Come this weekend, Uber drivers and cab drivers won’t be considered different from each other in Annapolis. So, starting Friday, authorities will start asking Uber drivers for taxicab driver’s licenses. They’re threatening to issue tickets if the drivers don’t have a license, according to Eye on Annapolis.
It’s the latest flashpoint in Uber’s attempt to stay in Maryland and hold onto its classification as a ridesharing app, rather than a taxicab company. Uber’s business model operates under the assumption that its pricing model wouldn’t be as attractive if the company was regulated in the same way as taxi companies.
Annapolis officials say they’re taking action against the drivers, rather than Uber itself. City officials sent Uber a letter in July asking that it cease operations until drivers complied with taxicab regulations. Uber did not reply, and has continued operating.
Meanwhile, the company is facing off with the state Public Service Commission over similar issues for its luxury car service, UberBLACK. State Sen. Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore) has said he’s planning to offer legislation addressing regulations for Uber and Lyft during the current General Assembly session.
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