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Opinion

Cambridge, Mass., proposes rules to ban Uber, Lyft, Sidecar

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Timothy P. Carney,Massachusetts,Government Regulation,Uber

Regulators in Harvard's hometown have proposed new regulations aimed at banning Uber, Sidecar and Lyft. As Uber's website describes them, the rules would:

* Set a $50 minimum price for any non-taxi car ride, regardless of time or distance

* Prohibit you from requesting a ride on-demand from anyone other than a taxi

* Forbid any technological device from being part of fare calculation during a ride

Apparently, the Cambridge License Commission has backed off these rules, but they're a perfect example of how something like a licensing commission can be set up to protect consumers from unscrupulous or incompetent businesses, but end up protecting incumbent businesses from consumer choice.

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