Uber is über upset over potential Cambridge ouster

An Uber app is seen on an iPhone. Credit: Reuters
An Uber app is seen on an iPhone.
Credit: Reuters

Uber is speaking out against regulations proposed by Cambridge officials which the company said are “specifically designed to shut down the innovative transportation options” offered by the popular ride service.

The regulations would impose fines starting at $100 on ride services using technology that is not registered with the city’s hackney division, which would not only affect Uber, but also its competitors Lyft and Sidecar.

They would also put a minimum price of $50 for any non-taxi car ride, regardless of the distance and would prohibit passengers from requesting a ride on-demand from anyone other than a taxi.

Passengers would also be forbidden from using a technological device as part of fare calculation during a ride.

The Cambridge License Commission was expected to hold a meeting Tuesday night as a “first step” in reviewing the draft regulations. Commissioners planned to discuss and take comment, but no votes were expected.

“It is important to note that this draft policy recommendation is not targeted at Uber but an industry wide policy,” said Elizabeth Lint, the commission’s executive director.

If put into place, the regulations would have an “enormous impact” on Cambridge residents, visitors, and businesses, Uber said on its blog.

“For a city known for its innovation and progressiveness, it is shocking that Cambridge would cling so blindly to the past and ban an innovation that thousands of its residents and small businesses value and use on a daily basis,” Uber said in its statement.

“Even more unbelievably, there has been no meaningful effort to seek public input on the proposal, nor publicize the process or timeline for passing it.

About an hour before the Tuesday night meeting, Uber said the commission reached out to the company and committed to an open dialogue.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



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