Uber to partner with TB Lightning despite potential fines

The battle for ride-sharing services staying in Hillsborough has taken another turn.

TAMPA, Fl -- If you're hoping to take Uber to-and-from Amalie Arena, the ride-sharing app now has its own exclusive lane for pickups. The problem? Uber technically still isn't legally operating in Hillsborough County.

County Commissioner Al Higginbotham says the Public Transportation Commission has never been against allowing ride sharing apps in Hillsborough. In fact, they have an agreement with Uber in the works. But, it's not complete, raising questions about the new partnership. 

“The state is requiring the PTC to enforce these rules. If we don't, we would be in violation,” Higginbotham said.

“It concerns me to some extent that there's a matter of liability for the lightning to open it up for Uber.”

On Wednesday, Uber executive Javi Corresoso hoped to only talk about the agreement.

“We are very excited to partner with the Tampa Bay lightning,” he said.

Instead, reporters bombarded him with questions about “why now,” when they're working out the deal with the PTC to operate legally in November.

“We've been on the record saying that we don't feel the PTC has the authority to regulate ride-sharing.”

Violating PTC rules could end in hefty fines for drivers. Uber said it'll continue to drive on.

“Fans want and have asked and now we have given them transportation options to and from the arena,” Correoso said.

Higginbotham said a scheduled meeting on Thursday could've kicked in an agreement earlier, but it was canceled. 

According to Uber, the exclusive lane will be used for pickups following any events at Amalie Arena, not just lightning games. 


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