BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Boston convention center officials are urging Massachusetts lawmakers to drop a provision from a bill that would regulate ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, arguing it would hurt the convention business.

The bill, which passed the House last month, includes a five-year ban on the companies picking up fares at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in South Boston.

James Folk, transportation director for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, says convention-goers by the thousands are accustomed to using Uber and Lyft to get to hotels or restaurants. He says convention business could suffer if ride-hailing companies are barred.

Nate Little of the MCCA told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens the ban is not necessary.

“We’ve had a record taxi pick-ups and drop-offs at the convention center (at) 132,000,” he says. “We’ve also had a rising number at the same time of ride shares at the convention center.

“There’s plenty of business to go around for everyone, and we just want to make sure that all of our options are open to provide the services on behalf of the Commonwealth and taxpayers that we’re charged with.”

Little hopes the Senate rejects the ban.

Proponents of the convention center provision say it’s needed to protect the taxi industry, which helped finance construction of the facility through the sale of medallions.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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