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.”
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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.