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Dear Mr. Executive:

I am writing to share my concern with respect to the County's posture regarding Uber as reflected in Director Holmes’ August 5th letter to Uber.  I was recently told of the communication and provided a copy of it from Barwood's representative. 

In my view, Uber represents the future.  It is innovative.  It is successful.  It satisfies consumers by providing a high quality service at generally less cost and attracts drivers who are able to make more money.  This is a winning combination.

Rather than drive Uber out of Montgomery County and detract from our aspirations to support innovation and innovative companies, we should instead revisit our own antiquated taxicab regulations.  Our regulatory approach to taxis is as "old school" as you can find anywhere.  Just as in the electric utility world, new technology threatens a business and regulatory model that is out of date.

I will be scheduling a Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy & Environment Committee meeting in the next several weeks to hear from our existing taxi cab operators, Uber, and other stakeholders as to the breadth of regulatory reforms that we should consider.  I invite the Administration to be a part of that conversation. 

Now is the time to give our local taxis the ability to compete with new entrants, not wall off the new entrants.  I believe that together, we can create a model for a taxicab market that is more dynamic and customer-oriented, while still retaining essential regulations that protect consumers, operators and the broader public interest.

I look forward to working with you to help bring taxicabs into the 21st Century.

Sincerely,

Roger Berliner

    




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