Uber users protest Braintree ordinance
By State House News Service | August 4, 2015, 15:39 EDT
Written by Michael Norton
Critics and supporters of the ridesharing industry will have to wait until September for a public hearing on bills to regulate Uber, Lyft and other services, but the controversy that such services has generated will play out at the local level Tuesday in Braintree.
Uber riders and partners plan to gather outside town hall at 1:30 p.m. before a licensing board hearing to protest “problematic and potentially discriminatory language” in a proposed ordinance that opponents believe will limit the ability of ridesharing companies to operate in the town, according to Rasky Baerlein, which is representing Uber.
Members of the Legislature’s Financial Services Committee plan a public hearing at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15 at the State House on ridesharing regulation bills, including a proposal requiring Uber and Lyft drivers to be fingerprinted and comply with other insurance and license plate requirements.
Gov. Charlie Baker has also filed a bill (H 3351) to subject “transportation network companies” (TNC) to be regulated by the Department of Public Utilities. In his filing letter, Baker said such companies are providing a valuable service and allowing hundreds of people to work part-time, but said steps should be taken to ensure the safety of passengers, including requiring TNC drivers to be at least 21 years old, subjecting them to comprehensive background checks, and requiring them to carry adequate insurance.
Braintree Mayor Joe Sullivan is scheduled Tuesday to be sworn in as a member of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board.
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