UberX Approved in Pennsylvania — But Not Philadelphia

Uber has been granted a two-year experimental license by the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission. The problem? The PPA regulates taxis in Philadelphia.

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The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission has voted to allow Uber to operate in Pennsylvania — but that ruling doesn’t apply to Philadelphia. Unlike the rest of the state, the Philadelphia Parking Authority regulates taxis in the city.

The PPA has been fighting with Uber ever since it launched its UberX service in Philadelphia on October 24th. (The service had already been operating in the suburbs.) The PPA impounded Uber cars in a sting operation — it eventually released them — while the head of the Philadelphia Taxi Association compared UberX to ISIS.

Uber Black — the company’s more expensive service — is allowed to operate in Philadelphia, as it is considered a livery service. UberX is not (though it is operating). The PUC ruling will allow the company to operate UberX throughout the rest of the state.

“The PUC confirmed today that Uber provides the safe and reliable rides that Pennsylvanians need and deserve,” Uber said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the PUC and the state legislature to get the details right so we can establish a permanent home for uberX ridesharing in all of Pennsylvania.”

Uber’s Pennsylvania license is an experimental one that will last two years. It is subject to the PUC issuing a certificate of public convenience. The PUC says this is Uber’s “last chance” to comply with safety and insurance rules.

[Inquirer | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | AP]