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Ride-share bill gets a “Lyft” from Maryland lawmakers

ANNAPOLIS — Baltimore Sen. Bill Ferguson is calling it a “Sine Die Miracle,” while stakeholders are applauding legislation to address rules for ride-share companies.

In the waning hours of the 2015 Maryland legislative session, Ferguson’s bill to establish regulations for companies such as Uber and Lyft sped through both chambers, propelled by bipartisan cooperation and even support from taxi services.

The measure establishes regulations for the transportation network services — companies that rely on cellphones to schedule and set passenger rides — including insurance and background checks. The bill also updates license applications for taxi and limousine services, making them similar to the processes used by the newer companies, and calls for a study to help level the competitive market.

A spokeswoman says Gov. Larry Hogan is reviewing the bill.