Sunshine Shuttle & Limousine Owner Speaks Out on Opposition to HB 1389
Bill Targets Limousine Industry, Allows Non-Standardized Pricing, Raises Safety Concerns
April 7, 2014 (Santa Rosa Beach ): On Friday April 4th, John Finch, Owner of Sunshine Shuttle & Limousine of Santa Rosa Beach, FL, stood before the Florida House of Representatives Economic Affairs Committee in opposition to HB 1389, allowing unregulated car service companies to operate in Hillsborough County. Seeing many incarnations, Rep. Jamie Grant (R-Tampa) streamlined the bill for one district, the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission (PTC). Mr. Finch, a Board member of the Florida Limousine Association, highlighted the standards not addressed in the bill.
“If we allow these unchecked drivers to move into Tampa, they will spread to other markets,” said Finch. “We’ve worked very hard bringing a higher level of service to Northwest Florida. Once known as the ‘Redneck Riviera,’ we’re seeing change.” Finch added, “We won’t sit back while unqualified companies roll in and pick up unsuspecting customers.”
Competition isn’t the issue. A level playing field is.
“My company pays taxes and licensing fees for the privilege to operate in Florida. A ridesharing company should, too. This bill will open our industry to the wild, wild, west. We have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the community by implementing high standards. Florida doesn’t need to be involved on a statewide level with these types of issues.”
Several Representatives agreed, stating that paid ridesharing is best left up to local authorities.
“This is should be negotiated between the PTC, the cab drivers, the limousine service people and others entering the marketplace,” Rep. Mark Danish (D-Tampa) said.
“Our drivers really hit a home run during Spring Break,” Finch said. “Parents are concerned with safety first, second, and last. Those hoping for HB 1389 to pass will hire anyone with a car. Our drivers are concierges on wheels.”
About Sunshine Shuttle
Sunshine Shuttle & Limousine is a full service, locally owned and operated transportation service provider. The largest ground transportation company on the Emerald Coast, it has three divisions: Sunshine Coach, Sunshine Limousine, and Sunshine Shuttle. Founded in 2004 by John Finch, the company has over 65 vehicles and maintains state-of-the-art 24/7/365reservation capabilities, along with sophisticated live GPS tracking and dispatch software.