Uber has been extremely successful in over 300 cities worldwide, and is starting to capture the Gainesville transportation market. Uber is a company that employs independent drivers who use their own cars to transport customers. Recently, the City Commission approved an ordinance that makes becoming an Uber driver in Gainesville easier. Before, the Gainesville Police department was required to perform background checks on all transportation service drivers, but with recent regulations, driver responsibility falls solely with the transportation companies, such as Uber.
Ed Braddy, the mayor of Gainesville, stated that the purpose of the transportation regulation was not to accommodate Uber, but to ease restrictions for all transportation in Gainesville. In fact, “statistics show that for every one Uber driver on the road, seven cars get off the road.” Uber drivers also benefit, since more drivers are able to help serve Gainesville’s market demand for transportation.
Although regulations for less restrictions were passed, Todd Chase, Gainesville City Commissioner felt massive pressure from Uber. The company had threatened to leave Gainesville if restrictions were not eased. Uber has also tried to push for uniform regulations at the state level, but has not been successful. Chase was cautious to not pass the ordinance out of pressure, since the matter could have possibly jeopardized public safety. However, the commissioner supported the regulations, making it one of the hardest decisions he has made in office. With transportation companies like Uber having easier access to drivers, Gainesville may experience an increase in app-based transport.