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Baker To Work With Walsh, Curtatone On Regulations For Ride-Hailing Services

A smartphone is mounted on the glass of an Uber car. (Rafiq Maqbool/AP)
A smartphone is mounted on the glass of an Uber car. (Rafiq Maqbool/AP)
This article is more than 5 years old.

Gov. Charlie Baker says ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft can continue to operate while state officials and legislators work to develop new regulations.

Regulations that went into effect last month require the services -- dubbed "transportation network companies," or TNCs — to be licensed by the state. But because the licensing framework must be developed through the Legislature, Baker said the services may continue to operate for six months as the state works on new regulations.

“In order for Massachusetts’ economy to thrive, we must continue to embrace technology and innovation as a means for growth,” Gov. Baker said in a statement. “Emerging transportation options such as Uber and Lyft present a real opportunity for our evolving transportation ecosystem to more efficiently serve residents and visitors to Massachusetts alike."

A statement from his administration said the new licensing structure will "allow the state to ensure both consumer choice and public safety with proper background checks of drivers; proper safety checks of TNC vehicles and adequate insurance in the event of an accident."

The statement also said Baker plans to work closely with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone to finalize the regulations.

A group of taxi drivers is currently suing Boston, alleging the city is violating their rights by allowing alternative services that don't have to follow the same rules as taxis to operate.

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Abby Elizabeth Conway was formerly a digital producer and editor at WBUR.

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