Hearing on regulating ride-sharing companies scheduled for next week

(AP Photo/Julia Malakie)

BOSTON (AP) — Fans and critics of popular ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft will get a chance to weigh in on proposed regulations that could govern how the firms operate in Massachusetts.

Gov. Deval Patrick wants to give the state Department of Public Utilities the power to regulate the activity.

The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday morning at the state transportation building in Boston before the Department of Transportation and Registry of Motor Vehicles.

The proposed regulations would require the companies to obtain certificates to operate, conduct criminal background checks on drivers and have liability insurance.

A union representing cab drivers have argued that the changes would do little to help the taxi industry, which claims the ride-sharing firms operate illegally.

Uber-Boston has issued a statement in support of the proposal.

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