State reverses ban on Uber car service ordering app
State officials have reversed an order that prohibited the use of Uber, a smartphone app consumers can use to order and track livery car services, saying on Wednesday evening that the service “is currently not out of compliance with state law and free to continue operating.”
The service from Uber Technology Inc., which is based in San Francisco, was banned over the company’s use of GPS technology to calculate fares. In an Aug. 1 letter, the state Division of Standards informed Uber that since there were no established standards for using devices such as smartphones to measure taxi fees, it would have to stop using its app in Massachusetts.
But on Wednesday, division officials said in a release that they have since learned that “this device is already being evaluated for certification by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Because of this, the Division will issue an operating certificate to Uber.”
The state’s original decision met with much outcry, causing a flurry of protests on Twitter. Brendan Ryan, spokesman for Governor Deval Patrick, indicated in a tweet on Wednesday that the administration may have stepped in to overturn the Uber ban: “With all @massgovernor has done for the innovation economy, we’re not shutting down @uber_bos. Working on a swift resolution.”Michael B. Farrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.