Mobile technology is changing the way we communicate, shop, work and travel. Ride-sharing companies such as Uber are bringing much needed choice and competition to a stagnant taxi industry that has failed to advance with the times ("Uber to file long appeal of Maryland proposal to regulate it as taxi operator," May 29).
Unfortunately, Maryland regulators have also failed to modernize the antiquated policies that restrict access to convenient, affordable transportation options and increased economic opportunities.
Uber is creating 20,000 new driver jobs every month, generating $2.8 billion per year for the U.S. economy. Uber's use of mobile technology is giving riders a safer, more reliable way of getting around and offering its drivers a chance to start or enhance their own businesses. In Baltimore, residents and visitors have overwhelmingly embraced Uber over limited public transit options.
It is time Maryland regulators listened to consumers, who clearly want access to more and better transportation alternatives. Catering to special interests and protecting an insipid, dated taxi industry from competition harms the very citizens they are supposed to be serving. It also sends a disheartening message to Maryland entrepreneurs looking to make other industries better by challenging the status quo.
Regulations that limit innovation, economic growth and consumers' ability to benefit from new technologies is simply wrong. Maryland residents and visitors have welcomed the innovation economy. The state's legislators should do the same.
Mike Brenner, Baltimore
The writer is co-founder and CEO of Betamore, a campus for technology and entrepreneurship.