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Aug. 6, 2014 5:29 pm

Maryland People’s Counsel raises Uber, Lyft concerns

Paula Carmody sent letters this week to the Public Service Commission, which is currently in a legal battle with Uber.

An Uber SUV.

(Photo by Flickr user Staci Baird, used under a Creative Commons license)

Maryland’s state consumer watchdog is the latest to raise legal concerns about ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft.

In letters to the Public Service Commission, Maryland People’s Counsel Paula Carmody asked for investigations into Lyft and Uber’s UberX service, believing riders may not be aware that state law requires drivers to have a commercial driver’s license and commercial insurance, the Baltimore Sun reports.

In June, Uber appealed a PSC law judge’s ruling that declared Uber a common carrier subject to regulation. Uber’s UberBlack and SUV drivers already register with the PSC, but UberX drivers (who typically drive small personal vehicles) do not. An Uber spokesman told the Sun that the PSC’s ruling, if allowed to stand, would force the lower-cost UberX out of Maryland.

Both Uber and Lyft spokesmen said both carriers cover independent drivers with insurance policies.

In July, Annapolis officials asked Uber to put the brakes on its recently-launched Annapolis service until the firm had registered as a cab company.

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Tyler Waldman

Tyler Waldman is lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. A Towson University graduate and former local editor for Patch.com, Tyler has also written and photographed for publications including the Baltimore Brew, Howard County Times and Towson Times. He lives in Charles Village.

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