Ride-Sharing Companies Fighting New Requirements in Maryland - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Ride-Sharing Companies Fighting New Requirements in Maryland

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The view of the Uber app on a cell phone. (Photo: WBOC) The view of the Uber app on a cell phone. (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md. - The ride-sharing companies, Uber and Lyft, this week will be pleading their case in Baltimore to allow the companies to get a waiver for the new finger print background check required in Maryland.  Uber officials believe the new requirements would have a negative impact on the state of their company in Maryland.

Governor Hogan signed legislation in 2015 allowing the companies to operate but also allowed the Public Service Commission to regulate the industry.  The legislation also had requirements for drivers like vehicle inspections and finger printing.

Starting Thursday, officials from Uber and Lyft will be before the Maryland Public Service Commission making their case for a waiver against the finger printing component of the new legislation.  The companies believe it would add an extra cost for the company and drivers to have the finger printing done, and believe the background checks already in place are sufficient enough when it comes to screening drivers.

Leland Brittingham is an Uber driver in Salisbury.

"The background check checks all of you.  Simple as that," Brittingham said Wednesday.  "Any background that you have stays with you so it's right there.  So I say that's just an extra cost to somebody."

However, some in the taxi industry believe drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft have an unfair advantage and should be held to the same standard as cab drivers.  

"It's a minor thing," said Jim Shearer, a taxi driver for "New Salisbury Transportation.  "What are you hiding?  You know, who are you going to let out there driving people around?  It's not fair to us and it could be a potential danger to the community."

The hearings before the Public Service Commission begin Thursday in Baltimore.  The public is invited to attend.  The hearings are scheduled to run through Friday and into early next week, if necessary.  You can find more information about the arguments the ride-sharing companies are presenting before the state by following this link.

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