When Tampa cabbie David Bean sees this week's video of European taxi drivers creating gridlock in a protest of unregulated ridesharing companies, he isn't sold on that tactic, but he does want to organize in other ways.
"We have to let our politicians know that we see clearly what happened when you deregulated the banks, when you deregulated the housing market."
Bean says anyone who takes money for a ride should have to follow the same rules- permits, commercial insurance, background checks. He says it's only fair competition, if rules are rules.
RELATED: County cracks down on Uber, Lyft
"I have put in double the hours a normal person works every week for five years to build a clientele."
After writing nearly three-dozen tickets last week to eight Uber and Lyft drivers, county regulators now want police to treat them as criminals.
They say rideshare cars should be impounded and repeat offenders, arrested.
"I hope it sends a message that we are unified in our enforcement of the law," said Kyle Cockream, the head of the Hillsborough Co. Public Transportation Commission.
But Tampa Police aren't sure.
The city attorney says at first glance, the state statute that governs the Public Transportation Commission doesn't say cops have to help enforce PTC rules, but the PTC says firm action will prevent cabbies from boiling over.
"There have been some taxi cab protests in cities in this country, too, that have been horrific for the local community," said Cockream. "We don't want that."
The PTC says during meetings, rideshare companies have so far refused to require drivers to get public vehicle licenses.
A Lyft driver we spoke to, who did not want to give his full name, says he won't quit under the PTC's call for police action.
"It's not concerning where I would stop doing it; it's disappointing that it has to come to this."
Cab drivers say it is only a matter of time before rideshare drivers start chipping into profits.
Bean says he wants a concerted effort made statewide to require Uber and Lyft to follow the law.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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