The Miami Herald reports that Uber drivers have received more than 3,000 tickets and similar citations, totaling $3.2 million. One proposal would waive $1.4 million of that, though critics questioned why the fines should be reduced.
Police have also impounded at least 20 cars from Uber drivers.
Commissioner Dennis Moss said Uber “made a conscious decision to violate the rules” and should therefore pay the full penalty. Other critics noted Uber’s guidance to drivers about how to avoid getting caught by police.
In response to enforcement by airport police at Miami International Airport, Uber’s Miami city managers advised drivers to conceal themselves from airport police:
This is an important message from Uber Miami for our valued partners in South Florida about serving South Florida airports, including Miami International Airport. There have been some instances of partners receiving tickets for picking up or dropping off Uber riders at the airport.
While we continue our discussions with authorities on ways to develop a long-term solution, here are a few things you can do to make the pickup and drop off experience more enjoyable for both you and the rider:
– Keep your Uber phone off your windshield – put it down in your cupholder
– Ask the rider if they would sit up front
– Use the lanes farthest from the terminal curbside for pickup and drop off
When taxi drivers at JFK Airport went on strike to protest President Trump’s travel ban targeting seven Muslim-majority countries, Uber continued service. While Uber claimed that continued service would assist passengers in completing their journeys, critics saw Uber profiteering and failing to honor an important principle.
Criticism was sharpened because Uber CEO Travis Kalanick at the time served as a strategic advisor to Trump, suggesting that he supported the travel ban or Trump’s policies more generally. (Kalanick later stepped down from that advisory role.)
In litigation, the City of San Francisco and City of Los Angeles reported that Uber in January 2013 agreed with the California Public Utilities Commission not to transport passengers onto airport property unless granted permission by the relevant airport authority. Uber obtained no such permission from Los Angeles International Airport or San Francisco International Airport as of December 2014. Despite the CPUC agreement and a cease-and-desist letter from the San Francisco International Airport, Uber continued operation. The cities described Uber’s conduct as “intransigent refusal” to follow the law.
Through October 2014, Uber charged passengers a $4.00 “Airport Fee Toll” to travel to San Francisco International Airport, although there was no such fee charged by the airport, city, or anyone else. The city reported that some drivers (though by all indications not many) had permission to operate commercially at SFO, but that they paid $3.85 at most in fees to SFO. Uber always charged more—indeed, as much as $8 if two passengers shared an UberPool vehicle to SFO.
In 2013-2014, Uber charged a nonexistent $8.75 “Logan Massport Surcharge & Toll” for rides to or from Boston’s Logan airport. Uber’s web site said was to “cover… Massport fees and other costs related to airport trips.” But neither Massport nor Logan airport charged any such fees. Furthermore, Uber charged an “East Boston Toll” of $5.25, but the largest toll any UberX driver was actually obliged to pay was $3.50. Uber reimbursed drivers for the actual toll and retained the remainder.
Cullinane et al v. Uber Technologies, Inc. No. 1:14-cv-14750-DPW. Massachusetts District Court. December 30, 2014. Complaint. Supreme Court briefing as to Uber’s motion to compel arbitration and avoid litigation (also restating and summarizing merits of the case).