Bill to exempt Uber, Lyft from common carrier status fails to pass - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Apr. 9, 2014 12:15 pm

Bill to exempt Uber, Lyft from common carrier status fails to pass

The legislation's purpose was to "carve out a framework, by the creation of a new, separate regulatory system within the state’s public utilities law, that would allow ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft to operate legally in Maryland and in accordance with the state’s Public Service Commission."

(Photo courtesy of Uber)

It appears that the future of ridesharing startups Uber and Lyft is still in question in Maryland.

The Transportation Network Services legislation that was being considered by the Maryland General Assembly did not pass, according to a spokeswoman for state Sen. Bill Ferguson, who sponsored the Maryland Senate’s version of the Transportation Network Services bill.

As Technical.ly Baltimore reported in March, the legislation’s purpose was to “carve out a framework, by the creation of a new, separate regulatory system within the state’s public utilities law, that would allow ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft to operate legally in Maryland and in accordance with the state’s Public Service Commission.”

Uber and Lyft teamed up to lobby in favor of the legislation, which Uber deemed “critical” after a report issued by the Public Service Commission’s staff counsel in December 2013 said that Uber “operates a motor vehicle-for-hire service and is therefore a ‘common carrier’ subject to Commission regulation.”

Read Technical.ly Baltimore’s coverage of the Transportation Network Services bill.

According to Ferguson’s spokeswoman, the Senate finance committee will be telling the Public Service Commission “that they need to regulate Lyft and Uber differently than taxi cabs.”

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