unwitting riding public and public at large," according to the complaint.
Their lower fares are an attempt to hurt competition and force traditional chauffeurs and taxi drivers out of the market, Davis claims. He says an attempt to monopolize a market is against state law.
Davis also blames the county for not enforcing its ordinances. He alleges the county has arrested Uber and Lyft drivers in the past but generally turns a blind eye to their services.
"The defendant county has known of the continuing illegal violations of its code of ordinances by defendants Uber and Lyft for some time, but has refused to enforce its code of ordinances against said defendants, which perpetuates the criminal violations of their drivers, the loss of revenue by the plaintiffs, and the loss of protection to the riding public and public at large," the complaint states. "If defendant county enforced its codes against defendants Uber and Lyft, their drivers will lose the fares that said defendants provide and therefore defendants Uber and Lyft would be out of their illegal transportation services or suffer the consequences."
The lawsuit's class consists of licenses chauffeurs and taxi drivers as well as the general public in Miami-Dade County.
Davis seeks a cease and desist order, restitution and punitive damages. He and the class are represented by Ronald Guralnick in Miami.