A Message From KWPD to Uber Drivers


“Key West has an ordinance that prohibits independent Uber drivers.

Beginning July 1, drivers for Uber/Lyft may find themselves under arrest if they continue to drive passengers without a City vehicle-for-hire license.

For several months, the City has attempted to inform the community that it provides only 56 such licenses, all of which have been issued. Operating without this license is against the law and punishable as a second degree misdemeanor, which is subject to a fine up to $500 and/or up to 60 days in jail.

Despite warnings and an awareness campaign, complaints continue to roll in that these illegal vehicles for hire are running in the City. So, beginning July 1st, Key West Police officers have been instructed to arrest any driver violating the City’s vehicle-for-hire ordinance.

This service threatens to put people who are probably otherwise law abiding citizens under arrest. We strongly encourage everyone to obey the ordinance.”

~ Alyson Crean, spokesperson for KWPD and City of Key West

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9 thoughts on “A Message From KWPD to Uber Drivers

  1. Not surprised that KW would do this as it would force cab companies to lower prices.
    As to the legality of it I am sure it will end up in court as they are walking on a very fine line of violating drivers right to work and passengers right to transportation of choice. Bottom line it is all about money not safety. Does KW have the legal right to ban UBER ? Will Uber take it to court ? Uber just might have more money than KW to fight this.

  2. Last time I used a Taxi in Key West was around 1970, to get a ride to Cow Key Channel Bridge, to start hitching back to Islamorada. En route, one of the two bearded hippie-looking gentlemen up front, the one on the passenger side, passed a rolled joint back for my wife and I to try. Hanging from the back of the seat was a metal sign indicating different sizes and origins of weed, and their price. We lit up, good stuff, but, I said, since we were hitching up a US highway, we declined to buy any.The two gentlemen said they understood, have a great day.

    I never heard of Uber until just now reading this article, so I googled and found a link which explains it and the 2 Key West Uber companies, which indeed seem to be competing head on with taxis, which received favorable mention in the article: http://whatisuber.reviews/uber-key-west-fl-uber-promo-code-florida/

    I don’t just assume people who are breaking the law, and know it’s being broken, probably are law abiding citizens otherwise. I wonder how many KW police officers will be needed to crack down on this criminal enterprise, which, for aught that appears, is thriving in Key West?

    Drug trafficking is thriving in Key West, too. And I don’t just mean marijuana. Naja and Anaud have told me, just about everyone they know uses drugs, and they didn’t mean booze or cigarettes, which are drugs, too. Did the local police put a dent into that? I doubt it, as a stripper told me local cops are trafficking drugs in Duval Street clubs where they provide night security.

    Whatever, will the arrested Uber drivers go to the county jail, and their now parked illegal human trafficking vehicles be towed by the local friendly towing enterprises to their lots and held for ransom? This bust could get to be a serious money generator for the towing companies.

    Will the Uber drivers file a lawsuit to have the city ordinance declared a violation of Florida and U.S. anti-trust laws, a la Duck Tours?

    Perhaps a silver lining will be local police are so busy hunting down and capturing Uber drivers, and their passengers, the accomplices, that they don’t have time to hunt down and capture homeless people drinking in pubic or sleeping outside at night.

    I look forward to seeing how this new police protecting the people of paradise not plays out.

    Over and out, for now.

  3. The Libertarian Party of the Florida Keys unquestionably opposes this silly ordinance. In the so called “land of the free”, it’s awful that people need permission or licenses to provide a simple service like this.

    Just another way that government decides economic winners and losers in the marketplace. And people hate ‘capitalism’…. This is nothing more than crony-capitalism at it’s finest.

    -Mike Kane
    Chair – LP Florida Keys

  4. I was a pothead in the 70’s and never seen any real harm in it but I matured from being a hippy and seen if I wanted to be a winner it had to and did stop. And yes I too heard that the cops are dealers. Why not ? Who will bust them ? If they can commit perjury , kill tourists and keep a job just what would happen to selling drugs. Does Donie get a cut of the profits ? Any guesses as to where they get it LOL.

    As to Taxi or Uber never needed or used . So if I hire a UBER am I also breaking the law ? From what I been told the pedicabs are unregulated and very costly. Seems KW is just money hungry and don’t care how they get it.

    We all know why the open container law got created and how it is used. Years ago the homeless were part of the charm of KW. Can recall once one of them telling me he was not like the others and that he was just trying to get money for a beer. Handed him a few bucks. Would be hell to be that poor and if a beer could brighten his day for a few minutes then great.
    So now my question is are there any licensed UBERS in KW ? Or are they all outlawed. Seems to me it should be my business on who I pay to let me ride in a car. Wonder how much the cabs paid to get this passed..
    Corruption runs deep.

  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uber_(company)

    I must admit that UBER does seem to be just another method of being a taxi.
    I liken it to being a paid escort. Bottom line it is a ride for dollars the same as an escort is actually a prostitute.

    Uber does seem to have plenty of money behind it so hope KW thinks this out, Must admit safety could be a big factor but are we really all that safe in one of them pink cabs. I understand cab companies concerns but this is the worl of free enterprise.
    Look at how many B and B’S we have in KW, Did the hotel / motel industry stop them ? Personally we prefer a BB over large hotels as we find they have friendlier staff. KW is not really concerned as much with our safety as they are with the license fees. I would be fine with KW creating a license requirement of moderate cost to oversee that they are insured and pass background check but beyond that it is called competition and that is what keeps our country going.

  6. I know that Key West taxi companies are regulated by the city and are heavily insured.
    If I’m injured in an Uber taxi can I rest assured that I’m covered financially?

  7. I would not underestimate the power of Uber. I’m sure the Key West police will and just may use their typical tactics on one of their drivers, tase or kill!!

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