Uber feels as though Broward County, Fla., has too many strict regulations for its drivers to follow, so it's hitting reverse and backing out.
On Monday, Uber announced plans to withdraw its service completely from Broward County on July 31, citing the Florida section's "onerous" regulations as the main reason why.
According to the Sun-Sentinel (registration required), Uber had previously stopped picking up passengers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades in Broward, hoping that the county would back off from its stringent rules. It didn't and Uber is fed up.
With the planned withdrawal, Uber will still operate in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, where friendlier regulations are being worked out. They'll still drop off passengers in Broward County after July 31, but will stop doing any pick ups.
"Broward County officials implemented one of the most onerous regulatory frameworks for ridesharing in the nation. We have no choice but to suspend operations on July 31," Uber said in a statement to the media, as reported by the Sun-Sentinel. "We hope the Board of County Commissioners will revisit the issue when they return from break and work with us to bring Uber back to Broward."
Uber's main issue with Broward County's rules is the laundry list of red tape that the Florida section has the company's drivers go through to carry out their service. Those regulations include drivers having to obtain a county chauffeur registration, a car permit and undergo a Broward County-run background check, in addition to Florida-state mandated commercial insurance.
Broward Mayor Tim Ryan told the Sun-Sentinel that he found Uber's announcement to be "surprising and disappointing.''
"To me it's clear that Uber provides a very good service that people want,'' Ryan said. "The regulations Broward County imposed are very reasonable. The county only asked that Uber have safe drivers, safe vehicles and insurance.''
Broward County is far from the only place that has taken issue with Uber, which has seen governments around the world react to its cell-phone, tap, ride and pay service.
With Uber valued at an estimated $50 billion, chances are the California company will survive just fine.