Could the end of the road be near for Uber in Maryland? - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Could the end of the road be near for Uber in Maryland?

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BETHESDA, Md. - A Maryland state commission is recommending the app-based companies be regulated like traditional taxis-- and that could mean the end of the road for Uber. 

Uber has become wildly popular for many, but now a judge with the Maryland Public Service Commission wants to force Uber and similar companies to operate under the same regulations as old-fashioned taxi cabs. 

In a ruling Thursday, the judge said Uber is a common carrier that is subject to PCS regulation.  The judge said has 60 days to apply for a motor carrier permit. 

Uber says they're not a cab company at all, but a technology firm that runs an app that connects passengers to drivers.  That difference gives them an unfair advantage, according to Maryland cab drivers.  Lee Barnes, who owns Barwood Cab, says Uber has the ability to avoid regulations covering pricing, safety and access that cabs are subject to, and they can change the price whenever they want to.  All of that, Barnes says, isn't fair. 

"They do for hire, for profit transportation service just like we do for more than 50 years," said Barnes.

Uber's move would likely be like forcing travel apps to buy airplanes, or reservation apps to buy restaurants. 

In a statement, Uber told FOX 5, "We are confident that on appeal, reasonable standards that promote competition and choice will prevail."

The order is set to take effect on May 28 as it stands now.

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