With state appeal filed, Uber highlights drivers in PR push - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Jun. 19, 2014 10:21 am

With state appeal filed, Uber highlights drivers in PR push

The video comes on the heels of a Public Service Commission ruling that would make Uber subject to the same regulations as taxi companies.

A screenshot from Uber's latest video campaign.

Uber is fighting a Maryland Public Service Commission ruling in court. Now it’s also seeking a win in the state’s court of public opinion.

In a video posted on the ridesharing company’s blog, drivers talk about why they believe “Maryland needs Uber.”

In April, a Public Service Commission law judge declared that Uber was a common carrier subject to the same regulations as taxi companies. Earlier this month, Uber filed an appeal of that decision.

“I’m just using Uber’s technology as a platform to grow my own business,” said one driver featured in the video. That sentiment echoes the rationale of Uber’s appeal, which asserts that Uber does not own cars and merely contracts with partner drivers.

“I’m a PSC-licensed driver. I’m commercially insured. I own my own car,” said another driver, who identified himself as a full-time student. “Uber makes the transportation business in Baltimore safer because I know who I’m picking up. The customer knows who their driver is.”

The implication of the “Maryland needs Uber” campaign, of course, is that Maryland could lose Uber.

An Uber spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on whether Uber has exited markets elsewhere in response to regulatory threats or if this is something they are prepared to do in Maryland.

Update, 6/19, 1:10 p.m.: “We’re proud to not have pulled out of any state in the country,” Uber spokeswoman Kaitlin Durkosh said in an email. “It would be very unfortunate if Maryland removed itself from the innovation economy and made a decision that would catapult it back to the Dark Ages. The facts are clear, and in the end we’re confident a decision that allows for consumer choice and competition in Maryland will prevail.”

State regulators have argued that Uber is circumventing regulations meant to ensure passenger safety.

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Tyler Waldman

Tyler Waldman is a contributor 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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  • I love seeing Uber drivers talk about their experience! go to http://www.lyftvsuber.com/ to try out Uber or Lyft for yourself. compares the two most popular ride-sharing companies. $25 of free ride credit and $500 bonus for new driver sign-up!! drivers can make as much as $35/hr. hope you can see what all the hype is about 🙂 thanks!

  • For me the way has altered. I take advantage of it to arrive at school and work. I understand not everyone enjoys these new ridesharing programs as they’re messing together with the status quo that is present. Nonetheless, it will help many people that have difficulty getting access to reliable public transport and can’t afford the high costs of taxi cab firms. I got my beginning with all the Lyft program from this site: http://lyftgyft.com/best-free-ride-code there’s a marketplace for Lyft and Uber but simply need to determine how it works in laws and the transport sector as a whole.

  • herzog00

    Both Lyft and Uber have come a long way in a short time! Both companies are now spending a ton of cash trying to recruit more drivers to help them grow…shelling out up to $750 or even $1000 for a new driver to sign up. (most recently they are offering up to $750 in certain cities http://therewardboss.com/2015/06/01/lyft-bumps-driver-bonus-to-750-limited-time/). I love using both services as a passenger – the experience of catching a ride has improved significantly (except of course when prices are surging).

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