(Photo by Flickr user Staci Baird, used under a Creative Commons license)
Annapolis officials and taxi companies don’t want Uber to get a free ride.
The city sent a cease and desist letter ordering Uber to halt service until it has registered as a cab company, The Baltimore Sun reports.
Mayor Mike Pantelides said Monday it’s important for Uber to follow the same regulations as the taxicabs that operate in Annapolis.
“I’m happy to know there is another means of transportation that will help increase our city’s mobility efforts, but I must also be diligent in insisting that they are regulated, just like our taxicabs, in an effort to keep our citizens and visitors safe,” Pantelides said in a statement.
Acting City Manager Brian Woodward sent a letter to Uber on June 25 instructing the company to register with the city and state or cease its operations in Annapolis.
“Uber isn’t a taxi company any more than Maryland blue crab is a pelican — Uber is a technology platform that connects consumers to an array of on-demand options from rides to helicopters to ice cream to kittens,” company spokesman Taylor Bennett told the Sun.
The ridesharing service launched in Annapolis in May and also serves the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas.
The challenge is the latest legal fight for Uber in the Old Line State. In June, Uber appealed a Public Service Commission law judge’s decision that would force the company to register as a common carrier. And this month, more than 30 state cab companies filed suit against Uber for antitrust claims, according to the Sun report.-30-