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Key West Arrests Uber Driver

Graphic by Uber. Color darkened by WLRN for clarity.

Two weeks ago, the city of Key West police department announced that it would start arresting drivers for app-based ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

Now it's followed through. On Friday evening, according to the police department, an undercover officer arranged for a ride from the airport to a local hotel.

Once they reached the hotel, the driver was arrested on a second-degree misdemeanor charge. The city alleges that he violated the city's vehicle-for-hire ordinance, which requires drivers and vehicles to have a license from the city.

The number of vehicle licenses is limited and all are currently being used by taxi operators.

It's not the first time the Key West police have gone undercover to bust an Uber driver. In December, the Key West police conducted a similar undercover operation. In that case, the drivers were given civil citations.

Since then, the city has decided to pursue criminal charges in at least one of those cases, said Chris Bridger, the attorney representing former Uber driver Henry Allen. Allen is due back in Monroe County Court Aug. 5.

Nancy Klingener covers the Florida Keys for WLRN. Since moving to South Florida in 1989, she has worked for the Miami Herald, Solares Hill newspaper and the Monroe County Public Library.