Gov. Martin J. O’Malley said Wednesday that Maryland regulators and lawmakers need to do more to foster innovative technologies and businesses in the state.
O’Malley issued a statement shortly after the Public Service Commission issued a ruling declaring that some of the services offered by Uber are subject to its regulatory authority.
“As new innovations change the transportation services landscape, we must ensure that our laws and regulations evolve as well – we shouldn’t try to limit a 21st century marketplace with 20th century regulations,” O’Malley said in the emailed statement.
The governor stopped short of saying the commission ruling was wrong. Instead, he called on the commission and the General Assembly to make changes to accommodate companies such as Uber.
“[W]hen viewed in their totality, the undisputed facts and circumstances in this case make it clear that Uber is engaged in the public transportation of persons for hire. Thus, Uber is a common carrier and a public service company over whom the Commission has jurisdiction,” the commission concluded.
The ruling affects the company’s UberBLACK and UberSUV services.
“The Public Service Commission was right when it said that ‘many industry changes and technological advances have occurred since these regulations were adopted’ and that regulatory revisions ‘may be appropriate to more effectively regulate’ innovative transportation companies” O’Malley said in his statement. ”I urge the commission—and the Maryland General Assembly—to ensure that our laws and regulations accommodate and foster new innovations to ensure that Marylanders have choices, while always ensuring that we protect the safety of all Marylanders.”
Earlier this year, legislators rejected a bill that would have prevented the Public Service Commission from regulating services such as Uber and Lyft.
- Uber is a common carrier, PSC rules