(Photo by Flickr user Ben Schumin, used under a Creative Commons license)
Maryland lawmakers spent last year’s legislative session pondering whether to allow ridesharing services like Lyft to operate legally in the state. As the new General Assembly session begins today, now they can summon a ride from the State House.
This week, Lyft expanded its service area around Baltimore to include Annapolis.
“We heard an overwhelming response from the people of Baltimore, that expanding access to reliable transportation options like Lyft has benefitted their community, allowing them to go out without worrying about getting behind the wheel,” Lyft spokesperson Mary Caroline Pruitt wrote in a chest-thumping email to Technical.ly Baltimore. “We’ve now decided to expand to the state’s capital so that our rides are also available for the people of Annapolis.”
It’s part of a larger expansion for the ridesharing service into Baltimore’s suburbs in all directions. Now, Lyft is available in Columbia, Owings Mills, Cockeysville, Reisterstown and Perry Hall. Riders can also be dropped off in D.C., Pruitt said. The full map is on the Lyft website.
Lyft’s expansion comes as Uber announced a price drop of 10 percent for its uberX and uberXL services in Baltimore. The company said the move was motivated by a post-holiday slowdown. Uber is already in Annapolis (and has had some drama there). Uber expanded to six more Maryland cities last fall.
The companies have this newfound freedom to operate after the General Assembly passed a law last year that creates a regulatory category for the ridesharing companies. Both companies lobbied hard for the law, which officially went into effect on Oct. 1.
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